Title:
Method and formulation for eliminating moss with oregano oil
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A method and formulation for eliminating moss with oregano oil extracts. Oregano oil extract is applied to moss or a locus where moss exists to substantially kill the moss. An aqueous solution of oregano oil can be sprayed onto the moss or the locus and hydrocolloids can be added to the solution to improve the efficacy of the oregano oil.



Inventors:
Rohlfsen, William G. (Mason City, IA, US)
Application Number:
11/604081
Publication Date:
05/29/2008
Filing Date:
11/24/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A01N65/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
BRANSON, DANIEL L
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Brown, Winick, Graves, Gross, Baskerville (Des Moines, IA, US)
Claims:
What I claim is:

1. A method of eliminating moss comprising application of oregano oil to said moss in an amount efficient to substantially kill said moss.

2. The method of claim 1 wherein said oregano oil is in an aqueous solution.

3. The method of claim 2 wherein said oregano oil is about 0.5% to about 100% weight percent of said aqueous solution.

4. The method of claim 3 wherein said aqueous solution of said oregano oil includes about 0.25 to 25% weight percent of at least one hydrocolloid.

5. The method of claim 4 wherein said at least one hydrocolloid is agar, alginates, acacia, arabinogalactan, caragum, carrageenan, chicory, guar, pectin, inulin, or xanthum.

6. The method of claim 5 wherein said aqueous solution of said oregano oil includes a plurality of hydrocolloids.

7. The method of claim 3 wherein said aqueous solution of said oregano oil includes about 0.25 to 20 weight percent of at least one surfactant.

8. The method of claim 7 wherein said aqueous solution of said oregano oil further includes about 0.25 to 25 weight percent of at least one hydrocolloid as an emulsifier.

9. The method of claim 3 wherein said aqueous solution of said oregano oil is applied to said moss by spraying said oregano oil thereon.

10. The method of claim 9 wherein said aqueous solution of said oregano oil is applied to a surface bearing said moss.

11. The method of claim 10 wherein said surface is grass, a lawn, landscaping material, a stone wall, wood, or an asphalt or composite roofing material.

12. The method of claim 3 wherein the oregano oil is about 50% to about 95% by weight of said aqueous solution.

13. The method of claim 10 wherein said aqueous solution of said oregano oil is reapplied to said surface after about two weeks to prevent recontamination.

14. A composition for eliminating moss, said composition comprising: oregano oil extract; at least one hydrocolloid; water.

15. The composition of claim 14 wherein said composition comprises: about 0.5 to about 99.75 weight percent to oregano oil extract; about 0.25 to about 25 weight percent at least one hydrocolloid; about 0.25 to about 99.5 weight percent water.

16. The composition of claim 15 wherein said hydrocolloid is agar, alginates, acacia, arabinogalactan, caragum, carrageenan, chicory, guar, pectin, inulin, or xanthum.

17. The composition of claim 15 wherein said composition is sprayable.

18. A method for controlling growth of moss at a locus which comprises applying to said locus an effective amount of an aqueous solution of oregano oil extract.

19. The method of claim 18 wherein said oregano oil is sprayed onto said locus.

20. The method of claim 19 wherein said locus is grass, a lawn, landscaping material, a stone wall, wood, or an asphalt or composite roofing material.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

This invention relates to the field of moss elimination methods and formulations, specifically the use of formulations of oregano oil extract.

2. Description of Related Art

Oregano oil extract, composed of carvacrol and thymol (add chemical formula below), is well known for its ability to suppress mold, fungus, and bacteria. Thymol has also been shown in U.S. Pat. No. 6,506,706 to be effective as a herbicide for controlling weeds and grass. Published U.S. Application No. 2004/0192551 discloses a herbicidal mixture of clove oil, thymol, and carvacrol.

Oregano oil extract has not previously been shown as effective against moss. Moss includes any species of moss of the class Bryopsida such as for example, Bryum argenteum, any species of the division Bryophyta, any species of liverworts of class Marchantiopsida, and any species of hornworts of class Anthocerotopsida, and any other species commonly known as moss. Moss is a prevalent pest that grows on the surface of turf grass, lawns, landscaping materials, stone walls, wood, and roofing materials. Silvery thread moss, Bryum argenteum, for example, is a particularly vexing pest on golf courses. Moss growth is too dense for plants such as grasses to compete. After moss becomes established, cultural practice alone are unlikely to reestablish turf.

Current methods of eliminating moss include the use of heavy metal compounds such as iron sulfate and copper hydroxide. In addition to being expensive, these heavy metal compounds can cause surface staining and harm to living environments. Other compounds used to control moss include Dawn Ultra™ dish soap, baking soda, sodium carbonate peroxyhydrate. Herbicides have also been used to control the growth of moss. Quicksilver™, carfentrazone, is a herbicide that is sold for moss control. These other compounds and herbicide have not been effective in entirely eliminating moss and require multiple applications.

It is therefore desirable to use environmentally friendly compounds that are effective in eliminating moss. It is also desirable to formulate compositions of oregano oil to maximize its efficacy on moss. It is further desirable to use a formulation that will terminate moss in a single application but have minimal phytotoxicity to surrounding plants.

SUMMARY

The present invention provides a method and formulation for eliminating moss with oregano oil extracts. Oregano oil extract is applied to moss or a locus where moss exists to substantially kill the moss. A composition of about 0.5 weight percent oregano oil or greater is effective to substantially kill moss in only one application. The preferred method is to spray the oregano oil onto the moss or the locus, and the preferred formulation is a sprayable aqueous solution of oregano oil. To improve the efficacy of oregano oil, the preferred formulation includes one or more hydrocolloids.

Other objects, features, and advantages of the present invention will be readily appreciated from the following description. The description makes reference to the accompanying drawings, which are provided for illustration of the preferred embodiment. However, such embodiment does not represent the full scope of the invention. The subject matter which the inventor does regard as his invention is particularly pointed out and distinctly claimed in the claims at the conclusion of this specification.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

The present invention is a method and formulation of oregano oil extract for killing moss. Unlike U.S. Pat. No. 6,506,706 and its method of using thymol, the method and formulation of the preferred embodiment of the present invention is not substantially toxic to grasses. It was surprising that only one application of the formulation of the preferred embodiment was found sufficient to kill moss. The single application damages plants mixed in with the moss, but the affected plants exhibit re-growth shortly thereafter whereas the affected moss does not. The method and formulation of the preferred embodiment is therefore well suited for killing moss on turf without significantly damaging the turf.

The method of the present invention involves the application of oregano oil extract onto moss or a locus where moss grows. In the preferred embodiment the oregano oil is in an aqueous solution for application by spraying. Oregano oil in amounts as low as about 0.25% by weight have been found to be effective in killing moss and amounts as low as about 0.5% by weight have been found sufficient to kill moss with one application.

Although oregano oil extract can be applied in concentrations as high as about 100% by weight, lower concentrations are preferable. About 100% oregano oil is not flowable through a spray nozzle and is therefore more difficult to apply than lower concentrations. The 100% oil has also been observed to roll off the surface of moss before it can act on the moss to kill it. The 100% oil is also significantly phytotoxic and may cause unintended harm to surrounding fauna.

After application of oregano oil, a locus may become contaminated with incoming mold spores. To prevent further contamination therefore includes the step of re-applying oregano oil. It is preferred to wait about two weeks before re-applications. Two weeks has been determined to be the optimal amount of time to prevent significant growth of moss from incoming spores while allowing other fauna at the locus to recover from the frequent treatments.

It is believed that the carvacrol and thymol in oregano oil chemically destroy the cell walls of moss. The outer walls of moss are studded with pectin binding sites. The pectin binding sites allow the moss to adhere to plants. These sites can also be adhered by certain hydrocolloids. Hydrocolloids, also referred to as gums, that are believed to adhere to the pectin binding sites of moss include without limitation agar, alginates, acacia, arabinogalactan, caragum, carrageenan, chicory, guar, pectin, inulin, or xanthum. The preferred embodiment of the formula of the present invention includes hydrocolloids to aid in the interaction between oregano oil and the cells walls of the moss. Hydrocolloids of about 0.25 to about 25 percent by weight are therefore believed to enhance the action of oregano oil extract in killing moss.

The preferred embodiment of the formula of the present invention also includes surfactants in amounts of about 0.25 to about 20 weight percent. The surfactants generally increase the interaction of carvacrol and thymol with the moss cells walls. Surfactants that can be added to the formulation of the present invention include but are not limited to X-77 (UAP), Induce (Helena), Activator 90 (UAP), Triton Ag 98 (Rhone-Poulenc), R-11 (Wilfarm), Agri-Dex (Helena), Prime Oil (Terra), Herbimax (UAP), Crop Oil Plus (Wilfarm), Prefer 28 (Cenex), Surf-N (US), Inhance (Brandt), P-28 (Wilfarm), Patrol (Helena); Sun-It II (AmCy), MSO (UAP), Scoil (Agsco), Hasten (Wilfarm), Mes-100 (Drexel), Silwet L77 (UAP), Silikin (Terra), Dyne-Amic (Helena), Kinetic (Helena), Sylgard 309 (Wilbur-Ellis) and Century (Precision). Generally the present invention is enhanced by any surfactant that provides the surface adhesion or penetration to increase the efficacy of the oregano oil.

The content of the present invention will be concretely explained by way of the following examples but the present invention shall not be limited only thereto.

EXAMPLES OF METHODS AND FORMULATIONS

Example 1

The formulation of oregano oil extract and hydrocolloids (formulation from claims) has been shown by the inventor to be effective in killing moss when applied as spot treatments on putting greens.

Example 2

The combination of oregano oil extract and hydrocolloids ticgum, gum arabic, and arabanoglactin was sprayed onto non-specific green moss growing on wood fencing. The combination eliminated all of the moss visible inspection and aided in the removal of the terminated moss.

Example 3

Aqueous solutions of oregano oil extract were tested on silvery thread moss growing on turf grass. The turf grass was a mature stand of ‘Penncross’ creeping bentgrass Agrostis stolonifera L. on a sand based rootzone. A grid of six inch square plots were arranged on the turf. Each plot was initially rated for percent moss cover on Jul. 6, 2006. Only plots with greater than 50% moss cover tracked for this test. Table 1 summarized the 79 treatments tested. Oregano oil extract formulations were compared with carefentrazone and a non-treated control. Several oregano oil formulations included a surfactant, and these formations are marked as ORG AS, ORG BS, ORG CS, and ORG DS. Each formulation was applied as a squirt or pump from a spray bottle containing the formulation. The spray bottle used was one quart bottle that delivered 2.8 ml per pump onto a four inch square area. All of the formulations were applied at least once on Jul. 6, 2006. Sequential applications were also additionally performed bi-weekly on Jul. 20, Aug. 17, and Sep. 12, 2006, for a total of one, three, or four bi-weekly applications of. Each carefentrazone application was made at a recommended rate of 6.7 fl. oz. product/A.

TABLE 1
Turf quality, moss quality, and moss cover when various treatments of oregano oil (ORG) and
carfentrazone are applied to a creeping bentgrass putting green to control silvery thread moss.
OilVolumeTotal oil perApplicationsApplications
ConcentrationWaterApplicationApplicationsApplicationsonon
Treatment(%)ml · ft-2ml · ft-2on July 7on July 20August 17September 12
ORG A-110.2525.50.061000
ORG A-130.2525.50.061110
ORG A-160.2525.50.061111
ORG A-210.2551.00.132000
ORG A-230.2551.00.132220
ORG A-260.2551.00.132222
ORG A-410.25102.00.264000
ORG A-430.25102.00.264440
ORG A-460.25102.00.264444
ORG AS110.2525.50.061000
ORG AS130.2525.50.061110
ORG AS160.2525.50.061111
ORG AS210.2551.00.132000
ORG AS230.2551.00.132220
ORG AS260.2551.00.132222
ORG AS410.25102.00.264000
ORG AS430.25102.00.264440
ORG AS460.25102.00.264444
ORG B-110.525.50.131000
ORG B-130.525.50.131110
ORG B-160.525.50.131111
ORG B-210.551.00.262000
ORG B-230.551.00.262220
ORG B-260.551.00.262222
ORG B-410.5102.00.514000
ORG B-430.5102.00.514440
ORG B-460.5102.00.514444
ORG BS110.525.50.131000
ORG BS130.525.50.131110
LSD.051.521.471.271.52
ORG BS160.525.50.131111
ORG BS210.551.00.262000
ORG BS230.551.00.262220
ORG BS260.551.00.262222
ORG BS410.5102.00.514000
ORG BS430.5102.00.514440
ORG BS460.5102.00.514444
ORG C-11125.50.261000
ORG C-13125.50.261110
ORG C-16125.50.261111
ORG C-21151.00.512000
ORG C-23151.00.512220
ORG C-26151.00.512222
ORG C-411102.01.024000
ORG C-431102.01.024440
ORG C-461102.01.024444
ORG CS11125.50.261000
ORG CS13125.50.261110
ORG CS16125.50.261111
ORG CS21151.00.512000
ORG CS23151.00.512220
ORG CS26151.00.512222
ORG CS411102.01.024000
ORG CS431102.01.024440
ORG CS461102.01.024444
ORG D-11225.50.511000
ORG D-13225.50.511110
ORG D-16225.50.511111
ORG D-21251.01.022000
ORG D-23251.01.022220
LSD.051.521.471.271.52
ORG D-26251.01.022222
ORG D-412102.02.044000
ORG D-432102.02.044440
ORG D-462102.02.044444
ORG DS11225.50.511000
ORG DS13225.50.511110
ORG DS16225.50.511111
ORG DS21251.01.022000
ORG DS23251.01.022220
ORG DS26251.01.022222
ORG DS412102.02.044000
ORG DS432102.02.044440
ORG DS462102.02.044444
E11Carfentrazone25.51000
E13Carfentrazone25.51110
E16Carfentrazone25.51111
ES11Carfentrazone25.51000
ES13Carfentrazone25.51110
ES16Carfentrazone25.51111
ControlControl0000
LSD.051.521.471.271.52

Table 2 shows the results in turf quality and percent moss cover. On Oct. 9, 2006, the non-treated control showed heavy moss infestation with 82% moss cover. Plots treated with several oregano oil formations (ORG B-26, ORG B-43, ORG BS43, and ORG C-13) had moss cover of approximately 20% or lower. The plots treated with carfentrazone treatments (E11, E13, E16, ES11, ES13, and ES16) had moss cover ranging from 48-77%. The test shows that moss can be substantially eliminated if low quality levels of turf are tolerable. For example, ORG-CS42 did not lower turf quality lower than 6.8 but reduced moss cover to less than ten percent.

TABLE 2
Turf quality, moss quality, and moss cover when various treatments
of oregano oil (ORG) and carfentrazone are applied to a
creeping bentgrass putting green to control silvery thread moss.
17 Aug12 Sep9 Oct
Turf% MossTurf% MossTurf% Moss
TreatmentQualityCoverQualityCoverQualityCover
ORG A-1110.058.810.060.010.058.0
ORG A-1310.064.010.079.810.069.8
ORG A-1610.077.010.081.89.866.8
ORG A-2110.078.810.077.010.074.0
ORG A-2310.073.010.074.010.074.0
ORG A-2610.059.010.073.010.056.0
ORG A-4110.067.010.071.010.062.0
ORG A-4310.050.810.061.010.061.0
ORG A-4610.059.810.058.010.062.0
ORG AS1110.071.010.076.610.067.6
ORG AS1310.063.010.066.010.067.0
ORG AS1610.083.010.082.010.071.8
ORG AS2110.092.89.688.610.090.6
ORG AS2310.066.010.084.010.070.0
ORG AS269.871.010.074.010.078.0
ORG AS4110.039.810.061.010.059.0
ORG AS4310.059.010.069.09.661.0
ORG AS469.857.010.056.410.051.8
ORG B-1110.087.810.075.010.078.0
ORG B-139.865.010.051.810.050.0
ORG B-1610.066.010.056.010.045.0
ORG B-219.653.09.650.010.053.0
ORG B-239.851.010.039.010.030.0
ORG B-2610.034.010.021.010.020.4
ORG B-4110.040.010.058.010.041.0
ORG B-4310.013.010.05.210.08.0
ORG B-469.215.09.69.69.210.6
ORG BS1110.072.010.076.010.061.0
ORG BS1310.075.010.071.010.079.0
LSD.051.2726.31.2527.11.5427.7
ORG BS1610.075.010.070.010.066.0
ORG BS2110.069.010.061.210.066.0
ORG BS2310.047.010.054.210.046.0
ORG BS2610.066.010.036.010.046.0
ORG BS419.656.08.848.09.658.0
ORG BS4310.042.010.08.810.017.4
ORG BS469.431.09.016.48.822.0
ORG C-1110.030.010.044.09.836.0
ORG C-139.624.09.013.08.820.2
ORG C-169.231.09.215.48.020.0
ORG C-2110.016.010.020.49.820.0
ORG C-237.612.08.23.68.612.0
ORG C-268.010.66.61.85.86.4
ORG C-419.48.09.413.09.417.0
ORG C-438.05.05.82.07.213.0
ORG C-466.63.06.62.63.81.2
ORG CS1110.044.09.868.010.055.0
ORG CS1310.054.010.024.210.038.0
ORG CS1610.056.29.433.48.237.4
ORG CS219.644.010.057.09.640.4
ORG CS239.627.08.810.49.220.0
ORG CS269.043.08.217.46.819.4
ORG CS419.814.09.827.010.035.0
ORG CS437.610.06.85.27.09.8
ORG CS465.86.64.82.64.83.2
ORG D-119.023.010.030.010.029.0
ORG D-134.82.23.64.23.49.4
ORG D-165.24.84.01.62.61.4
ORG D-216.211.28.011.88.624.2
ORG D-232.81.22.01.43.05.8
LSD.051.2726.31.2527.11.5427.7
ORG D-263.01.02.01.41.81.4
ORG D-415.65.06.24.06.211.4
ORG D-431.01.01.01.01.02.0
ORG D-461.01.01.01.01.01.0
ORG DS118.822.08.432.09.245.0
ORG DS136.03.44.85.25.013.4
ORG DS166.09.05.64.04.03.4
ORG DS218.44.49.29.29.625.0
ORG DS232.61.22.41.42.63.2
ORG DS263.01.22.01.42.01.0
ORG DS414.02.04.83.06.214.2
ORG DS431.01.01.01.01.02.2
ORG DS461.01.01.01.01.01.8
E1110.060.010.066.010.048.0
E 139.668.810.073.810.070.8
E1610.058.010.059.09.655.0
ES1110.082.010.065.810.077.0
ES1310.081.810.075.010.063.0
ES1610.055.810.061.810.055.8
Control10.078.010.080.810.082.8
LSD.051.2726.31.2527.11.5427.7

The data from the test were analyzed using PROC ANOVA of the SAS software, Version 8 of the SAS System for Windows (SAS Institute, 1999). Means were separated (α=0.05) by Fischer's protected LSD (Fischer, 1966). Turf quality was rated on a scale of 1-10, where 10=best turf with no phytoxicity, 6=lowest acceptable turf quality and turf phytotoxicity, 1=worst turf quality with most phytotoxicity and completely brown turf.

Thus, the present invention has been described in an illustrative manner. It is to be understood that the terminology that has been used is intended to be in the nature of words of description rather than of limitation.

Many modifications and variations of the present invention are possible in light of the above teachings. For example, any weight percent of oregano oil can effectively kill moss if correctly applied and the formulation can include any components that do not significantly reduce the efficacy of the oregano oil. Therefore, within the scope of the appended claims, the present invention may be practiced otherwise than as specifically described.