chichester Lawncare, Lawn renovation and makeovers, summer mowing, portsmouth, emsworth, bognor regis, aldwick and pagham
We have spent the last month or so completing lawn renovations, makeovers and repairs across West Sussex and East Hampshire, that’s lawn’s in West & East Wittering, Aldwick, Itchenor, Midhurst, Hambrook, Emsworth, Barnham, Chichester, Porchester, Bosham, Southbourne, Havant, Portsmouth & Selsey that have needed help to get back to their best, most needing the work following damage in the extremes of last summer.
So we have been moving tonnes of top dressing and seed, applying wetting agents, scarifying, aerating and providing advice on how to ensure the best results, moisture being key to germination and establishment of new seed.
Now the weather has been kind in allowing us to complete this heavy work with little disruption but that means rainfall has been in short supply so that ground moisture levels are struggling in some areas.
The low overnight temperatures for most of the last month mean growth has been a little slower than expected and seed germination is taking that little bit longer, but keep the seed moist and it will come.
The flip side of those low temperatures is that moisture loss is reduced so there is still time to prevent soils drying out fully before the heat of summer and as many learned last year its much easier to maintain moisture then to try to wet a soil once its dry.
There is advice on my website about watering the lawn.
As the soils warm up and consistent growth kicks in then regular mowing is essential to keeping your lawn in good condition, mowing encourages the lawn to naturally thicken, so:-
I am taking a well-earned short holiday before we start our Early Summer Lawn Treatments in Chichester in a weeks’ time.
As always, if you have any questions or need help with your lawn.
2019 Spring Lawn repair, lawn renovation and lawncare in chichester, emsworth, bognor regis and surrounding areas
2018, what a year, “The Beast from The East”, the shortest spring in memory and then the hottest, longest dry spell since the 70’s.
So, what did that mean for lawns, well the growth, strengthening and thickening that spring normally brings was brief and then, for those lawns that were not irrigated. month upon month of dry conditions before some brief rainfall relief in the Autumn.
Now grass is a hardy plant and can take some punishment, and the mild winter has improved recovery rates but in lots of lawns there are areas that have not come back from the onslaught of last summer’s drought.
Now its not just the plants that suffered, the soil, which is one of the key features of a healthy lawn, was also affected. In an ideal world, soil is made up of about 50% solid materials (including 5% organic) and 25% air and 25% water. This type of ratio allows the bio-system within the soil to thrive so that the nutrients a lawn needs are available and organic matter follows a natural process.
Did you know that the grass roots themselves produce a gelatinous residue that contains sugars and amino acids. Bacteria, protozoa and nematodes live around the roots, feeding on this residue. These microorganisms help break down organic material, releasing nitrogen and other nutrients in a form other organism can use.
So, when conditions are right there is a virtuous circle supporting plant and soil health, but last year, in many cases that circle was broken and not only did the grass plant suffer but also the soil.
Many of the Lawns we visit across West Sussex and Hampshire are predominantly sitting in a clay soil so when these are allowed to dry, they shrink losing moisture and air so it becomes difficult for the virtuous circle to re-establish when conditions change. The visible sign of this in many cases has been deep cracking, compaction and the level of the lawn lowering.
Of course, where the lawn grass has been weak or died back then moss, weeds and weed grasses may have taken hold.
So, what can be done? Probably the best way to improve the soil condition and to relieve compaction is to aerate the lawn using a core aerator or if conditions are right fracture tine the ground. In the lawns around Chichester. Emsworth and Bognor Regis the Clay content means solid tine aeration is of little benefit in relieving the conditions that developed last year. Adding organic material to the soil will also help and raking or scarifying out the dead grass and thatch that built up last summer will encourage better growth this spring.
Once you have taken steps to help the soil and remove thatch and any moss then you may need to seed any bare areas and, remembering that we rarely allow our lawns to seed themselves, consider over seeding the whole lawn to introduce new, younger cultivars to strengthen the lawn.
Seed need’s ground contact, moisture and the right ground and air temperatures to help germination so your help and care over the first month or so will see the best results.
You can get a good soil thermometer relatively cheaply online or ask your local lawncare company what temperatures they are currently recording and whether it’s a good time to seed.
Choosing and sticking to the right lawn seed mix for your lawn needs a little thought and research, some seeds will germinate at lower temperatures and some take longer to germinate and establish and therefore more after care is needed for longer.
Remember if you are applying any chemicals to treat weeds or moss then that may affect when you can safely seed without the chemicals compromising the seed, so read the labels carefully and again your lawn care provider should be able to help with advice whether they are covering Waterlooville, Rowlands Castle, Southsea, Bosham, Chichester or other local areas.
Now some lawns became so dry during last summer that the only realistic way to bring the grass back is a full lawn renovation or lawn makeover, that can be by laying new turf or growing a new lawn in situ, whichever you choose new turf or new grass plants need nurturing and care to flourish, there are lots of guides on line on how to do this or ask your lawncare provider whether they can help.
Many people do not water their lawn, usually worried about cost or potential environmental impacts. So its worth noting that there are treatments that can be applied, that help a soil retain moisture more evenly and for longer so lessening but not removing the need to water. These products can keep a lawn greener for longer in drought and help recovery thereafter, they may also reduce the risk of disease as they lower the amount of moisture on the leaf, these are called wetting agents and your lawn care provider should be able to provide advice on this, its best to start applying in spring to take advantage when moisture is available naturally.
We are hearing that there may be some shortages of good turf this year and some grass seed mixtures may be in shorter supply, we are also seeing from the new enquiries this year that a lot of lawns need help to recover from the weather onslaught in 2018.
So, whether you intend to carry out lawncare or lawn repair / renovation yourselves or seek the help of a professional company its best to plan ahead now as hire machinery and expert lawncare professionals may be in high demand whether that’s around Chichester, Aldwick, Pagham or elsewhere in West Sussex of East Hampshire.
There is good news that both Southern and Portsmouth Water are saying their supplies are good going into this spring so hopefully the threat of restrictions will nor rear its head this coming season.
Remember your lawn had a tough time last year so try and give it a bit of extra TLC this spring, it will reward you for it.
As always, if you need any help or advice about your lawn just get in touch and we will do our best to help.
Lawn Pests, Lawn Pest Control, Independent Lawncare and Lawn Treatment Advice in West Sussex, Hampshire, Chichester, Emsworth, Bognor Regis, Waterlooville, Pulborough, Midhurst, Tangmere and surrounding areas
At this time of year I am often called for advice from potential customers who are concerned that their lawn may be affected by typical lawn pests, they may be seeing birds or other animals picking at areas of the lawn or unexplained patches or thinning grass.
The first thing to do is to get a trowel and have a little dig in and around the area you are concerned with, birds are often picking at ants or worms which may be near the surface as its been so wet this spring. The birds also pick at moss and thatch that may be present to help with nest building often providing a very effective "scarification" but only in small areas.
There are other critters that are actually a concern and if the population of them is high can be bad for the lawn. The two main lawn pests that we come across for customers in West Sussex, Chichester, Emsworth, Bognor Regis and the surrounding areas are Leatherjackets and Chafer Grubs
The main methods of control are biological and cultural, as members of the U.K. Lawncare Association we are able to share best practice and learnings from Independent Lawncare experts from across the UK and apply these to the grass types and soils around Chichester, Pulborough, Emsworth and the surrounding areas. Earlier this year, at the Association's conference, we had a very informative presentation from one of the lead scientists at BASF who manufacture the Nematodes that are used to control these problems. I find it's always best to listen and learn from the people who make and field trial products as understanding how they work and creating the environment for successful application is the key to achieving control
* what are they?
* How do I recognise them?
* How do I control them?
What are Leatherjackets?
* Leatherjackets are the larvae of the Crane fly (Daddy long legs)
* The adult Crane Fly has long legs with a body about 25mm long.
* Commonly active in the late summer to autumn period with each female laying 200-300 eggs. There can be a smaller amount of activity around May.
* The eggs hatch into larvae, called leatherjackets within about 14 days and remain in the soil for about 9 months before pupating into next season's Crane Fly.
* The Leatherjacket exists in the soil from the autumn to the following spring in your lawn, by eating the stems of your grass plants. This results in the lawn beginning to turn yellow and die back in areas.
* Damage generally becomes noticeable during the spring caused by the feeding that occurred the previous autumn and winter.
* Secondary damage from birds, badgers, foxes, moles and other small mammals searching and pecking for larvae may become evident.
* Keep a look out for Crane Fly activity throughout the late summer. The time to act is two to three weeks after that activity when the young leatherjackets are most vulnerable to control.
* Monitor your lawn in the autumn for larvae activity and secondary damage.
* Call Lawnrite for advice or follow the control methods below.
* There is a manual way which you can use to try to catch and remove the pests, this involves covering the lawn area with a black plastic sheet or damp hessian sacks at night in damp conditions. Peel back the sheet slowly in the morning and collect up the surfaced leatherjackets. Make sure that you peel back the sheet slowly, for if you just peel it right back, some of the leatherjackets will escape back down into the lawn to get away from the daylight.
* There is also a biological treatment available for controlling leatherjackets in lawns, flower beds and vegetable plots. This is a pathogenic nematode, which is watered into the turf or soil. The nematodes enter the bodies of leatherjackets and infect them with a bacterial disease. To be effective, the nematode requires soil that is well drained but moist and with a minimum temperature of 12°C (54°F). The turf around the edge of affected areas should be targeted to deal with larvae spreading out from infestation “hot spots” in the lawn. However, by the time areas of infestation become apparent, the soil may be too cold for nematodes to be effective.
* As a preventive measure, you can apply nematodes in September to early October. It’s important that Nematodes are applied as soon as possible after purchase; make sure you follow the suppliers’ instructions for use. You may find you need to water the lawn before and for two, three even four weeks after application to ensure the soil is sufficiently moist for nematode activity and for them to survive.
* The product also needs to applied when there is no direct sunlight so early morning or evening is best as the Nematodes are susceptible to sunlight.
* Aeration and / or scarification before application can help as surface and sub surface thatch can hinder the passage of the product down to the area where the pest is to be found.
* Application of Nematodes does not need a licence and they are readily available from various suppliers and as there is a continued need to keep the ground moist following application there is little need to ask a professional to apply the product, thats why we advise our customers it's better and most effective to apply this product themselves so long as they follow the instructions
Once the grub population controls are in place we can help bring the lawn back to life.
* Currently no pesticide's are licenced for use for the control of these pests on lawns
* What are Chafer Grubs?
* How do I recognise them?
* How do I control them?
What are Chafer Grubs
* Chafer Grubs are the larvae of the Chafer Beetle
* Chafer Grubs like sandy soils that why we often find problems around Pulborough and in particular West Chiltingtom in West Sussex
Chafer Beetle Facts:
* Chafer grubs are the larvae of at least five different species of chafer beetle.
* These grubs live in the soil just beneath the lawn.
* Both larvae and adult beetles can attack the grass plant.
* Chafer grubs are C-shaped, soft larvae, up to 40mm long with a brown head and six legs on the upper end of the body.
* Commonly active during the late summer and through to spring.
* Chafer grubs feed on the roots, stems and sometimes leaves of the grass plant.
* The grass may appear yellow or brown before wilting and dying.
* In severe cases the root system will be so damaged that you can pull the turf up like a carpet.
* Secondary damage from birds, badgers, foxes, moles and other small mammals searching, pecking or digging for larvae will be evident on your lawn
Solution & Prevention
* Monitor your lawn as the weather warms up for larvae activity and secondary damage.
* Call Lawnrite for advice and / or follow the control's below.
* You can purchase Garden Chafer Traps which use Pheromones to attract the adult beetle of this common species, these are positioned in May and can be used to indicate the level of and reduce the number of beetles and therefore the number of grubs that are likely to be present in the autumn.
* As with leatherjackets there is also a biological treatment available for controlling chafer grubs in lawns, flower beds and vegetable plots. This is a pathogenic nematode, which is watered into the turf or soil. The nematodes enter the bodies of grubs and infect them with a bacterial disease. To be effective, the nematode requires soil that is well drained but moist and with a minimum temperature of 12°C (54°F). The turf around the edge of affected areas should be targeted to deal with grubs spreading out from infestation “hot spots” in the lawn.
* The treatment is most effective applied from August to early october when soil temperatures are high enough. It’s important that Nematodes are applied as soon as possible after purchase; make sure you follow the suppliers’ instructions for use. You may find you need to water the lawn before and for two, three even four weeks after application to ensure the soil is sufficiently moist for nematode activity and for them to survive.
* The product also needs to applied when there is no direct sunlight so early morning or evening is best as the Nematodes are susceptible to sunlight.
* Aeration and / or scarification before application can help as surface and sub surface thatch can hinder the passage of the product down to the area where the pest is to be found.
* Application of Nematodes does not need a licence and they are readily available from various suppliers.
* Currently no pesticide's are licenced for use for the control of these pests on lawns,
* As the life cycle of these grubs can be a number of years its best to repeat the treatment for several years as its the younger grubs each Autumn that you will be controlling and reducing the population each year.
* Once the plan to control the population is in place we can help with the process of restoring the lawn to its best
Spring Lawn Treatments, Lawn Renovation Lawn Makeover Family Run, Independen Lawn Treatment Service In Chichester, Bognor Regis, Emsworth and the surrounding areas
After a tough winter and a late spring its only been over the last few weeks that temperatures have been consistently at a level which means that the grass will grow and it amazing how quickly this wonderful plant can spring back to life.
We have been busy putting down our organic based spring lawn feed which is balanced to provide a great boost to the grass plant. The feed also contain humic acid and seaweed meal great for the soil.
The long, wet and cool winter and early spring has meant in some cases moss has been able to out compete the slow grass growth, in those cases we apply moss control along with our spring lawn treatment and some over seeding if needed.
As the grass grows so do the weeds so our Selective Herbicides are being applied to those pesky weeds across Selsey,, Emsworth, Bosham,, Bognor Regis and Chichester
Some lawns that we care for in places like West Wittering are still drying out as the water table has been so high there and likewise some clay soils around Bognor Regis and Barnham have been slow to dry.
This tme last year on the lovely South Coast the grass was growing from February and by mid April we had completed our spring lawn scarifications and lawn aerations. This year, as we won't complete the work unless the grass is growing and ground conditions are right, we will be continuing with this until early May.
We have also started our Lawn Renovations and Lawn Makeovers, thats where we effectively rejuvenate an exisiting lawn with a proven process using professional machinery, high grade grass seeds and organic top dressings. We have lawn renovations in Midhurst, Emsworth, Chichester, Bosham, Bognor Regis, Waterlooville and Barnham in the coming weeks.
For many customers the process of reducing moss in the lawn involves scarification for others, if its appropriate, we use an organic based product thats high in potassium that slowly degrades the moss and it contains a composting bacteria that converts this to additional nutrients in the lawn. We need soil temperatures above 10C to apply this product.
Spring is a great time to overseed just remember its better to lightly dress then and keep them moist through germination and whilst the new grass establishs also raise your mower blade the let the new grass root and branch.
Its so important to make sure that a annual feeding programme in West Sussex is balanced across the whole year and reflects the conditions the lawn faces. For instance lawn science tells us a lawn that is predominantly rye grass will need more Nitrogen then a finer ornamental lawn, if you put two much Nitrogen on that ornamental lawn it will probably generate excessive thatch and thats why we vary our feeds and amount we put down dependent on the lawn. If you currently use a large franchise lawn care operation why not ask the operative how much Nitrogen he will be putting down across the season, that will be the same feed thats applied in Devon, Yorkshire, Sussex regardless of any difference in prevailing soils, weather conditions etc.
As we are family operated and Independent we have access to a full spectrum of products which lets us offer a more bespoke lawn treatment service based on lawn science in West Sussex and Hampshire and, centred round Chichester.
I have seen a lot of Chafer Grub activity in the Sandy soils around West Chiltington and Pulborough if you think you have a lawn grub problem call us for advice. The only controls are now organic and you do not need a lawncare comoany to apply them but you do need to get the timing and aftercare right to get control of the problem.
As always if you have any questions or need help just get in touch.
"The beast From the East", Spring Lawn Treatments , Lawn Renovation, Lawn Makeover, Independent lawn care and Treatments in West Sussex, Chichester, Bognor Regis, Emsworth, Aldwick , Middleton-on-sea
So it’s been a little while since I have had time to update my blog, it’s been so hectic over the winter period.
The weather caused by “The Beast from the East” means its frozen grass and ground so we won’t be putting any products down until the conditions improve which won't be before next week and that means I have a little admin time to catch up.
Just a quick reminder that with the amount of frost and snow forecast for this week its best to stay off the grass until its a little warmer as this reduces the potential for damage when the grass is a little brittle.
I am just finalising our Spring Lawn Treatment programme and booking in those essential scarification and aerations and filling our limited slots for full lawn makeovers / lawn renovations., Take a look at our lawn renovation page on the website for before and after photos of some of the fantastic renovation / makeover results we had last year across West Sussex and Hampshire including Chichester, Rowlands Castle, Bognor Regis and Aldwick
The early part of the year is full of conferences and seminars, I try to get to as many as possible as its important I am up to speed with what’s new and how my industry is changing whether through, new products, new ways of working or the impact of legislation on what we can do, when and how.
In January I was at the Annual Conference of the UK Lawn Care Association, it is always a great opportunity to network with other Independent Lawn care Companies from across the UK and to meet with all the major suppliers of the products and machines we need to deliver the best results for our customers. I always learn at these events and come away better prepared for each new season.
I have commented before on the withdrawal of the chemical controls for pests like Chafer Grubs and Leatherjackets and this year we had a presentation from BASF who are the main manufacturers of Nematodes, the remaining biological control. Listening to their expert explain how to get the best result from this natural product just reinforced what a challenge we have and why being able to properly explain each step and why it’s important is essential. Everyone in our industry talks about how difficult it is to get customers to irrigate lawns when its dry, whether that’s to keep them green or help new seed, well the simple truth with Nematodes is, if the rainfall is not plentiful, if you don’t water then don’t waste your money on them as you won’t get the result your looking for.
Every year regulatory change seems to remove a product or two from the market and this year is no different and in the summer of 2018 we will lose the last contact fungicide able to deal with diseases such as Red Thread so we will need to be ever more vigilant and work harder on cultural practice and customer education
It’s therefore more essential than ever that we make sure we manage health of the plant but also the condition of the soil that supports it
That’s one of the reasons why Lawnrite’s Spring Lawn Treatment will be an Organic based feed for all our customers in West Sussex and East Hampshire, as well as being a balanced feed its great for the good organisms in the soil.
We know how important scarification and aeration can be for the health of the plant and soil and to help further we are adding some additional products to help with the soil nutrition, structure and health, these are particularly useful in the clay soils that dominate across much of West Sussex and Hampshire.
The new products and learning are all additions to our tool box to help give customers the luxurious lawns that they are looking to us for.
The ability to be flexible in our use of products and being able to learn from such a wide range of contacts is what is so healthy about being an Independent Lawncare / Lawn Treatment company and not part of a franchise with the potential organisational limitations that brings.
Hopefully Spring is just a couple of weeks away………………!
Summer Sun, Lawn RENOVATION, lawn treatments, lawn diseases, lawn Care, chichester, Portsmouth, emsworth, bognor regis
So last night we had the first decent rainfall for weeks which should see a little more green on most lawns. Sadly the forecast for the next couple of weeks shows little sign of any more water falling from the heavens to help with the thirsty grass, so remember, if you are able, to give the lawn a heavy drenching at least once a week and keep that mower blade high until the dry spell breaks.
Despite the lack of rainfall its still possible to make a difference as this lawn in Pulborough illustrates after just one treatment and some good irrigation, lush green and thickening up.
It may be dry and in the middle of summer but so long as you follow the rules you can still bring tired and sad areas back to life.
Last month we were asked if we could renovate a lawn in Chichester which had been decimated whilst builders completed a renovation of a barn conversion, we could see from google earth how pristine it used to look but the house owner was delighted when we said we could revive it. We got to work controlling weeds before spending a day, preparing, aerating, scarifying, feeding, seeding and top dressing. The bottom image shows the lawn 18 days after that work and that's despite the hottest June days on record. Its all about helping the grass with good preparation, good irrigation and follow up care.
And here's another lawn renovation also completed in June, this time in Portsmouth.
It's not just the lack of rainfall that is a challenge, the hot and humid weather is loved by fungus and we have seen lots of red thread and the one below, brand new turf , is under attack by fusarium which we controlled using a fungicide spray. As I always say if you see something not quite right with the lawn get in touch its always better to tackle something early.
So tomorrow we are working a little out of our area in Henfield tackling a clover problem across a housing estate, that's about a hectare of weed spraying so bubble bath tomorrow night but then we are waiting for the boiler man to come to restore our hot water....................................!
Lawn diseases, lawn RENOVATION, lawn treatments and lawn care in Chichester, Bognor Regis, Emsworth, Barnham and the surrounding areas
Wow, the Great British weather, a few days of much needed rain, then fantastic weather and both for the bank holiday!
I love, hot, sunny day’s and evenings, getting home from treating lawns across West Sussex, sitting out in the garden or entertaining friends and family with a BBQ. I think relaxing on or by a lush green weed free lawn makes it all even nicer and brings out the colour of the rest of the garden.
This is a picture of my own small garden, it’s so vibrant at the moment.
These long hot and dry periods can be very stressful for a lawn and like us, in this heat, your lawn gets thirsty; so remember to water deeply once a week, deeper watering encourages the plants roots to extend further and if you can, its best to water before the sun is on the lawn. Raising the mower cutting height a little also helps the grass cope with the high temperatures.
The grass is growing like mad after the recent rain, so we are topping up the nutrient levels with our early summer feeds; these are designed for the higher temperatures that the season brings.
The humid warm conditions are loved by some lawn diseases and I have been asked to help with a number of outbreaks over the last few days in Aldwick, Chichester and Emsworth, its mostly Red Thread but there have also been some reports of leatherjacket and chafer grubs damaging lawns so please keep an eye out for anything amiss, early identification and action will always give a better result.
These warmer temperatures help with the germination of newly planted grass seed, so long as you are committed to a rigorous regime of watering you can get great results, this picture was taken this month 16 days after we completed a lawn renovation in Aldwick, near Bognor Regis in West Sussex.
If you are putting seed down remember to protect it with a thin layer of top dressing and keep it moist until the seed has germinated and new grass is growing well.
That's all for now, as always get in touch if you want help or advice about your lawn.
Drought Warnings, happy customers - Spring lawn care treatments, Lawn Disease's & Pests in bognor regis, felpham, emsworth, Porchester, lee-on-solent, chichester and southsea
Its so gratifying when a customer takes the trouble to send a picture of their lawn because they are happy, this one near Porchester gets a lot of use, was full of weeds and very thin when we started treating it.
As a small business it often seems we are constantly writing cheques and paying invoices and, as the accounts team is me, the pain of the money going out feels personal!! There is an exception and that's when we are rewarding customers for recommending our services.
We have spent a few hours this morning writing letters and envelopes to send out some M & S gift cards to customers who have recommended us to their friends or family. Its fantastic that they have such confidence in us, so the least we can do is give a little reward that can get a bottle of bubbles to enjoy in the garden when the weather is good.
I love it when its warm and dry, there is no better job when the sun is shining and we have had some fantastic weather on the south coast these past few weeks. I spent Easter with the "in laws" in Leeds and because we work outside and are a little tanned already this year the first question on arrival "have we been away on holiday", the answer "you might not recognise it, but we get something called the sun on the south coast" !
Whilst the sun shining is good and makes me happy, its mid March since many areas have seen any significant rainfall and that means many lawns are starting to show signs of stress. If you can get the sprinkler or hosepipe out to give the grass a good drenching once a week it will help and if the dry spell keeps up raise the blade on the mower a little to help reduce evaporation.
The variable temperatures gradients are causing a number of lawn fungus outbreaks so if you see anything amiss with the lawn please pick up the phone and let us know, it far easier to deal with a an outbreak early and before any serious damage has occurred.
Soil temperatures are now perfect for our "Ultimate Lawn Moss Control" treatment and the visible results as the moss breaks down and the grass spreads to dominate is so much gentler, then blackening and the stress of scarification and raking.
As always if you have a question or concern about your lawn, get in touch by email or phone.
On safari in aldwick, west sussex, lawncare and lawn treatment advice and service in chichester, bognor regis, emsworth, portsmouth, lawn pests, chafer Grubs, leather jackets and nematode treatments in west sussex , lee-on-solent, middleton-on-sea
Wow, what a fantastic weekend with record temperatures and unbroken sun shine, it’s been dry for a good few days now and the forecast for the south coast suggests no significant rainfall this coming week so if your lawn is looking thirsty give it a good soaking and remember that a deep occasional watering is best.
I do love to see the local wildlife in my customer’s lovely gardens and as the climate is warming so the species are changing, this fella was found in a garden in Aldwick, West Sussex soaking up some rays, the little fella in the back ground is Rascal, a Labrodoodle, that’s another perk of the job meeting everyone’s pets.
Every year I am asked to look at lawns in Emsworth, Chichester and Bognor Regis and the surrounding areas that have been damaged by lawn pests and as the soil temperatures are on the rise, so biological treatments for Leather Jackets and Chafer Grubs can again be purchased. These are common lawn pests and can be devastating to lawns.
As we move into spring and the soil warms keep an eye out for signs of leather jacket larvae damage. These critters can destroy a lawn so reduce the potential for damage by checking for grubs. These beasties range in size from 1-3cm; they are the larvae of the crane fly. They love the roots of the grass plant and happily munch away for months unnoticed as they live just under the surface until they emerge as adult daddy long legs in late summer / early autumn.
Regulations changed in 2016 and there are no longer any pesticides that can be legally applied to control these pests.
Are you are worried you may have them lurking in your lawn?
Are you noticing birds or animals digging and picking at the lawn?
Are any area’s thinning or looking stressed, pay attention to the edges of the lawn; is the root structure weaker than elsewhere?
If you see any signs of trouble try digging a few holes in the suspect area, use a trowell or small fork to lift a little turf, just go down three or four inches and see if you can find any grubs.
The damage can be extensive as this picture illustrates.
So In the absence of chemical control can anything be done?
The good news is that there is hope, but first be sure you have identified the grub correctly – if you have Chafer grubs rather than Leatherjackets it a whole different ball game – your Lawn Care company should be able to identify the grub for you.
If you find leatherjackets and the population is of a size that worries you, then you could try covering the whole lawn (or just the affected area) overnight with black plastic sheeting, make sure the soil is damp, this encourages the grubs to come to the surface so they can be picked off and destroyed. Simply gradually roll back the cover in the morning and remove the grubs as you go.
There is an organic remedy and that’s to use 'Nematodes' these are tiny worms that enter the grubs infecting them with a bacterial disease that kills them. Nematodes are available from a number of suppliers and the good news is that you don’t need a licence to apply them.
Nematodes can work but as living organisms, to increase your chances of successful control, you need to follow the storage and applications instructions. If you cut any corners then you are likely to have wasted your money with what can prove a very expensive treatment.
The 'nematodes' need to be refigerated on receipt and applied before their use by date, make sure you have worked out how you will apply them before ordering, if you are planning to use a hose applicator check your water pressure is sufficient..
The work needs to be done when the sun is not direct so early or later in the day if its sunny.
The ‘nematodes’ need a warm soil 12C or above, so it’s best to invest in a soil thermometer, (they can be purchased online) remember to check day and night time temperatures and in shade and direct sunlight as the temperature will vary across the lawn.
If you are applying by watering can or applicator make sure the rose or any filter has big enough apertures to allow the ‘nematodes’ to flow through, make sure everything is clean..
‘Nematodes’ work best in the Autumn but if you are attempting control in spring the treatments will be at a higher density, it’s not possible to overdose
Once you have applied the ‘nematodes’ then you need to make sure you keep the soil damp for the next two / three weeks to help them move to their prey, if the soil dries out its unlikely the treatment will work.
Here's One of the most popular sites to obtain the Nematodes from:
Freephone: 0808 901 2055
As always if you need help or advice or have a concern about your lawn or lawn pests just get in touch me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01243 216333
Balmy weather, sea mist, lawn rennovations, lawn weed treatments, non franchise independent lawn care advice, west sussex, emsworth, bognor regis, chichester, Selsey and surrounding Areas
I recorded the temperature at over 17c in this garden in West Sussex, this new customer keeps some areas as natural meadow but we are asked to prepare and improve the lawn for a celebration towards the end of April.
From this angle all looks ship shape but close up there is heavy moss, thactch and weed clumps.
Usually, with the extent of moss and thatch I would reccomend scarification but as we need the lawn to look better for April, we don't want to risk the weather intervening and slowing recovery so we have agreed a plan to make the lawn look better for the planned get together and complete the heavier work later in the year.
I started with a moss control and "Headland Quick Start" spring feed and am back this week to complete a weed control. Further visits will follow over coming weeks and we may perk the lawn up just before with a seaweed spray if its needed.
Flexible Lawncare planning is what being an Independent non franchise company allows us to do.
Once we have reduced the moss and thatch levels we may look to move this plan to our "ultimate moss" programme to stop future build up of the problem moss and thatch.
After spending a few hours putting down the moss control we headed off to treat some customers who prefer an organic feed programme.
I am busy with spring treatments at the moment and, for the most part, the weather is being very kind but........
Spending so much time by the coast means the sun can quickly disapear and this week we had sea mists rolling in so one minute its in the high teens and five minutes later I'm reaching for the fleece and flask of coffee (black no suger in case you are wondering),
Its also the time of year when the phone and email enquiries flow in, the one's I realy like are when someone has seen our work and/or had us reccomended to them and asks us to make their lawn look like their neighbours, there's an example below, the lush green one, we take care of and just over the fence is the chalenge we got to start work on this week, we will soon have it in tip top condition.
As soil temperatures are rising, we have recorded double figures in some lawns, so pests and diseases can cause some problems, please keep an eye out for any unexpected changes to the lawn, it might be nothing but best to check it out to avoid problems further down the line. Its a few weeks before nemotodes are available to protect from and /or treat leatherjackets and chafer grubs but orders can be placed now for early delivery, always follow the instructions for use to the letter to get good results.
I was reminded of the damage these pests can do when I visted a customer in Chichester whose lawn was destroyed last year by leatherjackets, we were able to deal with the pests but it was too late in the year to consider rennovation. This week we prepared the ground, overseeded and put down a thin layer of top soil / top dressing to protect the seed and encourage germination. Seed needs to be in contact with the ground/soil and have moisture or it will not germinate. I will be back once the plant starts to grow to give it a nutritional boost to help it establish, this process is much more cost effective than re turfing.
Annoyingly I discovered vine weevil grubs in some of my fruit tree pots this weekend so I have been busily dealing with these critters and will be applying nemotodes when they are available. I only found them by accident, they had been munching on roots but above the surface all was fine, just goes to show we all need to be on our guard as nature has a way of throwing challanges at us.
As always get in touch if you need advice of help with your lawn.
Hi I'm Annie and I love lawns and gardens. I own and run Lawnrite providing lawn care advice and treatments across East Hampshire and West Sussex