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
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