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28/01/2014 at 13:28

I look after it during the summer, then in the winter I leave it alone hoping it won't look as bad as the previous winter. Each year it gets worse! Are they roots being eaten?


28/01/2014 at 13:31

Sorry I tried to input some image links but it didn't work. What the photos show is a nice lawn in the summer that is about 10m x 10m. In the winter the whole border is bare and encroaches about 2.5m in around the edge. The grass has literally disappeared.

28/01/2014 at 13:36


28/01/2014 at 14:04

i think you might be wise to.  check  for leather jackets (they are the grubs from crane flies or as we use to call them when we were  kids daddy long legs. they lay their eggs in the lawn and when the grubs form they feed off the roots which just kills the lawn . It happened to me once (once is enough) so when I laid a new lawn  ,  I treated the lawn with nematodes that I buy from the green gardener you can order over the phone and they send them through the post , it's easy to do , just mix them with water and water the lawn with it .i am a believer of prevention of it happening again .i have been doing this for a couple of years now  and touch wood my lawn has been great .

you can get the phone number of the greengardener (they are such a helpful couple that run the business ) from the internet ,I don't have it with me at the moment as I am staying at my daughters ,full instructions come with the order .

Good luck !




28/01/2014 at 14:29


I've done it once before but because you can't see it working parting with £20 was hard to do again. I know they are there because I've seen them when laying patches of new turf. I just wasn't sure whether having some of them present was normal and whether they are causing so much damage.

28/01/2014 at 19:26

Having some leather jackets is perfectly normal, I'd also check the drainage around the edges of the lawn, maybe dig in some grit and sharp sand, water can do as much if not more damage than leather jackets.

I'd also put up bird feeders and get some food for the ground feeders who will help keep the problem under control.

Nematodes are great at control, but I'd back stop by looking at he drainage as well.

29/01/2014 at 02:16

ducky 3

you have by the looks of it an infestation of them and they won't stop munching on you grass roots till you  do something and if you keep replacing with new turf it must seem like Mc Donald's (in a gardening sense haa)  to them , it's a circle of life you . ..... You have the grubs they to will emerge as daddy long legs then they will then lay more eggs grubs etc etc; Green thumb will come out and treat the lawn with a spray , you can also when your lawn is wet over a patch of it lay a black plastic bag weighted down with a few bricks , do this of a night , turn it over the next morning and you will find them clinging to it ,then just leave them for the birds to eat .but I strongly recommend the nematodes as well every year for a couple of years (although I will always do this every year ) the combination of all this may seem a little costly , but replacing a lawn or even patches (that will get bigger &bigger ) IS costly and labour intensive . Hope this helps Annie 

29/01/2014 at 02:22

Just thought I better mention that you  will notice the time is 2.16 when I sent this ,my daughter lives in Perth Australia we are 8 hours ahead in time .

29/01/2014 at 08:59

It does look chafer grubs and leatherjackets.  Most lawns are affected....destroyed sometimes....from autumn through to spring.

For the past 5 years or so my lawn has been fine because I used lawn grub killer.  This is now banned.  I will use nematodes this August.  

Its too late now for any such treatment to your lawn Duckie.  I certainly would not pay for any professional help.

I would spike the lawn....take your time.....when ground is not too wet.  During a dry spell rake/scarify your lawn.  This will make your lawn look awful, temporarily.

In late March or early April scatter lawn feed and then sow fresh grass seed...dwarf rye .......and lightly top dress if you can with compost .

Clearly your lawn is great in summer so I really don't think you have much of a drainage issue, etc........   simply leatherjackets and chafers so treat your lawn in August.


30/01/2014 at 07:13

You can use the nematodes between August and October , leather jackets  are at there worst between august and may .if you have more than 25percent  damaged to your lawn you realy do have to act .

30/01/2014 at 07:37

But not now.  Damage has been done and it's all about repair work until August

30/01/2014 at 10:52

No not now because we are in january ( like I said only use nematodes between August through to October . 

30/01/2014 at 14:42

   Sorry Annie.  Just agreeing with you.  You won't get your gun now will you?  

30/01/2014 at 14:57

How did you know my surname was Oakley haaa !!    narrr your safe . (For now )

30/01/2014 at 20:54

Thanks Annie 

30/01/2014 at 22:14

Do you have a pet dog? Often they walk around the perimeter of a lawn and in winter turn it into a boggy mess.

30/01/2014 at 23:56

I am certain that the author respects and accepts your valid responses.  Please May I ask you to take a peek at my bio.

Then consider this.  However much you tend,care for your lawn.  As the once BBC comedian used to say.  The answer lies in the soil.  Might I correct.  In my book.  The answer very much lies in the grass.


Might I respectfully suggest.  That you choose a new blend of grass seed.  Obviously what you have is somewhat tempremental to your location.  Might I suggest.   Visit your local nursery and ask fo a grass mixture containing.  Chewings fescue.  Canadian brown top and rye.  I think you will end up with a hard wearing and pleasant looking lawn.

31/01/2014 at 00:02

I read most of this thread . thinking if its grubs, I would have thought they would be all over the lawn. I agree with leadfarmer, a dog or other animal padding around the wet perimeter turning it to mud.

31/01/2014 at 12:08


Thanks for all the responses. I do in fact have two dogs. The Boxer in the photo who is old now and generally nips out then pack in, but also a Pug that has open access via a cat flap! Perhaps she is compounding things. I'm still convinced it's grubs because when I lay new turf over patches where the dog has weed, the patches never seem to "take" well. If I rake over the patch a year later it will almost pull the patch off because although nice and green on top the roots don't seem to have extended far. Maybe they are being eaten. Is there any sort of test I can do with a sample of turf by counting the grubs present? I guess if there are more than a few in a square foot I have a problem. It's never been as bad as this winter so perhaps the wet warm winter has meant more larvae.

I'll also take a look at adding some sand and getting some tougher seed. No point in doing anything now though. My friends laugh at how I obsess over my lawn so they are finding this highly amusing!

31/01/2014 at 15:00

How is the overall drainage of the soil? And what type of soil do you have? Do you ever have standing water during the winter?

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