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21/02/2014 at 14:56

my two front lawns are bald, due to worms, there are a few sparse patches that they haven't destroyed, but the rest of it is just mud full of holes, i know they aerate the lawn but its ruined, do i re seed it or leave it any advice would be appreciated as it looks awful. .


21/02/2014 at 15:29


21/02/2014 at 15:32

What made you think it was worms springfield? I've never known worms to cause something like that. Unfortunately  I can't get a clear enough picture when I enlarge. Can you give us more info about the conditions?

21/02/2014 at 16:08

Was this lawn treated with anything last autumn?  Weed and feed or something like that?  

It looks to me as if what grass is still alive is in sort of regular lines, as if there may have been over-application of something using a mechanical spreader 

21/02/2014 at 16:59

because f the immense wetness this winter i have had to re do the lawn edge, on doing this there was lots and lots of worms coming out big fat horrible ones, (which i collected up and gave to the chooks)  i did put an autumn lawn feed on around end august beginning september, it was one that comes with a spreading spout on it. there are a lot of small holes in the mud, before it got that bad there was also a lot of worm casts couldnt sweep them off ans it was too wet.

21/02/2014 at 17:03

what do you think it could be thats caused this, what do you recommend i should do?

21/02/2014 at 17:11

Not sure what to suggest yet, but a few questions : Does the grass get a lot of sun or is it a shady aspect?  Does the grass get a lot of traffic - is it very compacted? Did you notice lots of crows/magpies pecking at it in autumn ? They would be looking for leatherjackets and can pull out loads of 'handfuls' of grass and moss when they do it which get left in clumps on the surface.  I've seen lawns look dreadful because of them.

21/02/2014 at 17:22

More likely to be leatherjackets worms dont cause damage to lawns, they just leave casts.

I'd spike it give it good rake with a sprake, then re seed next month. Treat the ground with nematodes specifically for leatherjackets which you water in. It looks to have been laid as turf, the leatherjackets were probably in the turf and were imported when it was laid.

If it was new turf, I'd complain to the supplier of the turf.

21/02/2014 at 17:26

The worms were coming out because they were drowning in the wetness - as you say they aerate the soil - they also help to drain it - the chooks were very lucky, but next time, leave the worms where they are or put them in the flowerbeds - they are your friends. 

It still looks to me as if that grass has been scorched by something.

21/02/2014 at 17:37

the garden is south facing so gets plenty of sun all day (when we have it) no one walks on it apart from me when mowing the grass, its very soft now and squelchy,havnt noticed any birds on it,the grass was lovely when we bought the house three years ago, so i dont know if turf was laid before then. nematodes are those flying spidery things are they? the eggs of those?

21/02/2014 at 17:49

just looked up leatherjackets, we did get a hell of a lot of craneflys in the autumn, had to keep the doors and windows closed there was so many, do you have any leatherjacket treatments you can recommend or know of please?

21/02/2014 at 17:50

My penny worth.   I suspect leatherjackets and chafers....they did the damage in autumn.

However, I also feel Dove is right .....too wet and the worms are coming to the surface.    They aren't the reason for bare or dead areas.  You would also see worm casts.  

When it dries out a little I would spike and rake the "lawn" order to create a fine tilth for re seeding in early April.  A scattering of fertiliser after spiking and raking would not be a bad thing either.

For next year I would consider nematodes to control leatherjackets and chafers in late summer

21/02/2014 at 18:03

whe would be the best time to put in a leatherjacket treatment?

21/02/2014 at 18:06

Here you are, all the info you need - scroll down to where it says Nemasys Leather Jacket Killer 

21/02/2014 at 18:10

Sounds like the leatherjackets may be part of the problem but I'd agree with Verdun that they wouldn't cause big bare  patches - it usually just looks messy - and it does seem that the ground's compacted if it's very soggy. I'd say since there's no obvious wear and tear from other sources that Dove may be on the right lines with chemical damage of some kind, so Verdun's advice for some spring attention is worth following. My front grass is very soggy too - like many other people's - and I won't do anything to it till it's dried out a fair bit.

Probably around July if the rain doesn't stop soon!

21/02/2014 at 18:17

the only thing ive used on the lawn was autumn lawn feed at the end of the summer. i think its leatherjackets as we were inundated with crane fly's last autumn so i suspect its them, thanks to everybody for your input and advice, ill get on it as soon as the weather improves and ill let you know how i get on. cheers

21/02/2014 at 18:18

Springfield says that an autumn lawn feed was applied end of August/beginning of September.  It was very dry and warm here then - was that feed properly watered in?Otherwise it will have scorched the grass. 

21/02/2014 at 18:45

yes i put the sprinkler on it so it was watered in well.

21/02/2014 at 18:54

Springfield, You won't get further damage now until next August at the earliest (from leatherjackets  etc) so that's when you would apply nematodes.

Until this year I've used lawn grub killer to great effect.  Now this product is banned so nematodes is only solution.  

25/02/2014 at 00:46

Hi springfield 113.

Wow. If that is worms then i want your lawn. There is a lot of worm casts (from what i can see) but that is a good thing. As Mother Dove says the worms are suffering and are drowning in the soil. That is why the are coming to the top. 

You need to sort your drainage out. (remember if you do get it sorted then you have to think, Where does the water go???

You might not think so but you have a very healthy lawn. (bar the saturated soil)

Sort the drainage out and watch where the water goes and then give me the recipe for your top dressing.

Your soil is perfect but It might be too compacted. you need to aerate it by taking plugs out and removing them. then fill the holes with river grit or sharp sand. Unfortunately you can't use the fork method as this will only compact the soil. ( well you can try and it will improve the drainage, but at some point you will have to take, some of your perfect lawn soil out and replace it with grit/sand for drainage.

Unfortunately again you will have to re-seed but there is no point until you sort the drainage out.

The only problem you have is that it is too wet.



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