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Lawn problem


I had a call last week about a lawn problem. 

This was it

House is a new build 3-4 years old. Lawn has been fine until last Autumn. And now looks like below. 

I believe it is chafer grubs/ leather jackets. 

What can be done now? Scarification, aeration then re seed etc or will there be an ongoing problem or is it something completely different?

What are your thoughts and solutions?



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  • Is drainage an issue? If so tackle the basics first as it's a new build the quality of soil/turf is always questionable, dig some test holes to ascertain the quality and depth of the soil and what  is underneath. What everyone forgets and ignores is soil PH, get a tester. We planted a new build with various herbaceous/ shrubs within 18 months the majority died, could'nt understand it until we PH tested and it showed a PH of between 2 and 4 ! So very very acidic. All had to be removed and replaced, further tests showed chemical contamination of many types. This is not an isolated problem on new builds with so called screened top soil bought on price which yes is screened but has been sourced off brown field sites etc and contains god knows what. So first port of call is check that soil out along with previous points.

    It could be a combination of factors, if leather jackets and Chafer grubs are present the only treatment is nematodes which have to be applied with copious quantitities of water so that they penetrate the sward, in our experience on large areas this is neither practical or effective. The best method is to have a healthy, lush lawn planted on top quality soil which is fed and maintained to a high standard to help the grass recover and resist attack.

    Your suggestion of aeration / scarification / reseed may improve things in the short term but will probably be money wasted and do little to help long term if there are other issues. The client needs to understand that the basics need addressing which is going to be costly , so many say " can't you just throw some grass seed on " Best of luck with it .

    • PRO

      Thanks Peter

      A good post there.

      Customer has said the lawn has been fine for the past 3 years with no issues. I know we have had alot of wet weather here recently but walking on the ground didn't feel as if the soil was waterlogged in any way.

  • He hasn't treated the lawn with anything? Selective weedkiller? Overdose of fertlizer? 

  • PRO

    A thought... what do the lawns look like in adjoining gardens? Any look similar?

    It is likley they were all given the same top soil, so would have the same problems?  Then as said by Graham - really quiz on if hes used any lawn treatments... and not watered it thouroughly. It looks very similar to a lawn we had on the round once, where the owner had used Evergreen all in one treatment - they'd put too much on (to use up the bag), and then not watered when the forecast rain did not happen.

    We prepped and reseeded the affected area - but on yours it looks easier to returf.

    • PRO

      Hi Adam

      Apparently the neighbours lawn had problems but now have artificial grass and homeowner has put down fertiliser a few weeks back. Waiting to find out how the grass was when it was put down.

      • PRO

        OK, it sounds as id Peter hit the nail on the head - dodgy top soil... so you are down to treating it, or replacing it - then returfing/seeding and keep totally on top of it. If they are prepared for that investment - it could be a good regular client :)

  •  the surviving grass tufts all look pretty healthy. What concerns me most however is the subliminal image of a humanoid figure slightly left of centre. Possibly alien in origin or it reminds me of a character from Viz comic. Once seen , it can't be unseen

  • PRO

    What is the white edging around the lawn? It looks a bit to me like the lawn is kind of wrapped around by a solid ring giving the lawn a bath tub effect and no water can drain off sideways and maybe even not draining downwards as well as it could  so could have been getting too waterlogged ?

    • PRO

      Hi Jonathan 

      It is a small wall that goes round the outside of the lawn. There are borders on the other side


  • PRO

    Is that a robot mower charging dock in the picture?

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