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Grub Problem - Please Help!

Hi there,

I've recently moved into a new house and it has a kind of allotment section in the garden. I've always wanted to grow veg and am really excited to get started. They'd let it overgrow with weeds and when I was digging them all out, I started finding grubs not far under the surface. I want to start planting but am worried the roots will get eaten! Can you, with your gardening wisdom, help me identify them? 

I initially thought chafer grub after a quick google but they don't have a red head and I'm now thinking maybe leather jackets? They looked really white outside but I've brought one in and it's more brown in this light. They're always tightly curled up when I find them. I just don't want to waste money on the wrong nematodes. 

Thanks so much for your help! Pics attached of the offending grub!




  • TheveggardenerTheveggardener Posts: 1,057
    They look like leather jacks to me but someone else will know for sure, who long are they?
  • Thanks @Dee73 :smile: When it's straightened out it's about 3cm, and curled up about 1 1/2cm, sorry that would have been helpful. 
  • TheveggardenerTheveggardener Posts: 1,057
    Not so sure it is a leather jack they are bigger sorry. I hope someone else can point you in the right direction.

    I'll keep an eye and if you've not got a reply I'll bump you post up or you can do that yourself. Just put something like can anyone help on this post and it will take it up to the top.
  • TheveggardenerTheveggardener Posts: 1,057
    Bumping up post for help.
  • wild edgeswild edges Posts: 10,168
    It's a moth caterpillar of some kind. I haven't got my books handy but it'll probably be something like a turnip moth or similar. They do eat roots and seedlings though.
    Tradition is just peer pressure from dead people
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 86,925
    Fork the area over and let the blackbirds, robins and starlings get them  :)

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • Allotment BoyAllotment Boy Posts: 6,549
    These come under the general heading of cutworms. There are several species of moth where the caterpillars eat stems & roots rather than leaves. I started a thread last year where I named them as my pest of the year. They can hollow out the stem of a plant and cause it to collapse.
    AB Still learning

  • You're stars - thanks a million. Sounds like they could do some damage if left unchecked. I've bought Nemasys fruit and veg protector because it says it includes nematodes for cutworms but first I will turn the soil and see if I can pick most of them out. Thanks again for your advice, it's much appreciated :smile:
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