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Lawn Leatherjacket Damage

For the third consecutive year my lawn has sustained significant leatherjacket damage. I use the services of Green Thumb to look after my lawn but I'm really questioning whether I should continue. Whilst it seems ridiculously cheap (4 quarterly visits at c£17 per visit - lawn is approx. 100sqm) I don't seem to be making progress. They have sprayed at least twice for leatherjackets but it doesn't seem to be effective. They also seem to rush everything they do - which is no surprise at £17 a visit, they can't be making much money. I guess our recent warm, wet winters have done nothing to knock back the leatherjacket population?!

I've read a lot about nematodes. Is this the best course of action on a DIY basis? One of the reasons I employed Green Thumb was that at my previous house I twice managed to burn the lawn badly when applying feed.

So, I'm going to be re-seeding significant parts of the lawn when the weather picks up. I will need to cover it with netting as the pigeons love it when I've had to do it in past years. I try to look after it - aeration through deep forking and light 'scarifying' with an electric lawn rake. Does anyone have any pointers to a nice simple scheme of what to apply and when?




  • Dave HumbyDave Humby Posts: 1,054

    Thanks V.

    Ref nematodes, do you have a reference for a particular source? Is it an annual application that is required, or?

    I'm tempted to go back to the lawn care myself rather than through Green Thumb. I do wonder about the effectiveness of the spray they use to control leather jackets seeing as pretty much everything I read on the subject says nematodes are the only real solution and I don't believe that is what they use.

    As for lawn feed, do you have any recommendations as I'm a tad nervous considering the damage I've managed to do in th past lol with weed and feed type products. I'm guessing I over-applied and in the wrong conditions. I would plan on combining that with applications of verdone extra when / where applicable.

    Thanks again. 

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  • turmericturmeric Posts: 678

    Hazel, I just read your message to my hubby laughing.  Turgid!!  Excellentimage

  • Dave HumbyDave Humby Posts: 1,054

    Thanks again V.

    Seems there's a 'Spring' version of the nematodes. Any experience / thoughts on giving that a go?

    As for weeds the lawn does seem to have a few exotic ones, some of which the verdone extra seems to do a good job on. The lawn was in a very poor state when we moved in 2.5 years ago. Poor soil quality, lots of weeds. I added bags and bags of top dressing after deep forking it every 6" or so in our first spring and complexly re-seeded the whole loan. A few months later we had a lush green lawn but it has deteriorated from that point despite the efforts of Green Thumb. The omni-present leatherjackets are the biggest culprit I believe. 

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  • turmericturmeric Posts: 678

    I'm interested in this Dave.  I went over to a friend's yesterday and her lawn had been ripped to pieces by badgers searching for leatherjackets or chafer grubs for the third year in a row.  She completely dug up her lawn last yearimage (yes you did read that right!) in an attempt to get rid of the grubs but this obviously didn't help at all from what I saw yesterday.  She tried the nematodes last year but only applied them once in September.  From what I've read the soil needs to be well drained but moist and around 12degrees so maybe my friend didn't get the soil moist enough?  Good luck.

  • turmericturmeric Posts: 678

    Hazel, prescriptive text gets me everytime.  I'm always texting people plant names and my phone hates it.  If I don't read back what I've typed I'd be sending all sorts of weird words!image

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