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Thinning lawn

I have "family lawn" which I guess is mainly ryegrass and fescue - it definitely doesn't include ornamental varieties. I'm always amazed by quite how much it thins in the Autumn. In the past I thought it was down to September scarifying, but I've not scarified this year. 

Any idea what causes it, and is it preventable? It always feels like I spend most of the Spring and Summer repairing the lawn until eventually it looks good in August/September before thinning in October.

I last fertilised it in August. In September I applied iron sulphate but haven't done much more than that this year. In mid September I started cutting the lawn on the second longest setting so it's longer over the winter. The garden isn't exposed but is prone to some water logging. It looked healthy until two weeks ago but has now thinned a lot, which coincides with higher than normal rainfall. 


  • Dave HumbyDave Humby Posts: 1,142

    Mine behaves in a similar fashion and I think this is partly due to leatherjacket amd chafer grub damage. This year I've turned to Nematodes to try and address that but originally had only treated for leatherjackets until I did some lawn 'renovation' when I discovered an infestation of chafers so I have hit them too. 

    Last edited: 18 October 2016 10:01:15

  • Excellent comment, thank you! On the RHS website it says the symptoms of leatherjackets include:

    Lawns develop yellowish brown dead patches; seedlings collapse having been eaten at soil level; presence of leatherjackets in the soil.

    That describes other problems I've had. It seems I'm too late to treat them now, but I'll use nematodes next September.

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