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Maybe one for the gardeners

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Post by groundhog on Tue Sep 22, 2020 9:35 am

Spent about three hours yesterday mowing all the lawns, then overnight this happens. We have seen it before but never this bad, question is who is the culprit. Looks like holes from some sort of bird or maybe not? So who or what did it?Maybe one for the gardeners Img_2026Maybe one for the gardeners Img_2026
Maybe one for the gardeners Img_2027
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Post by Beetee on Tue Sep 22, 2020 9:49 am

Wow, green grass!     Do you have any oak or walnut trees nearby?  We have squirrels burying nuts at this time of year although never to that extent.
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Post by groundhog on Tue Sep 22, 2020 9:56 am

Maybe one for the gardeners Img_2028

Who ME! hugegrins

Yes, loads of trees, beech, elm, ash, oak and walnut and squirrels! The squirrels have always been there though but I have neve seen the digging this bad, it covers the best part of half an acre I would guess!
It may be green but not exactly quality grass I am afraid! up!
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Post by Mike187 on Tue Sep 22, 2020 10:07 am

Looks like you have an infestation of leather jackets or more likely chafer grubs at this time of the yearand birds or small mammals are having a feast. 

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Post by Roopert on Tue Sep 22, 2020 11:35 am

I get similar looking holes on my "lawn" (which is more like a big moss patch) due to badgers, but generally you can see the claw marks in that case. I would suspect a corvid of one kind or another, though woodpeckers dig up lawns too (they seem to like eating ant grubs).

At this time of year I wouldn't suspect squirrels - if you watch them burying things in the Autumn, they are very careful to disguise the location, so they don't generally make a mess.
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Post by Sally on Tue Sep 22, 2020 1:48 pm

It could well be foxes, digging for leatherjackets.
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Post by HairyFool on Tue Sep 22, 2020 2:34 pm

I would second chafer grubs.

Just in the right season for them and the visible damage is actually the birds or foxes digging them up

A white grub about an inch long with orange head and legs on the forepart only. If left will chew up grass root leaving bare patches in the spring.

Only two real treatments. Either a nematode worm in a pack you spray on ground when its damp but not pouring with rain. It carries a bacteria which kills the grub.

Alternative scarify the lawn very soon before the grub goes deeper against the cold and possibly again in spring when they rise again before pupating into the beetle. Scarifying is NOT hard raking but actually cuts into the ground so will look a mess when 1st done, some advise doing this every couple of years and overseeding at the same time. If you have moss use a moss killer 1st, rake up the moss when dead then scarify with extra seeding in the moss patches.

I got one of these if you can find stock locally

https://www.homebase.co.uk/qualcast-electric-scarifier-and-raker-1300w-_p314230

The scarifier blade roller cuts in about an inch or more, cut the creeping part of the grass root and each section becomes an individual plant, add in fresh seed to rejuvinate.

https://poshh.co.uk/living/when-to-scarify-the-lawn-lawn-care-an-expert-guide/
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Post by groundhog on Wed Sep 23, 2020 7:28 pm

Thanks all for the input, looks like chafer grubs attracting the wildlife then, interesting it usually happens immediately after the grass has been cut with a roller mower so maybe that brings them to the surface or makes them easier prey!
Appreciate the suggestion of scarifying HF, not really practical in this case unless I could get a cable about 100 yards long, great idea though! Trouble also is the grass is similar to my hair, not much of it left except I don't have quite so much moss, clover or dandelions growing on my head!up!
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Post by HairyFool on Wed Sep 23, 2020 7:46 pm

You can hire petrol scarifiers if you want to go that way. The alternative as I said is the nematode worm treatment. 

However the former would also be the way to go to cure the moss problem. Kill the moss, rake, scarify and reseed. Some scarifiers also can rake and they bring up 10 times as much as a hand rake. 

I also see you can get a raking blade for rotary lawnmowers. I suspect the roller mower is moving the soil about making the grubs active and detectable by the wildlife.
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Post by IanH on Fri Sep 25, 2020 3:59 pm

Groundhogs IMHO!!!!!!
hugegrins hugegrins hugegrins hugegrins hugegrins
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Post by rose49f on Sat Sep 26, 2020 7:34 pm

Looks like badgers searching for worms. See if you can see claw marks. They do this overnight to your lawn. 

Maybe one for the gardeners Mffkwh10
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Post by groundhog on Sat Sep 26, 2020 9:38 pm

Thanks all for the suggestions!
Intend to put up a couple of wildlife cameras, but, just accept it is fact of living where we do and put up with it. Nature must always come first. Cut the grass again today so be interesting to see what happens in the morning, it always seems to happen straight after a cut.

Like the Groundhog suggestion Ian. reminded me of "The real slim shady" song, don't think it is my namesakes though as the foundations to 'hog castle are still in place..... hugegrins
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Post by rose49f on Sat Sep 26, 2020 9:44 pm

When you mow the lawn it brings worms up. My robin follows me and he has a great feast. The vibrating brings them up
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Post by rogerblack on Sat Sep 26, 2020 11:18 pm

rose49f wrote:When you mow the lawn it brings worms up. My robin follows me and he has a great feast. The vibrating brings them up
That's right, I believe it's because they think it's rain. I've seen gulls and crows stamping on the grass with their feet and catching worms as they come up to the surface,  Not so bird-brained after all!

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Post by Paramedic on Sun Sep 27, 2020 7:51 am

Media report suggests due to this year's weather conditions, has prompted more millions of 'daddy long legs' (crane fly). Years ago, recall troops of starlings wandering up and down the lawn feasting on leather jackets.

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Post by rgermain on Sun Sep 27, 2020 9:10 am

Paramedic wrote:Media report suggests due to this year's weather conditions, has prompted more millions of 'daddy long legs' (crane fly). Years ago, recall troops of starlings wandering up and down the lawn feasting on leather jackets.
Quite agree, just back from Trigon Cl Wareham, 'daddy long legs' everywhere, in the van, in the awning, in the waste bucket.
Had to open the sliding door v quickly to let the dog out.
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Post by FreelanderUK on Sun Sep 27, 2020 9:19 am

rgermain wrote:
Paramedic wrote:Media report suggests due to this year's weather conditions, has prompted more millions of 'daddy long legs' (crane fly). Years ago, recall troops of starlings wandering up and down the lawn feasting on leather jackets.
Quite agree, just back from Trigon Cl Wareham, 'daddy long legs' everywhere, in the van, in the awning, in the waste bucket.
Had to open the sliding door v quickly to let the dog out.
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It was the same at the Leeds DA temp holiday site at Misterton , Daddy long longs every where,never seen so many

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Post by FreelanderUK on Sun Sep 27, 2020 9:19 am

Double post

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Post by rose49f on Fri Nov 06, 2020 11:15 am

Groundhog. Did you ever find out who was causing the holes in your lawn.
  cut_the_grass  oh_blast!
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Post by groundhog on Fri Nov 06, 2020 1:26 pm

No it is still a mystery. Thanks to the advice here it looks like something trying to get the grubs, we have watched woodpeckers and various other birds but they don't seem to be the culprits. Badgers are common round here but the damage doesn't look severe enough for them 
Thanks for asking
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Post by Mike187 on Sat Nov 07, 2020 10:56 am

Are you sure it’s not detectorists looking for the buried Hog hoards. lol4

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Post by Windychippy on Sat Nov 21, 2020 7:48 pm

A couple of years ago my lawn started dying through the summer months despite copious amounts of water so I lifted 1 square foot of lawn to a depth of 3 inches and found approx. 75 chaffer grubs in that 1 sq. ft.  Amazing. Thankfully the lawn's been good since. allthumbz
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Post by Windychippy on Sat Nov 21, 2020 7:49 pm

A couple of years ago my lawn started dying through the summer months despite copious amounts of water so I lifted 1 square foot of lawn to a depth of 3 inches and found approx. 75 chaffer grubs in that 1 sq. ft.  Amazing. Thankfully the lawn's been good since. allthumbz
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