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Grub elimination for new lawn

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by tallrick, Feb 17, 2011.

  1. tallrick

    tallrick LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 682

    I have a property with a permanent grub problem. Since I am against pesticides I am trying to determine the best way to solve the grub problem. The "lawn" is full of potholes, weeds and st augustine. Grubs are everywhere and eat almost the whole lawn in the summer. The last time I had grub issues at another lawn I bulldozed the whole lawn and screened it, leaving grubs to bake in the sun and be eaten by birds. I did this once a week all summer, spraying vinegar everywhere to kill weeds. At the end of the summer and many siftings I no longer had grubs and added compost and mulch from the chipper throughout the winter. In February I planted the bermudagrass and had a great lawn for years. After about 7 years the grubs returned so I gave it the same treatment. One more trick that seemed to work was making a grub killer out of tobacco leaves. As far as I know the grubs are of june beetles, and I am not sure of there is a biological control for them.
  2. tallrick

    tallrick LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 682

    Forgot that I also had covered the soil a month before planting with clear plastic to solarize it. Believe it or not, the bermuda had no competition from weeds and made complete turf by June. Have also used the plastic trick to convert st augustine to zoysia.
  3. HayBay

    HayBay LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ontario
    Posts: 846

    Try nematodes. We apply them here just before fall. August.

    If you have high expectations don't expect better than 35% control. If your lucky you will get great control. Only treat the area that was affected the year prior. If you try for a blanket app you will go broke.
  4. I'm happy to help supply excellent (hungry) predatory nematodes shipped second day.

    How many square feet are you dealing with?
  5. ICT Bill

    ICT Bill LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,115

    every living thing in the soil (there may be some exceptions) has a way to kill to its advantage. That is the way things have been done for over 650 millions years

    Many have the same mode of action

    It is very simple to trigger enzyme production that kills a nemisis like grubs

    when they get airborne or in infestation numbers is the hard part and often when people say "wow did you see all of those ______" fill in the blank, balance is the key and one of the principals of organic land care, support them all the best you can, they will balance

    we have many "organic" folks that call us and say "how do you kill grubs?" we tell them you actually want some grubs in the soil they create burrows that aerate the soil much like worms, often I get a dead phone on the other end, they called to find out how to kill them not how to support them and all of the others that live in the soil

    when there are a lot of critters in the soil they balance each other out and you rarely get infestations, same with fungal or bacterial disease

    how do you start? organic matter.........bottom line
  6. tallrick

    tallrick LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 682

    This is a tiny lawn, 20 x 50 feet. The rest of the yard is native palmettoes, coonties, with mulch and no lawn. Trees shade most of the non-lawn area. I set this up in the "xeriscape" days. It has otherwise been a success producing an authentic Florida pineland complete with mycohrrhizal fungi and healthy green pines. Yet the lawn area always seems to get out of balance. The interesting thing is that in the rest of the yard I never find grubs but lots of earthworms. Earthworms are rare in the lawn area.

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