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    Help! Lawn is disappearing! 
    #1
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    Jan 2006
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    North west, Tasmania
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    Hi all,

    I would like some (chemical-free!) advice if possible, on the control of corby grubs.

    I've noticed that my lawn (which is mostly clover) is disappearing a little more each week, and on further inspection i've noticed small holes in the clay soil everywhere! I spotted a bird wrestling with a longish, black grub yesterday and i figured this is what they call the corby grub?

    Is there an easy way 'organically' to get rid of these little creatures (or am i being totally optimistic?!) Otherwise what are the alternatives??

    Thanks in advance everyone . . .

    Cheers
    Lyn
    "When life hands you lemons, ask for Tequila and salt!"
     
     

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    #2
    Senior Member
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    Nov 2005
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    Gulf Savannah FNQ
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    My grandma used to pour boiling hot water down corby holes in the lawn to kill them Lyn...that's the only organic method I've seen or heard of.

    Can't testify to its effectiveness as I was only very young, but knowing her she would have rang Peter Cundall on his radio show back then for that advice or heard it on there.

    From memory it's only a short term fix which requires you to do it repeatedly, but her lawn was never at the point of dying off so it must work to some degree.
    The real path to natural farming requires that a person know what unaltered nature is, so that he or she can instinctively understand what needs to be done—and what must not be done—to work in harmony with its processes. - Masanobu Fukuoka
     
     

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    #3
    Senior Member Tezza's Avatar
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    Get rid of the lawn


    Tezza
    "Permaculture. Just Do It"
    Available to teach various Permie Subjects
    Allmost 24 years experience
    Living in over 1 acre town suburban block
    Proud Member Posting in the "Worldwide Permaculture Network"
    under "Bandicoothights"
     
     

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    #4
    Member
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    North west, Tasmania
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    Thanks Jez for the tip about boiling water. One of the ladies at work also said drench the area in water and the grubs will come up, and the birds will have a feast. Must be about the only way to eliminate them - ahhhh, the joys of doing things organically!

    Tezza - ha, ha! Actually a great idea! Any suggestions what to plant which will grow quiet low, be nutritional to the soil, spread quickly/easily and is anti-corby grub?!! The above reasons was why we planted clover, but we didn't take into account corby grubs!!

    Cheers
    Lyn

    p.s
    Think i'll go to the library at lunch and see if any books there can give me advice.
    "When life hands you lemons, ask for Tequila and salt!"
     
     

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    #5
    Senior Member Tezza's Avatar
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    try chamomile its supposedly a great subsitute lawn not sure hat variety maybe german garden centres will know or others in here..actually theres a few but non working in my brain

    Tezza
    "Permaculture. Just Do It"
    Available to teach various Permie Subjects
    Allmost 24 years experience
    Living in over 1 acre town suburban block
    Proud Member Posting in the "Worldwide Permaculture Network"
    under "Bandicoothights"
     
     

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    #6
    Junior Member
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    Australia
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    Chamomile is likely to need as much water as lawn and isn't as hard wearing.

    Lippia might make a good alternative. It's a native in South Australia. Don't know about other parts. Forms a dense mat quite fast & tolerates being walked on (even driven on sometimes). It uses hardly any water once established and has attractive pale pinkish flowers. I've found it growing on sidewalks in townships & along the levy banks of the Murray. It grows quite easily by striking runners.

    Dicchondra may be another suitable species. Also some of the thyme family are fairly hardy & have lower water requirements. If the area has plenty of water then pennyroyal mint smells exquisite when you crush it under foot. Maybe you could try a diverse mix of things too if you don't care about the pristine perfectly level carpet of green thing.

    I'm not familiar with the grub you mention but are you certain the clover is not just dying off in its season as it usually does?

    Peace & happiness,
    earthspirit
    Susan Lloyd.
    Caring for people & Earth with organics.
    http://www.earthspiritorganics.com

    Website hosting package with a permie twist.
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    #7
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    North west, Tasmania
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    Thanks earthspirit,

    Yes, i agree! I checked into all sorts of different groundcovers when i had an acre to cover, but chamomile was water thirsty and not so good underfoot. I also had a look at some thyme which was grown as a ground cover not far from where i live, and i wasn't overly impressed with how that handled our Tassie winter either! Now that i only have a little patch that i wish to make our 'front lawn', i will investigate further the diverse mix idea and see what i come up with.

    It is definitely a grub of some sort. Our clover does not die-off. Might be because we don't have such a long, dry summer as the northern parts of Australia! It justs grows in leaps and bounds during winter and spring. I will be trying the water trick with the grubs this weekend as see what happens! Might even see if the nursery has an eco-friendly liquid i could feed them!

    Thanks again everyone!

    Cheers
    Lyn
    "When life hands you lemons, ask for Tequila and salt!"
     
     

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    #8
    Senior Member
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    Feb 2005
    Location
    Washington State, USA
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    From http://www.pbase.com/image/25429178

    "Scarabid beetles such as this Anoplognathus species are foliage feeders as adults, and root feeders (especially grass roots) as larvae. Corby grubs are the larvae of Scarabid beetles and are regarded as a serious pasture pest, lowering productivity. Important natural predators include a group of flower wasps which parasitise the larve, but require flowering shrubs to feed on as adults. Strips of shrubby vegetation left intact beside pastures reduces the infestation of Corby grubs and reduces defoliation of Eucalypt trees by adult beetles. Australian magpies are incredibly important corby grub demolition experts, and can be encouraged by keeping suitable nesting trees around pastures."

    Sue
     
     

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    #9
    Senior Member Tezza's Avatar
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    Hiya Sue Long time no see..

    Glad your back

    Tezza
    "Permaculture. Just Do It"
    Available to teach various Permie Subjects
    Allmost 24 years experience
    Living in over 1 acre town suburban block
    Proud Member Posting in the "Worldwide Permaculture Network"
    under "Bandicoothights"
     
     

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    Re: Help! Lawn is disappearing! 
    #10
    New Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    1
    Often people buy pesticides when they see yellow patches, insects or weeds on their lawns - usually when the infestation is well under way. This common reaction is generally due to a lack of information. Yellow patches of grass are a worrisome problem for all homeowners, and there are a number of possible causes: insects, chemical or gasoline spills, dog urine, disease, close cutting or poor lawn maintenance, or some of the grass may died over the winter. Yellow patches also occur when the grass becomes dormant during hot weather. To find the right solution, it is often necessary to use deductive reasoning. No one knows the condition of your lawn better than you do. A daily inspection of the lawn will help you nip any problems in the bud, so you will not have to use pesticides to fight infestations at a late stage when they are more serious. Simply spraying the lawn with soapy water at the right time can protect it from hungry insects. Is the air circulation good? Is your lawn well fertilized? Did you dethatch last fall and do you aerate the soil regularly? If you need advice, you can seek a specialist's help in identifying the source of the problem, but it is up to you to decide what method of control to use.
     
     

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