European Chafer

Discussion in 'Outdoor Gardening in the Pacific Northwest' started by Casie, Mar 25, 2003.

  1. jimweed

    jimweed Active Member 10 Years

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    Paul, I was wondering what that was you planted instead of turf? And does it stay green all year round? Or die off for the winter. Is it durable for kids to play on? It looks cool. Can you mow it? Good job man. Jim.
     
  2. kia796

    kia796 Active Member

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    jimmyq, what type of clover did you seed? It's gorgeous!
     
  3. jimmyq

    jimmyq Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    ITs dutch white clover, I think it was 3 bags (about 800gm each) that we spread. there is a Bernese mountain dog that loves to frolic in the clover and it puffs back up in a few hours. mowing is once every 3 or 4 weeks and it needs a tough mower to get through it. not sure about the winter but it is evergreen and the last time I was near there a couple weeks ago it looked ok on a drive by. There is a young one there now but I dont think he/she is up to crawling yet much less walking. :) moisture during establishment seems to be a big key.
     
  4. kia796

    kia796 Active Member

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    Jimmyq, that is spectacular! Mowing every 3-4 weeks...many of us could only wish for that.
    Looks like it would be a good choice for infrequently used areas (streetside of homes and difficult driveway borders). Imagine the earthworms loving it! Wonder what it looks like in summer. Foraging bees would find it irresistible during bloom (will the postman get through : 0)!
     
  5. jimmyq

    jimmyq Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Kia, the pic where it looks lush and green is fron June or July. here is the front yard we did a few months after the backyard. I have to admit, the homeowner did most of the claring work. we came in and put down the topsoil and seed. Flowers and bees would be a concern indeed. hence the mowing.
     

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  6. kia796

    kia796 Active Member

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    Despite the flowers/bees, I remain impressed. I will seriously consider this as a more natural alternative (used only for the areas I mentioned previously) than grass.

    On our larger rural front yard as an alternative I had considered a desert-like look, with rocks interspersed and grasses and yuccas, etc. Despite our semi-arid location, I've never really liked the look (despite a few properties in our area trying it in an effort to conserve water).

    Could be that many folks get the scale wrong, plunking down a couple of large boulders near too-few plants.

    Assuming dead clover would be ugly, I wonder how thirsty dutch white clover is...
     
  7. sorensen

    sorensen Member

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    My neighbors gardens in South Vancouver are starting to show signs of raccoon, skunk, and crow feeding on the European chafer. I find that some gardens which are not overly cared for are missed and others which are pampered are hit. Mine seems to be missed. I am not a fastidious gardener, but I am a dedicated bird feeder. My belief is that I would rather spend dollars on bird seed and nut-cakes than pesticide. So, I feed all winter and also save bread crusts, etc., and place them outside for the crows at other times. I also have swarms of starlings come in. My yard is always a melody of chirps and song and squawk. Could it be that the European chafer is a sign that the birds that hold them in check (both as a flying bug and as a worm) are out of balance in our society. The gardens that are not cared for meticulously may hold a lot of seeds and grubs that also draw in birds and provide a hostile environment for the chafer to become entrenched, while those that are sculpted into a blanket of short grass offer nothing really to keep the birds there. So, the adult has friendly soil, lays the eggs and the grubs feast below the surface until there are so many, the raccoons and birds come in. Just a thought.
     
  8. Anne58

    Anne58 Active Member

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    Let's not forget the nematode solution! I used nematodes for 3 separate years in 3 different areas of the lawn that were being 'rototilled' by the critters and birds. None of the areas that were treated ever had problems in the following years.

    It would appear that once the nematodes are introduced into the soil, they are able to find enough other food to remain viable as a chafer grub control for future years.

    Anne
     
  9. envirogirl

    envirogirl Member

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    I have to agree with the argument that the chafer does not care if your lawn is well cared for or not. In East Van (where I live) it is obvious that pampered lawns are just as prone to these chafers as neglected lawns.

    When I first discovered the ugly little grubs in my lawn a month ago I got obsessed, trying to find ways to get rid of them. All methods HAVE to be environmentally safe. I thought of some ideas that I didn't see posted anywhere else/aren't discussed in much detail. I'd love to hear others' thoughts on these ideas!

    1. Roll up the turf in damaged areas and let the birds have a free for all! My husband feels this is just inviting animals to cause damage. (We're lucky... no signs of damage yet).

    2. Just before June, cover the lawn with a huge roll of light coloured fabric/transparent plastic film (so the lawn can still get light), tightly stake at the edges. Keep covered for a week or more. When the grubs currently in my lawn emerge as adults in June, many will be trapped under the fabric, and will hopefully die/be weakened.

    3. Again, cover the lawn before the July egg laying season. Hopefully, this will prevent adults from laying new eggs in the lawn.

    4. When adults fly in swarms in the summer, collect masses with a bug catching net, dispose of by drowning/suffocation in a large bucket.
     
  10. Gnome

    Gnome Member

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    Hey there jimmyq....I'm a little late commenting on this post, but can you tell me what that clover lawn looked like in winter? Does the dutch white clover die back or is it evergreen? I just purchased a bag from a local garden center here in Burnaby, but was told by a friend that I need to find out whether the white clover is the 'large-leaf' or 'small-leaf' variety...the garden center staff didn't know. I have the problem with the neighbourhood critters churning up the lawn to search for the chafer grubs...gosh it looks terrible...going to convert one segment of lawn to vege garden next year, but am looking for a solution for the front of the house (i.e. dutch white clover)....if you have any pics of that lawn in winter, I would love to see it.
    Thanks.
     
  11. jimmyq

    jimmyq Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Best I can find is June 2006
     

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  12. Gnome

    Gnome Member

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    Thanks for the photo and for checking Jimmyq.
     
  13. Shelley D

    Shelley D Member

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    I am currently tilling a patch of yard (digging up morning glory roots and finding the odd EC Grub) certainly not the amounts that are talked about for nematode intervention. I have been looking for something to do with these grubs. I would love nothing more than to put them in a bowl for the crows to have a quick snack, but since that is unlikely. I don't know what to do with them, I have read that composting them will not kill them, does anyone know what to do with the grub dug up by people?
     
  14. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Put them on a bird table, they'll soon disappear.
     

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