Chafer grubs plague colleges' lawns

A plague of chafer grubs are threatening the lawns at some of Britain's finest university colleges, but University of Cambridge Clare College head gardener Steve Elstub has said working with fellow university gardeners has brought a solution.

Elstub said the Professional Gardeners Guild and community of university gardeners had shared ideas on the problem. "We've come together as a collective of head gardeners at the colleges to discuss how to cope," he explained.

"It's been playing havoc with the fine turf at the college. Crows, rooks and magpies are tearing big holes in the lawns. There are only a few stone walls between the colleges. We're like a large estate so if one gets them we all do."

Around 20 head gardeners are now using Bayer Merit to tackle the grubs. Elstub said using nematodes was useful in small areas but required too much watering to be good for larger lawns.

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