Monthly Archives: July 2015

Nematode Management

Nematodes are microscopic roundworms that live in the soil and can be found in most lawns. Some nematodes are beneficial, feeding on bacteria, fungi or other microscopic organisms. However, other nematodes are harmful to plants because they feed on the plant tissues and cause plant damage. These plant-parasitic nematodes feed on the roots by puncturing the plant tissue and ingesting plant fluid. Some nematodes remain in the soil (ectoparasitic) while they feed and others (endoparasitic) crawl inside the root tissue to feed.

As nematodes feed, they cause damage to the roots reducing the ability of the plant to obtain water and nutrients from the soil. When nematode populations get high enough, or when environmental stresses such as high temperatures or drought occur, symptoms may become evident. These symptoms include yellowing, wilting, browning, thinning or plant death. The damage usually occurs in irregularly shaped patches that may enlarge slowly over time. Similar conditions may be caused by other factors such as soil condition, fungi or insects as well.

Here are the most common nematodes that damage southern turfgrasses.

Lance- St. Augustine, Zoysia and Burmuda

Sting- Zoysia, Burmuda and Centipede

Stubby-Root- St. Augustine

Root-Knot- Zoysia

Ring- Centipede

What can I do if my lawn has nematodes?

Many of the highly effective nematicides used in the past are no longer available because of their risk to humans and the environment. There are a few “organic” products that claim to suppress nematodes in home lawns. However, there is no field effectiveness data conducted by credible scientists that indicate they work.

There is one product that is labeled for home lawns and it uses a bacterium to help suppress nematodes. This bacteria (Bacillus firmus) colonizes the root system and produces compounds that protect the root system from nematodes. However, timing is critical to achieve good results with this product and repeat applications, 4-8 weeks apart, are necessary. This bacteria does not kill nematodes, it only protects the roots, and should not be used to “fix” an existing nematode problem.

The best way to manage a nematode problem is by improving overall plant health and avoiding other stresses on the grass. Grass that is given proper water and fertilizer can often withstand higher levels of nematode infestation. Depending on what nematodes are present, replacing with a different turf type might also be an option or replacing turf with an alternative groundcover could be beneficial.


Call Grass Roots Lawn & Landscape, Inc. for all your Lawn Care needs. (850)897-3073 Niceville  (850)832-4212 Panama City Beach


July/August Newsletter

Have you heard about the new services we are now offering? Our licensed pest control operators can now apply treatments to your yard to help control mosquitoes and fire ants. Call for a free estimate today!

Lawn Maintenance

As we are in the hottest part of the year, major cutbacks of shrubs are generally not recommended. The combined stress of a cut back and the heat can be too much for shrubs. However, the hot weather makes it a great time for treatment of the weeds in your beds, and your lawn maintenance crew will be applying chemicals to take care of these. Also please make sure to return the completed storm letter which you should have recieved by email. If you need another copy, please let us know- it is important that we have your preference for storm cleanup on file prior to any work being done.


During the hottest part of the year hot spots may occur in your turf if your coverage is inadequate. Often, there is a difference between your irrigation simply “working” and working properly to ensure appropriate coverage. If you aren’t currently a Grass Roots irrigation customer, call for an irrigation check/adjustment if your lawn shows signs that your system isn’t functioning effectively.

Lawn Care and Shrub Care

Your lawn care team’s goal this time of year is to strengthen your lawn so that it can out-compete weeds. At the same time, extreme temperatures prevent application of post-emergent weed control. Your lawn care team is aware of the issues in your lawn and will treat them as soon as it is safe to do so. Tropical sod webworms are prevelant this time of year. Feel free to notify the office if you see the tell-tale patches of dull green turf. Upon closer inspection you will see notching along the side of the leaf blade, or dramatically shorter blades of grass. You may even see the worms out feeding on the grass in the early morning. Webworms can do damage quickly so it is important to treat them as soon as possible.


Call the office now to reserve your spot on our landscaping schedule before the end of the season. Our team is happy to do the hard work of making improvements to your yard. Check out our “Employee Spotlight” to see our landscaping team.

21aa914a-7def-49a0-9948-dacca073c6c3Employee Spotlight

Meet the Grass Roots Landscape Team: Jason, Daniel, Arturo, Francisco, Gerardo, Jorge and Marco.

Whether you need new sod, a landscape design or just sprucing-up, they can make the yard of your dreams a reality.

Get a Quote Today

(850) 897-3073 (Niceville)

(850) 832-4212 (Panama City Beach)

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