The time has finally come that lawns are seeming to be standing still. New growth has subsided, summer weeds have started to die off, and winter weeds are beginning to make their way in. 

Not a whole lot of interaction is needed with the lawn this time of year; however, there are still a few things to keep in mind.

First and foremost, we want to avoid letting pests such as weeds, fungus, and insects sneak their way in. This can be done through preventative treatments or just keeping a watchful eye. 

Areas where the turf was damaged and has not fully recovered are often the first to deal with weed intrusion. Its important to keep these areas free of weeds for faster recovery in the spring. 

Once we fully fall into dormancy, fungus should not be a concern but we are still seeing it occur as lawns transition. Keeping an eye out for unusual discoloration patterns such as circles appearing and spreading in the lawn, and making sure irrigation systems are off, are good practices in avoiding fungus this time of year. Treating any areas with these signs immediately will help avoid further damage.

Unusually, we have seen an increasing number of mole cricket cases this year. Even with the cooling weather their activity is becoming more present. Keep an eye out for finger width tunnels in thin areas of turf. If your grass is pulling up with ease, this is often a sign of active mole crickets. Mole crickets tend to target Centipede and Bermuda turf most frequently.

Lastly, to seed or not to seed? As you look around you may notice bright green lawns or neighborhood entrances while everything else is still dormant. This is a result of overseeding with Rye grass, which can be aesthetically pleasing, but at what cost? 

Rye is a great alternative for areas that typically do not support grass (i.e., heavy shade) or when transitioning grass types. However, it is not right for everyone – and not every lawn. 

Rye seed will borrow nutrients needed to support your existing dormant grass. It also creates a blanket blocking the view of any issues arising in your current lawn. 

Bermuda is one of the only grasses we would recommend overseeding with rye as it does a great job filling back in.

Mark Deloach is the owner of Lawn Doctor of Beaufort County.