Gibson Priest

Gibson Priest

Polk County residents have already experienced the first frost of the season, and soon will start seeing the results in yards and fields very soon.

Bermuda lawns are usually the first to go as this is a tropical/coastal grass that has no tolerance for cold weather. There will be large spots come up in the lawn at first, mainly on high spots or areas where the grass is short. The entire lawn will start to go dormant and gray from there.

When these brown or gray spots show up in your lawn, do not panic. This is just the normal way Bermuda grass goes dormant. Some worry that there is a disease, this could be true, but if there has been a frost lately it is too cold for disease pathogens.

Furthermore, if there are disease problems in your lawn it is usually due to improper growing conditions, such as pH problems. Fall is a good time to do a soil sample to make sure the pH and other nutrients are in check and that your lawn has everything that it needs to endure the cold winter months.

Also, be thinking about pre-emergent herbicides for your lawn. Many weeds cannot be controlled unless a pre-emergent is used to wick the weed before it ever takes hold.

Fall is a time when the food buffet is starting to slow for some rodents that will start digging in yards and flower beds to find insects. Skunks and racoons will usually dig 6-10-inch-wide holes, and armadillos are larger, with an average of 12-36-inch-wide holes.

If you are seeing holes in your yard, find a cheap game camera from your local big box store and position it so the rodent can be seen while in the act at night. Once you have an idea of what is causing the problem, either trap the animal yourself or contact an exterminator.

If you have any questions regarding lawn or rodent management, you are welcome to contact the extension office at 770-749-2142 or email

Information for this article comes from Center for Urban Agriculture, Winter Comes Early.

For more information and details on upcoming events, check out the Polk County Extension office on Facebook by searching “UGA Extension Polk County.”

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