Loving Your Lawn This Fall

As summer winds down and the kids are going back to school, most people aren't thinking about their lawns. However, as master gardener William Moss pointed out on "The Early Show" Friday, this is exactly the time of year people should be thinking about growing greener grass for the next year.

Moss said the work you put in now will save you time, effort and money next spring. And while most people are out trying to establish grass in the cold, wet month of April, he said you can kick back and watch it grow.

So why is now a good time for lawn care?

Moss gave these three reasons:

• Lawns are depleted after a summer of growing, mowing, foot traffic, and pet stops
• Cooler weather encourages root growth in perennials like daylily, hosta, and turfgrass.
• Like with daffodils and tulips, effort now yields great results in spring

To help your green grass grow in the spring, Moss suggested using aeration techniques. Aeration, he explained, reduces compaction, allows more oxygen to reach the roots, and breaks up the thatch layer.

Another way to help your lawn is to fertilize. He suggested using soil tests to help identify any deficiencies, and warned against getting carried away by over fertilizing your grass. Moss also suggested using natural and organic-certified products to reduce negative environmental impacts.

But how do you get rid of grubs?

Moss explained grubs hatch in early fall and begin to feed on turf roots, so it's important to get the grubs now to reduces next year's bad bugs. He suggested opting for organic certified chemicals and/or biological controls.

As for seeding, Moss said you should sow grass seed now, so the seeds can germinate without weed competition. You should buy quality grass seed, he said, adding online sources have lots of variety for homeowners.

"Weeds are dying (while the) grass is still actively growing," he told CBS News. "That will over shadow the weeds, choking them out in the spring."



For more with master gardener William Moss, visit his Web site.