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DEAD LAWNS: Work Now, Green Grass Later

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Garden centers like Earl May are staying busy this fall and it's not just pumpkins bringing people through the doors.

"Folks are coming in everyday with lawn issues," said James Cropp, an employee at Earl May.

Dying, brown lawns are a result of the summer drought.

An Iowa State turf grass expert says up to half of the lawns in the state aren't just dormant, they're dying.

Without some work in the fall, those dead spots could turn into weeds in 2013.

"A good time to establish your lawn is in the fall so it can establish a nice root system through the winter," Cropp told Channel 13 News.

James Cropp, an Earl May employee recommends aerating your yard in order to get more oxygen into the soil and raking out the dead grass, so healthy turf can grow in its place.

It's advice that Gregory McDaniel is using at his Urbandale home.

"We follow the 7-step process from Earl May and we make sure to aerate in the spring and the fall," said McDaniel.

McDaniel has kept his lawn green this summer with a little extra fertilizer and of course, plenty of water.

Experts say watering twice a day is the key to repairing those dead spots.

"We spent more money and time water this year than we have before."

A little yard work now, not only leads to a healthier lawn in the spring, but also a yard with more resistance to the summer heat in case of another drought.