The Sandwich Home: Should I Fertilize My Lawn Right Now?

The grass in Sandwich and other Western Massachusetts towns has definitely been showing the effects of the prolonged drought we’re experiencing. When you walk around some yards, you can hear the crispy crunch of brown grass snapping under your feet. With that in mind, we’ve had homeowners asking what they can do now to get their lawns in better shape for next year. One question we’re hearing about is fertilization.

Now, your Sandwich lawn service may already have a fertilizing routine planned out based on their experience with your lawn. While they may adjust it a week or two one way or the other based on local rainfall, the odds are good that your fertilizer application is already timed appropriately. If you’re not regularly fertilizing your lawn, here’s what you want to know:

Time release fertilizer is your friend. One application of fertilizer will nourish your lawn for weeks, even months. Time release fertilizer requires some rainfall or irrigation to work; over a prolonged dry stretch, the time release fertilizer previously applied may still be in place. You don’t want to over fertilize, but if you haven’t been fertilizing your Sandwich lawn, plan on doing so early this fall.

Fall is the best time to fertilize as the grass knows its the time of year to gather as many nutrients as possible, storing them up for the coming winter months. This summer’s drawn deeply on the lawn’s reserves, meaning most area yards are greatly in need of added nutrition. There are many, many different types of fertilizer, so you’ll want to choose one that’s balanced for the type of plants you have in your yard. If you’re not sure what type of plants you have in your yard, talk to your Sandwich lawn service. They can tell you what you’ve got and make personalized recommendations so you fertilize appropriately.

 

Talking Landscaping in Barnstable: What About This Drought

If you want to make a gardener happy, give them some rain. This summer’s been both dry and hot, which is hard on Barnstable lawns and landscapes. Western Massachusetts is officially in a drought and some towns are even in danger of running out of water. The impact on the land is easy to see. Drought stress reduces normally green vibrant grass to a crunchy brown state. You may see bare patches forming in your yard. Trees and shrubs are particularly vulnerable to low water conditions, especially if they’re shallow rooted varieties. Evergreens are by and large very tough plants but when you see needles turning orange, then brown, then falling off the tree, you know they’re in trouble.

As a landscape contractor, you learn it is always better to work with the growing conditions you actually have, rather than the ones you wish you had. This applies to everything. Let’s talk lawns. If you’re in the position of many Barnstable homeowners, you may be thinking about reseeding your lawn in hopes of a greener yard next year. Knowing what kind of summer we’ve had, it’s a good idea to select grass varieties that are hardy and drought resistant. Deep root systems can find water that’s buried beneath the reach of more shallow rooted grasses. Bermuda grass is especially durable, although the look’s just not for everyone.

With some TLC and intense irrigation, it is possible that trees and shrubs that have suffered due to drought stress may be saved. In other instances, they may need to be let go and replaced. Your Barnstable landscape contractor will work with you based on what’s happening in your lawn and how attached you are to the particular tree or shrub. If replacement is required, it’s a good idea to select tree and shrubs based on drought hardiness.