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.