It’s About Time To Fertilize

Before we talk about fertilizing, a word about fescue. That’s the type of grass that grows in 95 percent of the homes in and around Charlotte. Landscape Maintenance Manager Daryck Beetham – whose 30-year passion for this began when he was 15 – says fescue does best in shade. It can tolerate heat, cold and drought, which we get in varying degrees around here. And it gives us the best chance to give us what we yearn for.

“People in the South,” Daryck says, “like to have that green-grass color all season long.”

These days, he says, very few people do it themselves when it comes to fertilization. Lawns are too valuable to leave to amateurs, so Arborscapes is happy to tackle the job for old, new and future clients. Given that, we will dispense with the type of fertilizer to use. The brands and chemicals and measurements will make you dizzy, and make the job that much harder.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • First, Daryck advises, keep an eye out for the Fall Armyworm, which we cover elsewhere in the newsletter and blog. Call for help as needed.
  • Prepare for the process to begin in late September or early October, depending on the weather. A side note: Daryck said the frequent, sudden rains we’ve been having (“Like Florida,” he says) is good. But combined with the high humidity, it has created a breeding ground for insects. Add that to your list of things to do something about.
  • Step No. 1 is to aerate your yard. By aerating properly, you loosen compacted soil and allow nutrients to penetrate deeper into the roots of your lawn. This stimulates root growth and facilitates a greener, more resilient lawn. Overseeding after aerating does even more, thus…
  • Step No. 2 is to overseed your yard.
  • Step No. 3 is to fertilize so that the nutrients penetrate the roots of the grass. We like how one fertilizer/writer named Richard expressed it online: “They work as a kind of multivitamin or meal replacement for flowers, trees, fruits and vegetables.”

A quick word about the order. What to do first – overseed or fertilize – depends on several factors. Consult your Arborscapes expert for the answer that is right for your situation.

In a sense, then, autumn is a season of rebirth for our lawns, when we embrace the annual task of bringing it to life. Daryck can toss around all sorts of nuts-and-bolts information about fall fertilizing. That’s what makes him and everyone on the Arborscapes team so invaluable to our customers.

But when asked what the mission is when we aerate, overseed and fertilize our lawns, he gets downright spiritual. And concise.

“To keep it alive.”