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Have a healthy lawn AND protect summer fun on the water? Skip the spring fertilizer completely!




Even if you live miles away from the Westport River, you play an important role in its health, because you live in its watershed. A watershed is an area of land where groundwater, rain, and melting snow flow into a body of water, such as a river, salt pond, estuary or ocean. The Westport River watershed extends as far north as Freetown, Mass. and flows southward to Buzzards Bay.



  • Skip the spring fertilizer, especially if your lawn is healthy.

  • Instead, spread a thin layer of compost and leave grass clippings on the lawn. Grass clippings will break down and naturally fertilize your lawn.

  • Sharpen lawnmower blades. A dull blade tears and weakens the grass, opening it up to disease. Many local hardware stores or garden shops can sharpen your blade for you.

  • Raise the cutting height of the mower. Taller grass shades out weeds and needs less water. A three-inch cut length is ideal for most lawns.

  • Leave grass clippings on the lawn. They provide free fertilizer all season long.

  • If you need to fertilize, choose a slow-release organic fertilizer and apply it in the fall.

  • Get your soil tested to see if your grass will benefit from additional nutrients or lime.


The University of Mass Amherst has testing available. More information here: https://ag.umass.edu/services/soil-plant-nutrient-testing-laboratory


For more tips on lawn care, read this Lawn Care Brochure produced by the Buzzards Bay Action Committee.

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