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Trees – Superstars of Fall Landscaping

One of the great joys of Seasonal change is being able to look out your window and see it happen right before your eyes.  The most beautiful and decorative way to display seasonal color is through the proper placement of trees.  Although they may require a bit more time and care initially, in the long run, they are easier to care for than flowers or shrubs.  The practical benefits of trees include, reduction in storm runoff, providing your home with shade that could save you money on your cooling bills, reducing noise pollution, and producing about 260 lbs of oxygen per year!  The aesthetic benefits carry tremendous value as well.   A well-rounded landscape will have at least one specimen that can showcase each season.    Let’s look at a few options to spark up your Fall. The Maple Tree These are the royalty of the Fall foliage tour.  Folks are apt to drive hundreds of miles to take a look at the stunning color array of these trees.  A fast-grower, the maple tree is an excellent shade tree, and the smaller version, the Japanese Maple, with its deep red leaves, makes for a lovely landscape in both Summer AND Autumn. The River Birch Gorgeous color in Fall, but what really makes it a star attraction is its beautiful bark.  They are also very tolerant of wet areas in your landscape, which makes it a very versatile tree if you have drainage issues. The Sunburst Honey Locust Say hello to a fast-growing resilient tree that would not only look great in front of your home, but does so in the face of little to no watering, tolerates road salt and keeps its leaves, which makes for less of

Early Fall Turf Care – Tips for Keeping Your Lawn Looking Great in the Fall

If you’re thinking that now is the time to take a breather on lawn care since Summer is quickly coming to a close and grass can’t possibly continue to grow this quickly, it’s time to reconsider. While grass is not growing at the speed it was in Spring and Summer, this is the time when grass “powers up” so to speak, absorbing moisture and nutrients to prepare for its dormancy in Winter. To this end, we’d like to offer some tips to prepare for a healthy lawn in the Spring, when you’ll really want to stop and smell those flowers. Grab that rake and attack those leaves.  You’ll notice that leaves don’t wait until the official start of Autumn to fall.  You’ll find your lawn scattered with tree confetti as early as August.  As soon as they begin to fall, rake. If leaves are left on the ground for too long, they will become matted down with rain and begin to suffocate your grass and possibly lead to fungal disease in your lawn. Contact us about soil aeration.  We have the equipment and expertise to properly prepare your soil. This is crucial to allow the soil to absorb water, fertilizer and nutrients.  Again, this will be needed through Winter so that when the first thaw of Spring arrives, your lawn will be ready to thrive.  Incidentally, do continue to water.  Obviously it will not be a necessary as it was in July, but keep your eyes out for dry patches. Fall is the best time to fertilize.  Though the growth of grass slows down considerably in the Fall, its roots continue to thrive.  Applying the right mix of fertilizer now is essential to building food

Fall Landscaping Tips: 30 Ways to Prepare Your Landscape for Winter and Spring

There’s no denying the beauty of Northern Virginia in the fall. Bright oranges, deep reds and maroons, and even flashy yellows adorn our trees, creating picturesque views and perfect bonfire backdrops. Even though you may want to linger a little longer on your deck or patio these days, there’s a lot you can be doing right now to prepare your landscape for colder weather – and even next year’s growth. To honor our 30th anniversary, here are 30 fall landscaping tips: Swap out your summer annuals for fall plants. Pansies and mums are a wonderful way to add a little color as the temperature drops. Pull weeds from your beds. The more you get rid of now, the less you’ll have to deal with next year. Apply an herbicide to your lawn. Kill dandelions and other pesky weeds that are choking out your grass. Keep in mind, though, that most herbicides work best when it is 60 degrees or warmer. Test your soil. Get the intelligence now that you can use to keep your lawn lush and healthy next year. Our turf renovation blog  has information on inexpensive, invaluable soil tests for Virginia residents. Aerate and reseed your lawn. Why is core aeration and overseeding so important? Check out our blog on core aeration and overseeding. Fill in bald spots. If you have areas of turf that died over the summer, now is the time to patch them with compost and seed. Start a new lawn – if you have to. If your lawn is completely overrun with weeds or has extremely large bare areas, you may need to just start over. Fall is a great time to seed or lay sod. Fertilize your turf. Roots

Sunrise Tips for Fall Leaf Clean-up

While we all enjoy the beauty of a Northern Virginia fall – the brilliant oranges and reds of maples, dogwoods, and oaks – when the season ends, those once-beautiful fall leaves completely cover our lawns. It is important to clean-up those falls leaves to allow your lawn to breathe and prepare for the dormant season. Sunrise has a number of suggestions and tips for how to manage your fall leaf clean-up. Mowing – The use of a mulching lawn mower is very effective in returning nutrients to the soil and providing weed protection. Make sure to insert the mulch plug into the mower, drop the mower to the lowest setting - just above the grass - and mow as you normally would with a second pass at an opposite angle to mulch the clippings into the grass. Leaf Blower – A leaf blower is a great option if you have a large yard. Leaves can be blown into garden beds, providing a natural cover for the winter season or into manageable piles for removal. Make sure to wear ear protection when using a blower – the majority of blowers can be very loud. Tarps – Tarps can be used in conjunction with a blower or rake. If you live in a community that picks up leaves with vacuum trucks, a tarp is a very easy way to transport large piles of leaves to the curb for pick up. Bagging – Shredded leaves make great mulch or compost. Leaves are naturally rich in trace minerals that are beneficial to your garden and lawn. They are also a great source of carbon which helps to balance the nitrogen in your compost pile. Use the bagging option on