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March is Mulching Season

​​It’s time to think about mulching those trees and flower beds, now that the harsh colds of Winter have abated.  Applied correctly and liberally, it’s good for your plants as well as a great labor saver.   For starters, it will slow weed growth considerably.  That alone is a reason to mulch.  No one wants to spend all Spring and Summer hunched over their flower beds!  Mulch also reduces water evaporation and can improve soil quality, two benefits that will yield long term results in your garden. ​​ ​​However, not all mulch is created equal.  Depending on which type you decide to use, you could reap different benefits.  In general, mulch with larger pieces of bark will decompose more slowly.  Finer pine bark mulch will enrich the soil as it decomposes.  Its main function aside from weed reduction is offering insulation to the root sources when there are fluctuations in temperature.  It also reduces water loss from the soil when you water or run a sprinkler.  However poor choices in mulch quality, could mean that it can retain TOO much moisture and encourage slugs and other pests that may eat certain plants.  It can also run the risk of becoming moldy.   An expert from Sunrise Landscape and Design can help you decipher which mulch is best suited for which area of your lawn. ​​ Cosmetically, mulch can add visual interest to your yard, depending on the color and size you choose.  Colored mulch contains vegetable dye, its color lasting for a year or more.  They are also finer in texture which makes them ideal for areas with slope since they mat down nicely.  Other types of mulch include pine straw which are pine tree

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

Sunrise Landscape + Design – Curb Appeal Infographic

Sunrise Landscape and Design believes its all about the landscape!  Enjoy our info-graphic on Creating Curb Appeal!                                                         Sunrise Landscape and Design is Northern Virginia’s best landscaping company, offering a full range of landscaping services. Our landscape and design services include hardscapes, water features, irrigation and landscape lighting. Our property maintenance services will keep your landscape vibrant and healthy year round with mulching, edging, seasonal cleanups, lawn mowing and tree care. Contact us today for all your landscape and lawn maintenance needs!

Landscape Professionals Participate in Renewal & Remembrance at Arlington National Cemetery

SUNRISE LANDSCAPE AND DESIGN, a member of the National Association of Landscape Professionals, participated in Renewal & Remembrance at Arlington National Cemetery on Monday, July 17, 2017.  This marks the 21st year that industry professionals have worked to help care for this national burial ground that serves as the final resting spot for more than 400,000 military service men and women and their spouses.  Every July, hundreds of landscape and lawn care professionals come from across the nation to Arlington National Cemetery to participate in Renewal & Remembrance which is organized by the National Association of Landscape Professionals. They volunteer their time mulching, upgrading sprinklers, cabling and installing lightning protection for the trees, pruning, planting, liming and aerating the soil. “Our members look forward to this opportunity each year to give back to the individuals who made personal sacrifices for their country,” said Sabeena Hickman, CAE, NALP CEO. “We consider it a privilege to be able to volunteer our time and talents to improve the health and beauty of the grounds at Arlington National Cemetery, one of our nation’s most sacred places.” SUNRISE LANDSCAPE AND DESIGN has been a serving Northern Virginia for over 30 years. This year marks the 12th year that Sunrise has participated in Renewal and Remembrance. Led by owner, Joe Markell, Sunrise is helping obtain materials for and installing 180 annuals, planting over 50 trees and supervising the installation of a paver patio area for visitors to use as a waiting area when loading buses. “Today was a great day of hard work showcasing what we do as landscapers and giving our time back to a great memorial for those who have given their lives to allow us the freedom to

Keeping Your Landscape Healthy Throughout the Summer Heat

Every spring, with ambitious goals for our gardens, we plant flowers, edge, mulch, and mow and tend to our lawns in anticipation of being able to enjoy it throughout the summer months.  However, by July, the temperatures have usually skyrocketed, and what started out as lush and vibrant, may now just be a shadow of its former glory.  Surprisingly, overwatering your dead-looking lawn and wilted plants, as well as feeding them fertilizer in the hopes of resuscitating them may end up doing more harm than good. However, there are some precautions you can take to avoid losing all the beauty you worked so hard for in the spring. The most important thing to look for is dehydration.  Nothing will grow if your soil is hard and dry.  As soon as you notice any signs of dehydration, such as wilting, smaller-than-usual curly or misshaped leaves, flower buds that don’t open, more weeds than normal, or brown and thinning patches in your lawn, implement a regular watering schedule either first thing in the morning or as the sun is setting and stick to it. Most lawns need about an inch of water each week and plants require about one gallon of water for each square foot.  Always apply the water to the base of the plant to ensure the roots are getting soaked properly.  Mulching plant beds (about 2 or 3 inches of mulch) as well as the deep but REGULAR watering will help plants establish deep roots.  Moisture will remain in the soil and give the plant the extra time it needs to encourage root growth.  Make sure you keep up with weeding, a collateral “benefit” of watering regularly is that you will also be watering

Creating Curb Appeal – It’s All About the Landscaping Plan

Whether you are selling your home or just want to have the most attractive landscape in the neighborhood, creating curb appeal can transform your yard into a beautiful, attractive space.  The most successful landscapes have a well thought out and planned approach to curb appeal.  It can simply be adding color with flower pots and seasonal plantings, or adding character and dimension with walkways and water features.  How simple or complex your curb appeal should be, is up to you.  Either way, a landscaping plan is the most effective way to bring your ideas to life.  When putting together a landscaping plan, consider the following: Hardscape – Curb appeal is ultimately about moving the eye from the street to the front of the house.  An attractive walkway with curves and flower bed accents is a great way to make this a pleasant transition.  Adding a bench creates a separate focal place and provides a spot for additional plantings. Lighting – Simple outdoor lighting can bring your home to life at night.  Use accent lights to highlight architectural or landscaping details.Seasons – When designing for curb appeal, make sure it will look inviting through all seasons.  As spring flowers begin to die down and lose their appeal, shrubs and trees can take over as the dominant features. Maintenance – All good landscaping plans should incorporate maintenance.  Spring and fall clean-ups, pruning, lawn care, weeding, edging and mulching are all important tasks in maximizing curb appeal. Color – Adding color to your landscape can be accomplished in many ways.  Try adding one or two large, uniquely shaped pots and fill with colorful plantings.  Add a splash of color by painting the door or a bench.  Be sure

The Dirt on Dirt: It’s Not All Created Equal

Dirt is arguably the most crucial factor when it comes to growing plants and grass. While fertilizers, water, and sunlight are important, dirt serves as the foundation for all growth. Not all dirt can sustain life; if you choose the wrong dirt or don’t know what’s in your own yard, you’ll be wasting your time and money trying to grow something where it simply cannot grow. By knowing what kind of soil you have, you can ensure that your spring planting turns into a full year of vibrant, healthy plants.  Sunrise Landscape and Design understands dirt and has over 30 years of experience in creating thriving Northern Virginia landscapes – contact us to get the info on your dirt! What is Dirt? Dirt is soil. It consists of organic material that has decomposed, organic material that is still decomposing, broken down rocks, metals, minerals, and even fossils. The composition of dirt varies from area to area, and particle sizes vary based on the primary component in the soil.   Why is Dirt so important to your lawn and garden? The basic function of dirt is to anchor plants by holding roots and storing nutrients and water that are essential for plant growth. The ability of these plants to thrive in a landscape depends on certain characteristics of the soil. A soil test can provide the necessary information for proper fertilization.  When the proper amount of fertilization is applied at the appropriate time, nutrient runoff is minimized, money saved and plant health is optimized.   What is a soil test? A soil test is an analysis of the nutrient content, composition, and other characteristics of soil, such as the acidity or pH level. Tests are performed

10 Tips for Preparing Your Landscape for Spring

Even though we're still thinking about snow, it's a good time to start preparing your spring to-do list for your lawn and garden. You can call it a spring cleanup or simply summer prep, but if you fail to take some action before blooms arrive in a few months, you'll see that your landscape will quickly get out of control. The more work you get done now, the easier your lawn and garden will be to maintain the rest of the year. Sunrise Landscape and Design spring cleanup services will help prepare your landscape for the spring and summer months. Strategize. Before you move a muscle, you should decide how you want your landscape to look this year. If you need a little inspiration, the internet is full of beautiful and creative ideas. Do you want to make any significant changes to your landscape? If so, decide now so that you can avoid putting effort into areas that you'll be transforming in a month or two anyway. If you need some assistance, Sunrise landscape design professionals ready to help! Plan. We cannot emphasize enough the importance of planning. If you are adding annuals, new shrubs, or even trees to your yard this year, map out where you want them to go. Keep the size of the plant at its maturity in mind; no one wants a tree growing into the side of their house or a bush covering a beautiful front window. Also, think about plant textures, colors, and heights while plotting out your garden beds. Mixing things up will make your beds more attractive and balanced. Edge. Creating a strong border between your garden beds and your lawn will make your landscape look more

Making the Best of Your Winter Landscape

We’ve had a pretty mild winter so far this year, but our temperature fluctuations can give even the most seasoned Northern Virginian a little bit of cabin fever. Punxsutawney Phil says that we’ve got six more weeks of winter to endure, and you know how we love our February snow storms in this area! You don’t have to wait for spring to enjoy your landscape, though – even if the snow does come. You can make the best of the dreariness and cloudy weather with a little bit of paint, hardy winter plants, and some creature comforts. Tips for Brightening Your Winter Landscape With mild temperatures, it’s easy to enhance your landscape even during the winter months. Planting, hardscaping, and painting are all possible on days over 50 degrees. With a little planning, you can establish a landscape you'll love for years to come – no matter what Mother Nature throws your way. 1. Create an outdoor living space for all seasons. Patios don’t have to be ignored during colder months. By adding a fire pit or fireplace, you can cozy up to a fire underneath the stars regardless of the season. Consider building a path to your patio, as well, so that you can stay off your winter turf (or snow) and make your outdoor space more accessible. Other features like benches and trellises can also beautify your space and provide focal points for your landscape when it’s covered in snow. 2. Bring in some light. It tends to be cloudier during the winter months, but landscape lighting can combat dark nights and provide an enchanting glow to your yard year-round. Try lighting up a few trees with unique bark or fantastic, gnarly limbs.

Our Next 30 Years – Sunrise Landscape and Design

We’ve celebrated our 30th anniversary a lot this year. It’s amazing to think that we’ve been around for three whole decades. Just think: when we started, “In Your Eyes,” “Addicted to Love,” and “Manic Monday” were on the radio! We wanted to take a minute as 2016 winds down to reflect on where we think our next 30 years will go. What industry trends, consumer desires, and personal transformations will emerge? We may not know exactly what lies ahead, but the future looks pretty exciting to us! Industry Trends The landscaping industry is going to have to be more cost-effective and efficient in the future, with an emphasis on higher-quality, durable materials. Alternative Fuels: The biggest change in the industry will be in technology. Trucks will be equipped with solar panels to charge blowers and trimmers, and small, hand-held machines will have batteries that can be charged with solar powered chargers mounted on the trucks. Larger equipment can be powered by propane. These alternative fuels are more environmentally friendly and will be less expensive than gas, allowing companies like ours to stay cost-effective. Better Technology: In addition to alternative fuels, next-generation batteries will hold their charges longer. Other technological advances – particularly in software, email, smartphones, and other devices will expedite communication as well as help streamline operations – enhancing the customer experience and allowing the industry to become even more efficient.  Improved Materials: It seems like every day, new materials are being introduced into the marketplace that put the old ones to shame. The idea of painting your deck to avoid deterioration or rot is now a task of the past. There's already some faux stone on the market that holds up to the