The latest cold snap probably shocked your early blooming daffodils; Spring has officially started, but the thermostat says otherwise at the moment. Mother Nature tries to adhere to a calendar, but at the end of the day, we are at her mercy. Over all, our weather is considerably more hospitable this time of year, but there may still be a few more surprises, as evidenced by our recent snow storm. It’s time to prepare your blooming fruit trees, vegetables or flowers from these potential cold snaps. There are several methods of protection for your landscape while the weather remains in flux. It’s important to note that it doesn’t have to freeze for plants to be damaged by frost. It just has to get cold enough for water vapor to condense on cold plants that have been chilled. Young trees or varieties of trees that have thin bark, (some fruit trees fall in this category), as well as the evergreens and firs are very susceptible to branches breaking from the heavy wet snow that often happens in the springtime. The best way to remove the snow is to gently brush the snow off by hand or with a broom with upward strokes. Gently shaking the branches can also be done, but this needs to be done carefully. Branches can be brittle during the winter months, so you could be doing more harm than good. You can also remove snow throughout the snow event to make removal easier and minimize the weight that’s on your plants at any given time. There are many varieties of plants that can handle the sudden cold temperatures, such as azaleas, hollies and pansies – these can
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!
If you own a home, chances are that at some point weather conditions, perhaps too much rain, ice melting, or even wind, have caused a certain amount of drainage and erosion issues on your property. This is all but a certainty if your home is on a slope. What are the telling signs? Exposed roots, gutted out areas on your lawn or swampy and puddled sections are a clear indication that it’s time to act and stop the deterioration from getting worse. This is where a professional landscaping company can help. It’s imperative to assess the depth and severity of the issue at the outset so that you can determine the best method for preventing additional damage. The professionals at Sunrise Landscape and Design can provide an accurate diagnosis of the extent of the damage and will help you make the right decision as to the course of action you should take, saving you time, money and your landscape in the process. The easiest and possibly the most economical way to battle an eroding yard is to plant, plant, plant! Planting flowers and trees acts as a shield, lessening the impact of rainfall, ice, and wind that can wash away the soil. These plants and trees also help stabilize the dirt by putting in roots that anchor the soil and soak up excess water. Be sure what you decide to plant is native to your area (we can help with that too) so that it is likely to grow a healthy root structure. Wild flowers work well for blanketing an area prone to soil erosion, as do herbs or shrubs. Once you plant, consider adding a layer of mulch and fertilizer. Each of these will
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
It seems like every year there’s a new type of mulch sitting at the home improvement store. From colored varieties to chips and shreds, it can all get very confusing. Each mulch has its benefits and its drawbacks, so it's best to make an informed decision before you make the investment. Sunrise Landscape and Design spring clean-up services include the application of high quality mulch to prepare your landscape for the coming months. Why is Mulch Important? Mulch plays many roles in your landscape. Its most crucial features are the ability to hold in heat and moisture, which protects fragile roots from temperature fluctuations throughout the entire year. It also prevents the growth of weeds and helps to inhibit erosion. Without mulch, your garden is completely exposed to the elements – and that is not only bad for your plants, but it’s also bad for your curb appeal. Mulch Types and Details Shredded Hardwood The most common mulch you’ll find around Northern Virginia is shredded hardwood. It has a natural look and blends well into any landscape. It also works well on slopes. It should be spread one to three inches thick and can last up to three years. Colored mulch is a popular trend. Colored versions tend to decompose more slowly than normal mulch. Be careful of the actual color selected. Some colors clash with the natural landscape and are not appealing to most people. Wood Chip Wood chips are wonderful at retaining water, and because they break down faster than shredded mulch, they boost the amount of nutrients in your soil. Wood chip mulch can last up to four years. It is also weed-free and doesn’t blow away easily. It’s important to note
After spending hours and hours planting and fertilizing this spring, you don’t want to fall victim to a late frost. That white glaze may look beautiful, but it can be devastating to your flowers, vegetables, and even young fruit trees. If you know the warning signs and a few simple tricks, though, you’ll be able to keep your plants happy and healthy despite any temperature fluctuations. What is Frost? Frost is a layer of ice crystals that forms as water vapor condenses and freezes. When most people talk about frost, they are typically referring to a light frost, which occurs when the temperature dips below 32° Fahrenheit. If the temperature drops below 25° for four straight hours, it is called a hard freeze. Your young, tender plants may be able to survive a light frost without help, but a hard freeze would mostly likely kill them. Warning Signs of Frost We’ve compiled a list of frost indicators to help you know the weather patterns and planting features that support – and don’t support – frost. Keep in mind, though, that your garden and flower beds have their own unique microclimate. Your neighbor may experience a frost when you don’t, and vice versa. Note: According to The Old Farmer’s Almanac, there’s a 50% chance every year that there will be no frost after April 6th in our area. If you don’t like those odds, check your local weather forecast every evening for frost warnings. Signs that Frost may be Coming: The dew point is below 45° The sky is clear There’s no breeze You’ll Probably be Safe if: The daytime temperature reached over 75°, making it unlikely to dip below 32° at night. The sky is
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
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.
Winter weather can exacerbate hardscape issues. Water, in the wrong place, can freeze and thaw in a cycle that creates movement leading to problems with materials above and below the surface. This motion can cause settling of improperly installed base materials leaving sunken pavers or concrete walkways separated from front landings. Any opportunity water has to infiltrate in the potential wrong place within your hardscape, it will. Signs of trouble are typically easy to spot, but it’s a good idea to start looking for problem areas before the spring rains arrive. If you do uncover issues, a professional can assess the severity of the damage and suggest and implement repairs that can prolong the life of your hardscape. With the right repair solution, you'll be able to enjoy your investment as soon as spring makes its debut. Signs of Hardscape Issues Indications of hardscape problems are usually easy to see. Take a walk around your property and look for these warning signs: Retaining Walls, Firepits, and Fireplaces Cracks Crumbling Loose bricks or pavers Movement (e.g., bowing or leaning (unlevel), signs of sepration) Patios and Walkway Areas that appear to be sinking Pavers that are moving or shifting Cracks in concrete or mortar joints, space developing between pavers Pitting Spalling (i.e., pieces are chipping off) Pooled water Loose step treads Hardscape Repairs While it may seem like you can repair your hardscaping on your own, it’s best to have an expert fix any problems. Sometimes issues that seem minor are more significant and extensive than you think. A skilled professional will be able to diagnose the cause of the damage and suggest repairs that will prevent further issues down the road. Paver issues: Just like with
Even though we just recently went through our first snowfall of the season, it’s already time to start thinking about what you’d like to change in your landscape this spring. While maintenance is always important, the things you need to be planning right now are the bigger and bolder design elements of your landscape – like hardscapes, water features, and landscape lighting. These elements can make a huge impact on your appearance of your lawn, but they also require a lot of forethought before warmer weather arrives. Hardscapes Hardscaping consists of the man-made features that contrast with your plants. They can be made out of concrete, brick, pavers, tiles, stone, or wood. While some hardscapes are meant to spotlight and frame your landscape, others can provide you with year-round outdoor living spaces. Regardless of your preference, make sure that your hardscape looks like it flows smoothly and fits in with your garden and lawn. There’s nothing worse a feature that sticks out in a bad way. Hardscapes include: Retaining Walls Walkways Patios Fire Pits Fireplaces Outdoor Kitchens Water Features Often called waterscapes, water features include anything involving water in your landscape. Nothing adds visual interest to your yard like a water feature. And contrary to popular belief, many features require minimal maintenance. If you are looking to add a soothing, relaxing element to your landscape, then a water feature may be just right for you. Common water features include: Pools Waterfalls Fountains Ponds Landscape Lighting Once you invest in hardscaping or a water feature, you'll want to enjoy it all day long – even when it's dark outside. Landscape lighting can highlight unique characteristics of your home or landscape, enhancing its curb appeal and giving