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How to Prevent Deer From Eating Your Winter Garden!

According to the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, the deer population in the state of Virginia is roughly between 800,000 and 1 million and growing. Deer are especially seen throughout Fairfax and Loudoun Counties in Northern Virginia grazing on the side of roads, in parks and in our backyards and gardens. Each fall we start prepping our landscape for the long, cold winter ahead by fertilizing our lawns, trimming back shrubs and bushes and planting fall bulbs. All with the hope of creating a beautiful spring garden!  Unfortunately, in rural Loudoun County, we are making it especially easy for the deer to find food in these cooler months, leaving us with half eaten shrubs and plants that are damaged or destroyed. This fall, it is time to take back control of your garden with DeerPro Repellent. This long-lasting, professional deer repellent will allow you to enjoy your gardens all fall and winter without having to reapply daily or weekly. Each application provides four to six weeks of constant protection that is not washed away with each rain or snow shower. DeerPro is a commercial application that can only be applied by a licensed professional and is the only deer repellent that is approved by the EPA. The team at Sunrise Landscape + Design has been trained on the proper use and application of DeerPro and is ready to start protecting your winter garden and landscape so that your spring shrubs and buds have a chance1 The DeerPro Repellent is an egg-based spray that has low odor and covers your plants and shrubs with an invisible protection coating. Not only does DeerPro protect plants that are currently sprouting but also covers new growth in the areas treated by the

Fall Lawn Care – Core Aeration and Overseeding Tips

The cooler fall season is the best time for getting your turf ready for the winter and next year's growing season. There are 3 key areas of focus for Fall Lawn Care to help you get a thick, lush, beautiful lawn. They are core aeration (to relieve soil compaction), seeding (to fill in bare spots) and fertilization (to give the turf the nutrients it needs to grow). For this article we will be focusing on Core Aeration and Overseeding. Core Aeration is simply the removal of small soil plugs, or cores, out of your lawn. The most effective way to do core aeration is mechanically with a core aeration machine designed to do this type of work. A Core Aerator machine extracts soil plugs and deposits them on your lawn. The holes left from the cores are usually 1-3 inches deep. The function of the core aeration is primarily to relieve soil compaction. A few other benefits are the ability to get air, water and nutrients down into the soil and into the roots of the turf. It also allows for good soil to seed contact for improved seed germination. The best time to aerate your Northern Virginia lawn is from mid-August to mid-October. Overseeding is the action of spreading grass seed onto existing turf areas. Seeding annually in the fall allows you to introduce different varieties of seed that are more disease resistant, more drought tolerant or just better aesthetically in your lawn. A good blend allows the different types of seed to take over if another variety is struggling. Overseeding is an easy way to keep your lawn looking healthier, greener and thicker for the remaining year and the next. The best time

Looking back – The Sunrise Story

Sunrise Landscape + Design have been part of the Northern Virginia community for over 27 years. Originally formed in 1986 as Sunrise Lawn and Landscaping Services in a small shop in Reston, the company has grown to over 40 employees and an assortment of equipment and vehicles. The Sunrise name has been synonymous with the owner, Joe Markell's family for over 60 years. Sun Rise Dairy, located in Reston, was owned by Joe's great grandparents and Sunrise Amoco located off Baron Cameron Avenue, was owned by his father and grandfather. As Northern Virginia developed and changed, Sunrise Lawn and Landscaping Services evolved into Sunrise Landscape + Design. However, the commitment to deliver quality products, timely service and provide an outstanding experience for each client has remained the same for all of these years. The” Sunrise Way” is built on the principles of honesty and integrity. Just like a handshake was a contract and your word was a bond, Sunrise Landscape + Design stand behind their products, promises and service. Being a leader in their industry, Sunrise focuses on sustainable landscape solutions for both residential and commercial clients.  When creating landscape designs, they use plantings that are native and thrive in the climate and soil of Northern Virginia. They also focus on being "green" by recycling material used at each installation, install LED lights in their holiday and outdoor lighting systems and use and install water runoff systems to maximize rain water. Being earth friendly is another component of the "Sunrise Way" to reduce their carbon footprint and create environmentally friendly landscaping systems. Their commitment to their community, environment and clients are the reasons Sunrise Landscape + Design have been part of Northern Virginia for over

What is Lawn Disease?

Lawn disease is a common problem with essentially any grass type.   In Northern Virginia, the most common type of grass is Turf type tall fescue. Microscopic living organisms such as fungi, bacteria, phytoplasmas and a specific type of mold called pathogenic fungi are the most common types of disease that will cause havoc and destruction to your lawn. The severity can depend on how you manage your lawn. However, for lawn disease to begin, other factors are necessary for its development. Environmental conditions such as humidity must be in place for the disease to grow as well as your specific type of grass must be susceptible to the specific organism. Although you may have these types of pathogens embedded in your soil, if the grass type will not foster disease growth and the environmental conditions are not in place, you may not see a sign of the disease until it is too late. Brown patch and large patch are two of the most common signs of lawn disease and although they have similar qualities, each one develops in different environmental conditions. During the summer, when the daytime air is hot and humid, and the overnight temperatures are at or above 70 degrees, brown patch disease becomes active. During spring and fall, when the temperatures become cooler, this is when large patch disease is most dynamic. It may be difficult to identify the type of disease your lawn has when it first appears. Both brown patch and large patch begins as a small circle but quickly can become larger depending on the severity if the environmental conditions. As the diseases progress, the circle becomes brown and discolored yet the size of the patch varies greatly with

Spring Cleaning – To Prune or Not To Prune? That is the Question..

March is right around the corner and with that comes thoughts of baseball season, March Madness and of warm, spring weather. Its’ our time to come out of hibernation; replace our snow boots for flip flops (maybe) and assess how things look as the winter thaw subsides. What this means for you, that it is time for spring cleaning both inside and outside your home. Your yard, trees, plants, bushes and remnants of your garden, all take a beating during the winter months. In order to have golf course type lawns this summer, you must start preparing your property now. The first thing we recommend is to take inventory of what your turf, trees, bushes and all plants look like. Do you have dead spots throughout your turf, tree limbs hanging down and broken, damage to shrubs and plants; what areas do you need to focus on? Next, eliminate dead turf and turn over your yard and add new soil and seed. Water the area daily to promote growth. During this process you will see downed tree limbs, loose dirt and leaves. Remove these items from your lawn so they do not hinder new growth. During the spring cleaning process, it is also important to prune bushes and cut back trees to encourage progress. However, specific species should be pruned at different times, so do your homework before becoming Edward Scissor Hands on your plants. Pull weeds from your garden and flower beds and prepare the area with new soil by turning it over just as you did your lawn. Sketch out a flower design for your beds; one in which the colors compliment the exterior of your home or attract certain types of butterflies

Winter is the Best Time to Sign-up for a Lawn Maintenance Contract

As the end of the year approaches, it is time to think of New Year’s resolutions.  Why not make lawn care a part of your plan for 2015?  Winter is actually the best time to sign-up for a lawn maintenance contract.  It is the time to get organized and commit to activities and strategies that will enhance and enrich your life.  Establishing a lawn maintenance contract now will put your mind at ease for the rest of the year.  Your lawn and landscaping needs will be taken care of and you can enjoy results without worrying about the time and effort required to maintain the lawn and landscape you want. A lawn maintenance contract may offer multiple levels of lawn care.  As you begin to plan your year, think about the types of service you will want.  Seasonal clean-up is a very labor intensive and time consuming task that really enhances the beauty of your landscape.  Seasonal clean-up is usually in the spring and fall and may include removing debris from mulch beds such as leaves, branches, spent perennials and weeds, as well as edging, mulching and cultivating the beds.    As you layout your plans for the year, be sure to include what you need to meet the goals you have for your landscape. Lawn care involves more than just mowing.  The maintenance of a well cared for lawn may include, core aeration and overseeding, trimming, edging, weed control and lime application among others.  Again, think about the goals you have for your lawn and how a lawn maintenance contract will help you to meet those goals. Sunrise Landscape and Design is more than happy to help you layout your plans and select a lawn

Benefits of a Lawn Maintenance Contract

Your landscape is a “living” investment and like a financial investment it can be extremely beneficial to let the experts manage your investment.  Lawn maintenance contracts can take the worry and uncertainty out of lawn care through all seasons and through all types of challenges. A lawn service may include many levels of care; each level should be evaluated based on your specific needs.  A basic lawn maintenance contract may include mowing, trimming, edging and blowing of grass clippings throughout the seasons on a weekly basis or as often as needed.  The benefit of a basic lawn service may simply be the time it saves you.  Your time is valuable and this level of service will allow you to spend the time it takes you for basic lawn maintenance elsewhere. More advanced levels of lawn service will not only free up your time, but will provide you the expertise that may be needed to maintain your landscape.  Lawn care is not just mowing.  Advanced lawn maintenance contracts may include care to address lawn challenges such as broadleaf weeds and grubs.  It may also include services to enhance the beauty and health of your lawn such as fertilization, core aeration and overseeding. In addition to lawn care, a lawn maintenance contract can also provide basic and advanced levels of care for your garden beds.  Spring and fall clean-up can be extremely time consuming and require specialized knowledge for maintaining trees and shrubs.  A basic service may include seasonal cleanup, tree pruning and mulching while a more advanced service may also include ornamental tree pruning and garden visits. Leveraging the experience and expertise of a landscaping company such as Sunrise for your lawn maintenance can save you

Winter Lawn Care

The late Fall and early Winter months may not seem like the time you would need to focus on lawn care, since the dormant season is approaching, but actually this is an ideal time to prepare your plants and lawn for next year’s growing season. There are a few things you can do to ensure a healthy landscape during the Winter months. Plants have particular seasons when pruning is most beneficial. By ensuring you prune during this time, you ensure that your tree or shrub will grow healthy and maximize its fruiting potential in the warmer months. Light pruning can be done at almost any time of year, but any major work should be reserved for the season each species prefers. Pruning deciduous trees, (trees or shrubs that lose their leaves seasonally in Winter) when they are dormant (no leaves), will help them grow to their full potential in the Spring. Pruning is a gradual process and not a one-time event. Our experts at Sunrise Landscape and Design are carefully trained to prune your trees and shrubs according to specific pruning techniques for each species. For example, Winter pruning is recommended for young deciduous trees and shrubs. How much to prune depends on how fast the tree is growing and how crowded the branches are. Mulching is also recommended before frost and snow covers your landscape. Mulch your planting beds at a depth of 1.5 – 2 inches. It’s not only aesthetic but also acts as a shield against harsh winter weather. This depth keeps the roots of your plants warm, but be certain not to cover the trunk of the shrubs or the tree trunks, because the mulch holds moisture and can cause trunk

Leaf Removal is Important to Your Lawn

Yes it is that time of year where leaf clean ups and removals are going on all around us.  Did you know that 75% of our fall waste stream is leaf debris?  Most municipalities and even some private collection stations take this leaf debris and compost if for future use in planting or mulching around trees and shrubs!  For many landscape companies leaf clean ups and removals are a service that is provided to their clients for many reasons: 1)      One big reason to remove excessive leaf debris from parts of your landscape is that it can smother turf and actually kill some of the new grass that you just planted!!!  Wet matted leaves can not only cut off the air supply to the turf-grass plant but they also block out the sun which the leaves need to turn into energy for food storage in the root areas for the upcoming growing months.  So save your turf and get the heavy leaf accumulations off the grass over the winter months.  During the growing season it is not an issue due to the turf being mowed on a regular basis.  And by the way it is great for the soil and the turf if some of the leaves are chewed up and returned to the soil.  You just want to make sure the leaves don’t smoother the turf blades! 2)      For safety reasons it may be good to remove leaves from driveways, sidewalks and other hard surfaces as many of you may have found out; leaves are slippery, especially when wet!!!  Leaves also can mask other hazards such as holes or other items that you cannot easily see which can cause you to trip or fall.

Fall Landscape and Lawn Maintenance

Fall Lawn Maintenance Your yard, just like our calendar year, has four distinct seasons of lawn maintenance. Now that it is Fall, it is time to prepare your lawn for the long Winter by tackling a few tasks that will help keep your lawn healthy until Spring returns. Fall lawn care includes aeration and over-seeding. Both of these activities should start in the September/October time frame. Be sure to over-seed new lawn or spots that need refreshing and if you have not done so already, fertilize your lawn as well. Another important aspect of Fall lawn maintenance is to keep your lawn free of leaves. In conjunction with raking your leaves consistently, you can mulch them with your lawn mower, and then apply your fall feeding. Raking or mulching the leaves is essential because the leaves will block sunlight from reaching the grass blades and therefore thin your grass. It also won't harm your grass to mow it in the colder months, keeping in mind the "1/3 rule”, and don't mow it if it is wet. Apply weed-and-feed to your lawn, to both feed it and control weed growth during the colder months. In addition to lawn care, be sure to take care of the rest of your landscape. If you have a garden, cut back perennials and plant Fall hardy annuals replacing your Summer blooming plants with mums, pansies, or flowering cabbage. Anything you cut can be used in a compost pile. Remember to dig up and store any non-hardy bulbs. Fall is a great time to plant a tree or shrub as well. There's less shock, and the roots start growing early in spring. These tips, along with consultations with our