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What is Landscape Sustainability?

Since “green” and “sustainable” have become overly "commoditized" in the recent years, much of the emphasis has been lost when the average person runs across these terms. Companies are adopting these terms in an attempt to set their business apart from the rest of the crowd, but with critical observation, it becomes painfully obvious in some cases that the “greening” of a company is little more than a sleight of hand. However, it should be noted that scores of companies have fully embraced and integrated sustainable and green practices into their business. These companies should be commended for their efforts. At the local level, Loudoun County and the Chamber of Commerce sponsor a competition, the Loudoun Green Business Challenge, a friendly points-based competition and certification process that requires companies to analyze their business operations and its impact on the environment. Click here to learn more about the challenge. Landscape sustainability is a moving objective. It is a principle rather than a condition that can be attained. Just as everyone has personal goals, such as being more caring, more patient, etc., our landscape goals are to design, build, and maintain gardens and lawns in a more sustainable way. This interpretation may be too loose and too far from absolute sustainability for some, but Sunrise encourages all levels of sustainability. It is too easy to be cynical and critical of claims of sustainability. It is much more demanding and favorable to apply sustainable principles to the landscape. While our clients say they want native plants, xeriscaping, and organic turf-care, very few know what this means for their landscape. Is it beneficial to put a sun loving but native plant in a densely shaded area? Is over applying

Sunrise Wins 2011 National Capital Business Ethics Award

The National Capital Business Ethics Awards were established in 2001. The Awards are presented annually by the National Capital Chapter of the Society of Financial Service Professionals in partnership with George Mason University. The award was established to honor companies that demonstrate a firm commitment to ethical business practices in everyday operations, management philosophies, and responses to crisis or challenges. After nominations are placed in January of each year the nominees are contacted and must submit an official Entry Form for consideration. The entries are then evaluated by an independent panel of judges based on the following criteria and also based on site visits: -An illustration of the company's commitment to business ethics as demonstrated by direct communication from the CEO and other senior officers. -Evidence of how ethics are a living part of the company's philosophy, culture and everyday business operations. -A clearly articulated means by which ethical questions, problems or conflicts are brought to the attention of management and a mechanism that ensures the fair and consistent treatment of all parties involved. -Clear evidence that employees throughout the organization understand and agree to follow the company's ethical standards. -Employee and/or customer data which supports the fact that the organization is ethical in its behavior and business practices. -A consistently high quality of products, services, business and production practices including demonstrated awareness of environmental impact, if appropriate. Sunrise is an American dream story of a guy, a truck and hard work morphing into a premier landscape company in the area 25 years later. Joe Markell is the President and sole shareholder of Sunrise Landscape + Design. His local roots and the Sunrise name run deep in Northern Virginia. Sunrise is a family business name

Now is the time to establish a healthy turf!

Now is the best time of year to establish a healthy turf! With the cooler night temperatures and more moisture the time is right for growing cool season turf. There are a few things for you to remember in creating a healthy turf. 1) First is to test your soil. Review past article about establishing a healthy turf with soil testing. 2) Choose a blend of quality seed. See VA recommendation of quality seed. I recommend a blend of 3 turf type tall fescues with 5-10% bluegrass. 3) When overseeding one of the most critical thing in the success of germination is seed to soil contact. Essentially it means getting the seed in good contact with the soil actually mixing it into the soil in some way. Aeration, slitseeding, spiking or topdressing are some good ways to get this seed to soil contact that is so critical. 4) After the seed has been spread into the soil the next critical element is moisture. Providing adequate water to the seed while it is down is also critical to it's success. Seed should be watered daily and as it emerges it is important to continue to water daily for the first few weeks and then keep the soil moist to allow for the success of the growth. 5) Nutrition (fertilization) is the final element in keeping a healthy lawn. Fertilization should be done to maintain proper nutrition of the turf so it can grown for years to come. If you want to have any success in establishing a lawn from seed it would ideally be done within the next 2 weeks. Once the last week in October comes it is usually to cool for the seed germination