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Lawn Maintenance – Loudoun County, VA

Lawn maintenance Loudoun County, VA

As the end of the year approaches, it’s time to think of New Year’s resolutions. Why not make lawn maintenance a part of your plan for 2020 in Loudoun County?

Winter is the best time to start

Winter is actually the best time to sign up for a lawn maintenance contract. Now is the time to get organized and commit to activities 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 Loudoun County 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 landscape you want.

Lawn maintenance includes seasonal clean-up

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 in Loudoun County 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 lay out your plans for the year, be sure to include what you need to meet the goals you have for your landscape.

It’s more than just mowing

Lawn care involves more than just mowing. The maintenance of a well cared for Loudoun County lawn may include core aeration and overseeding, trimming, edging, weed control, lime application, and more. Again, think about the goals you have for your lawn and how a lawn maintenance contract will help you to meet those goals.

Contact us for a quote!

Sunrise Landscape and Design is more than happy to help you lay out your plans and select a Loudoun County lawn maintenance contract to meet your landscaping goals for the year. We make it easy for you by breaking your payments into 12 equal installments over the course of the year. You can rest easy knowing your 2020 goals for your landscape and lawn will be taken care of. Simply enjoy the results.

View our year-round lawn maintenance packages here.

Looking for a custom landscape maintenance plan? Contact us for a personalized quote. Happy 2020!

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Prepare Your Lawn for Winter – Reston, VA

Winter lawn preparation Reston, VA

As the temperatures fall and the days get shorter, many of us prepare ourselves to stay warm indoors. But before we do, here are some tips from Sunrise Landscape and Design to prepare your lawn for winter in Reston and across Northern Virginia.

Fertilize

Now is a great time to fertilize trees and shrubs and cultivate existing mulch. Before the ground becomes frozen, root systems can still take up nutrients so that plants are healthy and ready to grow in the spring. Apply lime and a late-fall fertilization to prepare your Reston lawn for winter. The grass will look better through the winter months and increase root development for a better and earlier spring appearance.

Mix Up Mulch

Over time mulch becomes compacted and doesn’t let water through. Mix it to break it up. As a bonus, it will also look like you put a fresh layer down.

Prune and Protect Plants

Examine your plants and prune out damaged or broken branches. Any damage will only become worse with heavy snow or ice. Just like us, plants can be sensitive to the cold. Newly established landscapes and less-hardy plants can be wrapped with burlap to protect them from cold temperatures and wind.

Keep Deer Away

With less green in the landscape, deer are even more likely to become permanent fixtures in your Reston lawn. Now is the time to start applying deer repellents.

Fill Bird Feeders

Plants aren’t the only things that need attention. As you prepare your lawn for winter, fill up your bird feeders if you don’t keep them replenished year-round.

Clean Gutters

As you are putting up Christmas lights, clean the debris out of gutters so snow and ice can melt and run off the roof properly.

Mow One Last Time

Mostly likely you will soon be mowing for the last time of the season. If you have a mulching mower, you can mulch up the few remaining leaves in the turf. Also, cut the turf a little shorter so that blowing debris doesn’t get caught in it.

Store Your Tools

After your fall yard work is done, winterize your mowers, blowers, and trimmers so they are ready to go when spring arrives.

If it sounds like too much of a task to prepare your lawn for winter, contact us for a personalized quote. Sunrise Landscape and Design has a team of professionals who are more than happy to do the hard work for you in Reston and across Northern Virginia!

You can also check out our full lawn service maintenance packages to prepare your lawn for winter!

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Leaf Removal Tips- Oakton and Fairfax, VA

leaf removal Oakton and Fairfax, VA

Earlier this month we discussed the importance of removing leaves from your Northern Virginia lawn. This week we’ll give you leaf removal tips for Oakton and Fairfax, VA, but these tips also apply across Northern Virginia and beyond!

While we all enjoy the beauty of a Northern Virginia fall – the brilliant oranges and reds of maples, dogwoods, and oaks – those once-beautiful fall leaves completely cover our lawns when the season ends. It’s important to clean-up those falls leaves to allow your lawn to breathe and prepare for the dormant season.

Sunrise has a number of fall leaf clean-up tips for Oakton, Fairfax, and across Northern Virginia:

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 and drop the mower to the lowest setting (just above the grass). Then mow as you normally would, with a second pass at an opposite angle to mulch the leaf clippings into the grass.

Leaf Blower

This leaf removal tip is great 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 an 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 your lawn mower to shred the leaves and then simply add to your garden beds for mulch or to your compost pile.

One final leaf removal tip

Make sure to remove leaves when the weather is good. Rain will make the leaves heavy and more difficult to manage.

If your Oakton or Fairfax, VA fall leaf clean-up tasks are too large or you simply don’t have the time, contact Sunrise and we’d be more than happy to help!

Have more to tackle than leaves this fall? Check out our full fall landscaping service offerings in Northern Virginia.

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Leesburg Leaf Removal: Why is it Important to Rake Leaves?

Leesburg leaf removal services Northern Virginia

It’s the time of year for leaf removal in Leesburg and across Northern Virginia.  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!

Leaf removal is crucial for the health of your landscape.  Below are our top reasons to grab that rake and get moving on your leaf cleanup!

Leaf removal keeps your Leesburg grass happy

Leaf debris can smother turf and even kill some of the new grass that you just planted this year.  Wet matted leaves cut off the air supply to your turf and block the sunlight your grass needs to store energy for growth. Save your yard by keeping it clear of leaves, especially over the winter months.

Leaves can be dangerous

For safety reasons, it’s smart 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 can also mask other hazards such as holes or items that can cause you to trip and fall.

Leaf removal enhances the look of your winter landscape

Removing leaves enhances the aesthetic of your landscape, preparing it for some beautiful Leesburg snow in the winter. Keeping your yard and plant beds free of leaves gives them a clean look and increases your home’s curb appeal. This beauty is even further increased if your pristine Leesburg landscape is surrounded by natural woods or tress.

Collected leaves can be re-purposed for mulching

Leaves can be a great form of insulation around tree and shrub roots over the winter.  The leaves prevent the soil from drying out and keep the roots warm and moist so they can stay healthy.  Over time, the leaves break down and provide nutrients to help the trees and shrubs grow.

As the leaves fall this autumn, make a plan for leaf removal. Our experts at Sunrise Landscape and Design are happy to help! We offer a range of fall services in Leesburg and across Northern Virginia. Contact us for a personalized quote and enjoy the beauty of the season without any of the worry of leaf clean-up!

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Creating a Safe Lawn for Halloween – Fairfax County, VA

fire pit design safe lawn for halloween fairfax va

Creating the perfect Halloween Haunted House can be a spooktacular experience! Remember that ghosts and goblins of all ages will be running through your yard to fill their bags up with treats as they race from house to house. Crafting a scary yet safe environment can mean the difference between a hauntingly good time and someone actually getting hurt. Follow these tips to create a fun and safe lawn for Halloween night.

Light your lawn

Lighting is one of the most important aspects of creating a frightening ambiance. A well-lit yard with low voltage LED lights can light your walkways and sidewalks, and are economical to install and maintain. Compliment your LED lights with Jack-O-Lanterns with glow sticks inside or use battery powered lights to illuminate your yard without introducing a fire hazard. Also check to make sure that your outdoor lights are working, including flood or sensor lights.

Clean up hazards

In addition to setting up lighting, make sure to clean up your yard before the big night. Clearing potential hazards ensures a safe lawn for Halloween visitors of all ages. Remove all tripping hazards like children’s toys, hoses, and bikes. Mark any exposed tree roots to make sure every child in costume can see them; especially those with masks as part of their outfit. Leaves should be raked away from sidewalks and curbs so everyone can identify where the drop off is between sidewalk and street.

Keep pets away from the door

Pets can be cute dressed up in costume for Halloween, but it is best if they are leashed so they do not inadvertently jump or bite someone. Also, some children are highly allergic to dogs and cats so do not let Fido or Kitty help answer the door. Little kids, especially, may be frightened of your pet.

Create a fall clean-up plan

Halloween can be a fun night for trick or treaters of all ages. Creating a spooky yard can be exciting, but remember that keeping the kids safe on your property is your responsibility. Sunrise Landscape and Design can help identify tripping hazards and lighting issues across Fairfax County and Northern Virginia to create a safe lawn for Halloween. Contact us for a personalized quote.

Whether you need landscape design, like fire pit installation, landscape lighting, and patios, or lawn maintenance services such as lawn mowing, fall clean-up, and leaf removal, we will work with you to make your landscape beautiful….even on Halloween!

Check out our fall services to get your lawn ready for this spooky season!

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Core Aeration and Overseeding – Fall Lawn Care

Fall core aeration and overseeding lawn care

Fall is coming! After a hot and humid summer and predictions of a very cold winter, it’s time to create your game plan for putting your yard to bed. Fertilization, core aeration, overseeding, and pruning are all crucial ares of fall lawn care to include on your checklist.

Fertilize

Summer may have created burn or brown marks throughout your lawn due to the high heat and humidity. Fall is the perfect time to feed your lawn to give it a healthy start for next spring. Fertilizing during September and October preserves your lawn’s roots while replacing nutrients that were depleted this summer.

Core Aeration and Overseeding

Along with fertilization, core aeration allows nutrients, water, and air to reach the grass roots by piercing the soil with small holes and removing soil plugs. Core aeration is done during these first fall months to help the grass roots produce a robust yard in the spring. Typically the best time to aerate in Northern Virginia is mid-August to mid-October.

Overseeding is the spreading of grass seed onto existing lawn. This introduces new species of grass seed that are more drought tolerant, disease resistant, or more aesthetically appealing. The right blend will allow different species to take over when another is struggling, keeping your lawn looking full and healthy through the harsh winter and into next year. This annual seeding is best done in the fall, between mid-August and mid-September.

Pruning

Finally, don’t forget to trim back plants and bushes, and plant fall bulbs such as daffodil and tulips to enjoy next spring. Remember to prune correctly, as you can do more harm than good if it is not done properly.

If you’re ready to tackle your fall checklist, contact us for a range of Northern Virginia fall lawn care services, including core aeration and overseeding, and fall clean-up packages.

For informational videos on pruning and core aeration and overseeding, visit our Educational Videos page.

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Healthy Lawn Maintenance- Loudoun County, VA

Healthy lawn Loudoun County, VA

Soon the weather in Loudoun County, VA will be ideal to establish healthy grass! The second week of August through the third week of October brings cooler night temperatures and more moisture, perfect for growing cool season turf and grass. Whether you’re looking to improve your lawn health or completely renovate with new turf, there are a few things to remember when creating healthy grass.

1) Test your soil.

Test your soil for pH and nitrogen and phosphorus content. Once you know your soil composition, you’ll be able to determine which fertilizers, and in what amounts, your lawn needs.

2) Choose a blend of quality seed.

Most lawns in Loudoun County, and Northern Virginia in general, use cool season grasses, specifically a mix of Kentucky bluegrass, ryegrass, and tall fescue. Here at Sunrise, we recommend a blend of 3 turf type tall fescues with 5-10% bluegrass.

3) Help the seed contact soil.

When overseeding, one of the most critical factors in the success of germination is seed to soil contact. In practice, this means mixing the seed into the soil in some way. Aeration, slitseeding, spiking, or topdressing are all good ways to get the seed to soil contact that is so critical to creating a healthy lawn.

4) Water.

After the seed has been spread into the soil, the next element to a healthy lawn is moisture. Providing adequate water to the seed is crucial to its success. Seed should be watered daily once spread and for the first few weeks after the seed emerges. After this point, keep the soil moist to continue to help it grow.

5) Fertilize.

Nutrition (fertilization) is the final element in maintaining a healthy lawn. Fertilization provides proper nutrition for your turf so it can grow for years to come.

6) Plan Ahead.

If you want to have success in establishing a lawn from seed, you should ideally finish before the end of October. The last week in October is usually too cold for germination to be as effective as earlier planting.

Want a professional hand in bringing your lawn back to life with healthy grass installation and lawn maintenance? Contact Sunrise today for a personalized quote!

Learn more about our lawn aeration and overseeding services, as well as our lawn maintenance packages.

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Landscape Drainage Solutions – Fairfax, VA

Drainage control solutions Fairfax, VA

If you own a home, chances are at some point weather conditions, perhaps too much rain, ice melting, or even wind, have caused drainage and erosion issues on your property. Quality drainage and erosion solutions are especially important during the heavy summer rains we get here in Fairfax, VA and throughout Northern Virginia.

How do you know if you have drainage and erosion issues? Exposed roots, gutted out areas on your lawn, or swampy and puddled sections are a clear sign that it’s time to act and stop the damage from getting worse.

This is where a professional landscaping company can help. It’s crucial to assess the issue as soon as possible to come up with the best plan for preventing further damage. The professionals at Sunrise Landscape and Design can provide an accurate diagnosis of the damage and help you make the right decision, saving you time, money and your landscape.

Add Plants

The easiest and possibly the most cost-effective way to battle an eroding yard is to plant, plant, plant! Flowers and trees act as a shield, lowering the impact of rainfall, ice, and wind that can wash away the soil. These plants and trees also help hold the dirt in place with roots that anchor the soil and soak up excess water. Be sure to plant flowers and trees native to Fairfax and Northern Virginia (we can help with that too) so you can be sure they’ll do well. Wild flowers, herbs, and shrubs are also good for blanketing areas prone to soil erosion.

Once you plant, it’s a good idea to add a layer of mulch and fertilizer. This will help the ground absorb water. Frequent mulching is key, not only because it adds an extra layer of protection and insulation, but also because it contributes higher levels to the PH of the soil.

Redirect the Water

A major hazard to your lawn’s health is when your home is on a slope and has poor drainage. Inadequate pitch or a slope in your yard will allow the water to pool and not be piped away from your property. Find where the issue might REALLY be originating before you dive deep into the solution. The solution might be as simple as redirecting a down spout or running the discharge pipe from your sump pump to a different location.

There are many creative ways to correct Fairfax drainage issues and Sunrise Landscape and Design has the experience and vision to solve the problem and at the same time enhance the beauty of your landscape.  Some of our favorite solutions include retaining walls, rain gardens, and dry creek beds.

Retaining Walls

Retaining walls can be both aesthetic and functional. While their primary purpose is function, a well-designed retaining wall can be a beautiful element in landscape design. Flower beds, terraces, stone work, and many other options are all creative drainage solutions.

Rain Gardens

Rain gardens can be created by covering a low, wet area with water tolerant plants. Perennials and shrubs that tolerate pooling water and can withstand drought are perfect for rain gardens. Make sure to locate the garden at least 10 feet away from the home to prevent water seepage into the basement.

Dry Creek Beds

Dry creek beds are an attractive way to channel water from heavy down pours and prevent those gutted out areas in your landscape. Attractive river rock, 1-1/2 inch in diameter is a great start and can be enhanced with larger decorative rocks.

Contact Us

If you suspect you have any of these issues contact us for a personalized quote. We’ll be happy to come by and help you either prevent any impending damage or stop the progress of existing wear and tear on your valuable landscape investment.

Read more about our Fairfax and Northern Virginia Drainage and Erosion solutions. 

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Summer Garden Care – Ashburn, VA

summer garden planter ashburn virginia

Gardening isn’t just a spring activity, several tasks can still be done in your garden to keep you busy all summer long. Check out our summer garden care tips to keep your Ashburn garden happy and healthy this summer.

Watering

Although we’ve had plenty of rain in Ashburn this season, it’s always a good idea to keep a look out for water stressed plants.  They’ll be the ones with turned down, curled, and limp leaves.  A lawn is dry when you walk across it and the grass blades don’t pop right back up and you can see your footprints.

It’s best to water trees, shrubs, and small plants at ground level whenever possible.  Soaker hoses are great for slowly watering your plants.  It’s better to water heavily once a week than a little every day.  This exposes roots to some dryness which makes the plants tougher and able to withstand the extremes throughout the year.  If you have an irrigation system, now is the time to turn it on and run it on a regular schedule.  Insect populations explode in the summer, especially after rain, so be sure to eliminate standing water in your yard.  This could mean turning over empty plant pots and saucers, but could also involve better drainage around your home.

Pruning and Fertilizing

Rain affects your summer garden care routine even further by causing the growth of shrubs and trees. Most, but not all, shrubs can benefit from summer pruning to reduce the amount of leaves the plant maintains and to help them air out from the center which discourages fungal problems.  Pruning benefits trees by making the leaf canopy thinner and more open to reduce the risk of storm winds pulling down the tree.  Pruning can involve removal of dead flowers which usually results in another round of flowers.  You can fertilize your annuals, herbs, and vegetables just about every time you water to keep them healthy and fed all summer long.

Sunrise Landscape and Design offers summer garden care services in Ashburn and across Northern Virginia, including garden maintenance and visits and tree and shrub care.

Contact us to schedule your summer garden care and maintenance. After all the work, don’t forget to sit back and enjoy your landscape on one of our cooler summer nights!

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Landscape Watering – Leesburg, VA

sprinkler running in the grass landscape watering

The heat of summer is coming and your landscape is feeling it! To keep your Leesburg, VA landscape beautiful throughout the hot summer months it is crucial to water your lawn and gardens appropriately. While your outdoor water usage will rise during the summer months, it doesn’t have to cost you a fortune. Understanding what your landscape needs and practicing smart watering techniques can keep your landscape green and healthy well into the fall. Sunrise Landscape and Design offers the following landscape watering information and tips for your Leesburg or Northern Virginia home.

How Much to Water

Grassy areas need an average of 1 to 1.5 inches of water per week to stay green and lush. This water can come from either irrigation or rainfall, but it is important that your lawn gets a good drink.

Landscaped areas have varying needs when it comes to water, depending on the types of plants and flowers you have. It is essential to learn about your plants and their sunlight and water requirements. For example, turf grasses tend to consume the most water compared to other plants, and newer plants or trees will need more frequent watering than established ones. Shady areas that don’t get much sunlight may not require as much water or frequency. Be sure to incorporate mulch around shrubs and plants to help minimize evaporation, inhibit weed growth, and prevent erosion.

You should provide enough water that the soil isn’t dried out within an hour or two of watering. You also don’t want puddles or extreme sogginess– this means you are over-watering the soil which can be just as bad as under-watering.

Landscape Watering Tips

Take advantage of irrigation systems. Newer automatic irrigation systems or sprinkler sets can help make your watering routine easier and even take care of your lawn while you’re traveling. If you need help maintaining an existing system, Sunrise Landscape and Design can help.

Use mulch! Mulching the surface of flower beds can help reduce evaporation, moderate soil temperature, and prevent erosion. This is important for root development and increasing your water efficiency. Mulch can reduce diseases and slow down weed growth. It also looks great!

Always water in the morning. The best time to water is between 2AM and 10AM, when the winds are calm and the water doesn’t evaporate as quickly.

Water slowly to avoid run-off and let the soil dry out in between each watering session. If you over-water continuously, the plant will not be able to get the proper oxygen, resulting in drowning. It is essential to let the plant have time to breathe so that it stays healthy.

Be efficient. It is important not to waste water, even if your area is not currently in a drought. Be aware of where the water is going. Adjust your system or methods if you notice your sprinklers watering the sidewalk or areas with pooled water. Pay attention to nature. If you recently had downpours in your area, you may not need to water for a while. Being efficient with water saves money and the environment.

Keeping your Leesburg and Northern Virginia landscape lush and beautiful during the hot summer months doesn’t have to be difficult or result in excessive watering bills. Water-smart landscapes and effective watering methods are all you need to enjoy your landscape well into the fall. Sunrise Landscape and Design has over 30 years of experience in maintaining beautiful landscapes in Northern Virginia. Contact us for help in creating and maintaining your landscape! 

Want to kick back this summer? Let us take care of your lawn with our inclusive lawn maintenance packages.