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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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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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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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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.

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Pond Design Tips – Herndon, VA

Pond water feature Herndon, VA

Integrating a pond into your Herndon, VA landscape is a large investment. Pond construction requires meticulous planning to ensure proper drainage and filtration. All elements of your pond, such as water lilies and other water plants, as well as goldfish and other small pond fish need to be taken into consideration for all elements of your pond to thrive. If done right, a beautifully designed pond can transform your landscape and create a peaceful retreat for all to enjoy. Below are some pond design tips from Sunrise Landscape and Design.

Choose the right location

Fish ponds need partial sunlight in order for the water plants that the fish feed on to grow. Avoid building your pond under trees. Tree debris can clutter a pond with leaves as well as change the chemical composition of the water which can affect the fish.

Decide on the size

The most important function of size is making sure the pump is strong enough to keep the pond water moving and filtering properly.

Decide on depth

Some features of your pond design may require a specific depth. Fish require a deeper pond to keep them safe from natural predators. The types of water plants will also determine depth. Some plants thrive in deeper water.

Identify garden runoff

Garden runoff from rain or lawn watering often contains fertilizer chemicals, lawn clippings, and other debris that may enter and mix with your pond.  Closely inspect your landscape to ensure that garden runoff into the pond will not be an issue.

Check soil stability

Make sure your soil is stable enough to support a pond in your desired location.  Once the pond is filled with water, it will become very heavy. If the soil is not well compacted, it could damage the pond.

Identify appropriate location for electrical outlet

The pond pump will require a GFCI protected electrical outlet. Make sure to locate your pond with easy accessibility to the outlet.

Enlist the help of Sunrise Landscape and Design

Let us design, build, and maintain your pond and transform your landscape to the water garden of your dreams! Contact us for more information – we’d be happy answer any questions about pond design and construction. You can also visit our Pools and Water Features page to learn more about our pond design and pond installation services in Herndon, VA and throughout Northern Virginia.

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Lawn Maintenance – Great Falls, VA

Lawn maintenance in Great Falls, Virginia

April is National Lawn Care Month! Now is the perfect time to bring life back to your Great Falls or Northern Virginia yard. If you want a lush, green lawn, it’s not necessarily as simple as mowing and watering. Lawn care can actually be very complicated. To help you out, here are our Seven Core Areas of Lawn Maintenance:

Soil testing

Sometimes the most important step is the one most often overlooked. Testing your soil for its pH level and nitrogen and phosphorus content will actually save you a lot of headaches in the long-run. Once you know your soil makeup, you’ll be able to figure out what types of fertilizers (and what quantities) your lawn really needs.

Fertilizing

At a minimum, you should fertilize every spring and fall. There’s ammonium sulfate and numerous all-purpose fertilizers to choose from. Make sure to use caution, though; too much fertilizer can burn your lawn, and ammonium sulfate only provides a short green boost to it. Your lawn needs a balanced diet of nutrients in order to stay green and healthy.

Watering

The frequency and amount of time you need to water your lawn is going to vary based upon your grass variety and location. Most of the time with the weather we see in Great Falls and Northern Virginia, watering deeply once a week will do the job. Deep watering encourages the grass to grow deeper roots, which helps the overall health of your lawn. If you step on your grass and it springs back up, you know that you’re on the right track moisture-wise.

Mowing

Mowing is a calculated effort. The more thought and planning you put into it, the more you will get out of it. Make sure you remove any debris from your yard before you fire up your mower. Debris is not only a safety hazard, but sticks and rocks will dull your mower blades, making your mower less effective. During the spring and summer growing seasons, mow only the top third of your grass, keeping it between 3” to 3.5” tall. Taller grass develops a better root structure and blocks out weeds on its own. When the growing season stops this fall, you can cut it back down to a shorter height.

Weeding

Nothing cuts out weeds better than a healthy lawn. Herbicides can be used, but be careful about the chemicals they may contain. Another way to help choke out weeds is to mow often, cutting off the heads of weeds like dandelions before they are able to spread.

Aeration

Those little cylinders of dirt fight soil compaction. The holes allow nutrients, air, and water to penetrate your lawn, helping your grass grow deeper roots.

Seeding

Seeding is all about choosing the right grass – or the right mixture of grass – for what you need. There are literally hundreds of grass varieties to choose from. Depending on the situation, sod may be a better option, too.

Lawn maintenance is definitely more complex than it seems. That’s why companies like Sunrise exist; we’re here to help when you can’t tackle it all on your own. Visit our Spring Lawn Services page to pick the right lawn care maintenance package for your Great Falls or Northern Virginia home. Ready to get started? Contact us today to get a quote and take the first step to a beautiful lawn you can enjoy all summer long!

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Walkways and Patios – Herndon, VA

Herndon backyard patio and walkway

A beautiful walkway and a “come stay a while” patio are a wonderful addition to your Herndon home. They also increase your property value.  Your walkway is the first impression people will have as they approach your home; it should harmonize with the surrounding landscape and serve as a snapshot of your home’s personality.  A patio, on the other hand, is an extension of your living space where you can create an oasis within your property.  Paying attention to the design of both of these elements can pay great long-term dividends.

Walkways

A beautiful, well-maintained front walk increases curb appeal immediately, adds value to your home, and makes coming home each day a more pleasant experience.  Who couldn’t use THAT at the end of a long work day?  Aside from being unsightly, cracked and damaged walkways present an inherent danger to you, your family, and anyone who approaches your front door.  Beauty and safety need to be taken into account when deciding whether to repair or replace your Herndon walkway.  This is where consulting an expert is critical.  A proper evaluation must be done to weigh the cost of repair versus the need to replace completely based on cracking, chipping, and potential soil erosion.

Replacing Your Walkway

If you decide replacing your walkway is the best option, it’s important to consider the types of materials available.  Crushed stone and gravel are inexpensive and easy to install, though the gravel will scatter and need replenishing from time to time. Be sure to add solid edging to contain the stones. This option, though inexpensive, may require more upkeep than your lifestyle will allow. Also, gravel paths are very difficult to keep clear when it snows, which we get our fair share of in Herndon and Northern Virginia.

Brick, flagstone, and pavers are the longest-lasting option and visually the most striking.  A brick walkway can last over 100 years.  However, because of their longevity and the level of craftsmanship required to lay and prep the site, they can be the most expensive.  However, repair is fairly easy and economical since you can replace individual stones as needed.

You can also kick your walkway up a notch by adding landscape lighting.  Lighting can make a huge impact on curb appeal in addition to providing safety and security.  If you’re not able to use lights that require wiring, you can opt for solar fixtures instead.

Patios

A patio is an extension of your Herndon living space so location is an important consideration.  How much sun will your patio receive?  How’s your view?  Are there large trees nearby that could suffer root damage or damage the patio?  Is there privacy?  Does sound carry?  If you’re planning to use your patio for outdoor entertaining and dining, you will want to have it close to the house, as it will increase the likelihood that you will use it.

The key is to design a patio that allows for easy flow between the indoors and outdoors.  There are endless design options to explore. You can make the space feel like a room by adding a pergola, use an existing wall of your home as a partial enclosure, wiring it for electricity and gas, etc.  In the planning stage, assisted by your landscape expert, you can play with options, deciding first and foremost, what size and scale will fit your needs and your budget.

All of these options can be explored with the help of a landscape professional at Sunrise Landscape and Design; we can help you plan what you see in your mind’s eye, with our eye towards what is the best suited for your existing landscape and fits within your budget.  With Sunrise Landscape and Design, we can make your vision a reality!

Contact us to get started on planning your perfect Herndon patio or walkway. See more information on our Northern Virginia patios, walkways, and other hardscape options on our Hardscapes and Structures page.