When it comes to planting, most people immediately think of spring. However, the cool temperatures, reliable rainfall, and short, bright days of fall are ideal for planting. In fact, there are a number of reasons why fall is the better season for adding to your landscape.
Plants that are started in cold soil face many challenges. These plants often grow slowly, develop poorly and are more susceptible to disease. This has a lot to do with the fact that cold soil has fewer nutrients. Also, maximum fertilizer uptake through the roots occurs when the soil is between 45 and 55 degrees. During the fall, soil temperatures are much warmer than in the spring.
Reduced the Chance of Shock
Many plants go dormant in the fall, although their roots continue to grow. This period of rest is crucial to the plant’s survival through winter. Planting in the fall causes plants less shock than planting in the spring, when most growth occurs.
The sun tends to be less intense during the fall and temperatures are typically lower. This means less watering and less water loss in plants. Also, ground moisture is generally very good in the fall.
Throughout the fall, weeds are less of a problem. This means less competition for new plants. It’s also much easier to control weeds this time of year. During the fall, most weeds will be shifting their focus from their leaves to their roots. When treating with herbicide in the fall, the plant will readily move the chemical to the roots, destroying the entire plant in the process.
Develop Healthy Roots
When planted in the fall, new plants are able to develop a healthy root system before the spring. Instead of starting from scratch, plants are well established in time for the growing season. This puts them in the best possible position for growth.
It’s extremely important to get everything planted before the ground freezes. Even if it’s very late in the season, you need to get plants into the ground. They’ll be much happier and safer than in their plastic nursery pots.
Grigg Design is a landscape design and build company in Northern Virginia. We offer award-winning designs and installations throughout Fairfax, Arlington, Alexandria and Prince William Counties, as well as their surrounding areas. Please contact us if you have questions about planting, or you are considering updating your landscape this fall.
Summer is coming to an end and many of us are turning our attention to fall. It’s not only important to prepare your home for the upcoming winter (perform a roof inspection, shut outside water off, fix window and door drafts) it’s important to begin preparing your yard for winter. The following tips can help.
1. Evaluate Your Garden
Take a good look around your garden to see how your plants are doing. Pay close attention to which plants have survived and which ones did not. Check to see if anything has outgrown its space.
2. Add mulch
Mulch helps retain soil moisture, suppress weeds and protect soil. Identify areas that can benefit, and add mulch as necessary. Be sure to brush mulch off any branches on shrubs as it can cause them to yellow.
3. Power Wash Your Deck
Over the summer, your deck gets a lot of use. This leads to an accumulation of dirt and debris. A power washer can remove dirt build-up quickly and easily. Before cleaning, make sure that you’re using the right setting for your deck.
4. Keep Hardscapes Clean
During the fall, leaves and debris can accumulate on hardscapes, staining them over time. The best way to protect hardscapes is to keep them clean of debris. Thinking of adding hardscapes to your property this year? Find out more!
5. Clean and Store Grills and Backyard Accessories
Fully clean your grill and backyard accessories before storing them for winter. Even though these items are made from outdoor-safe materials, they can become a breeding ground for bacteria and mold. Cleaning them now ensures they’ll be ready to use next spring.
6. Prepare Plants
There are a few things that must be done to prepare your plants for winter. Deadhead spent blooms, remove finished annuals, weed and dig up any non-hardy bulbs.
7. Invite Birds to Your Garden
Attract birds to your garden by putting up a feeder. Birds do an excellent job controlling insects in your yard.
8. Check Plants for Disease
Inspect all plants for damage and signs of disease. Disease on plants can worsen over the winter and spread in the spring. Now is the time to remove or care for damaged or diseased plants.
9. Prepare Roses for Winter
Roses should never be pruned or fertilized during the fall. Just before the first frost, replace old mulch under roses with fresh. After the ground freezes, you will need to add even more mulch. This will position them to return beautifully next year.
10. Clean Your Shed
Prepare your shed for winter by clearing out and replacing old chemicals and oiling metal tools.
Grigg Design is Northern Virginia’s premier landscape design company. Please contact us for more information about preparing your backyard for winter.
It can be difficult to keep your landscape looking good throughout the summer. With the right knowledge and a little effort, your landscape can remain healthy and beautiful all summer long. The following landscape tips can help.
It’s important to keep your landscape watered throughout the summer. However, you will need to take care not to over water. Too much water can be harmful to plants and especially damaging to your lawn. In fact, overwatering your lawn can cause shallow roots, making it more susceptible to disease and malnourishment. Your landscape should receive the equivalent of one inch of rain per week. This amount should be split across two or three days.
Pruning should never take place during the summer. Removing leafy growth from plants can expose their stems, making them vulnerable to sun scald. Pruning during the summer also makes plants less water efficient.
Summer often brings an increase in insects and disease. Sometimes pests don’t cause enough damage to affect your landscape. Other times, they can be a major problem. How you treat pests is your own personal choice. While most pests are eventually taken care of by nature, insecticides can be used to eliminate pests and the damage they cause. There are a wide variety of insecticides available. The best time to spray for pests is in the late evening.
Lawns can be mowed as needed throughout the summer, but care should be taken to not remove more than one-third of its height. This prevents roots from becoming stressed and keeps weed infestations at bay.
Now is the time to deadhead flowers. Remove the heads of both annuals and perennials. This helps keep their energy on producing flowers as opposed to seed development.
Summer in Northern Virginia can be hard on landscapes. Spending a little time each day on your landscape can go a long way towards keeping it healthy.
If you are considering adding to your landscape this year, we can help! Grigg Design is Northern Virginia’s premier landscape design and build company. We provide high quality landscapes and hardscapes to meet a variety of needs and budgets. Please contact us for more information.
You could do it yourself; you could go to the garden store, plant a few flowers, and call it a day. But what you have in mind is a little, shall we say, lower maintenance. Plants and shrubs, a fresh mowed lawn: You’d be amazed at what a little landscaping can do for your curb appeal. There’s more to it than that (and this may appeal to the Manassas VA homeowners among us without green thumbs).
Vegetation is important, but it’s only one piece of a larger landscaping puzzle.
We’re talking about hardscaping. Where flowers and bushes are considered softscaping, hardscaping has to do with the non-living elements of landscaping design, including paved walkways, walls, patios, features, and rocks. It is these hardscape elements that make up the foundation and anchor of any good residential landscape.
The expert Grigg Design and build team knows just the way to enhance the appearance of your yard, with just the right mix of design elements. Subtle hardscapes provide fluid continuity that carries through from the second you step out the door, on to the yard, and beyond, to the surrounding wild: A solid, and permanent fixture, contrasted against an ever-changing natural backdrop.
From flagstone walkways, to fire pits, Grigg Design is northern Virginia’s premier landscape builder, serving the needs of clients in Fairfax, Arlington, Manassas, and beyond for 25 years: Hire our expert team to install a single feature such as a garden installation, patio, walkway, retaining wall, etc.; or to manage a project with many facets.
Grigg Design prides itself on our long-lasting, innovative hardscape design, as well as our commitment to excellence in customer services; and that’s why we’re proud to announce we have recently been named northern Virginia’s best landscaping, lawn care, and tree removal service provider by Northern Virginia Magazine.
Grigg Design is a full service landscape design build firm; from conception to completion, our primary focus is providing clients with a finished, fully functional landscape, from design all the way through implementation. No feat is too large or small: Hire the expert team at Grigg Design to install a single feature (maybe a patio, a walkway, or a retaining wall) or to manage a project with many facets. Grigg ‘designs on the human scale’, all while employing the best horticultural engineering practices
As northern Virginia’s Best Landscaping, Lawn Care and Tree Removal service provider, Grigg Design will be featured in this month’s issue of Northern Virginia Magazine, hitting newsstands Thursday, February 23. The publication’s “best of” list is compiled annually in each of 20 categories, including food, kids, services, shopping, weddings and more; nominees are submitted, vetted by staff, and then voted on by readers.
Grigg Design will be on site at the Dulles Expo Center this weekend for the Capital Remodel + Garden Show. Make plans to stop by booth #1246; say hello, and learn more about the range of products and services available to turn your average backyard into a veritable oasis.
Spring installations are happening now! Schedule an in-home consultation today.