The days are shorter and colder, and soon everything will freeze. Everything except your plants, you hope. Protecting your garden from the frost is as simple as covering and keeping it warm, but also a complex task that begins with a proactive effort:
It’s important to consider elevation, soil properties, cover, as well as the proximity of hardscape structures and other plants when planning your garden. Cold-sensitive greenery should not be planted in open areas, or in the low lying spots where cold air settles; instead, plant them near a south- or west-facing retaining wall. Fences and shrubs can serve the same purpose to absorb light and heat.
Wet soil retains heat far better than dry soil, and so regular watering during the winter months will keep your plants’ roots safe and warm.
Bed sheets, plastic sheets, drop cloths, and even blankets can be used to cover and protect your plants most vulnerable to the cold. Use a protective covering overnight or on especially frigid days, but then be sure to take it off again when temperatures rise. (Mulch, straw, or composted leaves can be used in a pinch, when a quick cold snap strikes.
Think of this as when people huddle together for warmth; the concept is the same. Provide protection from the elements, and shelter. If possible, bring container plants inside.
Some succulents thrive in cold weather, while others are more sensitive. In Fairfax and surrounding areas, where winter temperatures drop and stay below freezing, Grigg Design recommends planting succulents in pots so they can be relocated when necessary; not overwatering; and leaving damaged leaves in place to protect lower foliage.
Perhaps most important to remember is this: Plants are resilient. If at any point you see signs of frost damage, don’t overreact. Wait a while, as it’s not until the weather begins to warm again in March that plants will grow healthy and new, or succumb to the frost.
Fall is For Fairfax Landscaping
If there’s a time to start a landscaping project in Fairfax, it’s right now. In the fall. Just ask any professional: The plants will endure less stress, and do quite well as they lie dormant all winter. Come spring, these same plants will have become accustomed to the cold, and will thrive as the short, cold days grow longer and warmer.
And that’s not even to mention the spring rush as everyone hurriedly prepares their homes and themselves for summer’s first hurrah in May. When you call Grigg Design to have your landscape and hardscaping projects started today, you’ll be ready to entertain — no waiting, no construction, just menu planning. (Maybe you’ll even get lucky: Hope for a mild winter, and you might be able to enjoy your new patio, sitting wall or fire pit right through the cooler months.
Looking for a little inspiration?
Take a glimpse at a few of our current projects:
For a beautiful lawn in the spring, start your Fairfax landscaping project now.
Call Grigg Design at 703-368-7539 to discuss your ideas; we are northern Virginia’s landscaping and hardscaping experts, proudly serving the counties of Fairfax, Arlington, Prince William, Loudoun, and surrounding areas.
Fall is your favorite season of all; the days are warm, but the nights are crisp. Wrapped up in a cozy sweater as soon as the sun goes down, all you want to do is sit outside as a cool breeze blows through the trees, the faintest glimmer of stars twinkling in the night sky above.
With a warm beverage, and marshmallows for roasting, yep, tonight’s all about the fire pit. You can’t wait to light that fire, but first, heed a few important tips:
For nearly 30 years, we have been providing award winning hardscape designs and installations to clients in Fairfax, Arlington, Alexandria, Prince William County and the surrounding areas. Ask around, and your neighbors will tell you:
Grigg Design offers retaining wall design and construction throughout Northern VA.
Runoff and soil erosion are big problems that plague many northern Virginia homeowners like you. You’re sick of it, and looking for a solution that’s effective but also stylish… Grigg Design can help.
Protect your property and enhance the aesthetic beauty of your landscape all at the same. When you work together with Grigg Design’s northern VA hardscaping experts, we’ll consider the slope of your yard and your style too, to design and construct a functional — and also quite beautiful retaining wall.
Maybe a retaining wall constructed of dry stack stone is right for you, or you might prefer a concrete modular wall that has been veneered to resemble stone. Maybe the retaining wall of your dreams is capped with flagstone, or an all-natural look is more your style.
Once we’ve come up with a retaining wall design that works for your yard, we’ll begin the construction and installation process, which could include everything from your most basic retaining wall build, to drainage installation, laying in rock garden beds and more.
No matter how large or small, simple or extravagant the retaining wall project, Grigg Design can help minimize the affects of soil erosion in your yard while also helping you realize all of your northern VA hardscaping dreams.
If you’re ready to consider retaining wall installation…
You’ve come to the right place! Serving customers in Manassas, Fairfax, Arlington, Alexandria, and all of northern Virginia, Grigg Design demonstrates an exemplary dedication to customer support, with the experience necessary to transform your home with a practical, one-of-a-kind retaining wall design.
Location, Location, Location!
So you just had your Father’s Day cookout, and realized your yard wasn’t nearly as attractive as you remembered. There’s crispy perennials in the hot sun, spindly shrubs in the shade, and that overgrown tree 5 feet from your house. You water the flowers every day, load the shrubs with fertilizer, and trim the tree every year, but nothing helps. What gives?!
Location and site selection of the plant material you use are key to having a successful landscape.
Site selection can go beyond a shady location and a sunny spot. There are many factors to consider when designing your landscape. Here are just a few.
-Soil: Get a soil test kit from any Fairfax County Library. (There is a small fee of $10.00) You can analyze the soil composition, and pinpoint exactly what you need for specific plants. Beyond the chemical composition, you should look at the physical composition as well. Is it compacted clay with poor drainage with little oxygen, or is it sandy/rocky with great drainage? Certain plants can tolerate wet roots, others will not.
-Mature Size: How large will the plant be at full maturity? It’s important you check the size a plant will be once it is fully established, so it doesn’t overtake the plants around it. Simply pruning a plant every year to maintain a certain size is time consuming, and detrimental to the health of the plant. (Unless your plan is for a Bonsai Garden)
-Sheltered: Are you planting in a location that is sheltered from strong winds? Even on a cloudy day, your plants can lose water through transpiration when there is a constant and strong breeze. If you are landscaping in a windy location, try using plants that are drought resistant. Look for leaves with waxy cuticle, typically characteristic of a rigid shiny leaf. Plants that have smaller or less leaves also help, because the decreased surface area reduces water loss.
There are several more factors that go into a proper landscape, including the possibility of land clearing and excavating.
For now, keep these in mind and it will limit the maintenance of your landscape, as well as increase its overall health. Healthy plants are better at fending off and surviving infections and insect attack. Less maintenance means more time to enjoy life!
If you want an established professional to do the work for you, contact Grigg Design of Northern Virginia at (703)368-7539 to design and install your landscape!