Annapolis Landscape Design
24 Nutwell Rd, Lothian,
MD, 20711
Mon-Fri: 7am-4pm
28 Sep 2016

Fall Maintenance for Your Turf & Landscape

As the summer wraps up and fall begins, you may not be thinking spring flowers just yet. However, NOW is the time to prepare your turf and landscape for successful seasons next year. Many of the services we do during fall maintenance have a direct impact on how your landscape performs in the future.

One of the most common mistakes we see homeowners make is pruning their trees, shrubs, and perennials at the wrong time of year. If plants are pruned too late in the growing season, new growth does not have time harden off before the winter becoming susceptible to injury and dieback.

Landscape beds should be cleaned out and any tired perennials, flowers, or grasses should be cut back and removed. Existing mulch can be cultivated to allow for air and water movement during fall maintenance (see photo below). Additional mulch may be needed to properly insulate the roots and protect them during the cold winter months. New mulch adds color to your landscape and will look fresh for the winter.

Refreshed Bed after Cultivation

Throughout the fall and the winter, leaves need to be removed from the beds on a regular basis. Any leaves that are left in the beds create a breeding ground for disease and an excellent over-wintering location for insects. These leaves should be composted or chopped up and dispersed throughout the yard to provide vital nutrients. If you do have a lot of trees, we would suggest to remove and dispose of offsite.

Your turf needs special attention as well.  As discussed in my earlier post, now is the time to aerate and over-seed your lawn. Aerating will reduce compaction, help eliminate thatch, and allow for the proper exchange of water, nutrients, and air.

During the fall and early winter, your turf is working hard to rebuild its root system and stock pile energy for next year. Fall fertilizers provide nutrients to fuel this regrowth. It is also important to remove leaves and debris from the turf to help prevent disease.

With proper planning and maintenance during the fall, you lay the necessary building blocks to maintain a healthy and vibrant landscape all year long.

Contact the professionals at Exterior Image to step up a consultation and plan for your landscape this fall.

By: Corey Rill, Maintenance and Garden Manager

08 Sep 2016
Shade Garden Plant

So How Do You Garden in the Shade?

As you look around your landscape to decide which areas to focus on this fall, don’t neglect the shady spots.  Although planting in the shade can be challenging, shade gardens can add color, depth, and beauty to your landscape.

Shade gardening requires one to forgo some of the traditional garden elements, such as sun-loving perennial flowers, in favor of focusing on variations in texture, structure, and foliage color.  In addition, you must pick plants that can survive the conditions and use different planting techniques.  Fortunately, there are many options.  Here are a few things to keep in mind as you design:

Plant Layers:

A dynamic shade garden includes at least two—and usually more—layers of plants.  For example, a background layer may include 5 large Oak leaf Hydrangeas (Hydrangea q.), a middle layer could consist of 9 Fothergilla shrubs, and a front layer may consist of 13 Japanese Fountain Grass (Hakone), 13 Hellebore, and 13 Coral Bells (Heuchera).

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Dense Plant:

Use large quantities for the most part and plant them slightly closer than the tag directions call for.  Since plants in the shade tend to grow slowly, close planting will not only create a lush garden look, but also help to shade out weeds, cutting down on garden maintenance and competition.

Add Structure:

With all those plants and textures filling up your shade garden, it is wise to consider adding a structure to give the space a focus and allow the eye to rest.  This can be a large container, fountain, sculpture, or other man-made object, but it can also be a large shrub or small tree with good strong lines such as a Dogwood (Cornus fl.), Redbud (Cercis c.), or Witch Hazel (Hamamelis).

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If you would like your shade gardens to be professionally designed by Exterior Image, contact us today for a free consultation!

Happy Gardening!!