Annapolis Landscape Design
24 Nutwell Rd, Lothian,
MD, 20711
Mon-Fri: 7am-4pm
26 Oct 2016
Garden

6 Must-Dos in Your Garden this Fall

After a wonderful September, fall is finally in the air.  There is a chill at night, the sky looks different and the garden is coming to a halt for the season.  It is easy to begin to look towards other projects around the house, but do not neglect your prized outdoor space. Just as gardens are opened up for business in the spring, they need to be closed down in the fall.

The following 6 tips are must dos in your garden this fall:

  1. Cut Back, Divide, and Replant your Favorite Perennials.
    • Serious spring gardeners know this work done will pay high dividends in the spring. If you’re perennial garden has not been divided in the past 4-5 years or ever, now is the best time to maximize your investment after a high growing season due to all the rain.
  2. Take Soil Samples.
    • Is the color of your garden as rich and vibrant as you imagined? Your soil may be depleted of the essential nutrients that produce the color and growth you envision. Whether it is your vegetable, small fruit or flower garden, it is important to take the appropriate soil samples. One of our professionals can take a proper soil sample and have it analysed by a reputable lab that will provide a detailed analysis of what to do next.
  3. Fertilize.
    • Applications of slow release fertilizers will work into the soil profile. Here, the roots are growing and storing essential nutrients for early spring growth. An organic slow release nutrient will work with the natural soil biological organisms to enhance the growth potential in your favorite garden flower beds next year.
  4. Insecticide Applications.
    • Azalea, Rhododendron, Pieris, Cotoneaster, and Amelanchier are fantastic early spring bloomers that require special attention now. Susceptible to the Lacebug insect, this insect uses its piercing-sucking mouth to suck sugars throughout the summer leaving a whitish stippling cast to the leaves. Plants in full sun are prominently more affected than those in shaded areas. Treatment this fall can protect your investment for up to 2 years. Make applications that will result in enhanced color and performance on these favorite spring bloomers.
  5. Stop Overwintering.
    • Fall is a critical time to inspect small shrubs and trees for scale insects. Indian Wax Scale, Magnolia Scale and Hemispherical Scale are prevalent now. Mature females are protecting eggs underneath her coverings. Treatment now can interfere with overwintering of the young and allocate essential within the plant the systemic pesticide activity to protect growth next year.
  6. Boxwood Damage Control.
    • English Boxwood is a favorite among gardeners. Unfortunately, the insect Boxwood Leafminer Larvae has probably already infected your plant. Eggs laid in June are developing into larvae that are eating the interior layers of the plant leaf cells producing a blistering, off-yellow color look. Treatment this fall is critical in control to kill larvae that will feed through the winter into early spring. Adults hatch in May/June in the Maryland area, which can be reduced by a fall application of Imidacloprid soil insecticide now.

Still yearning to spend time outdoors?? If so, we would suggest the installation of a patio and fire pit. We believe there is no better way to spend cool fall evenings than beside a fire! So, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at 410-956-1344! We would love to meet with you and discuss some great ideas for your outdoor living spaces!

By: Corey Childs, Business Development

28 Sep 2016
Front Landscape

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!!

18 Aug 2016
Landscape Maintenance

Landscape Maintenance Tips for the Fall Season

If you are like most homeowners, your lawn is showing signs of the long, hot summer.  We have had over 35 days at or above 90 degrees, which is much higher than normal.  As a result, your lawn is probably thinning and/or turning brown in areas, which is allowing weeds to germinate.  If you do not have an irrigation system, your lawn may be turning brown because it is going dormant.  With the cooler temperatures of fall on the way, your lawn may recover on its own, but in order to have the best turf possible, a fall landscape maintenance plan needs to be developed and implemented.  Exterior Image, Inc. is now scheduling fall maintenance including aerating, overseeding, and fertilization programs.

Lawn at Exterior Image home office after a HOT summer

Aeration & Overseeding

One of the most important landscape maintenance practices in the fall is aeration and overseeding your lawn.  Aeration has many benefits that improve the growing conditions and overall health of the turf.  This process opens the soil allowing for proper air movement, helps break down the organic layer at the surface, reduces compaction and provides good soil to seed, contact to promote seed germination.  Proper seed selection is important to make sure the right seed is used in the right location.  Some seed does much better in full sun and some does better in shade.

Aeration reduces compaction and allows proper air movement in turf

Lawn Fertilization

Fall is also the most important time of the year to fertilize your lawn.  Fertilizing in the fall promotes a full stand of turf and encourages a deep root system, which will help your turf stand up to the summer stress next year.  Included in fall fertilization is an application of lime.  Lime helps to maintain a proper soil pH.  If the pH of soil is too high or low it can affect the availability of nutrients to the turf.

Contact the turf experts at Exterior Image, Inc. to schedule your free onsite consultation to develop a plan to rehabilitate your lawn.

Mulch Cultivation

Is your mulch looking tired and worn out?  Have weeds started to germinate and take over your beds?

Tired Mulch Bed
Before
Refreshed Bed after Cultivation
After

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fall mulch cultivation can refresh the appearance of the mulch and this is also a great time to weed your beds.  Cultivation breaks down a matting that naturally occurs throughout the season, improves water and air penetration, and aids in the natural decomposition of the mulch which provides vital nutrients to the plants. Mulch cultivation is a landscape maintenance service that is sure to make your garden plants flourish this season and for seasons to come.

A ‘light’ mulch top-dress is recommended after cultivation to insulate roots as we head into the winter months.  The additional mulch will also improve the aesthetics of your plant beds.

Don’t wait! For best results, it is recommended that your fall landscape maintenance is completed by mid to late November!

Contact the landscape experts at Exterior Image, Inc. to schedule your aeration & overseeding, fertilization, mulch cultivation, fall clean-ups and more!