Annapolis Landscape Design
24 Nutwell Rd, Lothian,
MD, 20711
Mon-Fri: 8am-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

18 Aug 2016

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
Refreshed Bed after Cultivation









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!

29 Jun 2016

How is your Lawn Reacting to the Heat?

Summer heat and dry weather have arrived.  With the change in the weather we are seeing a lot of lawns suffer from the lack of moisture if there is no irrigation system in place.  In irrigated lawns, we are also seeing turf suffer from over-watering or improperly adjusted systems.  An irrigation system that is not set up properly will over water areas and/or not apply enough water in other areas.  Too much water is often times more harmful to turf than not enough water.  If you over water, you are not only wasting water, you are welcoming diseases that will kill your turf.  This damage is expensive to repair and may require a complete renovation.

Turf and all plants for that matter, need air space in the soil to breathe (exchange gases) and if these spaces are filled with an abundance of water (from over watering)  the plants suffocate and die.  One extremely important component of any irrigation system is the rain sensor.  This sensor will shut off the system during a rain event to help prevent over-watering.

How do you tell if you have problem with your system not watering enough or not working properly?

If you see small areas of your turf in circular patterns turning brown you may have a sprinkler that is out of adjustment or clogged.  If a large area is brown and the rest of the lawn is green you may have a problem with one of your valves.  If your entire lawn is brown you may have a problem with the controller or rain sensor.

Burn spot on grass from lack of watering
Burn spot on grass from lack of watering

How do you tell if your system is watering too much?

If after your irrigation system runs you have standing water or water comes up around your feet when you walk on the turf you are putting out too much water.  Your turf may also feel soft and spongey if it is too wet.  Areas of your lawn turning yellow or thinning out could be a result of too much water.  If areas of your lawn begin to rapidly decline and die it is most likely a disease that could be caused by too much water.

Over-saturated lawn due to an excess of watering
Over-saturated lawn due to an excess of watering

Spongy, wet turf due to leak in irrigation system

Spongy, wet turf due to leak in irrigation system

It is extremely important to properly maintain your system to promote and maintain a healthy landscape.  The experts at Exterior Image are equipped with the knowledge and tools to adjust and maintain your irrigation system at its optimum level. Contact us at 410-956-1344 to have your irrigation system check scheduled today.