Why Fall is the Time to Invest in Your Landscape

Why is Fall a great time to invest in your Landscape?
There are many reasons to do this at any time as it increases personal enjoyment and also adds to your overall property value. But…beyond that, Fall has it’s own reasons for you to take that step.

Frontier Landscaping explains why…
Planting trees and shrubs in fall so that you can reap the benefits come next summer. Success rates are much higher this time of year and maintenance required is lower (since the rain and cool temperatures keep roots moist), and so this is a great time to invest in your landscape.

Turf Health

The fall fertilization is what allows your turf to look beautiful next spring. This is the single most important application of any cool season turf program. (Fescue is considered a cool season grass.) Fall is also the best time for seeding, aerating, de-thatching, and soil health applications.

Color Accents

The fall cycle of installing color is the most under-utilized season and it shouldn’t be. A well-designed fall flower pot planted in September can last until December, which is every bit as good of an investment as summer flowers. Or… A color planter could utilize some of our conifers and other evergreens to last throughout the year…Many additions are possible and add greatly to the value of your Landscapes.

Plant Installation

Landscape plantings are such a gratifying addition to any property. Many people assume if they don’t plant in spring, that they missed their window of opportunity and that’s that. This is another false assumption. Fall temperatures are ideal for planting. Plants are less likely to stress after planting in fall. Fall is also when tree inventories are at their most fresh as a rule. When planting in the fall, there is a greater assurance of success with your selected plants.

Landscape Maintenance

During fall, our Frontier landscape Maintenance crews begin the process of dividing perennials, clearing leaves, fertilizing plants, and pruning for structure. The cooler temperatures also mean that shearing of hedges can commence without the risk of burning the plants. This active maintenance season sets your landscape up for a beautiful spring. If you have sensitive plants, additional mulching can occur to insulate roots and crowns. Without this care, much of the landscape won’t thrive the following year, so taking care of your plants in the Fall helps to ensure a robust and lush season come spring.

Contact us to schedule an appointment and get started on your fall planting

The Fall Season is Lawn Season

When you want to improve your landscaping and increase the amount of grass you have on your property, you have two options… Seed or Sod. Grass seed comes in a variety of different types and allows you to fill in thin areas or grow an entire lawn over the course of one growing season. Sod gives you an instant lawn without any of the waiting that is involved with seeds. Both will produce a lush, green lawn when well cared for, but they do have some differences. Below, we’ll explain these differences to help you make a more informed decision for your property.

Soil Preparation

In both the installation of seed and sod, there is some preparation required for the lawn. In either case, there may need to be the removal of old, dead grass, rocks, tree stumps, or fallen leaves. In both cases, the soil may need to be prepared to handle the addition of the new grass. Adding Gypsum and Lime really help with the soil type in our area and tilling is a must. Nutrients may need to be added to help the grass grow. The cost of this soil preparation is normally included in the cost of the lawn installation, but if the ground is in poor condition, sometimes an additional cost is needed.

Installation

Seed is fairly easy to install once the soil is prepared. The grass seed is added to a spreader and laid evenly over the ground. Then fertilizer and mulch put over it.

Sod can be laid out in rolls or squares.

Both seed and sod have a range of prices depending on the type of grass you select. Seed is less expensive than sod, depending on what soil preparation is needed.  Sod, however, can be more costly, but does give you the advantage of an “Instant Lawn.”

Appearance

Both seed and sod come in a range of different grass type. Seed is typically available in a wider range of options than sod, however, giving you more choices for color, hardiness, and lushness of the lawn.

Seed does take 1 growing season to fill in completely, while sod will give you a new lawn within one day. Because seed takes much longer to cover a lawn completely, weeds can mix in with the grass over time, and may require the use of some type of weed control. Because sod is fully grown grass with no weeds introduced, it doesn’t require the same amount of care.

Planting Season

When adding seed to your lawn,one of the best times of year is during the cooler fall months. The warm days and cool nights help the grass grow quickly, putting down roots that will help it come up stronger and healthier in the spring. Typically we don’t seed after the end of October , starting up again around April due to the Seasonal changes.

Maintenance

Both seed and sod have some degree of maintenance after installation. both will require daily watering for the first two to four weeks to encourage the roots to grow.

Seed may have a greater degree of initial maintenance than sod. Seed also requires daily watering, but it also requires a weaning period from daily watering so that the new grass does not become stunted.

Erosion Control

If the soil in the area you are planting is experiencing erosion, sod can be installed as a form of erosion control.

Seed can be used for this purpose as well but can be less effective short term, as the length of time it takes to put down roots cannot stop erosion quickly enough.

Solving Safety Problems Increases Curb Appeal

Investing in Curb Appeal adds tangible value to your home. Did you know that fixing safety issues increases your home’s curb appeal too??

Is your house the one that didn’t get visited this Halloween?

Improve visibility with better landscape lighting. Replace those garish flood-lights that cast bright spots and deep shadows, with softer lighting to enhance your welcoming front door. Make your front walk visible, placing lights strategically at steps and corners, instead of creating an airport runway to the door. One new trend is Moon-Lighting; mimicking the cast of moonshadows by highlight featured trees and plantings along your front walk. Read more about using low-voltage LEDs and let our design and installation team turn your home from spooky to stunning!

Worried about Winter Winds?

Are you struggling to reach your door, ducking under branches and around that shrub that is swallowing your sidewalk? Proper pruning keeps branches from crashing down in our winter wind storms. Our professionals keep an eye on the health of your trees, noticing any summer drought stress, overgrown branches, or insect damage. Our skilled tree service can assess your tree health, provide fungal/insect treatments, install cabling and bracing, or safely remove any dead or diseased wood. With skilled pruning your trees will be healthier and you can be worry-free.

Narrow, overgrown walkways cramping your style?

Nandina domestica Gulfstream, courtesy Great Plant Picks

Just shearing plants to clear the walk leaves unsightly edges and shortens the life of your landscape investment. Our team keeps an eye out for new plant selections that perform well in our local landscapes. Construction Manager Shaun Schmitt recommends the new Nandina Gulfstream, with its colorful foliage in all seasons, and its compact shape. Native plants are also perfectly suited to our growing conditions, but choosing the ones that work best in urban landscapes requires knowledge of how they grow over time.   Proper plant placement with these considerations in mind, results in a better looking landscape, and safe front walk.

 

Make the Call

Are you ready to for a worry-free winter with curb appeal that functions as well as it looks? We’d love to assess your landscape and help you enjoy your home this winter. Call us for an appointment today at (360) 574-8979

 

Why is Fall the best time to fix your yard?

Fall is an ideal time to fix your landscape with the cool weather. Now that the kids are back in school and have finally picked up their bicycles and soccer balls, you can finally see what your landscape needs without all of that clutter.

  1. Did that pretty Maple tree you got as a house-warming gift shrivel in our hot summer? Plant new trees or shrubs to fill the gap.
  2. Do you get squishy shoes when you go out to the mailbox all winter? Anticipate and resolve drainage problems now, while making the solution beautiful too!
  3. Want a new vegetable garden? Get a jump-start on installing or changing your irrigation, and be ready to plant as soon as it warms up next spring.

Whatever your project, fall is the perfect time to call us.

Summer Shrubs get Stressed

This plant sails through our seasons!  Nandina domestica Gulfstream, courtesy Great Plant Picks, is Shaun’s favorite

Hot, dry weather and bright sunlight causes plants to sunburn and wilt. Plants shut down until the cool weather returns and there is enough water to encourage growth again.   Shaun Schmitt, Construction Manager at Frontier Landscaping, loves planting trees and shrubs in the fall, where the cool temperatures and free irrigation help plants settle into their landscape. “When plants are going into dormancy, there is less stress, and plants can put their effort into growing stronger roots instead of trying to flower.” His new favorite shrub, the trouble-free Gulfstream Nandina, has a compact shape, and requires little maintenance.   Its solid green color is enhanced by bronze new leaves in spring, and changes to copper and gold in the fall. Let our construction team give you a stress-free fall.

Winter Wet isn’t Here Yet

Dry creek bed, drainage solution, solving water problemsNow is the perfect time to solve those drainage problems, before soils become too water-logged to work on. We had an astonishing 45 inches of rainfall last winter, making it the second-wettest winter recorded. For a smart, long-lasting solution, think about installing a dry creek-bed. These stylish drainage solutions work hard, can be planted with locally-adapted plants, and can absorb even the largest volumes of water. Schmitt says, “French Drains can become plugged up with silt and bark-dust over time.” When the creek-bed is installed properly, it slows down the erosion-causing deluge and allows the water to percolate into the ground responsibly, instead of into storm drains or your neighbor’s garage. Then, all you need to do is add beautiful plants for a year-round show! Download this Oregon Rain Garden Guide for some great planting suggestions. Check out examples of our recent work, as seen on the Parade of Homes!

Get the Jump on Spring

sprinkler systems in VancouverWant the juiciest tomatoes next year? Convert that unused section of lawn to a drip-irrigation watered vegetable garden. Dreaming of the lushest lawn, or want to surprise your spouse with beautiful new maple tree? Add new lines to protect your investment. When you make these changes now in the off season, you’ll be ready to go in the spring. Leave the math to us, and we’ll work out the most efficient water-saving layout for your new garden. The best time to plant a tree is ten years ago, and the best time to install spring irrigation is today.   Call our Construction Department to schedule a visit now!

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Simple Landscaping Reminders for Fall

Simple Landscaping Reminders for Fall

The crisp fall mornings remind us that the hard-working summer garden has earned its winter rest.  Sweeping the front walk and gathering leaves is a quiet exercise in mindfulness, and lets us gather our thoughts for the season ahead.  Even though we enjoy our mild weather late into November, we can get occasional freezes and should clear out the irrigation system to prevent cracked pipes.  As Halloween nears, ensuring you have a well-lit paths and driveways will make a cheerful and safe approach.  And don’t forget to do some minor pruning to remove any broken branches or those that crowd and cover paths. These simple landscaping reminders for fall will ensure you have a problem-free winter.

Winterizing irrigation is quick and easy

residential irrigation Vancouver WA

We’re lucky here in the Vancouver area to enjoy long stretches of cool, autumn weather, and we typically don’t get the long hard freezes that cause problems.  However, it’s always wise to unhook your hoses from the faucets, and add a little extra insulation to any pipes that are exposed.  Bring any tender plants in pots up to the porch for extra protection, and buy a bale of hay for extra insulation in the garden.

Plan on shutting down your irrigation system.  Even if you drain out your sprinklers, some water remains and can still freeze and crack your pipes, causing costly and unsightly repairs.  To minimize your risk, call a professional to blow out any remaining water using the right-sized equipment.  We schedule sprinkler winterization from October through early December, but now is a great time to get us on your calendar.

Throw some light on it

It’s also the perfect time to check on your outdoor lighting. Make sure paths are clear and well lit to greet you when you come home from work, and are safe when you have an armload of groceries. For convenience and to save energy, flood lights should be set to come on automatically when you arrive. Properly designed lighting colors and intensity give your home a cheerful welcome.  Using LED lighting for landscaping makes sense, saving energy, and lasting longer than traditional lights.  October is also a great time for stargazing, so a lighting expert can help you determine how to highlight only the areas you need to be safe without being overly bright.

Fall Maintenance Pruning

All the tips for Summer Tree Care still hold true – cut back shrubs after blooming, and prune fruit trees when they become dormant because it’s easier to see where to prune when the leaves drop.  Unfortunately, we’ve also had a prolonged period of drought, so you may have had some branch die-back on a variety of trees and shrubs on your property.  Now is a good time to have a Tree Hazard Risk assessment done before the winter storms come. We’ll look for damaged and overhanging branches, weak branch-joins, and insect or fungal diseases that impact the health of your trees.  Selective pruning can also open the canopy and make trees more resilient to winter storms. Get an expert to assess your landscape before it becomes a bigger problem.

Frontier Landscaping provides exceptional customer service.  Schedule an appointment with our seasoned and reliable crew today.

Solving Water Problems With Dry Creek Beds

Dry creek bed, drainage solution, solving water problems

Dry creek beds provide attractive, functional relief, especially if your landscape is plagued by standing water. In the wet PNW, drainage problems are a common headache. Do any of these sound familiar?

  • Floostanding water in lawnded flower beds
  • Pooling water below a deck
  • Swampy places in the lawn
  • Puddles around a foundation

Leaving drainage issues unaddressed has serious consequences, from dead lawn and plants to costly repairs and decreased property value.

 

The Good News

Frontier Landscaping has years of experience designing and implementing features that effectively carry water away from problem areas. Dry creek beds are star performers, particularly in sloped terrain. They work twice as hard for a landscape by running water from Point A to B, and standing alone as an attractive feature in drier months of the year.

“Even property owners with no drainage issues may choose to install a dry creek bed due to the elements of natural beauty in the way they look.”

dry creek bed with ornamental plantings as an attractive drainage solutioon

 

Controlling Water Flow

Dry creek beds are an excellent choice for addressing places in the landscape that are hard-hit by heavy rains.  While a flat place in the yard may benefit more from a simple lawn drain, gradients and hillsides need the water capacity and speed that a dry creek bed can provide during extreme conditions. Effectively redirecting the flow of water saves you from ongoing erosion and long-term damage.

 

Water-Wise Gardening

When property owners are looking for a greener way to landscape, dry creek beds play an exciting role. Different-sized rocks, boulders, and choice plantings give eye-pleasing texture to outdoor spaces, but require much less water than an expanse of lawn. While bark dust alone can look flat, a dry creek bed introduces definition and contrast. It’s aesthetically pleasing and earth-friendly — a winning combination.

 

Dry Creek Beds for Natural Beauty

We regularly install dry creek beds to add natural beauty to a landscape. Expertly balancing a few key ingredients (a natural shape, native plantings, multiple sizes of stone) brings a natural, organic flow to an area. The results are breathtaking in any season, wet or dry.  

 

Additional Considerations

No two landscapes are exactly alike, and the solution that works for one may not work for another.  While dry creek beds are particularly suited to slopes and hillsides, they aren’t usually the best choice for flat ground.

Other elements, like French drains, catch basins, and lawn drains also have a part to play — and that’s just the beginning. Frontier’s installation team has years of experience solving drainage problems for local property owners.  

 

French drain pipe and garden path installation

French drain pipe (L), installed as a garden path (R). 

 

French drains are a functional solution for flat terrain and less water. They often have a part to play in designing an overall solution for moving water in a landscape. Read more about them here.

 

surface water catch basin diagram

 

Ranging in size from 6 to 24 inches, catch basins can be square or circular. These grated drains are typically placed alongside a driveway or in a low or sloped spot in the yard or hardscaping, like a patio. This is a straightforward fix for diverting water away from wet spots. A blend of rocks around it allows the catch basin to blend in with the landscape.

From basic to beautiful, there are many combinations of elements we can put to work that provide an effective long-term solution for drainage issues in your landscape.

Ready to learn how can we help you solve your standing water problems? Call (360) 574-8979 or email us for a consultation. We’ll work with you to protect your landscape with the right drainage solution to meet your needs.

Find more inspiration for dry creek beds and landscape design by visiting us on Houzz!

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