Landscape Design and Install
Let our team at Green Acres transform your yard into a beautiful landscape that makes coming home a wonderful treat at the end of the day. During your free estimate appointment, we will talk with you to find out more about the look you are trying to achieve, for instance:
- Do you want something easy to maintain or do you enjoy gardening?
- Are there special plants, shrubs, or trees that have special meaning to you that you want to incorporate into the design?
- Do you want to incorporate Virginia native plants or pollinator plants?
- Do you want to leave room for annuals you enjoy planting throughout the year?
After the estimate, we invite you to come to one of our garden centers and meet with our team who can show you various plant, shrub, and tree options that were discussed in your appointment. You’ll have the opportunity to feel, smell, and see how the recommended plants can be arranged. It’s also a good way to find other options that you may want to incorporate. Creating a new landscape is a big decision and we’re here to walk you through each step of the way.
Following the instructions listed below will result in ultimate germination.
I. When to Start Watering
a. Upon completion of the lawn installation hoses should be set up and watering schedule should begin. (If the lawn is hydro seeded, the lawn should set for one day until it is dry enough to walk on)
b. If the lawn is seeded during drought conditions, it is possible to set up the hoses and hold off the first watering until the first rain. Upon getting a rain fall the watering program must start immediately and follow these instructions. This period of waiting should be no longer then 7-10 days. Upon no rainfall in 7-10 days start the watering program.
II. Sprinkler Set-Up
a. When setting up your sprinkler system locate as many hoses and sprinklers as possible. This will reduce the amount of walking on the lawn during watering applications.
b. The average residential property can run only one sprinkler at one time from a hose bib; however by using “Y” valves at the water facet many hoses can be set up and make changing sprinklers very simple. (Talk to your Green Acres Landscaping contact person for more details)
c. Sprinklers should overlap each other at the edges to water all areas. When setting up the sprinklers remember any area not getting watered will not germinate.
III. Frequency of Watering Application
a. Upon starting the watering program the entire lawn area must be watered every day.
b. Each sprinkler will vary in application rate, however generally 30 minutes per sprinkler two or three times a day should be sufficient. Water the lawn areas until the soil is soft but do not allow runoff from excessive watering, hose and sprinkler leakage. The lawn areas where the sprinklers water will be very wet when finished watering so this will make moving sprinklers difficult. See sprinkler set-up.
c. The lawn area should be evenly wet under the entire sprinkler area. Different sprinklers have adjustments to allow even distribution. You do not want “rings” of heavy watering around the sprinkler. This will cause uneven germination and void Green Acres Landscaping’s warranty.
d. Water ALL lawn areas every day until the lawn germinates and grows to 3”.
e. Failure to water the lawn on a regular basis will effect the lawn germination. Do not stop watering the lawn at any time during this period. Upon the grass seed germinating and drying out, the seed will die and reduce the quality of your lawn. Failure to water every day will void the warranty by Green Acres Landscaping.
IV. Germination Timeline
a. Seed germination will vary depending on seed varieties. For example, some species of Annual Grasses can germinate in as few as 6-10 days. However, some species of Blue Grass will take 21-28 days. Due to the spectrum of germination time, it is very important to water the lawn continuously according to the above frequency schedule.
b. Failure to water the lawn continuously will result in less germination and void the warranty by Green Acres Landscaping.
V. First Lawn Mowing
a. Upon your new lawn growing to an average of 3” it is time to perform the first cutting.
b. Prior to mowing your lawn the first time, allow the lawn to dry out just so the lawn mower will not leave ruts in the lawn. This drying period should be no more then 48 hours.
c. Set your lawn mower at 2.5” and mow your lawn carefully. The grass is young and not well rooted so it will tear up easily.
d. Bagging your grass clippings at this stage is a good idea. This will remove any weed seeds from being distributed back on the lawn. Your grass blades will be very wet and heavy from the watering you have done over the past few weeks so bagging will reduce the clipping debris
e. Immediately after the first cutting you should apply an application of Starter Fertilizer. Reading and following the recommended application rate on the bag of fertilizer is very important. Over fertilizing may burn the grass plants so use caution when applying. This application can be performed by Green Acres Landscaping, please talk to your contact person to schedule your application.
f. Upon mowing your lawn for the first time it is important to begin watering immediately. Mowing the lawn will allow sunlight to the soil surface, which will warm the soil and dry it out. It is not healthy for the lawn to allow the grass to grow taller then 4” as when you cut your lawn you will stress it by cutting off excessive shoot growth.
VI. Post First Lawn Mowing Water Frequency
a. Up to this point you should have watered your lawn two or three times per day. Now the grass plants will help to shade the soil, which will help to retain soil moisture. You should now water your entire lawn every other day.
b. You should continue to water your lawn every other day until your second cutting. When your lawn is ready for the second cutting once again allow the lawn to dry out for 48 hours prior to cutting. Cut the lawn and immediately water.
c. You may now cut your watering back to every third day. Continue this schedule until your lawn is full. Remember do not cut your lawn or excessively walk on it when it is wet. This will remain true for the first 1 year.
VII. Healthy Lawn Practices for Your Lawn
There are many healthily lawn practices you may follow to maintain a healthy lawn. Below are a few practices listed and why they are beneficial. A Complete Fertilization Program – Fertilization is perhaps a very important part of maintaining a healthy lawn, however it is not the only ingredient needed. Fertilizing your lawn on regular intervals will provide essential nutrients for vigorous plant development. Similar to human health we understand we must provide our bodies with good nutritional foods to grow and function. A lawn will react similar to fertilizer only if it is made available to the grass plants. Nitrogen the most common nutrient for a healthy lawn leaches out of the soil rapidly, therefore requiring regular replenishment. To make this food available two other key ingredients are needed. The presence of water and oxygen will complete the key necessary ingredients.
Regular Irrigation – Irrigation of an established lawn area is very important. Just like the human body, grass plants need water to survive. Grass plants will go dormant if not provided with sufficient water and can die if not established with a good root system. This water must be able to move into the root zone of the grass plant so it can be taken up by the fibrous roots. A good rule of thumb is one inch of water per week. This should be done over two or three waterings. To calculate the amount of water your lawn is receiving place a rain gauge at the edge of the lawn and measure the amount of water that your sprinkler is providing. If it rains you can subtract the rain fall amount from your weekly watering.
Irrigation can also be effected by soil compaction. Heavily compacted soil will result in water washing off and will not allow penetration into the soil. Soil compaction can be modified by several practices; the most common would be core aeration. Core aeration will also allow oxygen exchange with the roots. Your contact person at Green Acres Landscaping can help you choose your best method of reducing soil compaction for your site.
Cutting Height – Cutting height of a lawn can affect the overall health of a lawn. The leaf tissue of grass blades contains chlorophyll, which uses the suns energy to photosensitize and make food for the plant. By cutting a lawn very short you reduce the ability of the leaf tissue to make food so it is important to feed the lawn regularly with sufficient nutrients. Cutting height can also provide natural weed control for healthy lawns. By cutting the lawn slightly higher the longer leaf blades of the grass shade the soil. By shading the soil the soil temperature is cooler and does not allow optimal germination temperatures for weed seeds.
Recycling Grass Clippings – You have probably heard that by leaving the grass clippings on the lawn you are recycling the nutrients back into the grass plants. This is true; however recycling grass clippings in large quantities can have adverse effects on a lawn. If a lawn is fed very high nitrogen the leaf structure of the plant will grow very rapidly. Thus causing frequent mowing. By leaving high volumes of clippings, they tend to build up at the soil level. A build up of clippings at the soil level is called Thatch. Too much Thatch will reduce oxygen exchange to the roots and reduce the ability for the clippings to break down. Recycling of grass clippings can be very beneficial to a lawn if monitoring is done to regulate the amount of thatch build up. Your contact person at Green Acres Landscaping can help you choose your best method of reducing thatch.
Weeds, Insects and Disease – Through careful management many weeds, insects and diseases can be avoided. There are however, many weeds, insects and diseases, which require special product applications. For individual analysis of your lawn, call your Green Acres Landscaping representative to schedule an appointment for your specific needs.
Plant Care Instructions
Listed below are a few suggestions to help maintain your new landscape. We have carefully chosen the finest growers available and inspected the plant material to assure you that your new plants are healthy and free of disease. Now, we want to help you keep it that way and to grow it to maturity. The first months or so are the most critical for your new plants. It is during this time that proper watering is most important to the establishment of newly plant trees, shrubs and perennials. It is essential that the following instructions be completed so as not to void the warranty.
WATERING Trees and Shrubs with Gator Bags: Fill the bags every 2 days in hot weather and every 3-4 days in cool weather.
B&B Trees and Shrubs: Thoroughly soak every 2 days in hot weather and every 4 days in cool weather. Container Trees, Shrubs and Perennials- Thoroughly soak every 2 days in hot weather and every 4 days in cool weather.
Sod and Annuals: Water daily after installation for 30 days. In extremely hot weather, sod may need to be watered 2 times a day (early morning and late evening). Sod should be soaking wet to prevent the edges from drying out. Weather and soil conditions determine how much water your plants require, common sense should prevail. If you are unsure first check soil moisture 6” deep then please call us to discuss your questions. Excessive watering can cause root loss and death of plant. Water plants at a rate where the water can be absorbed. High volume watering of plants results in runoff. Slow water applications can be absorbed into the soil.
FERTILIZER Fertilizing at planting time is not recommended. Instead, use a root stimulator. Begin a regular feeding program the next growing season with an appropriate fertilizer.
MULCHING If mulching was included in the planting, no additional mulch should be required until the following year. At that time it may be necessary to add some mulch to the thin spots or a thin top dressing of 1-2”. This is important to all plants since mulching reduces evaporation, lowers soil temperature and helps prevent competitive weed growth. If our planting did not include mulching, we recommend that 3” of mulch be applied. This will save a lot of weeding time and help the plant growth.
SPRAYING Your plants will be insect and disease free when planted. If in the future the plants need to be treated for any insects or diseases problems, do not hesitate to give us a call if you need help choosing the right formula or program.
PRUNING Almost all shrubs and trees can be pruned when dormant; usually in late winter just before spring growth begins. The exceptions to this are forsythia, lilac, flowering dogwood and some other spring flowering plants. Pruning at any other time may result in loss of flower buds and hence, no flowers. If you have questions on what or when to prune just give us a call or email. Since soil and light conditions vary greatly from area to area, it is impossible to set specific maintenance standards. You must use common sense in the maintenance of you specific material.
The Green Acres Difference
We use at least 3 gallon shrubs whereas other landscapers only use 1 gallon.
All plants, shrubs, and trees are warrantied for one year from the date Green Acres performed the install.
Our prices are competitive compared to other nurseries and big box stores.