Improve Curb Appeal With Fall Landscaping

photoAny Fairfax County homeowner planning to put their home on the market in the near future should give some thought to curb appeal. In a competitive market, having your home show well from the outside can help make a strong first impression.

Fall is a good time to paint and improve landscaping for a couple of reasons. First, the weather is better. No summer humidity to sap your energy. Second, plants seem to do better in the fall.

In the Mid-Atlantic region, fall is the ideal time to feed lawns. Fescue grasses, blue grasses and rye grasses all benefit from fall fertilizing. Fall fertilizer seems to compensate for Northern Virginia’s hot, dry summers.

According to Meadow Farms Nurseries, one of Fairfax County’s largest, grass also has less competition from weeds, insects and disease during the fall because of cooler weather. This allows the grass to use the nutrients from feeding. Fertilizing in the fall will make your lawn healthier so that it can make through next summer’s heat and drought.

Even after the grass stops growing the roots continue to develop, adding strength to your lawn. Thick healthy roots make for thick healthy grass. Grass roots store carbohydrates through the fall and winter that are released in the spring to produce a nice green carpet of grass.

For many of the same reasons, fall is a good time to put out shrubs and trees. Colorful flowers are also a great addition to a home’s landscape or garden. According to Meadow Farms, here are some perennials suitable for fall planting:

Achillea (Yarrow) – Blooms summer to fall and is irresistible to butterflies. Makes a great cut flower and dried flower.

Ajuga (Bugleweed) – Excellent groundcover from sun to full shade, with various foliage colors and beautiful blue flowers in the spring.

Anemone – Fall blooming perennial that comes in a multitude of color. Great in partial shade but will tolerate full sun as well.

Asters – Wonderful fall blooming perennial for the full sun. Easy to grow and deer resistant.

Echinacea (Coneflower) – So many colors now available through breeding over recent years. This staple summer bloomer will give good color through the fall.

Helleborus (Christmas Rose) – Practically an evergreen with very early blooms starting in February and continuing through March. Many new varieties are available in a multitude of colors.

Heuchera (Coral Bells) – This wonderful full shade to part sun perennial has excellent foliage for the fall (as well as the spring and summer). It tolerates dry soil and the deer don’t enjoy this one too.

Sedum – The upright sedum are a classic fall perennial blooming in shades of pink in September and blooming strong into October.

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