- Planting and Hardscaping in Northern Virginia
- Inspiration from the Historic Oatlands Plantation in Leesburg
- Is Your Landscape Barbecue Ready?
- Landscape Your Home With Trees and Shrub Plantings
- Winter Landscaping Ideas To Liven Up Your Vienna, VA Home
- Add Rocks to Your Northern Virginia Landscape For Natural Beauty and Function
- Landscaping Style Guide for Northern Virginia Character
- Spring Landscaping Tips For Your Northern Virginia Home
- The Importance Of Choosing A Landscape Design Company For Your Northern Virginia Home
- The Basics Of A Dry Stone Retaining Wall Right For Your Northern Virginia Home
- Create an Outdoor Living Space Through Landscaping
- For the Best Results Match Your Landscaping With the Style of Your Northern Virginia Home
- Incorporating Loose Stone and Rock into Your Northern Virginia Landscape
- Container Gardens Enhance Even the Smallest of Outdoor Spaces
- Rock Gardens Add Low-Maintenance Beauty to Your Northern Virginia Landscape
- How to Augment Your Centreville, Potomac, or Woodbridge Landscape with Stone Walls
- Create Usable Space with a Multi-Level Landscape
- Ten Mistakes to Avoid in Designing Your Landscape
- Extending Spring Cleanup to Your Northern Virginia Property
- Importance of Erosion Landscaping and Drainage In Residential Northern Virginia
- Retaining Walls Both an Aesthetic and Functional Landscape Feature
- Different Elements in Your Landscape Add Interest
- Landscaping in Northern Virginia: Rake or Mulch for a Better Lawn?
- Installing A Soaker Hose
- Reduce the Time Spent Weeding Your Flowerbeds This Summer
- Pruning Shade Trees on Your Newington, VA Property
- Are Underground Sprinklers Right For Your Northern Virginia Lawn?
- Protect Your Northern Virginia Landscape and Plants From Salt and Chemicals this Winter
- Essential Tips for Lawn Mowing Safety
- Rake Your Northern Virginia Yard without Straining Your Back
- Using Vinegar as a Natural Weed Killer
- Smart Watering Tips for Your Lawn
- Pruning 101
- How To Create A Pristine Northern Virginia Landscape
Ponds and Water Features
- Tips on Removing Suds from your Outdoor Water Feature at your Northern Virginia Home
- The Basics of Landscaping and Water Features For Your Great Falls, VA Home
- Add Curb Appeal with Stepping Stones Leading to a Water Feature on you Aldie, VA Property
- Winterizing Your Northern Virginia Small Water Feature
- What is a Formal Water Feature and How Can One Complement Your Landscape?
- Types of Water Plants for Your Northern Virginia Pond
- Adding a Pond or Water Feature To Your Northern Virginia Property
- Bring Life To Your Northern Virginia Pond or Water Feature
- Issues Surrounding Your Northern Virginia Pond or Water Feature
Lighting, Ornaments and Materials
- Are You Considering Outdoor Lighting For Your Middleburg, VA Home? Read This!
- Consider Masonry Projects When Designing Your Newington, VA Landscape
- Choosing the Right Material for Your Outdoor Planters
- Shedding Some Light on Outdoor Lighting
- Incorporating Garden Ornaments in Your Landscape
- The Benefits of Using River Rock in Your Northern Virginia Landscape
Livestock and Wildlife
- Build a Wildlife Oasis With Creative Landscaping
- Landscaping Your Northern Virginia Grounds To Attract More Birds
- Create A Butterfly Garden For Your Northern Virginia Landscape
- Add Interest to Your Landscape With Hummingbirds
- How to Protect Your Northern Virginia or Maryland Garden from Pesky Rabbits
- Landscaping for the Birds
- How to Care for Your Koi Fish
- Ways to Keep Deer from Dining in Your Yard
All About Plants
- Inspiration for Your Landscape from Huntley Meadows, Virginia (near Alexandria)
- Great Flowering Shrubs and Bushes To Enhance Your Home Landscaping
- Consider Shrubs For Added Home Security
- The Best Time To Plant Shrubs On Your Newington, VA Property
- Landscaping Plants That Are Easy To Grow In Northern Virginia Gardens
- Watering Systems For Your Northern Virginia Home And Garden
- Plants Need Water To Survive
- Tips For Planting A Rose Garden At Your Northern Virginia Home
- Topiary for Beginners
- Adding Color to Your Landscape
- Choosing the Right Plants for Pool-Side Landscaping
- Starting Your First Northern Virginia Vegetable Garden
- The Benefits of “Greenscaping” Your Northern Virginia or Maryland Yard
- What Are Native Plants and Why Are They Important?
- Landscaping Tips for your Vienna VA Home: Create a Compost Pile
- 9 Tips for a Glorious Landscape All Year ‘Round
- Rejuvenating Your Home Garden: Decorating Tips
Decks and Patios
- Fun on the Fourth: Party on the Patio
- Benefits of A Flagstone Patio For Your Vienna, VA Backyard
- Cabinets and Sinks For Your Northern Virginia Outdoor Kitchen
- Taking Your Kitchen Outside Add another dimension to your Northern Virginia home
- Patio Design With Urns and Planters Virginia Style
- Keep Your Northern Virginia Deck Colorful Throughout the Winter Months
- Using Focal Points in Patio Design
- Design Your Patio to Be an Outdoor Extension of Your Northern Virginia Home
- Brick Pattern Ideas for Your Northern Virginia Patio
- Flagstone Patios Bring Natural Beauty to Your Northern Virginia Landscape
- Spring Patio Decorating Tips
Landscaping in Northern Virginia: Rake or Mulch for a Better Lawn?
The beauty of fall brings with it all those colorful leaves. The downside is that thick layers of leaves deprive lawns of much-needed sunlight and foster disease on even the healthiest of lawns. Raking and/or mulching leaves throughout the fall season are an important part of good lawn maintenance. And you get to decide what’s best – raking, mulching or both – when it comes to the care of the landscaping at your Northern Virginia home.
Step 1: Decide what to rake and what to mulch. A thick layer of leaves around trees and beneath shrubs and bushes will protect their root systems over winter. (Remember to keep leaves a couple of inches away from the actual tree trunks.) Cover perennial flower beds with a layer of mulched leaves to enhance the nutrient level of the soil and help plants weather the frigid temperatures.
Step 2: Use a push mower to chop leaves into dime-size pieces. Mulched leaves can be gathered, composted or, more easily, left on the lawn as organic matter. Up to 18 inches of dry leaves can be mulched with any standard rotary mower, though it may take several passes to break the leaves down. Mow over the leaves multiple times until a good half-inch of grass is peeping up from beneath the mulched leaves. Please note that we don’t recommend waiting until the leaves are 18” or more to begin the mulching with your mower. Mowing to mulch is better done early and often.
Step 3: If mulching is not an option, traditional raking of leaves is far more effective for the average home owner than attempting the job with a blower or leaf vacuum. Move your feet, not your arms, when you rake. Pull the leaves along with you as you walk backward. Avoid back problems by not twisting the trunk of your body as you rake. Switch hand positions frequently to avoid uneven stress to arms and either side of your body. Wear gloves to avoid blisters and splinters.
Step 4: Rake excess leaves onto a tarp or old bed sheet to facilitate the bagging process. Use plastic leaf scoops and a large leaf funnel to help direct the leaves into paper leaf bags. If your town (like Vienna VA) allows it, sweep the leaves into large piles by the road for easy pick up by the town.
Step 5: Consider composting the leaves rather than bagging them. Pile leaves into 3-foot-square piles about 6 inches deep. Sprinkle the piles with dirt and a nitrogen-rich material, such as grass clippings, or other compost ingredients. Add a few more layers of leaves, soil and nitrogen until each pile is about 3 feet deep. Sprinkle with water and turn the piles a few times during the fall and mild days of winter. (We recommend turning the piles to keep small animals from setting up homes in your compost piles.) And voila! When spring comes you should have the perfect soil amendment for your garden.
For more landscaping tips, consult Northern Virginia's Lost Creek Landscapes, providing a full suite of landscaping services throughout the Northern Virginia region. Lost Creek Landscapes is fully licensed and insured throughout Maryland, Virginia, and Washington DC and specializes in all aspects of landscape and masonry services, as well as native trees, shrubs, and plantings that thrive in the Northern Virginia area.