© 2017 Sunrise Gardens LLC           203 E Beloit St Darien, WI 53114     

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The Sunrise Scoop

The Sunrise Scoop- Seasonal Landscaping News and Tips
Our E-Newsletter goes out in early Spring, Summer, and Fall. The latest news and scheduling Seasonal Tips and Reminders ‘Ask Adam’ Questions and Answers Seasonal Services Offered


Tools & Tips

Frost Heaving

After a severe winter, frost can cause plants and even pavers to heave. While it can be alarming, it is best to wait until the Spring thaw to get too excited. It may settle back out and you won't have anything to worry about. If pavers are installed properly, with the proper base materials and compaction, there will rarely be problems.  If plants are still high in Spring, gently press them down with your hands or foot and replace mulch if needed. f pavers are still heaved after thaw, give us a call to take a look at it.  

Winter Damage to Plants

An extreme winter can be hard on some plants. The high snow levels we've had provides a buffet for rabbits, and you may see some damage or maybe just helpful pruning.  Trees and shrubs may have broken branches from heavy snow or ice. With super low temperatures, most plants will be fine, but some of the more sensitive plants may have damage. Plants may have salt damage from heavy salt use on roads, drives, and sidewalks nearby.

Q. How well do concrete pavers hold up over time?

A. The short answer is - A properly installed paver driveway, patio, or walkway can last up to 30 or 40 years. The long answer is, it depends on a lot of things. 1. Quality of the materials- Pavers you find at most big box stores are not very good quality, and I have seen a lot of these products fall apart over time. We use mostly Unilock products, a reputable company that offers a lifetime guarantee (it is transferrable) on the structural integrity of the pavers. A high quality product will last longer. 2. How it was installed- If the installer skimps on the base or does not compact it enough, the paved area can settle and become unsafe or unusable. 3. Care and Maintenance- Pavers require less maintenance over the life of the product, compared to concrete or asphalt, but some TLC will help it last longer. Using sand instead of salt in the winter is one thing you can do to increase longevity. Keeping weeds and ants out is another thing, and we can give more information later this year.


Tools & Tips

Watering is #1 in the Summer Pay attention to the weather and look at your plants periodically, especially those planted in the last two years. Established plants (properly sited) should only need water in extreme drought conditions. Best Time to Water: water when the sun is not at its hottest – morning is a great time How Much to Water (if Needed):     Perennials: water for 10 seconds     Shrubs: water for 30 sec to 1 minute, depending on size and type     Trees: slow soaking drip for 1 hour every 5-7 days (depending on season)     Evergreens: same as shrubs or trees, but do not overwater Fertilizing- Do Not Fertilize When it is Hot and Dry! For the First Year after Planting: Water is much more critical than fertilizer at this point, and plants will not be able to properly take up added nutrients until a healthy root system is established. 2nd Year and After: If desired to maintain health, May - August,  liquid feeding 2 times per month and October - slow release granular feeding, specific for plant type Weeds: Control: Round-up® used properly will spot-kill rest of weeds. This is a safe product when used in accordance with the manufacturer’s directions.  Natural Control: hand weeding when soil is moist, keep weeds from going to seed, apply 3-4 inches of mulch

Q. Why are my yews brown and are they dead?

A. Blame it in the Wicked Winter! We are seeing a lot of brown evergreens this year,  especially yews, arborvitae, and boxwood, and the extreme winter we just had is to blame. Winter is a tough time for plants, and there is always a chance of damage to evergreens. Drying winds, winter sun, exposure to deicing salt and subzero temps all contribute to evergreen browning.  Evergreens are able to stay green in winter because they still photosynthesize and take up water.  If the soil is frozen, water is less available. To compound the problem,  the plants continue to lose moisture from the bright winter sun and cold winds. Without water for the roots to take up, drying and browning occurs. Deciding if Dead If you are seeing bronze needles, they will most likely green up again soon. If you see brown needles, they are dead, but the plant may still recover. If new growth is coming in behind the dead parts, the plant will cover up the dead areas over time. Depending on how much brown there is and how much unattractiveness you can tolerate, you may be able to prune the dead branches or tips. Yews will tolerate heavy pruning or shearing, but it can take several years for it to look good again. Some evergreens, including spruce, pines, and fir, do not handle pruning well. Boxwood and arborvitae can handle limited pruning. If you have damage in Junipers, prune back to a side branch. If they are pruned back too far they may not recover. Early spring through early summer is the recommended time to prune evergreens because new growth will cover pruning cuts and make them less obvious. If the plant is still looking bad by midsummer, and the new growth isn't covering up the dead, you may want to make arrangements to replace it. To prevent damage to your evergreens in future winters, especially those in exposed sites, you can wrap burlap around your yews or other evergreens. After droughty summers and falls, evergreens should also be watered at least 1 inch per week so they are well-hydrated for winter.


Tools & Tips

Planting Bulbs:

Spring-flowering bulbs are a welcome sight in early Spring after the bleak winter landscape.

Bulb Planting Tips:

 Mix early and late blooming varieties for a longer blooming season.  Plant shorter varieties in front and keep varieties fairly similar in height for a balanced look. Tall types don’t do well in windy spots Don't skimp on quantity - Bulbs look great in mass plantings of single types, or in a combination of many varieties. Plant in groups of 15 or more. Tulips are beautiful, but they are also a favorite food of rodents. Provide protection from digging critters or mix them with daffodils which are toxic to rodents. Plant sooner rather than later. The more time they have to grow roots before the ground freezes, the better your chances for a beautiful spring display. October is a great time to get your bulbs in the ground.

Q. How can I avoid getting water in my basement this Winter

and next Spring?

A.  Last winter was the season for wet basements. Heavy snow fall, Winter rains, and Spring melt all contributed to the problem. If the ground is frozen or saturated, water from rain or melted snow will follow the path of least resistance. Unfortunately this could mean your basement.   To prevent this happening again, now is the time to correct any drainage problems you have around your home. The ground must be pitched properly away from the foundation. We can backfill, re-grade, create swales, or even add drain-tile to help get the water moving away.   It is also important to keep your gutters and downspouts clean and keep snow piles far enough away from the foundation.   Feel free to call or email if you have any concerns about drainage. We specialize in water management and have experience in wrangling pesky water.  

Landscape and Garden Trends

Firepits, fireplaces, and small water features An important part of landscaping is creating outdoor places to help you enjoy your yard. There are big exciting things you can do with hardscapes, but there are also relatively small landscape features that are an easy way to add some fun and create places to entertain, relax with your family, and enjoy nature. Firepits and fireplaces can be small kits or large custom pieces. Small water features are becoming more popular because they are low maintenance and can fit into any yard.

Edible Landscaping

Vegetable gardening has been on the rise as well as edible landscaping. Especially for those with limited space, incorporating fruits and veggies into the landscape can have nutritional and visual rewards. Edible plants can be used in attractive beds and containers or mixed in with ornamental plants. This approach allows you to have your edible plants close to the house, making it easier for maintenance, harvesting, and enjoyment. There are many cultivars in hybrid and heirloom vegetables that are attractive as well as tasty. Bush and pole beans come in purple, yellow, and striped pod varieties. Peas can also be found with purple and lime green pods. Tomatoes come in almost any color or size, and you can grow colorful peppers of all different sizes and shapes. There are dwarf or mini varieties of almost everything to make the most of limited space. Edible flowers and herbs can be attractive and useful. Different colors and textures of lettuces and kale can provide accents and contrast. Fall Services Landscape Projects: If you've been thinking about adding hardscaping - patio, fire pit or retaining wall, fall is a great time to do these projects. Most small to medium hardscape projects can be done until the ground is too frozen. Fall is a great time to plant trees or shrubs. The cooler weather and moisture gives landscape plants time to put out roots before the stress of next summer. This gives plants an extra growing season to become established, and you should see good growth next spring.   Larger trees and shrubs can be planted until the ground is frozen, but many smaller shrubs and perennials should be in the ground by mid October or they risk winter damage.    If your project requires any special permitting or planning, we will probably run out of time, but Fall is a great time to start planning for Spring projects. Doing a Design Consultation in the fall before there is snow on the ground will give us all winter to work on the planning and designing. We will also have a jump start as soon as Spring weather allows for work. Fall Cleanups: Cutting-back perennials and cleaning up leaves and plant debris leaves your yard looking nice and clean for fall and it also promotes healthy growth in the spring. It is important to remove leaves from the lawn relatively soon after they fall. Grass needs air and light to grow, and fallen leaves may suffocate the lawn and cause brown, dead patches next Spring. Many plant beds do appreciate the winter protection of leaf mulch, but the leaves don't always stay where you want them, and they can encourage insects and wildlife to overwinter there as well. Diseased leaves can also contaminate other plants, so we recommend removal of all leaves and plant debris. We usually start fall cleanups after the first frost, which is typically toward the end of October. Aerating and Over-seeding: Fall is a great time to improve your lawn with aerating and over-seeding. Aerating opens up thick sod or compacted soils so that air, moisture and nutrients can get through. Over-seeding can help your lawn recover from any damage from the growing season, and combined with aeration will give your lawn a jump-start in the Spring.   Bulb Plantings: If you need assistance in designing or planting new flower bulbs, give us a call. If you're more into DIY see the tips below.
© 2017 Sunrise Gardens LLC
Our E-Newsletter goes out in early Spring, Summer, and Fall. The latest news and scheduling Seasonal Tips and Reminders ‘Ask Adam’ Questions and Answers Seasonal Services Offered
203 E Beloit St Darien, WI 53114    (262) 882-0811     adam@sunrisegardensllc.com


(262) 882-0811
(262) 882-0811