Alexandria, VA Lawn Care Guide, and Best Practices
Located on the western banks of the Potomac River, and just seven miles south of our nation’s capital, Alexandria, Virginia is strategically placed as one of America’s most iconic cities. While thousands of residents of Alexandria work for the Department of Defense, the Institute for Defense Analyses, or other private contractors working with the U.S. government, the city has so much more to offer.
From the historic Old Town with its dozens of classy restaurants, antique shops, boutiques, and theaters, to the almost 1000 acres of public parks and recreation centers, to the famed Scottish Christmas Walk that takes place every December, there is never a dull moment in Alexandria. Its humid subtropical climate is another attraction of the city as the generally mild winters make for agreeable weather year round.
For Alexandria residents and homeowners, the hot and humid summers can present a bit of a challenge when it comes to keeping a healthy, vibrant lawn. There’s more to lawn care than simply grass cutting. Below, we offer some helpful tips for keeping your turf green and resilient throughout the year.
Fertilizing Tips for Alexandria
While fertilizing your lawn can certainly help to encourage a thick, lush growth that discourages common lawn weeds from popping up, Alexandria Virginia is close enough to the Chesapeake Bay that homeowners might want to think twice about the effects of this fertilization. Over 100,000 streams and creeks feed the Chesapeake Bay watershed, and the mighty Potomac River is obviously one of those. The excess chemicals, phosphates, and other elements of lawn fertilizer often get carried away and end up in the Chesapeake Bay, thus compromising an already fragile ecosystem and can lead to hypoxic zones where marine life cannot flourish.
If you do decide to fertilize your lawn, consider applying a thin layer of compost instead of opting for more traditional organic fertilizers. Top-dressing your lawn with a 1-inch layer of compost will not only deliver needed nutrients to your turf, but it will also help to improve the long-term fertility of the soil through nourishing the billions of micro-organisms in the soil. A healthy soil ecosystem will help your grass naturally fight off lawn diseases such as brown patch caused by the Rhizoctonia fungus.
Furthermore, compost will help stop erosion through encouraging healthy soil growth and will avoid depositing chemicals into the rivers and streams that eventually end up in the Chesapeake Bay. Another free source of natural and organic fertilizer from your lawn is the grass clippings that are left after lawn mowing. Never bag these clippings, as they will decompose and offer a needed source of nitrogen for your growing grass. If your lawn is primarily cared for by a lawn service professional, make sure to ask the person to do this.
Best Types of Grass
In Alexandria, almost half of all lawns are either Bermudagrass or Kentucky Bluegrass. While Bermudagrass is a warm season grass that thrives during the hot and humid summers and can also withstand periodic droughts, it will most likely suffer and brown during the long, freezing days of January. On the other hand, Kentucky Bluegrass will maintain its verdure throughout the winter, though it will most likely rapidly thin and suffer during the hottest parts of the summer. While roughly 24 percent of homeowners in Alexandria opt for Bermudagrass and another 24 percent opt for Kentucky Bluegrass, one option that you might consider is growing both of these grasses together.
By overseeding your Bermudagrass with Kentucky bluegrass seed in early fall, you can make sure that your lawn will stay green throughout the winter. The browning batches of Bermudagrass will be naturally covered by the thriving Kentucky bluegrass. In the summertime, when the Kentucky bluegrass begins to die off, the Bermudagrass will thrive. Following this strategy, you can make sure that your lawn stays green and vibrant throughout the year.
Lawn Mowing Schedule
The average lawn size in Alexandria is almost 10,000 square feet, making any lawn mowing job a significant one. While many people in city opt for bi-weekly cuttings, it is perfectly acceptable to relax your lawn mowing schedule to once every week or even two weeks, depending on rainfall. Following from the 1/3 rule, you should never be grass cutting more than 1/3 of its current height. During times of drought, grass will naturally grow more slowly, even if you follow a regular irrigation schedule.
By allowing your grass to grow a bit taller (an average of between 3 and 4 inches, for example) you can cut back on the frequency of mowing. Furthermore, slightly taller grass will encourage more root growth which can be essential during hot, humid summers when the average temperature hovers around 90 degrees Fahrenheit.
Consider Regular Lawn Aeration
Even with regular lawn watering, it is possible for soils to become compacted which can compromise healthy root growth and allow for weeds and other lawn diseases to appear. Aeration is a lawn care practice wherein the soil is perforated with small holes to let air, water, and nutrients penetrate to the root zone of the turf. This not only allows the roots to grow more vigorously but can also naturally reverse the soil compaction tendencies that tend to happen with clay soils.
If the soil on your property has a high clay content, you might want to consider either renting an aerator machine or hiring a lawn service professional to receive this service. Top dressing your lawn with compost immediately after aerating will also help to maximize the nutrients that will penetrate into the root zone.
Lastly, residents of Alexandria who are having a hard time growing a vibrant turn might want to consider doing a simple soil test to find out what nutrients your soil might be naturally lacking. Soil tests are generally inexpensive and can be done by simply sending in a few samples of soil from around your yard. Instead of opting for an all-purpose lawn fertilizer that can be washed away by the spring rains and end up in the Chesapeake Bay, a soil test will allow you to develop a more specific fertilization plan and explore alternative organic options.
These simple lawn care tips will allow anyone in the Alexandria, Virginia area to successfully cultivate a healthy and vibrant lawn.
Hiring an Alexandria Lawn Care Company
Alexandria is one of the most scenic places to visit or live in, replete with well-preserved 18th and 19th century architecture. The weather is enjoyable and never moves to an extreme, which is why going outdoors is always a good call. But one chore outdoors that you may dislike investing time in is lawn care. Most Alexandria residents prefer to have more leisure time, which is why many hire a lawn care professional.
Professional lawn care services offer many benefits that go beyond just hiring a person for grass cutting, Lawn treatment services, such as pest control, weed removal, soil testing, and fertilization, are generally offered, and it’s smart in general to have an expert evaluate how much lawn maintenance your property needs.
Top Lawn Care Companies in Alexandria
You may be wondering: where to find a Alexandria lawn care service near me? Since finding a top-rated lawn mowing service can be challenging, we offer a list below that ranks the best Alexandria lawn care services based on our analysis of online customer satisfaction. WikiLawn.com is in no way affiliated with these, nor have we used them.
1) Jackson Lawn Care Service
Alexandria, VA 22309
Your schedule is hectic, and the last thing you want to worry about is getting your lawn mowing and lawn maintenance handled. That is why we recommend the pros at Jackson Lawn Care Service. They are renowned for their expertise in lawn care services throughout Alexandria, and even somewhat into DC itself. If you are looking for a lawn care team you can trust to get the job done without any headache, it’s the crew at Jackson’s.
2) Flowers Landscaping
Alexandria, VA 22306
Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have a garden with flowers throughout the year? Or at least most of it. That is what is so awesome about the crew at Flowers landscape. Kelvin and his crew specialize in getting you the color you want in your landscape throughout the year. If you want to have a vibrant, colorful lawn that all of your neighbors and friends will admire, give Flowers Landscaping a call.
3) Mt. Diablo Landscaping
Alexandria, VA 22309
For three years and counting Mt. Diablo Landscaping has been screened and approved by Home Advisor. And when I say they do everything, I mean they will do everything! They have a huge crew ready to help you with all of your mulching, fertilizing, garden installation, leaf removal and much more. If you own a home or business in Alexandria, Mt. Diablo is a valuable asset to have on hand.
4) Green Zone Landscaping INC.
Alexandria, VA 22309
Green is the most abundant color in a healthy lawn, and with the crew at Green Zone Landscaping you will have an abundance of green popping out of your landscape. Throughout the season the crew at Green Zone are more than ready to get your lawn care handled. If you are in Alexandria or the suburbs, nearby, contact Marlon for the lawn of your dreams.
5) Nealon Property Maintenance, LLC
Maria del Pilar Wootton
Alexandria, VA 22306
If you are a landlord in Alexandria you are stretched for time, and the last thing you need to worry about is home maintenance. Nealon Property Maintenance is there to help homeowners maintain their properties inside and out, year round, and to make sure that everything goes off without a hitch. Having a property maintenance crew like those at Nealon can save you a lot of time, and prevent a lot of headaches.
6) Freedom Property Services
Alexandria, VA 22310
When you get behind on your property maintenance, being at home can quickly become a drag, even to the point you begin to lose your freedom. That is where Freedom Property Services come in. Matt’s crew aims to alleviate your stress and bring you back that feeling of freedom at home by taking care of all those little things that keep adding up. Don’t let your choirs pile up any longer, call Freedom Property Services.
7) Red Zone Lawns LLC
Alexandria, VA 22302
Get your lawn in the zone, with Red Zone Lawns. Red Zone’s team of lawn care professionals are here to assist you with a variety of lawn care needs. Whether you need to repair your sod or lawn, or you need your lawn aerated, Roberts crew is here to help. Give them a call ASAP, and get your lawn where you want it to be.
8) Blue Ridge Enterprise
Alexandria, VA 22306
Blue Ridge Enterprises is a full service lawn care team in Alexandria, VA that offers “creative landscaping at competitive prices”. If your lawn is mediocre and you are looking to step it up, Joseph’s team knows just what to do. They will sit down with you and develop a plan, or you can leave the planning all up to them. Once the plan is set in place, they will install and maintain your lawn and garden professionally. If you want a jaw dropping landscape, the only ones to call are Blue Ridge.