Gardens and Outdoors

25 Major Landscaping Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

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Whether it is spring or fall, it’s always a good time to ponder our landscaping choices. However, having a beautiful landscape is not only about making improvements. Sometimes, it is necessary to know and recognize major landscaping mistakes and how we can avoid them. Even more important, some mistakes discussed below can even damage your garden. Check out this list to prevent costly repairs and to improve the look of your landscape!

1. Choosing the Wrong Plants

Many people choose their favorite plants when it comes to their landscaping design. This is to say that there is little to no landscape research before you make the improvements.

It is one, if not the most common mistake people make because of rushing into buying plants that are likely to wilt or suffer in their area. To avoid this, you must look into the type of flowers, trees, and plants that will thrive in your garden based on your climate, soil type, sunlight, frost, and as many other factors as possible.

2. Short-Term Planning

The second most common mistake is not considering the long term. This is a crucial aspect because planting everything at once without proper planning can lead to overcrowding, threatening the survival of your plants.

To avoid this, start by planting only a few trees and other large plants. Then, add more landscaping elements over the following weeks. Also, consider the time you need to maintain and care for your entire landscape and even take a step back if it is too much.

3. Designing Each Piece Separately

Although it’s necessary to add different elements over time, avoid the mistake of considering only parts of your garden or yard. Otherwise, your design will appear fractured and not a seamless, beautiful sight.

If you have issues with this, you could consider contacting a landscape designer. You can also try to see your yard as though you are a guest, an outsider. Keep the right proportions and make sure each element matches the others, both indoors and outdoors.

4. Forgetting the Infrastructure

You are understandably excited about your new landscaping ideas, but have you thought of each step carefully? Most people disregard the irrigation system entirely in the first stages. Make sure you consider the different watering needs of all of your plants, and you should find a way to conceal the system, too.

5. Trees Next to Your Home

Although it may seem like a good idea when shrubs and trees are small, planting these too close to your home can have long-term consequences. In a few years from now, they will grow their limbs and roots; in other words, trees planted next to your home can damage your windows, roof, or even the foundation if the roots spread underneath your home. Make sure you consider the mature size of trees and plants before adding them to your landscape.

6. Drainage Mistakes

Many people fail to think of drainage as one of the core elements of successful landscaping. However, poor drainage in your backyard can lead to stagnant water – which, in turn, leads to overpopulation of insects and even more dangerous situations, such as a flooded basement or damage to your house’s foundation. Consider how you will lead the water away from your home, and you may even have to look into in-ground drainage systems if you have any issues.

7. Soil Properties

Similar to the mistake above, some people do not test their soil properties. If the soil lacks nutrients or the drainage required for your chosen plants, these will not be healthy. The easiest method is to do your research and choose plants that thrive in your soil. This is a home kit with 40 tests to help you determine the quality of your soil.

8. Ignoring the Grass

Many homeowners completely forget about the grass in their gardens. Indeed, all flowers and other impactful decorations seem more exciting. However, grass also requires proper consideration. Do not cut the grass too short; otherwise, it becomes vulnerable to pests and diseases. Keep the grass longer during hot months, so the lawn enjoys more moisture and shade, and shorter during winter so that the sunlight can penetrate deeper into the soil.

9. Failing to Consider All Seasons

Many people choose landscaping elements that bloom only during one season. This means that your backyard will only be at its peak a couple of months per year only. Make sure you choose different plants and flowers that bloom all year round to have color and diversity throughout all seasons.

10. Color Issues

One common mistake is not to consider the final colors of your design – either having too much or too little. Before deciding on your plants, try to establish the color palette first. Too much color will cast a shade on the beauty of your landscape and home, while not enough color will make your backyard look dull. Decide on a primary color that suits your home, then add matching nuances.

11. Too Many Decorations

Decorations can add personality to your space, but adding too many will achieve a cluttered effect. For a better and more organized landscape, you should only choose one or two centerpieces. Before you buy them, try to envision where you will place them in your garden and how they will look in the entire context.

12. Outdoor Lighting

It may seem obvious, but it is easy to forget to illuminate your space during the night. You can add outdoor lighting so you can enjoy your landscape at all times. At the same time, it helps create a relaxing, beautiful atmosphere so that you can rest both during the day and evening.

13. The View

Before you start planting, do not overlook getting a good look at the view. It’s essential to think out of the box – how will your garden look from inside your home? The chances are that you want your garden to look exquisite from all angles, so do not forget to check the view from all major windows in your home.

14. Pests and Wild Animals

Another common mistake is to forget to account for the other living nearby creatures. It would help if you chose the right plants to deter pests. For instance, if you have deer in your area, you should know that flowering plants look very delicious, so you should add a few bitter ones around. If they taste the unpleasant ones, they are not likely to return. Other animals, such as rabbits, might require a small fence to be kept at bay.

15. Not Taking Family And Pets Into Consideration

You want to add so many beautiful things to your landscape, but have you thought of other household members? For instance, many plants are toxic to pets or dangerous for kids. If you have a baby or a toddler, you may want to avoid rocks as they can be hazardous. When you design your landscape, ensure you consider the health and safety of the entire family.

16. Hardscape Mistakes

Hardscape refers to all the other surfaces and elements in your garden, such as your patio, pathway, fences, pool, and more. Many people do not consider how landscaping elements combine with the hardscape, resulting in a mismatched environment. For instance, avoid thorny, large, and bulky bushes around your patio. It would be best if you didn’t plant any thorny plants next to your pathway.

17. Not Enough Variety

Some people really love certain plants or flowers, and they tend to buy too many of them. Keep in mind that plants require specific nutrients, so planting too many of the same type will quickly deplete the soil. Also, a wide variety of plants can help you attract the correct types of insects and other small creatures to avoid pest problems.

18. Forgetting the Fence

Many people who buy a home will start with the fence, or they already have it. If that’s the case, you must consider the fence design when you plan your landscape. Many people make the mistake of forgetting about it only to realize later on that the fence doesn’t match the rest of the design.

19. Maintenance Plan

This should be one of the first things you do before starting to design your landscape. You need to clearly identify what time you can allocate to maintenance, then choose plants that require more or less time. Once you define this, sketch a weekly or monthly maintenance schedule and make sure you follow it. If you are not available for your landscape maintenance, you can hire someone else to do it.

20. Running Out of Funds

Related to the point above, budgeting is of utmost importance. Not many people know that landscaping is one of the most underestimated expenses; in fact, it costs more than most other home improvement projects. Labor is very cost-intensive, and this is the key to your dream landscape, especially if you need to hire professionals.

21. Not Checking for Pests

It is not a secret that many homeowners have to deal with raccoons, skunks, and other troublesome animals. You need to check and solve these problems before starting your landscape project; otherwise, you will watch all of your hard work consumed by them. If it does not seem to be any issue, it’s still a good idea to add a fence to your garden, just to be on the safe side.

22. Lack of Pruning Knowledge

Many shrubs are so beautiful that they take our breath away. However, you can easily miss all of this beauty if you prune them at the wrong time. You ought to do your research and know when to prune the shrubs, so they bloom each year.

23. You Neglected the Front Yard

It is another common mistake that homeowners make: they spend all of their money and energy designing the backyard. The front side of your home is equally important, so you must include it in your plan. You can easily opt for a neat, simple look with trimmed grass, a few colorful flowers, and a decluttered open area.

24. Getting Stuck

Sometimes, especially when we have no prior experience, we tend to reach a point when we simply do not know how to fix a problem or how to continue. In this case, it is best to ask an industry professional and benefit from their expertise and advice.

25. Too Much Brainstorming

Brainstorming is a necessary stage initially, but you need a solid plan for your landscaping project. Failing to do so will lead to buying separate items that will seem disjointed when put together with your home design. Make sure you make an organized plan, define your budget, and stick to them until your landscape is finished.

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