10 Common Landscaping Mistakes and How to Avoid Them


Mistake #1: Failing to Plan

Many of us get so excited by a landscaping project we forget to take the time to make a proper plan.

Solution: Take a step back and examine your yard. The keys to a thoughtfully planned landscape include taking size, color and texture into account, while striving to keep elements in proportion to one other.

Mistake #2: Failing to Set a Budget

Did you know that landscaping is 30 percent more expensive than any other type of home renovation project? Yikes! That’s why it’s so important to set a budget up front and stick to it.

Solution: Create a list of things to buy and stick to it. If you lack the budget to implement your ideal landscape consider implementing it in stages – do some of the work this year and then add to it a little bit each year.

Mistake #3: Buying the Wrong Plants

While a plant may look pretty that doesn't mean it will do well in your yard. You have to take into consideration your specific area and what would work best in those conditions.

Solution: Do your homework! Temperature, humidity, rain, wind and sunlight all affect plant growth choose. Nurseries and garden centers can be great information sources when it comes to knowing what will grow best in your yard and where it should be planted.

Mistake #4: Cutting the Grass Too Short

Cutting the grass shorter means I have to mow it less, right? Wrong! Scalped lawns grow at maximum speed to try and compensate for the vicious cutting. You can actually do more harm than good by cutting the grass too short. Scalped lawns can be susceptible to insects and diseases.

Solution: Grass allowed to achieve a decent height will always look much greener and healthier. During the summer, the lawn needs more shade so let the grass grow just a little bit more. Also, slightly longer blades of grass will help the water not evaporate so quickly.

Mistake #5: Excessive Lawn Decorations

People often make the mistake of putting too many decorative items in their yard, which can distract from the beauty of the natural landscape and create a cluttered or tacky look.

Solution: Be selective! When in doubt, ask yourself why you're putting it there and how it fits with the overall landscape design. If possible, search for a unique piece and establish it as a focal point.

Mistake #6 Fertilizing Too Much or Too Little

There are two ways that improper fertilizing can hurt your lawn. The first one is not doing it at all and the second is over fertilizing.

Solution: Research which products are going to protect and preserve your lawn and then stick to a regular fertilizing schedule. You should never fertilize in the bright sun and watering always needs to follow.

Mistake #7: Overwatering

Speaking of watering, a lot of homeowners make the mistake of over-watering. Most lawns just need about an inch of a water per week.

Solution: Time your watering. The best time of day to water the lawn or garden is early morning so it has all day to dry.

Mistake #9: Overlooking the Upkeep of Your Landscape

If you’ve taken the time to carefully plan and then create your ideal outdoor landscape, not performing routine garden maintenance is a sure way to ruin all those efforts.

Solution: Create a maintenance schedule and stick to it. If you don’t have the time or desire to do this, your budget should include money to spend on someone who will maintain it for you.

Mistake #10: Failing to be Functional

A lot of people get carried away with the theme of their yard. They don't think about how they are actually going to use the area.

Solution: Think about how you and your family will use the yard. Do you do a lot of outdoor grilling? Where do your kids play in the yard? If you entertain or dine outdoors, you need to know how much space you actually need for a table and chairs as well as the space necessary to move around them.