10 Landscaping Mistakes to Avoid

Your exterior space is just as important as your interior and warrants an equal amount of attention as far as decorating is concerned. Your landscaping should be inviting and welcoming, and when done right, it can actually add some extra value to your home.

The problem is that plenty of homeowners go into their landscaping without proper preparation and wind up with an unruly outdoor space. Before you begin your landscaping job, be sure to avoid making any one of the following mistakes.

1. Going in Without a Plan

It’s not uncommon for homeowners to get so excited about embarking on a landscaping project that they dive right into it without much planning or forethought. The problem with landscaping without a clear plan is that the end result may end up being messy and ill-functioning. Before you start digging and planting, be sure to take the time to come up with a strategy that takes design, space, and color into consideration.

2. Not Tending to the Weeds

Along with all those beautiful plants, flowers and shrubs that will fill your outdoor space also come those dreaded weeds. Unfortunately, weeds are part and parcel of greenery, and they need to be kept on top of before they take over your entire yard. All that work that you put into creating a lovely garden will all be for naught if you allow the weeds to overgrow. Weeding isn’t exactly enjoyable, but it’s a necessary part of owning a garden.

3. Going Overboard With Planting

Plants and flowers are obvious necessities to a landscaping job, but planting too many of them can just overwhelm your outdoor space. You want your yard to be attractive and noticeable, but overdoing it with planting will just make your garden look unkempt and tacky. Sometimes less is more when it comes to landscaping, so try to keep things in moderation with your planting.

4. Not Choosing a Color Scheme

Too many random colors can make your yard look chaotic and sloppy. Think about how you decorate the interior of your home – you likely wouldn’t throw a bunch of different colors into the space, would you? The same concept applies with your landscaping.

Before you start planting flowers, come up with a color scheme first. Just stick with no more than two or three colors in order to create some harmony in your outdoor space.

5. Using the Wrong-Sized Pots

Pots can be extremely handy and versatile for landscaping and are perfect accessories to sprinkle around your yard. But the types of pots that you choose matters. On the one hand, plants placed in pots that are too large can move around in the soil, sink, or get too much water. On the other hand, plants that are placed in pots that are too small will not have enough space to grow their roots. In addition, the pot itself can become a hub for fungus and bacteria, causing the roots to rot. 

6. Cutting the Grass Too Short

Regular lawn mowing is necessary, but many homeowners tend to cut their grass too short in an effort to avoid having to repeat the chore too often. Unfortunately, grass that’s cut too short can actually harm your lawn and even make it attractive to insects or vulnerable to disease.

7. Not Planting in the Right Spots

Another common landscaping mistake that homeowners make is placing plants in the wrong spots. It’s important to take into consideration how much sunlight each type of plant requires for optimal growth and health.

For instance, some plants may do well in direct sunlight all day long while others do better with just a few hours of sunlight a day. When planting trees, the amount of space they require for optimal growth should also be considered. Planting them in spots with limited space can restrict root growth, which can essentially impact the health of the tree.

8. Using Too Many Lawn Ornaments

A few thoughtfully placed decorative items can work well in a garden, but too many can make the space look gaudy. More often than not, one or two ornaments work better than many.

9. Not Fertilizing Appropriately

Too much fertilization can fry your grass, while not enough can leave it vulnerable to damage. What you need to do is find out exactly which fertilizing products work best for your specific type of lawn, and use it according to the specifications.

10. Not Implementing Exterior Lighting

Your landscaping project might look amazing during daylight hours, but have you thought about what it will look like once the sun sets? That’s where exterior lighting comes into play, and many homeowners neglect this critical component. Appropriate exterior lighting not only impacts the look and feel of the outdoor space, but it also helps you to navigate the area safely.

The Bottom Line

Your landscaping can make or break your home’s curb appeal. With this type of job potentially costing a pretty penny and even impacting the value of your home, you want to make sure you get it right. If you’re just about to embark on a landscaping project, try your best to steer clear of the above landscaping blunders.