10 Landscaping Mistakes To Avoid

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Landscaping on your own can be incredibly rewarding. It's hard work, though! Make the most of your time and energy by avoiding these 10 landscaping mistakes.

1. Haphazard Planning

Failure to have a comprehensive plan can have serious ramifications on your landscaping efforts. Try and have at least a rough idea of what will go where and then stick to it. If you are impulsive about your planting or decorating, you run the risk of engaging in a lopsided venture.

Pick up some simple planning supplies on Amazon.

landscaping drawing with colored pencils

2. Ignoring the Tool List

Few things are more frustrating than finally starting a project and realizing you're missing an important tool. You can avoid this by maintaining an updated list of tools required.

3. Overlooking Seasonal Changes

Spring, summer, fall, and winter each have unique colors and feelings. Draw up a planting strategy that makes the best of each season. Watching your garden transform with every approaching season will more than makeup for the extra attention you put in.

4. Picking the Wrong Plants

Your garden has its sunny spots and its shaded corners. It is best to match these to the plants you pick. If you have planned a sitting area or a children’s play area, for example, make sure you don’t have thorny trees or plants around. If you have pets, you might stay away from certain poisonous plants they might be tempted to eat.

upset child touching a long thorn on a plant

5. Missing the Big Picture

Before you put them in the ground, research the size your plants will eventually reach. This will give you a sense of how much maintenance they'll require, like pruning, weeding, watering, and fertilizing. The placement of your plants and trees will also depend on how big they'll get. Planning ahead will help you avoid situations where you have a big shrub blocking your window or a large tree dwarfing your entrance.

Look out for power lines when you're planting trees, and remember root systems can spread beneath barriers like fences to disrupt other properties if you're not careful. Plants can also crowd each other, competing for access to sunlight.

6. Disregarding Watering Needs

Most of your plants and trees will require water all throughout the year. The quantities may differ seasonally, but you must provide a source of irrigation to keep everything healthy, even if you're working primarily with drought-tolerant plants. Traveling and holidaying become so much easier when you have taken care of this critical aspect with an automated system.

7. Not Providing Adequate Protection

Along with a landscaped garden come the problems of insects, pests, and intruders. Providing adequate protection through deer fencing or chicken wire fences is a good idea. You can also look at planting some natural repellents such as bleeding heart, corydalis, anise, mint, feather reed grass, and fountain grass to keep away rabbits and deer.

8. Trying for Too Much Symmetry

symmetrical landscape design with hedges and tulips

Your garden is not one straight piece of land. It has its own undulations and irregularities. Don't try to flatten them all out! Natural rocks and ledge can give character and distinctiveness to your landscaping. Too much symmetry can make your work look forced and severe.

Great gardens emphasize the harmony between human and natural life. Look into some zen techniques, and consider keeping some areas relatively wild. You might be pleasantly surprised by what pops up!

9. Neglecting to Budget

A budget will insulate you from unpleasant surprises that may spring up in the middle of your project. You need a clear idea of how much you can invest in your landscaping efforts, and a pre-determined budget will keep you on track.

10. Underestimating Final Appearance

It would be a shame if you could only see the fruits of your landscaping labors during the day. Clever light placement can overcome this problem. Solar lights, hidden lights, and rock lights are some of the ways you can add to the beauty of your garden. Also, remember that your house is the center attraction of your garden. Just as you want a great view when you look out of your house, make sure the sight is equally pleasing while looking in at it from the street.

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