Five Common Landscaping Mistakes

Common Landscaping Mistakes – And
How to Avoid Them


Landscaping is easy, right?

Just pop by your local garden store, select some attractive plants, grab a couple bags of mulch and a few tools, and you’re good to go.

If only.

In our do-it-yourself culture, everyone wants to take care of the job without calling the professionals. But that’s where lack of expertise can create some real headaches.

Let’s look at five common landscaping mistakes.

#1. Assuming the World Is Flat

The natural world is not flat or square. And yet many do-it-yourselfers approach their landscaping projects as if the world functioned along the rigid lines of a grid.

It doesn’t. It’s bumpy and curvy. It rises and falls. Professionals know that; they work within natural lines. They even utilize nature’s so-called “imperfections” to heighten aesthetic appeal.

Do-it-yourselfers, by contrast, are usually preoccupied with trying to make everything square and straight. This tends to create an uninviting and severe appearance.

#2. Forgetting to Put Your Face On

Creative Commons Photo by Valerie Everett

Because most of us tend to spend the bulk of our time in our backyards, it’s easy to neglect the front. (After all, since backyards are typically much larger, most of the landscaping work will occur in the back.) If you focus on the back to the near-exclusion of the front, you’re wasting an opportunity to improve the value and attractiveness of your home.

#3. Living for Today

Homeowners will often select a plant without researching its mature size. That ill-fated choice quickly outgrows its space. Before you know it, it’s blocking a window, or casting unwanted shade on your flowers. Trees planted too close to the house can allow pests to infiltrate your roofing and attic space. And broken branches can directly damage your roof.

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Do-it-yourself landscapers often are not forward thinking enough and that can cause problems. Professional landscapers understand how plants look now and how they will look in the future. That kind of knowledge creates a better look and can save tons of work in the end.

#4. Forgetting to Think of Others

Don’t Do Nothing!

One of the worst things you can do with your yard is nothing. While a blank slate is a great place to start, you don’t want that to be your final product.

If you can’t afford to landscape the entire property at once, start small. Be patient, break up one massive project into several smaller ones. Before you know, it’ll all come together!

Professionals will consider the usage patterns and desires of others when designing a landscape. The average homeowner will not.

For instance, you may create a wonderful winding path to your garden that cuts right across the kids’ favorite place to play ball.

Or the idea of a five-foot retaining wall may be appealing, but if you plan to sell your property anytime soon, it could present a problem. A potential buyer with three small children would be put off by it.

A professional landscaper can help widen your vision.

#5. Scalping the Lawn

Okay, here’s a far-too-common problem that most do-it-yourselfers should be able to overcome. And yet many of them seem to labor under the misconception that, as long as the lawn “looks neat,” all’s well.

Cutting your grass like a putting green is just asking for trouble. And here’s why: When too much of the leaf surface is removed, the grass is unable to perform photosynthesis. Short grass also produces weak, unhealthy roots that can’t properly absorb nutrients.

For optimal lawn health, keep your grass about two-and-a-half to three inches high. If you’re not able to do that yourself, enlist the help of a professional mowing service.

Have We Convinced You?

While you might think you have a “great eye” for landscaping, the truth is you’re not an expert.

Professional landscapers know the business inside and out. They understand composition, which plants complement others, and which elements will highlight the design of your home.

Some things are just best left to the pros.


Sources:

Featured Image: Adobe Photo, License Granted

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