Avoid These Top 5 Common Landscaping Mistakes

Everyone wants a great looking yard, but some people get a little out of control with their landscaping efforts. Since it’s best to get your yard in shape using a “less is more” approach, avoid these top five landscaping faux-pas. The result will be a yard you will be proud to call your own.

1. Failing to Plan

This is the single biggest mistake made by landscaping rookies. Don’t rush to the garden center with nothing but a vague idea of what you want. You’ll leave with mismatched plants and shrubs, and your yard will end up looking as confused as you felt while shopping.

Instead, carefully measure the area you intend to landscape. Make a quick sketch of the location and add your measurements to the illustration. Bring it with you to the garden center and check plant tags against the information in your notes.

Plants will grow tall and wide, and plant tags tag will tell you how big you can expect each one to grow. This will allow you to select plants that will fill the diameter of your yard symmetrically without overcrowding.

2. Mowing too Vigorously

Too many people commit this common landscaping sin on a regular basis. They incorrectly assume that adjusting the blade on their mower to a shorter setting will enable them to cut grass more efficiently, which in turn will allow for more time between mows.

This is a terrible mistake because cutting grass too short damages the roots and inhibits the ability of your grass to generate precious sugar from photosynthesis. It also encourages the growth of weeds. This becomes a vicious cycle, and eventually your grass will die off and leave gaping patches of exposed earth on your lawn.

A better approach to lawn mowing is to keep your blade on a medium setting and stick to a regular cutting schedule. Never cut your grass too short or let it grow too long, and take care not to overwater your grass after you mow.

3. Lawn Ornamentation Overkill

We’ve all seen that one sore thumb of a yard with a garage sale-esque collection of lawn ornaments on display. Don’t be that person. A great rule of thumb is to stick to one slick-looking lawn ornament. Place it in an area of your yard that draws the eye to great landscaping in the same location. If you’re tempted to add another, place it in a separate part of your yard surrounded by landscaping of its own.

4. Creating a Driveway Landing Strip

Don’t turn your yard into an airplane runway. The “runway effect” is achieved by lining shrubs, flower bushes, or other plants along the length of each side of your driveway. The effect of this technique is landscaping that draws the eye up your driveway to highlight… your garage door! Not a great feature to show off to your neighbors.

Concentrate your landscaping efforts around your front door instead, and use plants and shrubbery as a tool for playing up the front of your house instead of showcasing your driveway.

5. Choosing Oversized Pots

Potted plants are a fantastic way to dress up an otherwise drab front yard, but the effect will be dismal if you choose the wrong sized pots for your foliage.

The trick to choosing a perfect pot size is to start your plants in larger pots that allow plenty of room for future root growth. Don’t make the mistake of buying pots that are too large, either – this can result in plants sinking into the soil and retaining too much water, which will eventually kill them off.