Common Landscaping Mistakes and How to Avoid Them
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Who doesn’t love a great looking backyard? Maybe you’re a new homeowner eager to design the perfect landscape of your dreams, or maybe you are thinking, it’s time to revitalize your sad looking lawn.
Well, either way, don’t fall victim to these common landscaping mistakes. You may have the best intentions for your property, but if you don’t do things the right way, you’re really just doing yourself a disservice.
Take a look at the most common landscaping mistakes and how you can avoid them:
- Not having a plan– this is perhaps the most dreadful mistake you can commit in the name of landscaping. Having a good and thorough plan accounts for pretty much everything else on this list, such as how much of everything you need and where to place them, when and where you should start your work, and how to make everything look seamless.
- Not setting a budget– if you have a plan, then you have a rough idea of what you’ll need, and you can prepare accordingly. Taking up a landscaping project can be costly, and without a strict budget, you may either find yourself overspending on things you won’t be using, or having to stop in the middle and ending up with a half finished, hideous looking backyard.
- Not hiring a landscaper– really, the best decision you can possibly make is to hire an expert landscape contractor (a landscape designer or architect, if you may) because they know all the right things on how to best make use of your space, and what works and what goes well together. They don’t only give you a nice looking backyard, but one that will keep looking nice for a long time.
- Not identifying erosion prone areas– one of the most important things that you need to consider for a functional and sustainable (not to mention safe) backyard, is knowing which areas are prone to erosion and runoff. From here, you can figure out what fixtures you need, such as retaining walls, what plants to go with that help prevent erosion, and how to deal with the inevitable runoff.
- Not starting with the hardscapes– plants are easy to, well, plant, and to relocate. Hardscapes are not. The first thing you need to build before planting trees, shrubs, and flowers, are your driveway, pathway, deck, patio, pool, treehouse, and whatever else you want on your backyard. This is to ensure that they are in the right locations, and are adequately sized to actually be functional. Then, you can proceed with the rest of the landscape in a way that will nicely complement these fixtures. Even your fence affects how your backyard will look like.
- Not installing an irrigation system– you can’t make the irrigation as an afterthought after planting everything- otherwise, you’ll have to dig everything up. Besides, different plants have different watering needs, and you need to account for those as well, if you want your plants to live a long, healthy life.
- Planting the wrong plants– your backyard is only as sustainable as to whether you are planting the type of fauna that is suitable to your geography and climate, as well as your property’s soil condition and the wildlife in your area. There is also the issue of choosing between annuals and perennials, as well as taking into account the plant’s size at maturity, and the color palettes that you are aiming for.
- Planting in the wrong spots– different plants have different sunlight and water needs, and that must be taken into consideration, lest you want them to wither and die. Moreover, plants, trees, and shrubs shouldn’t be too close to fixtures such as your house, pool, patio, and so on. Where you plant also affects whether your space can remain functional, as well as how you section and add privacy to your property.
- Planting too much, or not enough– overcrowding and overdecoration can easily make your property look like a hot mess that resembles a secluded forest rather than a family friendly backyard, while not having enough greenery makes it look bare and unkempt.
- Not accounting for maintenance and upkeep– your backyard will only keep looking good if you are willing to put in the effort to regularly maintain it. Otherwise, you are wasting your money on nothing. Only invest in a backyard that you will be able to keep in good condition. For example, a symmetrical layout means more effort in trimming to preserve the symmetry.
- Too much cutting, trimming, and pruning– on the other hand, you may be over eager in maintaining your backyard, hence you cut the grass to a mere inch of its life, or you prune the trees and hedge the shrubs so much that it won’t grow back. Again, different plants have different needs, and if you want them to grow healthily, you must account for these needs.
- Neglecting the front yard– finally, while your backyard may be your pride and joy, it is important to remember that your front lawn is the first thing that people see whenever they look at your property (aside from your home front, that is), which is why it is also deserving of great care and attention so that it always looks its best.
Having a lovely, beautiful yet functional backyard is the dream of any homeowner, and when you keep these things in mind, you can be well on your way to making that dream into a blissful reality.