Twenty Landscaping Mistakes
Most things worth doing are worth doing right. Thats especially true with landscaping. Whether it be a backyard design or patio design, it makes sense to be sure you know how to do it correctly to industry standards. This list of twenty landscaping mistakes has been observed over the last 25 plus years by professionals.
People often make the mistake of adding too many elements and plants in their yard, which distracts from the natural beauty. Before installing plants or features in your yard, ask why are you putting them there and how they fit in to the context of your overall landscape. Stick with one main theme. One clear statement goes a lot further than 10 disconnected ideas.
19. Planting the wrong plant in the wrong place or in the wrong way
Placing plants in your yard should consider many factors. After all, you are giving them a new home where they can thrive. Factors like soil, light, mature size, and appropriateness for location are very important if they are going to survive. I’ve met people that have not understood this and planted the same area 3-5 times without success.
18. Not noticing or dealing with drainage problems
More plants die or get sick from too much water, rather than not enough. In order to test your soil, dig a hole 12”-18” deep. Fill it with water. Come back in 6 hours or less. If it hasn’t drained completely, then you may have a drainage problem that needs addressed before planting. If your soil doesn’t drain the plant’s roots will actually rot because the water sits in the soil too long.
17.Using chemicals or materials with chemicals improperly.
We live in a world that offers instant fixes, but not all of them are safe for our health. Here are a few suggestions to make your yard safer for the people that live in it:
Don’t use broad leaf weed killers around vegetable plants that may be eaten by humans or animals
Don’t use pressure treated wood around vegetable gardens. The arsenic or chemicals can be poisonous.
Don’t use broad leaf weed killers or herbicides in areas where children or adults will be walking in bare feet. Herbicides can leach though skin
Don’t store gasoline or gasoline engines for yard work any closer than 15 feet away from living areas. This may be a fire hazard
Don’t compost yard debris any closer than 15 feet away from living areas. This may attract rodents into home.
16.Forgetting the View From Your Window
It may seem like common sense to think about the view from inside the house, but many people forget it. Look at it from all angles. Place your plants and elements where you want them, and then go inside and take a look. Look from every major window to see what they’ll look like before you install plants and elements. It should be like a beautiful natural painting.
15. Failing to Fertilize Properly or enhance the soil with nutrients
There are two ways that fertilizing can be a mistake. The first one is not doing it at all. The other is fertilizing too much or fertilizing improperly. Ask a professional to recommend a proper fertilizer for your yard or if you’re not handy, hire a professional yard care company. It’s a good idea to do it at several times a year, once in the spring and again in the fall. You should never do so in the hot sun, and watering always needs to follow. It’s also a good idea to mix in fertilizer when planting new plants.
14. Not Accounting for Wildlife
Before you plant in your yard, research what pests you have in relation to what you’d like to plant. For example, some plants can attract and feed deer, so it is a good idea to find out which plants are deer resistant or plan on applying deer repellant after planting. If there are wild rabbits around, you may need to shelter your garden by enclosing with a secure fence.
13. Improper Pruning
Pruning can be just as much of an art form as it is a skill. When pruning is improperly done, you can do a lot of irreparable harm. There are many books and websites on pruning available. Here is a great resource: http://www.plantamnesty.org/PRUNING/regional_Guides.aspx
12. Scattered Color and form
When considering putting together a landscape, flowers follow form. In orther words, before you can plant a shrub with yellow flowers, make sure the shrub will mature into a form that is appropriate to that area of your yard. If you only have a five foot space and the yellow blooming shrub will eventually grow to fifteen feet, then it’s probably a mistake.
11. Irrational Irrigation
Create a watering system that will use the correct amount of water for your plants and lawn. Most lawns just need about an inch of a water per week. Depending on the variety, plant need ¼ to ¾ of an inch of water a week. Therefore it is a mistake to think that watering shrubs and lawn with the same amount of time with the same amount of water will nurture a thriving landscape. At certain times of the year, rain may or may not be enough water to sustain your landscape.
10. Failing To Be people friendly
Many people only consider how they want their yard to look and don’t consider how they will use it. That’s why function always comes before form. Ask yourself why do you want certain things in your yard and what funtion do they achieve for you or your family. The answers may help you avoid purchasing the wrong things for your yard.
9. Impulse Buying
Do some research before you reach and grab for plants or other things you want in your yard. Have some sort of a shopping list in mind and then get what you want and leave. It’s very hard to return flowers, so this step is imperative.
8. Too Much of the Same Thing
Intermingle various shapes and sizes to give you interest in your yard as well as bringing the right kind of insects. Certain plants need certain nutrients, and if you plant all the same plant, then it’s sucking all of the nutrients out of the soil. Diversity of plants and elements that work together with some sort of theme bring interest and value into a space.
7. Overlooking Maintenance
Many people want as “low” maintenace as possible in their yard, but, unless you put green concrete over your entire yard, it will never be “no” mainteance. Part of planning a landscape is also planning time to maintain it. Make up a maintenance schedule and abide by it. If you don’t have the time to take care of your yard, make sure you hire a service to do it for you..
6. Ignoring the Seasons
Plan out your landscape with regard to the seasons. When homeowners go to a nursery they often just buy what’s in season at the time. Various flowers bloom at certain times of the year. Year around color is something people in the pacific northwest and tropical regions can enjoy. Plan flowers or interest for each season: spring, summer, fall and winter. No one wants a dead looking yard during any season.
5. Underestimating the Cost
Landscaping is a lot like cake making. Who would entertain with a cake of beautiful frosting and a cake made of something ineditble like dirt or leaves. Landscaping costs more that just plants but includes underground drainage, irrigation plumbing, electrical wiring for outdoor lights, hard surfaces and soil preparation to name a few. There is a lot of sticker shock in the world of landscaping. People often think “it’s just a couple of plants, how expensive could it be?” Landscaping can cost 30 percent more other types of home improvement. When you’re starting a landscape project, make sure you have a well thought out budget, because you want to do the job one time, and you want to do it right.
4. Overlooking Exterior Lighting
One mistake people make when they think about planning out their yard is that they only visualize it during the day. Adding some exterior lighting not only helps with vision and movement, but it also really makes the garden pop with autmospere and mood. The time to consider landscape lighting is when your yard is tore up and low voltage wiring can be buried without disturbing plants or features.
3. Neglecting Curb Appeal
Curb appeal welcomes guests and enhances the value of your home. Many homeowners put all of their energy into the backyard, but the front of the house is where first impressions are made. Most homes can be greatly improved with some planning. Wether it be painting the from door the right color, keeping the grass green, or always having some type of seasonal interest, curb appeal makes a difference to your family and friends.
2. Mismatched Style
After deciding the function of different areas of your yard, style is an important part of your landscape. There are many things that create a style that works for your yard: location, archetecture of building, and personal preferences are just a place to start. One of the most important things about styling your landscape is that there is unity throughout your yard so that it looks as if every thing is planned.
1. Not Having a Plan
Don’t start a landscaping project without a plan. Decide on a specific theme or look and then draw it out on paper to the best of your ability. Go to a garden centered determined not to buy, but just research until you have a good plan. Make several lists:list of the existing good features of your property, make a list of the problems on your property, make a list of the functions that you would like to see on your property. Then go to a garden center and make a list of plants and elements that you really like or love. Browse the internet (google images)to find images of things you think you would love in your yard. These five lists will be the beginning of your landscape plan.
This is not only my observation, other lanscapers were monitored them for years. In order to avoid them you need get a help or an advice of profesional lanscaper. We will help you to make a right decision. Vlad.