10 Common Landscaping Mistakes to Avoid

July 6, 2021

Landscaping has a big effect on curb appeal. Whether you are trying to sell your current home or you are thinking about the landscaping you want for your custom home, there are a lot of things to consider and mistakes to avoid. Here are a few common landscaping mistakes to avoid:

Mistake #1 – Not Planning Out Your Landscaping

Good landscaping takes time – it doesn’t happen overnight. Although you can always change and update your landscaping as your needs change, it becomes more difficult when changes need to happen after implementation due to poor planning.

Take some time to really think about how you want to use the space around your home, what you want your landscaping to look like long-term, and how much time and effort you have to manage it. This is important for things like plants and gardens, and even more important for more permanent features like hardscaping or backyard structures.

Mistake #2 – Adding Large Water Features That Are Difficult to Manage

Water features can help create relaxing outdoor living spaces. Although they can elevate the look and feel and your landscaping, large water features take up a lot of space. Depending on the type and how they are built, they can require a lot of time and effort to keep them clean and to maintain them.

Water features are popular ideas for outdoor living spaces for many reasons. If you want to add water features, keep the size within reason, proportional to the space available, and manageable. Also, consider constructing them in a way that keeps them as low-maintenance as possible and adding features to help keep them easily manageable.

Mistake #3 – Growing Invasive Plants

Plants, flowers, and trees can improve your landscaping and are one of the fun summer landscaping ideas, but you need to be mindful of what you’re planting. One of the common landscaping mistakes to avoid is growing invasive plants. These plants grow quickly, often take over a yard, tend to be difficult to manage, and also tend to destroy native plants on top of it.

Invasive plants are not just non-native species; some native species of plants can be considered invasive as well if they tend to quickly take over and smother other plants. There are plenty of plants to never grow in your yard for these reasons. It’s a good idea to make sure whatever you’re planting will be manageable and contribute to a healthy yard.

Mistake #4 – Planting Trees Too Close to Your House

Another one of the common landscaping mistakes to avoid is planting trees too close to your house. Trees can offer shade and a unique element to your landscaping, but the type of the tree matters, and it’s important to get the placement right on your lot.

Also, tree removal is costly and trees too close to the house can seriously damage your home during a storm or if they fall. You need to consider how big a tree will likely get 10, 20, and 30+ years from planting to make sure it is far enough away from your home.

Similarly, if you will be including a pool, you want to be mindful of pool landscaping ideas you implement and what you are planting around it and how close. The wrong type of tree in the wrong place can damage your home, and the wrong plants too close to your pool can become a maintenance nightmare. This is why planting the wrong plants and making the wrong landscaping choices are common swimming pool design mistakes to avoid.

Mistake #5 – Skipping on Proper Maintenance

Beautiful landscapes are not a one-and-done type of thing and a good design is only the first step. Even if you keep things simple, you will still need to do some maintenance. One of the most common landscaping mistakes is not maintaining your landscaping.

Poor maintenance or a lack of proper maintenance could look like overwatering, not pruning at all or pruning incorrectly, not fertilizing, and more. Cleaning up regularly, planning for growth, making sure you have proper irrigation, and more are all landscaping tips for summer that you can apply year-round for healthier, better-looking landscaping.

Mistake #6 – Adding Too Many Decorations

Outdoor decor can make your home and your landscaping stand out. But, adding too much can end up detracting from the overall look and distract from the natural landscaping. It could even make your landscaping look garish or cluttered, especially if it is in the front yard or around the porch.

You don’t have to avoid lawn decorations or outdoor decor. Much like your interior home decor, it’s just a matter of considering the overall look you want, the landscaping elements already there, and how a particular piece of decor enhances it.

Mistake #7 – Cutting Grass Too Short

The length of your grass makes a difference in the health of your yard and soil. Cutting grass too short, especially in the summer, can result in scorched, dry, or bare patches.

During the summer, your lawn needs a little more shade. Keeping the grass a little longer when you cut it helps provide that shade and keeps water from evaporating too quickly and drying everything out too much. This and other landscaping tips for summer can help keep your lawn and landscaping looking great.

In the winter, you want the sun to be able to reach the soil. During this time, you do want to cut the grass a little shorter. However, you still do not want to go too short. Despite the myth, cutting the grass shorter does not mean you have to mow it less.

Mistake #8 – Not Thinking About the View From Inside

When planning out landscaping, it’s easy to focus on what everything looks like from the yard or the driveway and forget about what things might look like from inside the house. This is one of the common landscaping mistakes.

You do want to make sure your landscaping looks good from outside, but you also want to make sure nothing is blocking or detracting from the views from your windows. The landscaping design you choose should look good whether you are viewing it from inside or outside the home.

Mistake #9 – Forgetting to Plan for the Future

One of the landscaping mistakes is planting trees too close to the house, but part of what causes that mistake is forgetting to plan for the future. Large water features that require a ton of maintenance, other bushes, trees, or plants around the property, etc.; you need to consider the future for anything you include in your landscaping.

How will plants grow and spread? What kind of maintenance does everything require? Will plants or features you are adding attract animals? Do you need to add other plants or features to protect your landscaping from wildlife? These questions and more can help you think and plan for the future with each element you want to add to your landscaping. In the process, you may decide a specific plant or feature isn’t a good idea or isn’t worth it.

Mistake #10 – Ignoring Exterior Lights

Exterior lighting is part of any landscaping endeavor. Even if it turns out you don’t need lighting in a particular area, ignoring exterior lights is a landscaping mistake.

Thankfully, there are a lot of outdoor lighting options that are flexible and versatile. Although it’s best to consider exterior lighting in the beginning, there are some options you can add in easily enough later to help you get what you need and the look you want.

These are just a few common landscaping mistakes to avoid. Keeping these in mind as you prepare your home for sale or dream up your custom home can help you create a fantastic exterior look and feel.

If you’re ready to get started on your own custom home, contact Custom Home Group at 717-284-4090. We can help bring your dream home to life!