Landscaping Mistakes

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It’s that time of year to get outside and landscape. You have an idea of what looks nice, but we all have that neighbor who went overboard. Don’t be that neighbor and take note of some of these landscaping mistakes.


1. Excessive lawn ornamentation. Need we say more? Stick to a theme and make sure those ornaments fit the rest of your landscaping design. If you must, sick to one statement, as opposed to ten (or more).

2. Planting in the wrong locations. Many people don’t heed the warnings and read the directions on the plant tags. They’re there for a reason! Make sure you’re planting new items in the right places. HGTV’s Plant Finder is a great tool to double check seasonality, light exposure and hydration needs.

3. Short grass. It’s a myth that cutting grass shorter will yield less time out mowing throughout the season. It’s actually the opposite, and you can end up doing more harm to your lawn. Exposing too much earth can cause bare patches and dryness, and it also opens the door for insects to make homes.

4. Incorrect potting. Large planters are all the rage, but it’s easy to incorrectly plant items when you feel like you have a lot of space. Make sure you’re not planting a plant in a pot that’s too large, as it can sink down causing it to get too much water (or the opposite – dry out too fast).

5. Blotchy lawns. Caused by improper or non-existent fertilization, a spotty lawn can really be an eye sore. Visit a Home Depot, Lowes, or local garden center and ask for a professional’s help with fertilization. Let them know how much (and why type) of sun your lawn gets and what types of fertilizer will work best. Fertilizing should be done at least twice per year, never in the bright sun, and with a good long soaking.

6. Not taking animals into account. New York is a beautiful place to live, there’s no doubt! But in living in such a lush, green area, we also have our fair share of critters that frequent our properties. From deer to birds to rabbits, each are in search of tasty treats that are easily accessible, so make sure you’re not planting items that they love, otherwise you’ll end up with chewed up green stalks and no color.

7. Overgrowth. Again citing our trusty HGTV tool, Plant Finder, make sure the plants you choose are the right plants for the areas they’re being planted in. Keep in mind, some plants grow very quickly and can span large areas. While the color may be what you’re looking for, the size may really hinder the overall appearance of your home.

8. Too. Many. Colors. Pick a color theme and stick to it. Coherence in your color palette will create harmony and beauty, while a cluster of colors will be just that – a cluster. 

9. Not family-friendly. Some people get carried away with ornamentation themes in their yard for visual appeal, but forget about usability. After all, you’re paying taxes for the land your house is on so you ought to be able to use some of it, right? It’s best to start off with a list of what you want to be able to do in your yard and go from there, design-wise.

10. Sticker shock. It’s easier to start a project than it is to finish it. But sometimes, without proper project estimation, we can get carried away with the cost of finishing the job, leaving it partially or totally uncompleted. Get a budget and estimate together before you get started, so your project gets completed and looks nice sooner rather than later!