Updated February 19, 2019

Do-It-Yourself landscaping is a very exciting but often not so successful trend. With any new project, whether it be landscaping, interior decorating or home renovations, there are risks associated with not to hiring a professional. Here are our top 6 DIY landscaping mistakes and how to avoid them!

Forgetting Function

Many people forget to consider how the landscape can work to improve family and friend lifestyle. It’s easy to fall into tried-true patterns when getting started: throw in a few plants, maybe a tree and a patio, and fill the remainder with lawn. This plan neglects the function of the yard. Not to mention, it’s been done – it limits the opportunities that the space can provide. So get creative instead!

Once you’ve identified the desired functions of your yard, the next step is to look at the flow and the space needed to fulfill it. There are three key elements that are often overlooked that can improve outdoor living significantly and easily:

  1. Heat sources
  2. Sound of water
  3. Night lighting

Try to imagine a cohesive and harmonious style starting inside your home that spans out into your outdoor living space.

Also, developing a construction blueprint in advance will help you avoid extra trips to Home Depot and save you money. Moreover, this strategy will allow you to:

  • Plan to subdivide your yard
  • Organize for deck materials
  • Plot the space needed for entertaining versus family time versus gardening.
  • Consider exam concerns in advance:
    • Wind
    • Privacy
    • Drainage


Landscaping Without A Plan

This should really go without saying, but having a landscaping plan is often overlooked. Choosing a specific theme and drawing it out is a great place to start and will help you select essential elements, such as:

  • The types of plants and flowers
  • The amount of lawn
  • How your yard will look in relation to your home and view
  • Curb appeal

It’s critical to first reflect on the function of your yard and then layout your landscaping blueprint accordingly. And finally, don’t forget to set your budget (and stick to it)!

Planting Too Deeply

One of the most common beginner landscaping mistakes is planting too deeply – this is one of the easiest ways to kill your plants. Too much soil around a plant can suffocate it, so be sure to analyze the main stem before planting. Only plant a tree or flower as deep as the pot that you brought it home in.

It’s also important to consider exam plant preferences before gardening, such as:

  1. Evergreen
  2. Colour preferences
  3. Hardiness
  4. Maintenance

Underestimating Waste

Landscaping projects often create a surprising amount of waste so it’s important to learn how to properly dispose of it. Instead of making a trip to the dump, try disposing of your landscaping in an environmentally friendly way! Two solutions including composting, or renting a shredder to create mulch.

Moreover, it’s important to remember that having a great yard requires proper maintenance. Many people are quick to say that they do not light high maintenance features yet choose a lot of sod, which is one of the largest time grabbers. Ideally, set aside two times a month to accommodate your landscape/garden needs.

Improper Irrigation

Many homeowners have a tendency to overwater their garden, lawn, and landscapes. It’s well documented that most lawns only need one inch of water per week. Typically, the best time to water your garden or lawn is early morning or late afternoon, when the sun is NOT at it’s highest. Be mindful of the sun, as water on petals or leaves can act as a magnifying glass and hurt your plants.

Additionally, if your yard is hilly or has a rock-less incline, you may want to consider importing rocks or adding a retaining wall. These elements will help hold back the soil and reduce erosion in areas that are affected by overwatering and heavy rainfall.


Forgetting Your Plan

It can be easy to get carried away with all of your big landscaping ideas, but always remember why you decided to landscape in the first place.

  • Do you want to use your yard for entertaining your friends?
  • Or is it to play with your kids?
  • Or do you want to make it a stay-cation oasis for relaxation?

Always remember the purpose that you chose for your yard and stick to it!

For more information about landscaping, check out our blog!

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