Common Landscaping Mistakes & Solutions

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Home Improvement

Whether you own a home or business, a high curb appeal can be beautiful, inviting, and profitable. However, it isn’t uncommon for people to make several landscaping mistakes while they’re beautifying their property, and it’s in your best interest to avoid them if possible.

In this article, we’ll look at 10 common landscaping mistakes and 10 solutions to these problems. If you follow our tips, your front and backyard will look incredible throughout the year.

Here’s how to impress your neighbors with your incredible landscaping. These 10 mistakes and 10 solutions apply to homeowners and landscapers, but some points will favor one or the other. 

Mistake 1: Pruning Too Early
Many shrubs will bloom beautiful flowers in the spring, but you won’t know that if you prune too early. Flowering shrubs like rhododendron, quince, and azalea will refuse to bloom if you prune them at the wrong time, so it’s important to choose the correct pruning time for each shrub.


Solution: Although there isn't a standard time to prune each shrub, you should start pruning them right after they’re finished blooming. That way, you can enjoy the beautiful flowers.


Mistake 2: Poor-Quality Invoicing 
This point is specifically for landscaping businesses. Poor-quality invoices with missing data, confusing terms, and errors are going to make it harder for your business to get paid. Not only will bad invoices lead to payment delays, but they can also affect your company's reputation. 


Solution: Use Software. For example, Manage360’s landscaping sales and estimating tools can maximize your sales opportunities and create accurate estimates, increasing overall sales.


Mistake 3: Cutting the Grass Too Short 
Many novice landscapers assume that if you mow the lawn and it looks neat, then you’ve done it properly. Not true. Lawn care experts will tell you that a lawn that’s cut too short will damage the health of the grass. This mistake could make your lawn look dull, dehydrated, or dead. 


Solution: As a rule, your grass shouldn’t be shorter than 2 ½ inches. When your grass is about 3 ⅔ inches high, you can start mowing. Make sure your blades are sharp to avoid browning. 


Mistake 4: Asymmetrically Shrubbery 
Landscaping is all about making your lawn as beautiful as possible. Unfortunately, your shrubs won’t always behave. They may grow at odd angles, too high, or into another tree. If your intention is to achieve symmetry, you’ll need to pay close attention to how each shrub grows.


Solution: As the shrubs are growing, manipulate them using wire and string. Once it grows, trim it regularly. If the shrub has gotten out of control, you may need to replant both pairs. It’s in your best interest to hire a professional landscaper to shape and trim most of your shrubbery. 


Mistake 5: Forgetting to Trim Your Hedges 
Homeowners and business owners alike routinely forget to trim their hedges. While yes, an untrimmed hedge can look messy, that’s the least of your problems. An untrimmed hedge can comprise every hedge around it, which could prevent them from getting sun or nutrients.


Solution: Unless you’re shaping your hedges into unique shapes, you can purchase a cordless hedge trimmer for the job. While trimming, be sure to inspect the hedge for unwanted weeds.


Mistake 6: Overwhelming the Lawn With Ornaments 
A few well-placed lawn ornaments can really beautify your front and back lawn, but if you add too many, you’ll overwhelm the property. It’s also important that you match your ornaments with the rest of your landscape, or you could create an asymmetrical and unappealing yard.


Solution: When purchasing lawn ornaments, be sure to focus on quality rather than quantity. Consider getting a large ornament and make it the focal point of your yard. Or, you could get several ornaments that fit the space—for example, bamboo ornaments for an Asian garden. 


Mistake 7: Tire Planters on the Front Lawn
If you’re changing up your home’s landscape to reflect your aesthetics, then it doesn’t matter what lawn ornaments you use. But if you’re landscaping to increase real estate value, then save your rubber for the industrial process. They can come across as too country or trashy to some.


Solution: It’s okay to put tire planters in the backyard, but you should find better pieces for your front lawn design. These include traditional planters, raised metal or wood beds, or mailboxes.


Mistake 8: Girdling Trees by Accident
Some landscapers gird trees on purpose to kill them, but girdling can happen by accident if an invasive vine wraps around the tree. This starves the tree of nutrients, eventually killing it. Humans may inadvertently cause tree girdling if they leave tags or vines on the trunk.


Solution: To make sure your tree doesn’t absorb anything foreign into the trunk, remove or unwrap the substance from the tree. Once tree girdling starts, you’ll need a professional to remove it. Fortunately, girdling is easy to prevent if you simply examine your tree regularly. 


Mistake 9: Installing a Fence Right Away
It makes sense that homeowners would want to install a fence in a backyard that doesn’t have one. However, if you do so too quickly, you may have to live with this choice for a long time. This can be a major problem if your shrubs aren’t fully grown, or you want to expand your yard.


Solution: If you must have a fence, use individual panels that can be easily removed while you mull over your choices. Or, you could plant shrubs and eventually use those for privacy.


Mistake 10: Planting a Tree in a Small Space
When a tree is young, you have many options for where to plant it. But if you don’t consider how much space the tree will need when it’s fully grown, you could have a maintenance nightmare on your hands. Even if it has enough space in the soil, it may grow to overshadow other plants.


Solution: Always consider the mature tree size before planting it. If the tree is going to be fully grown while you have possession of the property, maneuver your flowers around its shade.