Common Landscaping Mistakes

8 Landscaping Mistakes and how to Avoid Them

Common Landscaping Mistakes-a-well-designed-landscape
A beautiful landscape design

Every homeowner who desires to create a garden can have much success from the very start but too often because of a lack of experience and planning many have made mistakes bringing frustration and wondering where they went wrong.

These mistakes cost them their time and hard-earned dollars. The good news however is these mistakes can be avoided with the right information.

If your desire is to have a good headstart from the very start for your garden project then continue reading because what you don’t want is to waste your time and money.

8  Landscaping Mistakes that will Cost You

The wrong location

One of the first things to consider when planning a garden is what species of plants are to be installed. Garden plants are so beautiful but diverse. Some plants love full sunlight while others love the partial shade and then there are others that love the full shade.

Before installing plants know their lighting preference because knowing this and meeting your plant’s lighting needs can save a lot of heartaches.

Soil type

This can’t be stressed enough, just as plants differ in their lighting needs so they do with their soil preference. There are so many different soil types for example sandy soils.

Plants such as cactus and other plants of this nature love sandy or well-drained soils but if you install these plant types in soils that drain poorly you will be headed for trouble. Get to know your garden plant’s soil type and plant accordingly.

Poor plant placement

I have seen this one over and over again, for example, don’t take a plant that grows to about 12 ft and place it in front of a window that is 5 ft from the ground because what will happen is that window will be blocked making it difficult for the homeowner to observe his surroundings from the inside.

This can become a security risk and can cause you time and money to either have the plant removed or to hire a company to come in and prune every so often.

Let’s look at this example again, if you have a 5 ft window and want to install a few plants then garden plants that are chosen to grow under the window should be no more than 3 ft at maturity. I know of a situation where an Adonia palm was planted too close to the home, at first it looked great but as it began to reach maturity that palm grew into the house’s eave where the palms crown began to bend seeking to make its way around the house roof to grow freely. Before installing plants get to know their growing height at maturity.

Planting to closely

Giving plants their proper spacing is so important, again before installing know the width or spread of plants at maturity. This mistake is made by many homeowners when installing plants that have not reached full maturity.

When first installing plants may seem to be spaced too far apart but remember in time these plants will grow to full size. When plants are placed too close they begin to rub which will encourage poor air circulation followed by disease. So give your garden plants their proper spacing and in time they will fill out.

Lawn care

Common Landscaping Mistakes-a-well-maintain-lawn
A beautifully maintained lawn

If you’re like me when it comes to a well-manicured lawn then you can identify with me. A lawn that’s well-taken care of can really bring much change to a garden helping to increase a property’s value.

Now while I will agree that there are many components that go into a beautiful lawn one of those components that’s of great importance is cutting your lawn at the proper height.

Too often many lawns suffer at the hands of those who are not experienced in cutting too low which is also known as scalping, this scalping of the lawn can lead to and encourage weeds along with garden insect pests not to mention a lawn that’s far from healthy-looking.

Cutting too low will put stress on your lawn area and if the right measures are not taken you stand the risk of losing your lawn which spells wasted time and money. Get to know the proper cutting height of your lawn and cut at that level. For more on lawns refer to the category section of this website.

Pruning methods

Prune or not to prune what should I do? well if you’re not sure then it’s best to hire a professional company that will do the job the right way. Many pruning procedures have gone wrong because the homeowner did not know how to prune.

Not knowing how to prune but attempting can cause you in the long run because not only will plants look unattractive but can interfere with a plant’s health. If pruning must be done then set a budget and shop around for a reputable company that will work with you.

Planting to deeply

When installing plants ensure only the root ball is in the ground, if any part of the trunk is buried in the ground at the time of installation can cause problems such as suffocation of plant roots, nutrient deficiency because of poor uptake, etc…

So ensure that all of the plant’s root ball is below the soil surface and the trunk is above the ground.

Planting for all seasons

When designing your garden design in such a way to plant for all seasons, what that means is to mix it up a bit so when the bloom period is over for one plant the bloom period will begin for the next this way your garden will always have colors.

Getting your soil tested and adding soil amendments

This one should be second on the list and that’s getting your soil tested, a soil test will let you know what type of soil you have and what your soil is (nutrients) lacking.

Knowing what’s missing in your soil and how to carry out a soil ph test will help you with this. You can either do the test yourself with the help of a soil ph kit that can be purchased from your nursery or garden center or collect samples from several areas of a planting site and take it to a lab for testing.


Overwatering is a serious problem, especially with container-grown plants getting to know your plant’s watering needs is so crucial to their survival so get to know your plant’s water requirements and give them that.

Fertilizing methods

Having this knowledge and applying correctly makes a big difference in the survival of your plants. Give a plant too much fertilizer and you will run into a problem, don’t give them sufficient fertilizer and you will run into problems also.

Before purchasing fertilizers know what fertilizer type your plants need and before applying read and follow the label to know the exact amount. Having this knowledge will save you lots of headaches.

Too much of a good thing

Too much of a good thing is not good at all, when planning your garden do not overdo it what you want to create is balance, that balance should create interest and not look like an eyesore or overkill.

What you want is to create a design that looks natural that is open, and pleasing to the eyes with a feeling that’s restful and inviting.

Maintenance practices

Why go through all the trouble of investing your time and money into a garden and then letting it all go to waste by running wild without the proper maintenance care it just doesn’t make sense?

I personally know of someone who puts in a lot of work by creating beautiful designs but neglects to take care of them. These designs as you know after a while looks rundown losing their beauty along with encouraging insect pests.

Why bother if you will have this seeming mindset of wasted time, money, and plants being stressed because of neglect? Put a maintenance plan in place to maintain your garden so it can keep its beauty and luster.

The final word on common landscaping mistakes

These are just a few among many landscaping mistakes to avoid, when it comes to our time and money we should do our homework well to ensure that we get a good return on our investment. Following this guide will help to avoid these landscaping mistakes which can bring so much frustration.


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About the author

+ posts

Norman loves being in the garden, both at home and for his job....
he is 'Natures Little helper' being outdoors, growing his vegetables and flowers from an early age.
Now having spent over 22 years in the profession he want to give some of his knowledge to others...
his vast array of hints and tips you will find scattered over this site will help you no end growing plants in your garden.

4 thoughts on “Common Landscaping Mistakes”

  1. This is really good. I agree that sometimes we just want to beuatugy our home and although this is a very innocent act, we can sometimes spoil everything by making some bad mistakes and here you have listed a long number if them that should be done away with. It is good stuff and it is something that I think I should personally take to too when I am looking to have my own home garden.

    • Watching out for these mistakes can save you a lot of headaches along with money. I am glad that I could help. Wishing you the best of success with your garden project.

  2. Hello there! this is an amazing review you have got here. I am sure this information here will be of great help to any one who come across it as it is to me. I totally agree with everything you’ve said here especially the second one; You shouldn’t put a plant somewhere just because it looks nice, there should be a right placement for the plants.



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