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Your house becomes a home only when you invest your heart in it. And this requires work. It’s important to remember that your home’s exterior is just as important as its interior. Your yard has the potential to be one of your most important home investments, but it’s also a place where you can go wrong. So, we’ve outlined eight of the biggest landscaping mistakes that new homeowners make. Know them and then avoid them in the future.

Letting Complacency Set In

If you are blessed with a beautiful back or front yard, you need to take care of it. Period. Not doing anything substantial for it is the worst thing. Even if you’re not a gardening or landscape person, do try to make an effort. Start slow. Very soon, you’ll begin to love your yard. Tending to your garden is one of the most therapeutic hobbies. And there’s another point to keep in mind. A well-maintained yard adds value to your property and its curb appeal. Buyers are willing to shell out more dollars for a house with a beautiful yard.

Pruning Shrubs At The Wrong Time

shrub trimming

When you buy a home, you’ll feel like you need a landscape clean up as soon as you’re all moved in and settled. This, however, is a common mistake, one that is detrimental to the growth of your plants. Depending on the time of year, you may cause unnecessary damage to your shrubs and trees — affecting their growth in the future.

For example, pruning a forsythia plant at the wrong time can delay its late winter/early spring bloom of gorgeous yellow flowers until later in the season. Paying attention to the needs of the flowering as well as evergreen shrubs is vital.

Pruning is used for a few reasons such as training the plant, maintaining its health, and to improve the overall quality of the plant’s growth. If you’re uncertain of when to prune certain plants, it may be best to consult a professional landscaping company.

Not Researching Plants Enough

plants for salePhoto by Jonathan Billinger from Wikimedia Commons licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Never plant first and ask questions later. Homeowners should conduct their research on the plants they want to put in their yard before acting on impulse. When working with plants, it’s absolutely crucial to note that different types can require different levels of sun, shade, and water. Others may be inappropriate for the climate or region altogether.

There is good news however. There are plenty of local resources to help you determine what plants are right for your specific yard and our region. You can work with a landscape company to design an outdoor space that keeps the health of the plants in mind along with the yard’s overall beauty.

Not Using The Correct Amount Of Fertilizers

One of the most common landscaping mistakes that a gardener can make is not using the right fertilizers, and in the right amount. Too much nourishment will burn your plants and too little will curtail their growth. The best thing you can do is research as much as possible. A good rule is to maintain a schedule and checklist of all the fertilizers you use. Note that some plants benefit the most from certain fertilizers.

Not Trimming The Hedge Properly

A hedge doesn’t just help to demarcate your property from your neighbor — it adds to the curb appeal as well. Keep it well-maintained so that it doesn’t grow haphazardly. Shear it regularly with the help of trimmers. While trimming your shrubs, also check for weeds. If you find them, remove them to ensure that your hedge grows healthy and looks its best. An unkempt hedge is a major eyesore. It may even block your entire window, or if the situation goes out of control, your whole house from the street.

Too Many Unnatural Elements

yard gnomes

Yard art is good and does add a visual interest to the area. It can inject a personality into your yard while showing off your favorite knickknacks. But be careful not to go overboard on the garden gnomes and yard flamingos. Too many statues, wind chimes, or birdbaths can clutter a yard and make it look tacky. If you’re a gardening buff and desire full-fledged landscaping — you can undertake the task yourself or hire a professional landscape designer. A well-maintained garden is something most homeowners desire.

Mowing the Wrong Way

lawn mower

Did you know that you can mow your yard the wrong way? It is so common that most of us don’t even think about it. We set the mower to the lowest setting with the intention of lawn mowing less frequently. And while this is more convenient for us, it can be a major problem for your lawn.

Scalping the lawn like this causes long-term damage that can be difficult to recover from. You should also keep these tips in mind for a healthy lawn:

  • Mow when the grass is dry.
  • Keep your mower blades sharp.
  • Change your mowing pattern.
  • Leave clippings on your lawn.

Installing the Wrong Fence

garden fence

Photo from Wikimedia Commons (Public domain)

They say good fences make good neighbors, but they can also cause big problems for homeowners. Installing the wrong fence for your yard or neighborhood can create discord personally and within your community.

Pay close attention to property lines to ensure that you don’t cause undue problems with the homes and neighbors around you. Install a fence that is the right style for your property. Some areas are perfectly suited for privacy fences, others are merely functional.

Conclusion

When it comes to maintaining a good home and garden, it can sometimes feel like the to-do list will never end. But don’t worry. With the right kind of research, you can make your home improvement as easy as a breeze.

We understand that these aren’t the only mistakes that homeowners make with their yards, but hopefully, by knowing about and avoiding these landscaping pitfalls, you’ll be one step closer to living in the home of your dreams!

8 Big Landscaping Mistakes New Homeowners Make was last modified: April 7th, 2019 by Darren Johnson
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