Hardscaping and Softscaping: Common Rookie Mistakes

Proper landscaping can make a magnificent impact in the way your yard looks and feels. It’s important to do your research and take proper steps when beginning a hardscaping or softscaping project. Read on to see what these experts have to say about the common mistakes people make in regards to landscaping.

Brian Walker

Brian Walker

Brian Walker from The Landscape Tutor.

6 Rookie Landscaping Mistakes to Avoid

1. When planting a tree, electrical lines are often overlooked.

Plants are not mature when bought from a nursery. They will grow taller and wider. This must be taken into account when laying out landscape beds.

2. Another mistake is buying a plant just for its looks and not taking into account its size. This leads to a lifetime of maintenance.

3. A third mistake is under or overwatering in a plant’s first year. During the summer, the plant needs more water because the root system isn’t established. When a plant is overwatered, the roots can not get the appropriate nutrients from the soil.

4. Pruning flowering shrubs at the wrong time of year is yet another mistake. Spring flowering shrubs should be pruned right after they finish blooming. Summer flowering shrubs should be pruned during the winter.

5. Digging holes too deep when planting shrubs or trees makes it harder for roots to develop properly.

6. Adding too much mulch at the base of trees, creating “mulch volcanoes”, weakens the bark, allowing insects and diseases to enter the tree. Leaving tags and nylon strings tied around parts of the plant leads to girdling and plant dieback.

Jeremy Yamaguchi

Jeremy Yamaguchi

Jeremy Yamaguchi, CEO of Lawn Love.

Overwatering is One of the Top Beginner Mistakes

People often think that more water is always better, especially when a plant is newly planted. But, that’s rarely the case, and overwatering can often do more damage than underwatering. Once plants start to die or change colors due to overwatering, beginners often mistake that sign and end up watering them even more – assuming that the plants are dying because they aren’t getting enough water. It’s incredibly important to read up on the care instructions for each plant you decide to get, and you have to remember that not all plants will need the same amount of water.

Anton Schwarz

Anton Schwarz

Anton Schwarz, CEO of Lawn Care Guides.

Overlooking Water Drainage

Improper planning on drainage is the biggest [mistake] beginner landscapers tend to make when working on a hardscape project. Always look at the grade you are building on and as you build make sure you are taking care of how water will flow away so that it won’t pool in any area of the project. If you don’t, this will lead to other issues down the road where you will need to rebuild some or all of the project. In terms of outdoor design, the difference hardscape offers is invaluable.

Alice Hayward

Alice Hayward

Alice Hayward, Editor & Content Ambassador at Our Daily Homestead.

Planting in the Wrong Spot and Overwatering Plants

One of the common mistakes every beginner makes when landscaping is that they don’t thoroughly plan where to plant their plants and make mistakes in planting in the wrong spots. Maybe because they did not consider the sunlight that the spot is receiving or the type of soil they will be potted into.

Overwatering is also [a] common beginner’s mistake when it comes to landscaping. Watering requirements vary from plant to plant. People have a habit of overwatering their landscaping and disregarding the resilience of plants and trees. Plants typically don’t require any extra water until they show signs of dryness like yellow/brown colors, wilted leaves, and poor development.

Lindsey Hyland

Lindsey Hyland

Lindsey Hyland, Founder of UrbanOrganic Yield.

Ten Common Beginner Mistakes in Landscaping

When starting landscaping, it’s easy to make mistakes. Here are some of the most common ones:

1. Choosing the wrong plants for the climate and soil type.
2. Not considering the amount of sunlight or shade a plant will need.
3. Failing to plan for seasonal changes and how they will affect the landscape.
4. Not considering the size of the plants when planting.
5. Choosing plants that are too expensive.
6. Not preparing the soil properly before planting.
7. Overwatering or underwatering plants.
8. Not using mulch to protect plants and soil from erosion.
9. Using the wrong materials when constructing hardscapes.
10. Not hiring a professional landscaper to help plan and execute the project.

By avoiding these common mistakes, you’ll be on your way to creating a beautiful and functional landscape that will thrive for years to come.

David Arroyo

David Arroyo

David Arroyo from Strictly Stone, Inc.

Working Without a Detailed Plan

One of the biggest mistakes I have seen both DIYers and contractors do is to not begin with the end in mind. They build a patio then realize they want more and add on to it without much thought. Even if you cannot afford it at the time, it’s never a bad idea to have a designer create a master plan that has more bells and whistles than you can currently afford. You can slowly build out your outdoor living space over a few years to fulfill your creatively designed master plan. You can enhance outdoor with hardscaping easily with the right professional at your side.

Many people think that a creative patio design has to involve a curvilinear patio design (patio design with many curves). With today’s options, that couldn’t be further from the truth. So many colors, shapes, sizes, textures, and styles to choose from. Did I mention patterns! A simple square-shaped patio can be transformed into one that has much more interest than any curvilinear design could come close to.

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