Avoid These 5 Common Landscaping Mistakes

Photo Credit: Minnesota state Horticultural Society

Photo Credit: Minnesota State Horticultural Society

Gardening is hugely rewarding, and an escape from the stresses of everyday life.    However, it’s frustrating when you feel that your efforts fall short.  Realistically, it’s inevitable to have some gardening disappointments.  Albert Einstein said “Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new”.    But we hope with this blog to look at some of the more common landscape mistakes that we see homeowners making over and over and equip you with some best landscape practices.

Common Landscaping Mistakes

Wrong plant, wrong place.  Read the description tag carefully.  Make sure before you go out to buy plants how much light your areas receives during the day.   Don’t ignore light requirements.   A plant that needs ‘full sun’ will perform poorly  without sunshine.  The same is true with a sun-loving plant planted in a shady area.

What is the definition of Full sun –  Six or more hours of direct sunlight per day.  “Full sun” needs to include the four hours when the sun is up high and blasting straight down on the plants from 10:30 to 2:30pm.

In addition to the sun/shade requirements, do not put ‘drought-tolerant’ plants in a poorly-draining, soggy soil.  If you have poorly drained soils, then select plants that can grow successfully in them.  Know your growing conditions before you go plant shopping.  The end results will be a better-looking, healthier garden that takes less care and work.

No consideration for the mature height or width of planting material.  You don’t want shrubs to cover windows or walkways.

Not Preparing the Soil before Planting.  Use a spade or tiller to loosen the soil and break up large clumps.   Mix organic matter such as compost, peat moss and top into your soil to give the plants a good base to grow in which will help improve the drainage and fertility of the soil and create a healthy environment for your plants.

Proper soil prep gives plants a good base to grow.

Overplanting or Overcrowding Plants.   Don’t plant too close together.   Check the final size of your plants before you dig the hole.   Then space them out accordingly.  Learn how far apart to plan them by dividing their mature width in half and add a foot for extra measure.

Annuals planted with no room for growth.

Don’t Forget to Mulch.   Mulching done right is the best way to keep your plants happy.  It keeps weeds down, keeps moisture in the soil and protects the ground from both cold and heat.  Three or four inches is all you need for functional coverage.

Landscape Like a Pro

Take your time during the planning stage of planting so you avoid these common mistakes.  However, if you have a busy life and little time to garden, then call a professional landscaper.  Whitehouse Landscaping has 20+ years of experience and can ensure that your landscape looks healthy and beautiful.  We know the best plants for your property. We’ll address soil conditions and can also suggest the best use of your space from designing patio layouts, walkways, lighting and other landscape enhancements.