Every homeowner aspires to have a unique yard, but regrettably, not all are keen to research before taking major landscaping steps. Some of these oversights can be expensive, as they might devalue your property’s curb appeal and worth.

Many homeowners often make numerous ill-advised decisions from the get-go due to a lack of adequate planning. However, meticulous planning prevents you from committing grave landscaping errors you’d regret later. In this piece, we highlight seven landscaping mistakes for you to avoid.

1. Overlooking the Needs for Light

There are three primary light requirement categories for plants: full sun, partial sun/shade, and full shade. Do not overlook the significance of a plant’s ideal light conditions. While many plants can manage in unsuitable light conditions for a while, they won’t flourish. Insufficient light can result in elongated plants or hinder their blooming, while excess light can scorch delicate plants that prefer shade.

When you buy a plant for spring lawn preparation, it’s usually essential (and indicated on the nursery label or tag) to understand its light needs. Considering the sun’s trajectory during different seasons, including potential obstructions from trees or buildings, is beneficial. You might want to plot the cardinal directions in your garden to create a landscaping strategy based on these general principles:

  • Beds that face south receive the most sunlight throughout the day.
  • North-facing areas usually get less direct sunlight, making them perfect for plants that prefer shade.
  • West-facing areas receive afternoon light, varying from partial to full sun depending on the temperature.
  • East-facing areas get morning sunlight, which is suitable for plants needing partial sun.

2. Positioning Trees Too near to Your Home

Landscaping Mistakes

Trees can provide a cool respite and distinct character to your landscape, but select the right type and ensure its location on your property is suitable. Tree removal can be a hefty expense and trees situated too close to your home can inflict serious damage during a storm or if they topple over. It’s necessary to anticipate the potential size of a tree in 10, 20, or even 30 years after planting to ensure its safe distance from your residence.

Likewise, if your plans include a swimming pool, you need to be careful about the landscaping ideas you choose and the proximity of the plants around it. A misplaced tree or inappropriate plants near your pool can damage property or become a maintenance hassle.

3. Ignoring Sunlight and Shade

The secret to a thriving garden over time is ensuring your plants receive the optimal amount of sunlight. Keep track of the duration of direct sunlight each spot in your garden gets, noting the specific times of day. Plants marked as full-sun need at least six hours of direct sunlight, whereas part-shade and part-sun plants fare best with four to six hours.

On the other hand, full-shade plants prosper best with less than four hours of sun daily. Plants that require full or part shade typically thrive in sunlight present mainly before midday, while a part-sun plant can endure afternoon sun.

Before deciding where to position them, consider each plant’s individual light needs. By placing shade-loving plants in shaded areas and sun-loving plants in sunny areas, you’ll foster a joyful, flourishing garden.

4. Improper Garden Knowledge

Landscaping your garden

Attempting to landscape your garden without the necessary understanding could end in potential devastation. If you’re considering designing your first or existing garden, it’s essential to arm yourself with the right knowledge about landscaping.

Seek professional advice or training before you start designing your garden, as gardening is a delicate task requiring meticulous attention for successful results. Familiarizing yourself with the correct planting methods, design principles, and other vital landscaping elements will undoubtedly benefit your gardening tasks.

5. Neglecting Adequate Upkeep

Attractive landscapes are not a one-time effort; crafting a great design is merely the beginning. Even with simplicity, some upkeep is required. One of the frequent missteps in landscaping is neglecting maintenance.

Insufficient or improper maintenance can manifest as excessive watering, incorrect or no pruning, failure to fertilize, among others. Regular cleanups, planning for plant growth, ensuring adequate irrigation, and more are all year-round landscaping tips initially meant for summer, which when applied, result in healthier and more appealing landscape.

6. Planting ‘Mulch Volcanoes’

Avoid choking your freshly planted trees by creating “mulch volcanoes”: heaps of insulating organic material that tower up to a foot high on the trunk.Mulch is meant to regulate soil temperature and maintain its moisture. However, it should be spread out loosely for it to function correctly. Tightly packed mulch can strangle the tree and make the root collar; a part of the tree’s trunk that isn’t waterproof. This can lead to decay, harmful pest invasions, and roots being deprived of oxygen.

7. Failing to Make Arrangements for Irrigation

Landscape Irrigation

There’s a wide variety of irrigation methods you can select from. An above-ground sprinkler connected to a garden hose is one such option. You can adjust a sprayer to water your plants if a sprinkler system is already in place. 

Another method involves using irrigation tubing either above or beneath your mulch. This tubing has holes throughout its length, allowing for water delivery, usually by a hose linked to an outdoor spigot. Soaker hoses operate similarly but feature much finer holes. They are typically made from a porous material that lets water leak out gradually instead of all at once.


By sidestepping these key Landscaping Mistakes, like improper watering and sun exposure, you can guarantee a stunning summer landscape. With some care and attention, your outdoor area can become a sanctuary during hot summer. While these guidelines will undoubtedly assist in your summertime gardening efforts, fully implementing them might be more difficult than it seems.

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