Yerkes Upstate SC Blog

30 Biggest Landscaping Mistakes | How to Avoid them

“My garden is my most beautiful masterpiece”.

These words said by the French artist Claude Monet echoes the value of landscaping.

A garden should be looked as a privileged space.

Ill shaped and neglected landscaping not only hurts the way you see your home but also reduces the value of your home in the market and makes it difficult to sell.

For people visiting your home a well maintained landscape gives a good first impression of you as a person. So do not become a victim of bad landscaping.


The below article covers 30 of the biggest landscaping mistakes you must avoid:

Mistake 1: Are you starting without a clear direction?

Planting without a clear plan can have disastrous results. Therefore it is necessary to make your choice carefully and not let the landscaping become an obstruction in any way.

If you have a large open area and have grand plans with no experience in landscaping to fall back on, it is best to hire the services of a professional landscaping artist. This is will not only save you time but also money.

Mistake 2: Are you planting too close to each other?

Rather than having a line of single plants running throughout the yard, you can opt for planting clusters of trees or shrubs.

But bear in mind to leave adequate space between each cluster so that the plants have enough room to spread out. If you plant them too close to each other, they will not only over crowd the landscape but also compete for food and water which will put the plants at risk.

Mistake 3: Are you being too monotonous?

It is best to not give into the temptation of planting your yard with only one or two of your favorite shrubs or plants. While this may look great when the flowers are in bloom, it may make the landscape look boring after they have faded out.

A basic understanding of annual and perennial plants and shrubs is required to ensure that your landscape looks like a million bucks throughout the year.

Mistake 4: Are you not containing the weeds?

If you let weeds in your landscape go wild, they will not only ruin the look of your landscape but also rob your plants of the essential nutrients.

Therefore it is important to get rid of them before they flower and disperse millions of seeds in your yard.

Mistake 5:  Are you not fumigating your landscape?

Insects and critters can ruin all your efforts.  So choose to avoid this common landscaping mistake and spray an insecticide regularly to protect your plants.

It is also a good idea to install a fence around your landscape to prevent rabbits and other animals from feasting on your precious plants.

Mistake 6:  Are you using over the top lawn ornamentation?

Many people go overboard and place too many or too bulky lawn decoration items that often takes away the attention from the beautiful landscape.

Before deciding on placing the lawn ornament, do pause for a moment and consider if it blends well with the overall design of your landscape.

Mistake 7: Are you not recycling the waste?

After plants and trees die a natural death, it leads to a good amount of waste that people do not anticipate while designing the landscape.

Therefore creating a compost pile is a great idea to overcome this mistake in landscaping. So instead of throwing away the branches and other waste, you can use a shredder and dispose them off in a more eco friendly manner.

Mistake 8: Are you using improper planting locations?

This is another landscaping mistake to avoid at all costs. People more of than not, fail to consider the amount of sunlight the plants will receive in the place they plant them.

Too much or too little exposure to sunlight will affect the growth of the plants. Also planting trees and plants too close to your home will disrupt the foundation of your house.

It is therefore advisable to plant trees and shrubs at least 4 feet away from your home.

Mistake 9: Are you digging a deep hole to plant?

This is one of the worst landscaping mistakes as it will lead to the death of the tree or plant. It’s a myth that covering it with more soil will help them grow better.

On the contrary, it will choke the tree as it restricts the air from reaching the roots. It may also cause rotting of the root.

A general rule to be followed is to dig a hole that matches the container it came in.

Mistake 10: Are you trimming the grass too short?

This is another landscaping pitfall to avoid. People often think cutting the grass too short means that they will have to mow the lawn less frequently. But it often leads to a bare batch.

The grass should be cut to different lengths according to the different seasons. If its summer, it is best to let the blades grow a little taller than usual as it will prevent the water to evaporate faster. If it is winter, then you should cut it little bit shorter so that the sunlight can penetrate into the soil.

Mistake 11: Are you not considering the view from your home?

In our attempt to make our landscape look beautiful for any passer by’s, we often fail to given attention to how the landscape looks from your window.

If you place tall plants just outside your window then it will block the sunlight and make your home cold and gloomy.

So after placing the containers do not forget to go inside and check how the placement affects the look of your home.

Mistake 12: Are you using the wrong sized containers?

If you are using a large sized pot it will cause the plant to sink down, get drowned in water and eventually die. But if the pot is too small, it will restrict the growth of the plant.

This will lead to unnecessary re-potting of plants. So whenever you notice the roots sticking out at the bottom, it is your cue to get on with re-potting the plants.

Mistake 13: Are you not using fertilizers?

Using too much or too little fertilizers can be a mistake. You can check with your local gardener to suggest a good fertilizer for your yard. It is ideally recommended to do it twice in a year.

You must always water the plants after using any fertilizer. It is also a good idea to use a fertilizer whenever you are potting a new plant

Mistake 14: Are you choosing the wrong plants?

Not all plants are ideal to be planted in your yard. You have factor in the type of soil in your yard, the exposure to sunlight and rain before choosing the plants for your landscape.

You can get all the information you need from a good book on landscaping or you can seek the advice of an expert on which plants will grow well in your yard.

Mistake 15:  Are you pruning your plants the wrong way?

Pruning is a technique that requires some level of mastery. It can do more harm than good if done incorrectly.

Different pruning methods have to be employed for different types of plants. Pruning in the fall is generally considered the best time of the year.

Mistake 16: Are you watering your plants a tad too much?

Over watering your plants is a common landscaping mistake. In most cases, laws require only about one inch of water every week.

Watering the plants early in the morning is considered a best practice as it has the entire day ahead to dry.

You can invest in an automatic sprinkler which has an inbuilt timer. This will not only save your energy but also help save precious water.

Mistake 17: Are you using the wrong tools?

Using incorrect tools for gardening can have dangerous results. Choose the tools according to the job. Safety goggles, gloves, shovel and rake are the basic gardening tools you must have.

For periodic jobs that require power equipments, it is best to rent one instead of buying.

Mistake 18: Are you not considering how your choices will affect your family?

People get carried away in their pursuit of designing the best landscape. They often forget to give importance to the functionality.

For example, a beautiful rock garden will no doubt enhance the overall look of the landscape, but it is not ideal for a family that has toddlers and young children.

So make sure you do give adequate thought to this.

Mistake 19: Are you an impulse shopper?

If you buy plants just because they look good, you may end up in trouble. It is always advisable to do a tiny bit of research before buying the plants.

You must consider factors like how tall the plant will grow, how much space it will occupy before deciding to buy the plant.

Mistake 20: Are you being shortsighted?

Overlooking the maintenance cost can put you in a world of pain. It is important to make a maintenance schedule and stick to it.

Do not make your landscape so magnificent that it becomes too pricey to maintain it. If you are pressed for time, consider hiring people to do the job.

Mistake 21:  Are you unsure of the estimated cost of the landscaping project?

People often think that plants and trees are available at dirt cheap prices. But the reality comes to them as a rude shock as according to a report landscaping is around 30% more expensive than other home improvement projects.

Therefore before beginning any landscaping project it is important to check if you have sufficient budget to cover for the labor as well as the plants.

Mistake 22: Are you planning to exclude outdoor lighting?

In their effort to cut corners, people often overlook exterior lighting. This is another mistake in landscaping to watch out for as outdoor lighting not only provides visibility but also make the garden really pop.

So ignore it at your own risk!

Mistake 23: Are you ignoring the architecture of your home?

If you ignore the design of your house while deciding the theme of your garden, the end result will be a complete mismatch.

So choose the plants depending on your hardscape. For example, if you plan to put a deck, choose plants that work well with that installation.

Mistake 24: Are you using too much gravel?

Gravel is ideally suited in places with hot climate and where there is shortage of water. While gravel does enhance the overall look of the landscape, it is a double edged sword.

On one hand it saves water but on the other hand it reflects heat towards the nearby plants and causing them damage.  So incorporate gravel cautiously into your landscape.

Mistake 25: Are you using artificial grass incorrectly?

While there is nothing potentially wrong in using artificial grass, it is important to install it correctly.

As the natural soil has the tendency to expand and contract depending on its water content, it may leave wrinkles and soft spots on you artificial grass if it is not laid out properly.

Mistake 26: Are you devoting too much space to landscape your lawn?

While a landscaped garden is a piece of beauty, you should not make the mistake of dedicating a large area for it as this will reduce the space you can use for other purposes.

Choose a reasonable size and design a landscape that matches the style of your home.

Mistake 27: Are you ignoring the seasons?

People often buy plants and flowers that bloom in a particular season. But it more useful to invest in a variety of plants that bloom in different seasons.

This will help the landscape look alive all round the year.

Mistake 28: Are you failing to harmonize the colors?

You must consider the color palette you want to have for your landscape. Do not go overboard with the color green.

Instead add a dash of color that brings a sense of harmony to your landscape.

Mistake 29:  Are you delaying spring planting?

If you plan to include tulips, lilies and other beautiful flowers in your landscape, you must not delay planting them as it requires time for the plants to mature.

Therefore it makes sense to plan ahead and get ready in time.

Mistake 30: Are you not raking the yard?

It is a tedious process, but cleaning the yard is very important as it prevents the growth of molds and fungus that thrive on the leaves and damage your plants.


Landscaping is a hard and cumbersome process but the results make the effort worthwhile. So remember to identify your needs and design a landscape that serves your purpose by including the below dos and don’ts:



Plan adequate entry points like stone path walkways in your landscape design

Do not allow overgrown plants and trees to stay.

Reduce the size of the lawn and choose low cost perennial plants

Do not let the landscape lawn suck your budget

Choose a flower bed or low growing shrubs as it is easy to maintain

Do not opt for climbers as it requires annual pruning and is high on maintenance

Spread out your purchases and view landscaping as a long term project

Do not buy plants and landscaping essentials in bulk as it may go waste

Plan for as minimum maintenance as possible

Do not include invasive species of plants in your landscape

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