Six Typical Landscaping Mistakes (and how to avoid them)

Regardless of whether you’re a certified plant enthusiast or a homeowner who simply wants to adorn their home with greenery, we can all probably agree that we always want the best for our plants and would not want to do anything that may put them in harm’s way. Truly, there are many ways to help keep them healthy and thriving, but there are also some things that can inadvertently hurt, or worse, kill them. Luckily, these can easily be avoided with just a little research beforehand! The key is knowing which methods will work for you so that you can protect your garden without harming it. Here are SIX TYPICAL LANDSCAPING BLUNDERS (AND HOW TO AVOID THEM)!

1. Cutting the grass too short.

A common misconception when it comes to landscaped properties is cutting or mowing the grass too short. People often think that it’s a great thing, because then it’ll be a long time before they have to do a task as tiresome as it is again. However, doing so is a notorious mistake referred to as scalping, and it does more harm than good. For one, scalping leaves the grass vulnerable to bugs and diseases because it chops off a large chunk of the grass blades, which is where photosynthesis takes place. As a direct result, the roots obtain significantly less energy, making for a weaker lawn. In addition, a lot of homeowners are misguided by this clever trick in the belief that scalping serves as an effective weed prevention technique. The truth is that it does quite the opposite: scalping exposes the soil, allowing for the entry of weed seedlings, which eventually leads to a serious weed infestation. Yikes!

INSIDE OUT’S ADVICE: The act of mowing the lawn is one of those things we do so often that we rarely give it much thought. However, this actually plays an integral role in keeping your yard healthy, because as was previously mentioned, scalping can weaken, or worse, kill your entire yard with grass blades that were cut too short. If you want to keep your lawn looking lush and green, it’s a general rule of thumb to never cut more than a third of each blade. Also, speaking of mowing, it’s worth noting that the mower blade should also be sharpened periodically to ensure that grass is cut smoothly, without the rough, uneven edges you get when a dull blade is used.

2. Not seeing the whole picture.

With lush lawn comes great responsibility. If you want to beautify and greenify your yard, you’ve got to be prepared for the costs and effort that come with landscaping. Moreover, a lot of people tend to overlook the fact that getting your lawn landscaped isn’t where the expenses end. Instead, it’s actually where they start, because now, you’ve got a new area of land to maintain and water on a regular basis.

INSIDE OUT’S ADVICE: If this sounds like too much for your current budget and/or your hectic schedule, not to worry, because here at Inside Out Landscaping, we offer landscaping and maintenance services at affordable rates that absolutely won’t break the bank! Moreover, quotations are free, so there's nothing stopping you from getting one today.

3. Choosing plants on the sole basis of their appearance.

Although landscape design is mainly an aesthetic area of expertise, the plants and type of grass that you would be getting should not be based solely on appearance. You wouldn't buy a house just because it looks nice without considering the structural integrity and interior or its other practical factors (such as proximity to schools and public transportation), would you? The same thing goes for landscape planning.

INSIDE OUT’S ADVICE: Although the look and colour of a plant may be the first thing to come to mind (especially for those who are looking to spruce up their landscape design), it’s essential to take other factors into account; your chosen plants’ requirements in regards to soil type, light exposure level and watering can all have an impact on the final outcome of your landscaping design project. Of course, it still goes without saying that the plants’ physical appearance should complement the overall theme and aesthetics of your house, but setting those aside, there are other factors to consider that are far more important. Take note of these things when developing a landscape design:

· Landscape plants should have a hardiness rating of at least Zone 3 or higher so they can survive harsh weather conditions, such as winter frost and summer droughts.

· Select flowering trees and shrubs that are native to your climate and soil type, so you won't have to use as many pesticides or water them as frequently. In terms of maintenance, this would substantially save your time, money, and effort.

· Mature landscape plants provide the appearance of completion to landscape designs, which might otherwise appear incomplete. Thus, it's advisable to get landscaping plants that can develop on their own and don't require as much upkeep as trimming and spraying.

· While we’re on the subject of mature plants, if you’re dead set on getting seeds or saplings instead, never forget to do your research about their maturity size beforehand. Otherwise, you'll be forced to deal with the repercussions of your hasty judgment in the event that the plant outgrows its designated area, blocks a window, or casts a shadow over smaller plants (which might eventually kill them).

4. Arranging plants in a symmetrical fashion.

Having a garden in which the plants are arranged symmetrically sounds like a fabulous idea…until it’s not. Well-maintained flowers and shrubs provide the perfect atmosphere for relaxation and contemplation in your yard or on your patio area while at the same time giving you something pleasing to gaze upon. However, there’s a catch. Symmetry can make it more challenging when trying to keep up appearances because not only will you need to make as twice as many cuts, but it’s also very likely that some of your plants will just look downright sad because the symmetry is off. After trying to maintain symmetrical plants in the yard, it would eventually become clear that they are much trickier to care for.

INSIDE OUT’S ADVICE: If doing work around the garden isn’t something that you are passionate about or have the time for, then, by all means, we advise against using a mirrored design as constantly pruning will prove to be tedious in the long run. However, should you be able to squeeze getting landscape maintenance services into your budget, then, by all means, go for it!

5. Failing to trim hedges.

Hedging plants are a popular choice for homeowners. Besides adding a beautiful touch of green to one’s landscape, hedges are grown as they provide a low level of privacy and somehow block out nosy neighbours. Moreover, they offer the ability to section off a piece of land from neighbouring ones in order to maintain individual property rights without compromising either safety or appearance.

No one wants their hedges to be sparse and see-through because it not only looks awful, but it also means they won't be able to fulfil their duty of making a partition between two properties. However, to keep them looking their best and healthy year-round, it’s important that you prune them regularly so as to have a definite shape whilst keeping their bushiness under control. Otherwise, if they were allowed to grow too long without being trimmed or if left unmanaged for a few years, they may become an eyesore that not only detracts from curb appeal but also blocks out light, killing the plants around.

INSIDE OUT’S ADVICE: Now that you recognise the importance of pruning hedges, the next thing that you would have to understand is when and how to prune them. As for the when, it depends on what type they are:

· Deciduous hedges – this type should be lightly pruned twice a year, the first one in spring and the other either in late summer or early autumn.

· Evergreen hedges – on the other hand, these are best pruned in spring, preferably anytime between May and August.

Regardless of the type, it’s worth noting that hedges are to be pruned formatively as soon as they are planted, and for the next two years thereafter. Also, be mindful of the fact that any major pruning should only be done in winter when the plant is in a state of dormancy.

6. Taking everything into your own hands.

Landscaping is pretty much too big of a home improvement project for you to take on by yourself (and perhaps your family, should they be willing to join), don’t you think? It’s not as simple as painting your walls a different colour whenever you please or assembling a few pieces of furniture here and there. The art of landscaping is more than just planting a variety of shrubs and flowers to beautify your home, as it actually involves a lot of crucial steps that would require the knowledge and expertise of a professional.

INSIDE OUT’S ADVICE: Although the cost of hiring a master landscaper can drive you to second guess your decision, it doesn't always have to be that way! Professional landscaping services are a lot more affordable than you might think, especially if it’s Inside Out Landscaping that you’ll be hiring. Moreover, if you opt to work with us, you’ll even be saving both time and money by avoiding the need for rework. With our vast selection of services, we are confident that you will find what you need to make your yard look its absolute best!

There's nothing better than the satisfaction that comes from creating something out of what used to exist as a mere idea in your head. We've all been there, right? Spending a lot of time thinking about what we want our dream yard to look like. Well, it’s time to stop dreaming and start doing! With our qualified team of landscape professionals on board, there’s no need to struggle through trial and error anymore—let’s work on bringing your visions into reality instead. Reach out to us at 1300 916 767 and get your free, no-obligation quote today!