The Ultimate List of Landscaping Dos and Don’ts for Homeowners

landscaping dos and donts

There’s something incredibly appealing about a well-landscaped front and back yard.

It could be because even the best homes feel a little off when their exterior isn’t well maintained. But when the landscaping is as carefully designed as the house, the whole picture is better than the sum of its parts.

So, if you want to find out what to do – and what not to do – when planning the landscaping of your property, check out this list of landscaping dos and don’ts!

Landscaping Dos and Don’ts

Do Master Curb Appeal

For the best curb appeal, you need to approach your landscaping with a strategy.

Use splashes of color that can accentuate the right areas of your property. Make note of what shades and hues work best in your yard in relation to the color of your exterior siding and roof colors.

Try to stay visually pleasing at all times by planning out every aspect of your landscaping. Draw up blueprints to show where shrubbery, flower beds, mulching, and trees should be placed to create a more comprehensive and well thought out appearance.

Do Choose the Right Mulch

landscaping dos and donts

Mulch is a protective covering that is absolutely necessary in most climates for proper lawn care.

Mulch lessens evaporation and soil erosion, which are crucial for a healthy yard. But if your mulch is poorly chosen, it can lead to damaged plants and extra hassle.

So, try to avoid certain mulches – especially those that contain small stones. They require extra maintenance in order to avoid the stones being shoved down into the soil. Other mulches can actually harm your plants if they aren’t rotated out seasonally – so do the appropriate research ahead of time.

Do Think About Wildlife

If you don’t take the local wildlife into consideration, you might be planning a delicious meal rather than a pretty garden. Animals and garden pests can prove to be a major issue when not accounted for in advance.

So, think about what animals live in your area. If you have an abundance of deer, you may not want to plant loads of pretty flowering plants. Include some that taste bitter – that way if they do show up, they may not be interested in finishing off your whole garden. If you have wild rabbits, you might need to surround your garden beds with chicken wire or a small fence.

But maybe you do want to attract wildlife. If that’s the case, plan ahead to incorporate elements into your landscaping that harness all the beauty of nature by giving that wildlife a place to feel comfortable.

Do Remember the View

You might be totally focused on curb appeal and how everyone else sees your yard – but what about your view? When you sit in your home and stare out your windows, you should be able to appreciate your yard as well!

So, when planning out your landscaping, don’t place a huge hedgerow or dense trees so close to your house that you can’t look out and admire all your hard work. Place your plants and containers where you want them, then go outside and look through every major window so you can see what they’ll look like ahead of time.

You should see the glass framed with the beautiful trees and foliage you picked for your yard, like a painting or collage. You can enjoy your landscaping!

Don’t Use Excessive Lawn Ornamentation

Everyone likes to personalize their yards, but it’s possible to go way overboard.

If you’ve mastered your curb appeal, your lawn should have a sense of subtlety in its ornamentation. If you must have a plastic flamingo or a statue of a dragon, limit it to only one or the other.

If you have a very large yard that could pull off extra ornamentation – go for it. But try your best to keep them thematically similar and only in areas of the yard that make sense for ornaments.

Please don’t fill your yard with lawn gnomes (even if it might be hilarious).

Don’t Be Generic

Think about it this way: your front and back yards are an extension of your home. If you think your interior decorating is a reflection of your personality, you should feel the same way about your exterior.

So, add personal touches to your landscape. If you love birds, attract them to your property with feeders, houses, and birdbaths. Create a garden area specifically for birds to enjoy.

Or, maybe you really are into lawn gnomes. People might know your lawn as the crazy one in the neighborhood with dozens of gnomes, but if that’s an accurate reflection of your personality, go for it!

Don’t Waste Water

landscaping dos and donts

Of all the landscaping dos and don’ts, effectively using your water is among the most important.

One way to mess up big-time is to plant the wrong vegetation in your lawn for your region. If you live in a desert area but want a big green lawn with happy hedges and flowerbeds, you’re going to need to use a ton of water. And at the end of the day, it can be pretty wasteful – especially when you consider all the other awesome landscaping trends for desert areas.

Another is even more obvious: overwatering. If you have a sprinkler system, make sure it works exactly the way it should. Regularly inspect your lawn to see if it’s receiving more water than it needs. Experiment by cutting back on watering whenever possible to see if the lawn does fine with lower amounts.

Remember, water is a limited resource! Use it only if you need it.

Don’t Plant in the Wrong Place

If you want to include vibrant color in your landscaping, don’t plant too many plants and flowers in the same spot.

When you group similar shrubs, trees, plants, and flowers together, it might not be as visually appealing as featuring them in deliberate patterns throughout your yard. Clusters of color can draw attention away from your home instead of giving the appearance of an organized whole.

You should also think about what plants go well together in general. Some seeds, when planted too close together, can lead to issues down the road as they compete with each other for adequate sunlight and nutrients.

Don’t Fail to Perform Regular Maintenance

Proper landscaping requires a lot of regular maintenance – there’s no way around it. Fertilizing, weeding, watering, and mulching all require you to dedicate a considerable amount of time out of your schedule to perform.

Your best option if you cannot find this sort of time on a regular basis is to invest in low maintenance plants. These guys won’t need the same level of constant attention as some other popular yard plants and will thrive mostly on their own with minimum attention.

Keep all these landscaping dos and don’ts in mind while planning your yard, and you’ll soon find yourself appreciating every part of your property.

And if you have any further questions on landscaping or real estate in the Austin, Ft. Hood, or Killeen area, contact me today!