Top Landscaping Mistakes You Can Avoid
Everyone loves a beautiful yard. But not many people are expert Northern VA landscapers by trade. This leads to common errors when we try to make our homes and gardens more beautiful, but don’t worry, these mistakes are easy to avoid when you know what they are.
Landscaping Mistake #1: Not Thinking Big Picture
This time of year is intoxicating: they have bulbs and plants in every grocery store, and still more in nurseries and greenhouses. It’s easy to go into a frenzy and buy everything you fell in love with.
But to have a put-together-looking yard, you have to have a plan. And you can’t make a planting diagram willy-nilly. You will need to make sure that your plant groupings not only look good together, but that they need the same water, sun and soil requirements. You’ll also have to put thought into what the grouping will look like in different seasons, and whether, ten years from now, the nearby trees will shade it out.
By the time you’ve thought all this through, you’ll be much less tempted to deviate from your shopping list!
Landscaping Mistake #2: Overlooking Hardscaping
One of the main justifications for landscaping is that it increases your curb appeal. We all like the idea of patios, fountains, and darling walkways lined with flowers, but we’re also landscaping with an eye to future buyers. With that in mind, you’ll want to take a good look at your “permanent installations.” Are they timeless? Do they match the style of the house and neighborhood? Are they well installed and low-maintenance? And the most overlooked question: do they have the appropriate lighting? It’s the lighting that will ensure that the yard can be admired (and used) well into the evening hours, but many homeowners forget to plan that step.
Landscaping Mistake #3: Failing to Consider the Critters
If you’ve never tried your hand at landscaping before, chances are you’re unaware of the damage that critters cause — and how quickly! But you are
probably aware of what types of wildlife call your neighborhood home — deer, rabbits, and possums or voles are all likely candidates.
Take precautions when putting in vegetables — a chicken wire fence may be necessary to dissuade marauders. And many pretty plants are mighty tasty, too. Remember to mix them up with bitter-tasting ones like marigold.
Landscaping Mistake #4: Maintenance Missteps
One of the most common mistakes is people mowing their lawn as short as possible. They think it means they can go longer between mowings. But actually, it’s very bad for the grass, stressing them out and allowing pests and weeds to flourish.
Another big issue is over-watering. Unless you have a notoriously thirsty plant on your hands, most plant life only needs about an inch of water a week, and it gets at least some of that from the rain. Furthermore, you should water in the late evening or early morning — otherwise, the water will evaporate off before it has a chance to soak in.
Both these mistakes waste time and energy and will make your yard look worse, not better. Doing your research about the best way to do whatever task you plan to tackle will save you a lot more effort in the long run.
The best way to learn is to ask someone with experience, and we’ve got a lot of that here at JK Enterprises. Give us a call or stop by today!
Landscaping Mistake #5: Not Mulching
Using mulch in your garden is crucial to the health and longevity of your garden. Not only will it help your plants prosper, but it will also raise the aesthetic appeal of your garden and landscape too!
First, let’s clarify what exactly mulch is: a protective and nurturing layer of material covers topsoil. You should only use biodegradable and natural materials for your mulch, such as dry leaves, wood chips, shredded bark, grass clippings, and compost.
There are various benefits of mulch and practically no downside! First, mulch is great at retaining moisture which will help your new plants grow more easily, as well as sustain the current state of your established plants. Mulch will also
act as a protective barrier that will lessen the evaporation that takes place as a result of the sun, so you will not have to use nearly as much water. Another great perk of using mulch is that it hinders the formation and growth of weeds. The mulch will cover weeds that are beginning to or have already sprouted. This will make it difficult for the weeds to grow because they will not receive enough sunlight.
The most important aspect of any garden is to have healthy soil, and mulch can make your soil all the healthier by adding organic matter and nutrients which will improve the overall strength of the ecosystem that exists within your soil.
Mulch will also protect your layer of topsoil from evaporation which will, in turn, prevent your topsoil from eroding. Without a layer of mulch insulating your topsoil from the sun, your topsoil is much more likely to harden into a crusted exterior which will make it harder for water to integrate into your soil. It is true that using mulch has many practical benefits that will help your garden prosper, but it will also raise the overall aesthetic appeal of your landscape! And as we said before, it is also important to view your property as a commodity that could be sold.
Landscaping Mistake #6: Not using high-quality topsoil
We talked a lot about the importance of using mulch in the section above, but what is even more important is using high-quality topsoil. Before you begin landscaping or creating your flower beds, it is vital to find the right topsoil. If you are a novice gardener or landscaper, you might not know what exactly topsoil is. Topsoil is the visible layer of soil that is typically two to eight inches deep before reaching the barrier of the next layer of earth, surface soil. Topsoil contains its own ecosystem as it contains a high amount of microorganisms and organic matter.
There are many benefits of using high-quality topsoil, the most obvious of which is improved plant health. Good topsoil will add nutrients and help your plants, and plant roots, have access to more oxygen which will lead to a faster and more sustainable growth pattern.
Another benefit of using good topsoil is that it will retain water and thus, help prevent droughts. Topsoil acts as an insurance plan for your plants as it stores the water that it collects. So, during times of drought, your topsoil will have a saved amount of water which it will naturally give to your thirsty plants in those hot summer months.
The best and most versatile form of topsoil is loam as it retains moisture and also has great water drainage. Even though it might seem like you can go out and buy some loam to put in your garden right now, it is not that simple. Your
garden or landscape will have specific attributes which will make a big difference in finding the best topsoil for your garden. When you are deciding what topsoil to purchase, you can always bring a sample of your soil into our offices at JK Enterprise where our team of professionals can analyze your soil and assist you in making the correct decision of what type of topsoil will work best in your garden.