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How to Avoid 5 Landscaping Disasters - Quicken Loans Zing Blog

To have a visually pleasing and greener landscape this spring, it’s important to take some precaution before jumping in to the design of your yard.

We talked to Pablo Solomon, an internationally recognized, award-winning green designer with decades of experience, to help you avoid any catastrophes in your landscaping this year.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

According to Solomon, whether you’re landscaping for a new home, updating an existing landscape or not maintaining one, you need to have a plan.

“The biggest mistake is to not have a plan,” says Solomon. “You must decide how you want your landscape to make you feel and what image you want your landscape to project. And you must have a budget and a timeline in mind.”

Your landscape is the first impression of your home. So to have a good first impression, it’s smart to invest in your landscape.

Especially if you’re looking to sell your home – landscaping could raise your home’s property values and make your home look more appealing for buyers.

Planting Non-Native Plants in the Wrong Soil

Solomon recommends using native plants whenever you can because they require less maintenance.

According to The Grow Native! Program, a native plant marketing and education program of the Missouri Prairie Foundation, “Choosing native plants in developed landscapes allows them to coexist with nature, rather than compete with it.”

To make sure your plants grow properly, make sure you know your soil. According to Solomon, since some plants grow in acidic soils and others in alkaline soils, some will need a lot of moisture than others.

“Nothing gets a great landscape off to a great start better than good soil,” says Solomon.

Planting the Wrong Trees in the Wrong Places

Instead of planting fast-growing trees that are often short-lived, Solomon recommends planting a few hardwood trees. For example, it’s more efficient to plant oaks, hickory and maple trees because they can live for hundreds of years.

And to help heat your home during the cold winter months, Solomon recommends planting deciduous trees instead of evergreen trees. Deciduous trees allow sunlight into your home better.

With that being said, try not to plant trees too close to your home. The roots and branches could eventually damage your foundation and roof.

This is the same for your plants and shrubs, too. Avoid planting various flowers and shrubs too close together because they might get overcrowded.

And since trees and shrubs need to be shaped as they grow, don’t forget to prune the branches so they don’t get tangled together and look messy.

Take Seasons and into Consideration

Another big mistake Solomon points out – not taking the seasons into consideration. Sunlight and rainfall cycles at different times of the year can also affect your landscape.

So keep in mind the power of Mother Nature when you’re planning how you want to design your yard. This is another reason why it’s better to plant trees far enough away from your home to avoid branches from hitting it due to strong winds.

Low Maintenance Materials

Try and use low maintenance materials in your yard such as stone, composite blocks and gravel whenever possible.

“In some climates, treated woods, weather-resistant woods and synthetics work OK,” says Solomon. “But in really harsh climates, they just don’t hold up.”

Avoid Clutter

To make your landscape more visually appealing, don’t feel the need to go overboard in your design.

“As in any good design – avoid chaotic clutter,” says Solomon. “Less can be more in a landscape as well as an interior.”

This will also help your curb appeal if you’re looking to sell your home. By cleaning up your yard and showcasing a nice, clean landscape, you could attract more buyers to sell faster.

Overall, the more knowledge you have about your landscape, the better all of it will look.

“Like all good design, landscaping is based on balance, proportion, color, texture and shape,” says Solomon. “The goal is to have everything work together to create a harmonious look and feel.”

Do you have any landscaping tips? Share in the comments!

This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. How do you use the cayenne for gophers/moles? Just sprinkle into all the holes? Or dilute and spray it in areas? Thanks

    1. From what I can tell on Google, you can just ground it up and sprinkle it in their holes. Hope this helps!

  2. I enjoyed this article. Having lived in the city most of my life, I was not prepared for landscaping — on a slope — in a small rural community when I retired. There have been challenges, many. However, I feel I have a sixth sense about nature taking its course and waiting to see what happens from year-to-year. In my third year, I’ve made progress. Not easy. But, progress. There have been erosion issues, deer, hanging off a slope, zone knowledge, native plant knowledge, digging up roots that have gone half way to China. Someone told me recently that they have never seen me tanned before 🙂 Love it mostly. Hate it sometimes.

    1. The labor can certainly be hard, but the results are pretty awesome when you’ve finished. And the tan is a nice side effect. 🙂

  3. I enjoyed the articles about landscaping .My comment is can you give advice on how to rid your yard and grounds from varmints. Such as gophers and stray cats. I have a gopher under my deck .I want to know how to rid my yard of gophers. He or she looks as if it’s almost blind, but , that thing can move !!!!!!.I’ve tried all the garlic…Hot peppers …even grew lilacs and lavender. not , working .I’VE graveled -mulched_ everything..HELP!!!!please,some real advice would be also greatly appreciated.

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