Lawn & Garden Time

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Landscaping mistakes to avoid

When designing their landscapes, homeowners may envision grandiose gardens and lush lawns that are the envy of the neighborhood. But such designs can be difficult to maintain, and homeowners often find they are not worth the time or money.

Avoiding such costly mistakes allows homeowners to fully enjoy their lawns. The following are a few landscaping mistakes homeowners may want to avoid so they can spend more time enjoying their landscapes and less time working around the yard.

* Planting the wrong trees and shrubs: When planting new trees and shrubs around your property, choose varieties that won't overwhelm the property by growing too large. Such trees and shrubs can mask other elements of a landscape, and they can also take a substantial amount of effort to maintain. Avoid spending too much time pruning trees and shrubs by opting for those that only grow to a particular size.

* Choosing non-native plants: It's always best to choose plants that are native to a particular region. Native plants have already adapted to the local climate, meaning they can withstand the worst weather that climate has to offer without homeowners having to put in much effort. For example, if you live in an area where drought is common, avoid planting trees, shrubs, flowers, or grass that need ample amounts of water. Instead, opt for those varieties that can survive without significant amounts of water. Exotic plants might add aesthetic appeal to a property, but that appeal is often short-lived or costly to maintain when a plant is not in its native climate.

* Too much lawn: While a large and lush lawn appeals to many homeowners, a yard that is all grass can be difficult and expensive to maintain. Lawns without trees are susceptible to damage from the hot summer sun, and homeowners often respond to that threat by overwatering their lawns. Overwatering not only weakens root systems, but it also leads to higher water bills. Homeowners can downsize their lawns by planting more trees around the property, adding a garden in the backyard or even adding landscape features to their property.

* Planting without a plan: When planting new trees around a property, some homeowners plant without first considering the ideal locations for new trees. This can prove an expensive mistake. Planting too close to your house may eventually threaten your home's foundation, as roots grow deeper and deeper into the ground. Planting too close to a home also may prove a security threat down the road, when the tree has grown to full height. Such trees may threaten the home during a storm, so consult a landscaping professional when planting new trees so the trees are located in a place that does not threaten the value of your home or the safety of its residents.