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5 Common mistakes most DIY landscapers make

Adrienne Oliver

Adrienne got her start in Real Estate as an investor/landlord in 2004...

Adrienne got her start in Real Estate as an investor/landlord in 2004...

Dec 5 3 minutes read

Landscaping helps with curb appeal and is often the reason that a home maybe overlooked by a potential buyer.  Here are some tips you'll benefit from to help you avoid common DIY landscaping mistakes.  According to Ethan McCook, landscape foreman for American Lawn and Landscaping in Kansas City, here are the five most common DIY landscape mistakes he sees on the job.

Mistake #1: Overlooking drainage issues around the home's foundation

One of the most important tasks that few homeowners consider is their home's foundation. "over time, no matter where you live, rain will wash soil away from your home's foundation," McCook says.  As soil slowly drifts away from their foundations, many folks fill the hole pr gap with gravel. "That's a mistake," he says. "Water travels easily through rock, so fill it with soil instead." That way, you avoid those holes or gaps filing with water when it rains, which can damage your foundation over time.

Mistake #2: Neglecting new plants

Whether it's failing to find out about the needs of new plantings, watering too much or too little, incorrectly handling the root systems, or not planting in a timely manner, common neglect can ruin your plants and cost you hard-earned dollars to fix. Other common mistakes include planting too close together, failure to comprehend the scope of maintenance for a plant, and ignoring USDA Plant Hardiness Zones.

Mistake #3: Cutting corners

Many landscaping projects are never finished because the design plans were inadequate or the homeowner just got too busy. McCook recommends that you, "Save up to do it right, and make sure you buy all your materials in one fell swoop." That way you have everything you need to finish- not to mention the constant reminder of the materials piled up in your driveway- to get it done in a timely manner.

Mistake #4: Not setting goals

What are your landscaping goals? Do you want grass? Then don't plant too many trees that will mature and shade out the entire backyard. Want a pool? Then, don't plant trees within the pool enclosure. Want low-maintenance landscaping? Research drought-tolerant native plants for easy, pollinator-friendly outdoor living space.

Mistake #5: Not practicing proper weed control

Weeds are essentially anything you don't want growing in a certain part of your yard. But, not all weeds are created equally. Clearly, a dandelion popping up here or there is much different than poison ivy overtaking a corner of your yard. However, they both wreak havoc on your landscape. Nip weed problems in the bud by laying down a weed barrier and/or mulch around you plantings. Then, be sure to pull weeds before the grow out of control.

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