If you’re trying to create the perfect curb appeal whether you’re selling your home or not, the last thing you want to do is make a mistake that you have to correct. But, chances are you’ll probably make a mistake somewhere along the line and it’s comforting to know that many of these errors can easily be fixed. Here are 10 major landscaping mistakes and their solutions to create that perfect curb appeal or backyard oasis.
#1. Disastrous curb appeal.
If you feel like you are overwhelmed by your front yard, there are literally just three things you can do to get instant curb appeal: paint your door a contrasting color than the base of the home, trim the bushes, and plant colorful flowers. Literally that’s it. It might take some time and a little bit of sweat equity, but you’ll have a beautiful front yard in no time.
#2. Your lawn tchotchkes have gotten out of control.
Have you purchased one too many ceramic frogs, gazing balls, or metal birds on sticks? It may be time to pare down your outside knickknacks and garden accessories to groupings of three with no more than about two or three of those groupings. Also, be selective. Stick with one choice of textile or piece. One whimsical piece can go a lot further than 10.
#3. Oops! You put that plant in the wrong spot.
People often don’t take in consideration for the plants needing sunlight, soil, and how big the plant will get. It’s easy to plant small starter plants close together and then realize you’ve made a big mistake a couple of months down the line. The solution is to read the plant tag. It should tell you what type of soil and light the plant needs as well as how far apart to space from other plants.
#4. Leaving your tools in the elements.
I’m definitely guilty of this one; placing my clippers down wherever I last use them but the more we expose these garden equipment and tools to the elements the quicker they will break down. A great solution is a dedicated storage spot. You can get a garden shed, custom shed, or even just put them back in your garage but you do have to be disciplined to do so.
#5. Not planting for your pets.
Even indoor loving dogs will want to spend some time outside and if you are planning on selling your home you want to make sure that you plant a pet friendly garden if possible. Here’s a list of harmful plants to steer clear of for your pet’s sake.
#6. Using pesticides when you don’t have to.
The overuse of pesticides has killed more helpful bugs then harmful ones. Pesticides are just poison and not only could they poison pollinators like bees but they can ultimately end up in the food that we eat. It’s better to plant shrubs and flowers that propagate the healthy pollinators and good bugs that will naturally combat the bad ones such as ladybugs to aphids.
#7. Cutting your grass too short.
Yes, this is a thing. It’s a common myth that cutting the grass shorter means that you have to mow it less but that’s actually false. You can do more harm than good especially if you scalp your lawn resulting in a bare patch which could invite insects and disease. The solution is to cut the lawn different heights throughout the year such as in the summer when it needs a little more shade to the blades grow just a bit more and it’ll help so the water won’t evaporate so quickly. In the winter, you can cut it a bit shorter so that the sunlight can get to the soil.
#8. Improper pruning.
This one can definitely be an easy one to make a mistake on. Pruning is an art form and when it’s not done correctly you can actually do more harm to the tree and the plant than good. Sometimes it may be better not to prune at all. You might consider getting a professional landscaper to do the pruning for you but make sure that you research each plant in your yard on how to properly prune.
#9. Too much color everywhere.
You might love color but if you color without a sense of harmony it can be a distraction and a mess. Create a pallet before making a trip to the nursery so you know what design and color tone you want to work with. Repetition and harmony in the garden goes a long way.
#10. Irregular watering.
Do you get really excited about a fresh green lawn and water it every day for two weeks and then completely forget about it for three days and then the next time it could be a week before you water? That’s very common so it’s a good idea to set down a schedule that you can stick to. The best time of day to water is early in the morning so it has all day to dry out and won’t get burned by the hot sun. If you water at night there’s a chance of mold and mildew which could cause disease. Consider buying a sprinkler or irrigation system that you can put on an automatic timer. This will help with all of our forgetfulness when it comes to watering.
Creating a beautiful curb appeal and backyard landscaping does take a little bit of planning but if you find solutions to the most common mistakes, you’re already halfway there.
If you ever consider listing your West Bloomfield, Farmington Hills, or Bloomfield Township property, don’t hesitate to contact me at 248-752-3088. I’d love to offer you a free cost market analysis and provide tips and tricks to staging and marketing your home for a quick sale.