7 Common Backyard Design Mistakes to Avoid

It’s springtime again, and you have decided to redesign your backyard. That’s awesome! Millions of homeowners around the country have decided to do the same thing this year.

Unfortunately, when homeowners design their backyards they tend to make the same common mistakes over and over again. With a little planning though, you can avoid this. The following is a list of common backyard design mistakes you should avoid.

Choosing the Wrong Plants

In the green industry there is an expression: “choose the right plant for the right place.” Essentially this means to evaluate the planting site for things like sunlight, moisture availability, and soil type. Then choose a plant species which will thrive in those conditions.

Too often homeowners go to pick out plants and ignore the conditions the plant requires. They base their choices purely on what plants they think look good, rather than what plant would do best in their yards. If you ignore the sunlight or water requirements of certain plants, then they are much more likely to die after planting.

Forgetting to Water the Sod

Homeowners love a beautiful lawn. You really can’t beat the look of green and healthy grass in your backyard. That’s why homeowners are willing to pay hundreds or even thousands of dollars for a new sod installation.

It is vital for a new sod installation to receive adequate and regular water though. Many times homeowners forget to water their new sod, and it dies quickly in the summer heat. If you put in sod, then make sure to water it regularly, and avoid this common mistake.

Placing Mulch Against the House

Installing mulch into landscaping beds in your backyard is a great and relatively cheap way to improve your yard. This is also a great task to perform in spring and summer. However, sometimes homeowners install mulch incorrectly.

A common mistake homeowners make when designing their backyard is to put mulch all the way up against the house. This actually is a hazard for your home because it creates a way for pests like termites to get into your house. Avoid this common backyard design mistake, and leave space between your mulch beds and the walls of your home.

Not Installing Irrigation

Plants need water to grow. Water is incredibly important for the health of both landscaping plants and lawn grasses. Without adequate water, plants (and particularly new plantings) will die.

Many times homeowners are very enthusiastic about designing their backyards, and install numerous new landscape plants. Then they slowly lose their enthusiasm and forget to water them. By mid-summer, most of their new plants have already died. You can avoid this common backyard design mistake by installing irrigation that is set to run regularly on a timer.

Not Planning for Water Flow

Many times neighborhoods, houses, and yards can look very different depending on the weather conditions. When it is dry, an area could look like a field or a stretch of grass. When it rains though, that same area could become a seasonal creek or standing water.

You need to examine the layout of your backyard and how it will potentially handle rains and water flow. If you have an area that could potentially flood multiple times a year, then you need to design it accordingly. You need to make sure the landscaping is designed to handle heavy water flow and the erosion that comes with it. Avoid this common backyard design mistake by planning for future water flow.

Picking the Wrong Fence

Many homeowners choose to fence in their backyards. A fence can serve many different purposes: to keep in dogs, to create a privacy barrier, or to prevent foot traffic from crossing the backyard. However, you need to make sure you are choosing the right fence for your purposes.

Sometimes homeowners will pick a fencing type based purely on price. This however can set you up to have a fence that won’t do what you need it to do. It could be too low to keep your dogs in. It could be too thin to obscure the vision of your neighbors. Avoid this common mistake by carefully examining the qualities of the fence you are installing.

Ignoring Water Features

Water features are beautiful, but unfortunately many homeowners either don’t know about them or ignore them altogether. Perhaps some people may think that water features are too expensive or too difficult to install. However, the truth is that there are many options with this sort of landscaping feature.

Some common and not-too-expensive water features are waterfalls, fish ponds, or fountains. You may be surprised at the variety of options you have to choose from. Avoid this common mistake and consider installing a water feature in your backyard.

Designing your backyard is an exciting way to improve your home and property. With a little planning, you can create a space which you and your family will be able to take advantage of and enjoy. Avoid these common backyard design mistakes, and design a backyard that will make you happy for years to come!

About Craig Scott

I love to spend all the time I can outdoors and find every excuse to leave my house. I write about everything from backyard DIY projects to gardening. If you can't get a hold of me I am probably on a trail or a boat.

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