Why does it seem like no matter how much time or energy you spend working on your landscape, there’s always something more to do? Weeding, planting, trimming shrubs, mulching—the list goes on. Even if you dedicate time to handle all of this landscape maintenance, the results might not be what you expect.
You’re not alone!
Caring for a landscape takes a good amount of experience and knowledge. Even stuff that seems simple can be more difficult than you think. Take weeding, for example. You’ve got to identify the weed correctly, select the right type of weed control for the landscape bed, use it at the proper time (and apply the correct amount of it!), and follow up with ongoing treatments. And, weeding is just one task!
Most landscaping mistakes we see in North Texas landscapes happen completely by accident. Because there’s a great deal of science and horticultural knowledge that goes into landscape maintenance, it’s natural for homeowners to make mistakes.
Knowing what not to do is half the battle. So, here are the most common landscaping mistakes for North Texas properties and how to avoid them.
Putting the Wrong Plant in the Wrong Place
Plants should be right-sized for the space with room to mature, otherwise you’ll end up with an overgrown, messy landscape bed. Not to mention, when plants are positioned too closely together, they compete for resources (water, nutrients). This can negatively impact blooming, root development and the overall vitality of a plant.
You also want to consider the micro-climate of a landscape bed before choosing plants. What we mean is, how much sunlight, wind exposure and moisture does the landscape bed get? For example, some plants thrive in full sun, while others struggle.
The key is to choose the rightplant for the right place on your North Texas property. Consider the conditions of the landscape bed, the size of the bed and nearby plants.
Neglecting Trimming & Pruning—Or Not Doing It the Right Way
There is a right way to prune and trim plants, and it’s not as easy as you might think. First, timing is an issue. For example, if you accidentally prune flowering shrubs just before they bloom, you could compromise blooms that season.
Also, the way you cut a branch can literally make or break a plant’s health. Pruning cuts should be made at an angle where branches intersect. The same angled cut when trimming will prevent damage.
Ignoring Weeds Until They Are Overgrown
Weeds can grow so fast in North Texas that as soon as you walk away from plucking them out of a landscape bed, it feels like they crop right back up! If you wait for weeds to get out of hand in the landscape, then managing them takes longer, requires even more weed control treatments, and can be less effective. The more proactive and persistent you can be with weed control, the better.
Ideally, use a pre-emergent weed control in late fall, winter and early spring to minimize weeds. Post-emergent weed control treats weeds after they appear in landscape beds and includes spot treatments. You’ll need hand-pulling as well as both pre- and post-emergent weed control to get a good handle on weeds in your landscape.
Forgetting to Water Plants
Consistent year-round watering helps maintain healthy plants. During the growing season (spring, summer, early fall), be sure to water landscape plants several times per week. Keep in mind, plants still need water during the cooler months, and not watering in fall and winter is a common landscaping mistake. Plan on watering plants once a week during during this time of year.
Putting Down Too Much Mulch, or Not Enough
Mulching your landscape beds can be a major weekend project. It’s back-breaking work. We’ve never met a homeowner who said, “I can’t wait to mulch the landscape!” But a pro will tell you, there’s a great deal of satisfaction in a newly mulched landscape bed.
Mulch creates a fresh canvas—it helps prevent weeds, maintains a consistent soil temperature for plants, helps retain moisture and protects plant roots. So, there are many reasons why mulching is the right thing to do for your landscaping. The question is, are you mulching the right way?
The general rule of thumb is to apply 2 to 3 inches of mulch on landscape beds on an annual basis. Be sure to apply mulch evenly. Avoid creating mulch “volcanoes” around tree trunks, which can cause tree/shrub bark to decay, therefore attracting insects, fungi and bacteria.
Take a Load Off and Hire a Pro
Now, you know the most common landscaping mistakes on North Texas properties, and you aren’t alone if you’re dealing with one (or all) of these issues. A pro can help so you can avoid landscape maintenance errors that could set back the health and beauty of your property.