It's easy to make landscaping mistakes; just ask professional gardeners who have learned the hard way and, over time, have profited from the knowledge their mistakes have provided them. Similarly, as you have begun a big landscaping redo in that home you bought from Tuscaloosa homes for sale, we can point out a few of the major mistakes to avoid.
Our real estate agents get a lot of feedback from homeowners on mistakes made indoors and outdoors, so read on and learn what not to do.
Landscaping Snafus: Avoid These at All Costs
- Don't plant invasives.
Certain plants are just bad news in the landscape. What does it take to make it to the "Do Not Plant" list for Tuscaloosa? Just about anything that's considered invasive is a big no. For instance, bamboo is inclined to take off and take over in our warm, wet climate. Privet and honeysuckle are also verboten, as are Cherokee, MacCartney, and Multiflora roses.
- Don't plant trees and bushes that are the wrong size.
When planning a major redo of your landscape, it's a good idea to rough it all out on graph paper or even in computer software designed for the purpose. Planting trees? Plan for how they will grow and throw shade on any other plantings. (Plants need sun!) Also, think how they will affect your roofline.
The same goes for bushes. Plant more compact, easier-to-care-for forms in the back, and perennials and annuals in front.
- Resist the temptation to just stick any plant in the ground (just because it was on sale at the big box store).
Plan how plantings will look. Plan your color combinations. Some landscapers recommend contrasting hot and cold colors (say, fiery orange or bright yellow with blues and purples). Likewise, think about textures and hues of green and gray. Again, sketching and in this case, coloring, can help give you a sense of how it will look.
- Take it easy with the gravel.
Granted, gravel isn't as popular in the Southeast as it is in the Southwest due to the fact we usually have abundant rainfall, but if you decide to go for a bit of xeriscaping, know that gravel can be a pain. First, it's really hot and can throw off heat that may scorch tender plants. Further, gravel is usually applied with a layer of weed barrier — which works fine the first year or so, but then accumulates dirt that becomes a growing medium for weed seed.
- Take it easy with the mulch.
Yes, mulch is great for keeping moisture in the ground, so the plant thrives — but only when you refrain from mounding it around the trunks of trees and bushes. Leave a few inches of space around the plant, or you could damage it.
- Don't forget to water trees and bushes.
Even in Tuscaloosa, we can have dry times — particularly in the winter. While you may remember to water perennials and annuals, don't forget to water trees and shrubs at least every six weeks in times of low rainfall.
- Deadhead perennials, annuals and blooming shrubs.
Nipping off spent blooms before they turn to seed will prevent the plant's energy from going to making seed. That way, you'll have more prolific blooms.
- Cut back on fertilizing in the hot summer months.
Over-fertilizing can not only burn your plants but may cause too much late-season growth. That, in turn, can leave the plants vulnerable to winter weather.
We're always happy to advise you on how renovating your home, inside or outside, will add value to your property. Contact us today.