8 Common Landscaping Mistakes: Are You Guilty of These?

We’ve been meeting with a number of homeowners this fall to plan some landscaping installations for spring.  The main desire of each client?  To have an attractive property.

Everybody wants a beautiful yard, but at what cost?

If you haven’t had a professional landscape designer help you plan, you might be making some common mistakes and not even realize it.

Rest assured, there’s help available.  Below you will find the most common mistakes and how you can correct them.

The Most Common Errors in Landscaping

  • Too many decorations around your yard can take the attention off the natural beauty of your landscaping. Before adding a lawn ornament, be sure that it matches the overall design concept.  We’ve all seen those overdone yards or homes where something is clearly out of place.  Garden gnomes were all the rage recently, but before you add one to your yard, consider if it works with what’s already there.
  • Placing plants in the wrong place can lead to problems such as overcrowding, lack of sufficient sunlight (or shade), or plants growing larger than expected.  When you buy a new plant, there should be a little tag sticking out of the soil. This tag will show you how much sunlight and water it needs, how big it will grow, and if it is an all season plant.
  • Planting a tree too deep can actually cause the tree to suffocate. Air needs to reach the roots or the tree can die and the roots may rot. The rule of thumb with plants and trees is to dig the hole the same size of the container that it came in.
  • Using containers that are too big can actually cause the plant to sink down into the soil, get too much water or to dry out too quickly. Plants will need to be repotted often, so eventually it will need a bigger pot. Just practice a little patience.  Better to err on the smaller side.
  • Fertilizing improperly is a huge common mistake. You can either skip fertilizing, or over fertilize, both of which are no-nos. Fertilizing your landscaping twice a year is the goal – once in the spring and once in the fall.  Check the needs of your plants before applying, because no one fertilizer works for everything.
  • Too many colored plants can become distracting and an eyesore. Use colors that complement each other as well as your home.
  • Thinking more about looks than functionality is one of the worst landscaping mistakes a homeowner can make. Do not lose sight of what you will use your outdoor space for when it comes to redesigning your outdoor living areas.
  • Too much of one thing is not always good. Having no variety in your landscaping will cause your lawn to look drab. Make your garden visually interesting with different kinds of flowers and plants to break up the chaos.


Having a beautiful landscape does not have to be overwhelming. Give the professionals at Architectural Landscape Design a call if you need help with any of these design mistakes, or just want guidance in redesigning your outdoor spaces.  Why not call us today to arrange an in-home consultation?  The first visit is free!

We are a licensed MN landscape design and installation contractor, and we serve the entire Minneapolis and St. Paul metro area as well as other communities around Minnesota and western Wisconsin.