Spring is finally here, and I think we’re all looking forward to warm weather, blue skies, and sunshine! Chances are you and your family will be spending more and more time outside, which means enjoying the beauty your landscaping provides. Whether you’re looking for maintenance tips or you’re planning to turn your yard into a relaxing oasis, we’re covering five mistakes you should avoid to ensure you make the most of your landscaping!

1. Overcrowding 
One of the biggest mistakes we see people make is overcrowding their plants. Plants need room to grow and take root. In addition to contributing to an overgrown or poorly kept appearance, overcrowding stresses your plant and makes it more prone to disease. Plants need plenty of room to get proper air circulation. Otherwise, plants can’t dry out between waterings, making them prone to fungus and root rot. A plant under duress also attracts insects that can prove life-threatening to your landscaping. Each plant type requires different spacing, so make sure to review the spacing requirements of your specific plants. Keep in mind that spacing for potted plants means measuring from the center of the pot to the center of the other pot. Plants that are planted close together but not overcrowded can also benefit from extra fertilizer. 

2. Underestimating the Size of Fully Grown Plants
When choosing your landscaping, it’s important to take into account what size the plant or tree will be once it’s mature. Without this consideration, you can end up with disproportionate landscaping or find yourself facing mistake #1 once your plants are fully grown. Make sure to research your chosen plants carefully and take note of their full-size growth estimates.

3. Not Enough or Too Much Sun
Each plant variety has its own sunlight needs. Full sun plants need at least 6 hours of direct sunlight each day. If your plant is labeled heat or drought tolerant, you’re safe to have the plant in full sun from dawn until dusk. Partial sun plants do best with 3 to 6 hours of sunlight each day, but they need protection from the intense heat of the midday sun. Partial sun plants can thrive in a place where they receive either the morning or late afternoon sun. Full shade plants need less than 3 hours of sunlight per day. A spot with filtered sunlight can also be a good choice for full shade plants. Make sure to familiarize yourself with your plant’s sunlight needs before planting to avoid this hazardous mistake.

4. Not Loosening Up the Roots
When you bring home your new plants, they’ll most likely be in a pot. When you pull the plant out of the pot you’ll often notice that the roots are tightly bound. This root structure is fine for the short term, but before you put your plant in the ground or transfer it to another container, you’ll need to loosen the root structure. It’s important to avoid breaking more roots than necessary. Ideally, gently squeeze the soil around the roots to begin the loosening. Then carefully separate the roots. If the roots are too tightly bound to separate them by hand, you may need to use a knife or garden tool to cut some of the outermost roots. Loosening up the roots will allow the plant to achieve a firm foundation when planted

5. Planting Too Deep or Too Shallow
Planting your new plants at the right depth is essential for their survival. Usually, people tend to plant too deep versus too shallow. When this happens, the plant’s roots can’t get the proper amount of water, warmth, and oxygen. The trunk of the plant that is below the surface will also be subject to excessive moisture. This can stunt plant growth or even kill the plant. If planted too shallow,  it could lead to roots coming to the surface and/ or make it more likely for the plant to get too dry. Proper planting depth will vary some between different species. Whether you’re planting perennials, annuals, shrubs, or trees, make sure to carefully follow the plant depth instructions that come with your plant.

Avoiding these five common mistakes can set you up for success with your landscaping. As you’re getting ready for spring, remember, we’re here for all of your landscaping needs. Give us a call or stop by our Weyers Cave location!

(540) 234-8500