You finally have your own yard! Yeah! Now's your chance to turn it into the Gardens at Versailles. But, do you know what you're doing?
Let's look at some of the biggest mistakes people make when they landscape their yard.
- Too much gravel - Gravel looks great in drought zones, but like all stones, gravel reflects a lot of heat and stores a lot of heat. During the day, you're roasting the tops of your plants and at night, you're baking the roots. Break up gravel with other ground coverings.
- Invasive species - Do you know how most invasive species of plants ended up in North America? People brought them here and put them on their lawn. Bamboo is awesome, but it's a big, tough weed. Be careful what type of plant you put in the ground, no matter how pretty.
- Artificial problems - Artificial grass is great. These days it's really convincing, but you can't just put it down over the dirt. Be sure that you put the right underlay on the ground. Otherwise, you might have a huge mess on your hands later.
- Bad plans - If your yard is not planned well, you might find yourself with intermittent ponds, dead plants, and difficult places to mow. Plan carefully for low points and big hills.
- Too much mulch - Mulch around trees is great, but some people put way too much around the base of the tree. This makes the roots really hot, the tree is suffocates, and it locks in moisture that can causing rotting.
- Watch for trees - If you build near trees, you might find yourself, after 20 years, with a cracked foundation or an unstable property wall. Trees are stronger than concrete. One little palm tree can take down a wall given enough time. Plan for trees around any building you put up or buy.
There is plenty of information in the world to make it easy to landscape your yard well. If you're not sure, get some help. You can also hire a landscape designer to tell you what to do.