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4 common landscaping mistakes and how to avoid them

Just like spring, fall has many of us spending our time thinking about landscape improvements. Whether you’re a first-time landscaper or a seasoned green thumb, there are common pitfalls to watch out for when planning your dream yard. In fact, certain landscaping mistakes could cause significant damage to your home and result in costly repairs. Review this list before getting started to learn about four common landscaping mistakes and how to avoid them.

1.    Bypassing the research stage

When choosing plants for your landscaping design, it pays to research which plants will suit your home’s unique environment. Start by researching the type of plants that thrive in your area. The plants you choose should be able to survive your region’s average high and low temperatures for the season. Factors like soil type, humidity, rain, frost and wind should all be taken into account. 

Consider what seasons the plants you’ve chosen do best in and what your yard will look like year-round. For example, if the plants you’ve chosen flourish in the summer, what will your home look like for the rest of the year? Choose a mix of plants to suit all four seasons. Careful research will ensure your home’s landscape design thrives all year. 

2.    Not planning for the long-term

Creating a sustainable landscape requires thoughtful planning. Rather than trying to plan everything at once, start with a few central features like hardscape and trees, then continue adding to your plan over the next few weeks.

Think about what your yard will look like in the long-term as plants and trees continue to grow. Plants that are placed too close together can quickly become overcrowded, which will not only negatively impact your home’s curb appeal but also the health of the plants. It’s also important to consider how much maintenance your yard will need. Ask yourself if you will realistically have the time and resources to sustain your home’s landscape year over year and if not, scale back if necessary.

3.    Planting trees and shrubs too close to your home

Think about what your trees and shrubs will look like ten or twenty years from now. As they continue to grow, trees and shrubs that are planted too close to your home can cause significant damage if left unchecked. Overhanging limbs can damage your home’s roof, while spreading roots can disrupt your home’s foundation. Research what the trees and shrubs you’ve selected will look like as they reach maturity. Plant them far enough away from your home to allow enough space for them to safely grow. 

Fall is a great time to re-evaluate your trees and bushes, as it marks the end of growing season. As you tidy up your garden and prepare your plants for the cold winter months ahead, take a look at your trees and shrubs and decide if they need to be removed or relocated. Deciduous trees can be moved after the leaves have fallen and evergreens can be planted along with your spring bulbs near the end of the season.

4.    Overlooking drainage 

Poor drainage can cause stagnant water to pool around your home. This can quickly lead to basement flooding and damage to your home’s foundation – both of which can result in hefty repair costs. When making your landscaping plans, you must account for water drainage and consider how you are going to divert it away from your home. If your yard slopes down towards your home, you will need to regrade it to lead water away and prevent it from pooling next to the foundation.

Depending on the complexity of your landscaping design and the size of your yard, you may need to consider installing an in-ground drainage or weeping tile system as a long-term solution for potential drainage issues. Contact a trusted industry professional to discuss the drainage options that are best suited for your home and landscaping plans.

Despite your best prevention efforts, accidents happen, and it can be expensive to repair damage to your home without sufficient insurance coverage. Contact your OTIP insurance broker today at 1-833-494-0089 to discuss your home insurance coverage options or call 1-833-615-9326 to get a home insurance quote.

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