So, you’ve done all you can to make the interior of your home a wonderful oasis for you and your family. You have your favorite place to read, your favorite spot to relax after a long day at work, the nice kitchen you’ve always wanted to share a meal with friends and family. But now you’ve turned your sights outward and have decided to bring the exterior of your home to the same level of sophistication as the inside, right? That’s a great move. Many find the way your home looks from the outside to be just as important as how it appears on the inside. But before you go too crazy on making your landscaping fantasies into realities, let’s take a quick look at some of the biggest mistakes those looking to do it themselves often make in their landscaping designs.


A big step many overlook is the overall planning stage. All the elements in landscape in a landscape need to flow together cohesively, so it is important to know how they will integrate. It’s important to undertake thorough site planning so you know how the pieces of the puzzle will fit together. Stock up on the tools your job requires so they’re available just as you need them. This will help avoid any procrastination on your part and keep your job on track.


landscape soil preparation

2. Plant Selection and Soil Preparation

Selecting the right plants and trees for your yard, geographical location and soil type is important. Some trees may end up being too large for the location you planted them in. For example planting a Redwood tree under powerlines can lead to heavy pruning. “Right plant right place” is a saying we often refer to. Some plants will not do well in poorly drained soil and some plants thrive in wet conditions. In some cases, we may even have locations in our yard that the water drains to and selecting the right plant for each section of the yard is important.

Depending on your soil type you may need to perform some soil preparation. This includes adding organic soil amendment and fertilizers to the soil to help balance PH and provide the plants with an ideal growing medium. Overlooking the soil preparation can be a costly mistake and lead to plant replacement. By choosing the right plants for your location and coupling that with proper soil preparation you will increase your success rate.

landscape planning

3. Make Sure You Know how to Irrigate

This is where redoing your landscape design gets extremely technical. Irrigation can be tricky, especially if you try to do it yourself. This is important to ensure that the new plants you want in your yard get water even while you’re away. You’re there to plant them, but you might not always be around to water them. This is even more important for those of you who like to travel. You don’t want to come back to a yard full of dead plants because you didn’t have a way to water them.

If your yard already has a built-in sprinkler system, great, you’re all set. But a lot of times this is an additional step in landscaping that you’re going to have to think about. Irrigation systems can not only save you time and money, but they can also help you save water. This will be an increasingly important issue in the near future. Irrigation systems run more efficiently nowadays, some even being able to sense when your lawn requires watering and only watering during those times. Landscaping has gotten technical!

proper irrigation

4. Don’t Evade the thought of Erosion

Many people who find their yards to be less than appealing visually might think that because they have a yard that is prone to erosion. Maybe you live in an area prone to heavy rain, which makes it hard to retain your soil. Or maybe you live in a hilly neighborhood and find it difficult to plant things because you don’t have a flat surface to do so? These issues can all be solved and avoided by building a retaining wall before planting begins.

Retaining walls themselves can become an important aesthetic element to your yard, which is why they’re important to get right. Don’t just settle for any design. Instead, find one that works with the rest of your home and complements it. Consider the material and the manner of construction you’ll use. You’ll also need to form a solid base first to avoid the wall itself from falling victim to the erosion we just discussed.

5. Make Sure You Account for Wildlife

If you live in an area that is known for having very active wildlife, make sure that you know what you might be getting yourself into when redoing your landscape. It’s important to not plant too many things that will attract animals. Otherwise they’ll show up every night looking for a snack and you’ll only be left with more work to do the next day. Deer resistant plantings are of the utmost importance in many areas of Santa Cruz county and Monterey county. Many landscaping companies have proven expertise in these areas, so you should plan on doing adequate research if you’re going to take a project like this on yourself.

Take this as an opportunity to plant things that will repel these animals rather than draw them in.

deer resistant plants

If all of this seems too daunting, as IT DOES FOR MANY PEOPLE, don’t be afraid to seek help in your landscaping endeavors. Contact K & D Landscaping for your Landscape design needs; we make it our business to ensure these mistakes are avoided.


K & D Landscaping
Design – Install – Maintain