Justin White, Landscaping Lessons│Backyard blunders to avoid, Part 2 – Santa Cruz Sentinel

Welcome back for the second round of things not to do in landscaping! With the potential to create a dream backyard, the need for education, resources and lots of tips from a professional increases. These lessons will help you turn your landscaping ideas into workable plans and avoid costly mistakes. At the same time, you save time and trouble.

Ignore climatic conditions

Even at the same time of day, we in Santa Cruz County know that Scotts Valley weather can vary dramatically from Aptos. We have a wide range of temperatures and microclimates on the Central Coast to consider when choosing the plants for your home. Your particular property may have an excess of shade, sunlight, moisture, or wind, all of which should be taken into account when weeding out plants or materials for your land. Although some native plants are able to survive in harsh seasons, their ability to thrive depends on strategic care and deliberate placement.

Annuals vs. perennials

Annuals, as the name suggests, are plants or flowers that grow one season and then die. There are certain annuals that drop seeds to give birth to the plant again in spring, but most only last until the first frost of the year. Perennials are best planted in spring or fall and can assert themselves over several seasons. During the winter the top flower may disappear, but in the spring new growth will bloom from the same roots. Be aware of the difference between the two when looking for additions to your home and garden.

Overlap or crop at the wrong time


Pruning can help a tree or plant live longer and increase its flowering rate. However, if done wrong, it will have a negative impact. Overlapping can traumatize the plant and eventually stunt future growth. You can also accidentally cut off buds and then wonder why it isn’t blooming. A good rule of thumb is never to prune more than ¼ of a tree’s canopy. If you wait too long on the other side of the scissors or start pruning too early, the chances of it blooming are very small or not at all. To avoid these mistakes, you need to understand the flowering plan of each tree or plant before pruning.

Color schemes

It’s easy to get distracted by the multitude of bright, beautiful blooms that plants can offer. So, if you’ve already established a color palette in your design plans, your landscaping won’t be overwhelming or overwhelming. Choose colors that complement your natural surroundings as well as colors that suit your home. Find a main color to keep the focal points around the property, then add accent colors to tie everything together.

Untimely watering

Even a complicated irrigation system can lead to landscaping mishaps if it’s not timed to meet the needs of your yard. One of the most common programming mistakes is watering at the wrong time of day. When set for the warmest part of the daylight, the water can evaporate before it can even reach the roots of the plant. If scheduled for early evening, oversaturation during the night can lead to illness or freezing. The most ideal irrigation system should be operated in the early morning. Remember that most plants die from overwatering, not under watering.

Forget hardscapes

Landscaping isn’t just about grass, shrubs, flowers, and trees. It should also include harsh landscapes such as patios, fences, walkways, and pools. A mixture of softscapes and hardscapes ensures balance in your outdoor area. The hardscapes that you plan to add should be considered in your color scheme. Make it both functional and harmonious with the theme of your property. Pay attention to the plants surrounding hard installations, such as B. those with thorny overgrowth or juice and pollen droppings. Don’t forget about these tree roots. If you are installing trees within 5 feet of a hard area, you will need to install root barriers to reduce future root damage.

Neglecting privacy

Juggle aesthetics and purpose by choosing parts for your landscape that offer privacy from noisy streets or nosy neighbors. Include fences or plants / trees tall enough to protect yourself from nearby windows and buildings on the second floor. At the beginning of your design, consider your privacy needs to protect unwanted, wandering eyes from your newly closed outdoor retreat.

Creating a pleasant outdoor space requires a detailed plan of planning, planting and persistence. Dodge these common mistakes as you design and maintain your garden and you will reap the rewards of your landscaping for years!

Justin White is the CEO of K&D Landscaping, headquartered in Watsonville, California, and was named “Business of the Year 2020” by the Pajaro Valley Chamber of Commerce. White is also the current president of the local chapter of the California Landscape Contractors Association (CLCA) on the central coast. He is involved in several nonprofits across the community and sits on the board of directors of the Santa Cruz Business Council. For more information on landscaping, outdoor and gardening requirements, contact K&D Landscaping at kndlandscaping.com.

Comments are closed.