Gardener Reveals Mistakes Everyone Makes When Sorting Their Backyard

By Lauren Mccluskey 7 months ago

1. Poor planning

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So your backyard keeps getting moved to the bottom of your to-do list because you can literally close the door on it. But as the warm weather rolls around and you're craving some outdoor space of your own, you might finally decide to sort it out. But diving straight in without a plan is just going to make you give up before you've even started!

2. Not solving existing problems

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Whether you've got problems with lawn drainage or issues with an overbearing tree, if you don't solve your existing issues or work around the issues you cannot solve, you are not going to be as successful in sorting out your backyard as you thought you would.  Existing problems can also worsen if they're ignored and neglected.

3. Putting features too far from the house

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The goal is to extend your living area, right?  So if you put certain features too far away from your house, the ease of access is going to be reduced and it is more likely that you might just neglect those features of your garden, like an outdoor kitchen space or firepit, until they just become inconvenient space fillers that are just in the way.

4. Complete neglect

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It's easy to just shut the door on your backyard and forget about it, but if your goal is to sort it one day, you are only making the job a whole lot bigger by neglecting it.  Not maintaining your yard can lead to issues with plants growing out of control and damaging any stonework you might have, as well as affecting your neighbors.

5. Mowing mistakes

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If you have a lawn out back, there are a few common mistakes people make with their mowing. These range from complete neglect to infrequent mowing, cutting the grass to short, mowing when the ground is wet, and not changing direction each time you mow.

6. Turf wars

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If you are thinking of laying some turf by treading the DIY path, it's a good idea to do your research first because badly laid turf is really an eyesore and might just make you lose faith in your quest altogether. Be sure to keep it nice and wet, not allowing it to dry out, and make sure you clear the area of debris before you lay it - you don't want a lumpy lawn!

7. Watering wrong

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One of the biggest mistakes many amateur gardeners make is watering their garden wrong. They might overwater it and drown their plants or underwater it so it dries out too much. Either way, you're going to end up with dead plants that don't look as nice as alive ones.

8. Planting problems

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You can also run into a number of problems when you're planting even though you probably have the best intentions at heart. You see, without proper planning, you might run the risk of planting too soon in any space that has come free but this means that you've not considered the whole picture and you're planting too much too soon and all in the wrong places.

9. Planting too much

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Problems arise when you plant too many plants. You see, planting more than you can manage and overcrowding pots and patches of soil won't make your plants and flowers thrive. In fact, it'll probably do the complete opposite and instead of that colorful landscape you envisaged, you're left with brown stalks and leaves everywhere.

10. Not considering the soil...

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You've got to think carefully about the type of soil you have available in your backyard when deciding on the types of plants, shrubs, trees, and flowers you are going to plant.  Some types of plants enjoy sandy conditions whereas others like a more clay-based soil.  So do your research before you buy!

11. ...or the time of year

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If you start planting and wonder why your plants are not thriving, it could be because you've planted them at the wrong time of the year. You see, flowers like marigolds and fruits and vegetables like tomatoes and pumpkins like to be planted preferably in July in order to enjoy the correct conditions.

12. Ignoring your neighbors...

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Not considering your neighbors when you're sorting out your backyard is a big mistake, according to many professional gardeners. They might complain if you build a structure or plant something that grows so tall that it blocks out their sun, and likewise, problems could persist if you neglect it too.

13. ...and local regulations

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Before planning your backyard project, you need to make sure that you consider not only your neighbors but also local regulations. Certain structures and plants might be restricted or subject to planning permission so don't let all of that hard work go to waste by not checking first.

14. Want some privacy?  Then select the right plants!

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Sometimes, it's a good idea to plant certain things so you have a natural barrier, providing you with some privacy in your backyard. But one mistake that many people tend to make is choosing plants that will be too slow to grow or don't provide a screen all year round, for example, not choosing evergreens means that you'll be in sight in the winter months. Professionals suggest that you choose bamboo or hedge plants for the perfect screening.

15. Patio problems

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If you decide on creating your own patio, DIY-style, be sure not to make the following common mistakes: not working drainage in, choosing the wrong material, not designing it around the surrounding areas, or working with the house design.  These are all quite common mistakes that should be avoided at all costs.

16. Cutting corners

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Cutting corners on anything in your backyard can seem quite tempting as you face the mammoth task ahead of you, but it will no doubt cause you problems in the long run. In fact, many professional gardeners have been called in to repair issues after homeowners have cut corners on things like the cost, drainage, and design,

17. Keeping it too cluttered

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So you've got lots of things in your backyard.  This could include plants, old pots, ornaments, old furniture, a disused fire pit, old panels, bits of wood and other material, trash, and whatever else you might never use anymore. If you don't clear it first, you're never going to be able to see the potential out there.

18. Not using the right equipment

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Sorting out your backyard is a difficult and strenuous task but it can be made all the more difficult and strenuous if you use the wrong equipment that is just not fit for purpose. So no using rakes for trying to point a wall - it's just not going to work.

19. Allowing the weeds to run wild

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Weeds are just irritating plants that grow in the wrong place, and although some can be beneficial for wildlife, some can be really invasive and detrimental to your garden and even the structure of your house! Neglecting them will only make your problem worse so be sure to keep on top of them or call in the experts.

20. Planting poor-quality plants

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You might have found your plants in a bargain bucket at the store, just about clinging on to life.  Then you wonder why they don't live in your backyard. Choosing poor quality plants might be cheaper but they're just not going to last long enough for you to enjoy them.

21. Dumping old things out the back

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When you're trying to clean and declutter your house, it can be really tempting to dump your unwanted things out the back with the hope of never seeing them again. But that's not the answer, you are going to have to deal with it one day so try and resist that temptation and dispose of your items straight away and properly.

22. Overlooking broken yard ornaments and pots

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You might be going for that old abandoned fantasy garden look but your broken yard ornaments and pots are just sitting there taking up space. You should either get rid of them somehow or make sure you work hard to give them a new lease of life so they look right at home in your newly sorted backyard.

23. Recycling incorrectly

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When you're disposing of your unwanted items, it's also important that you recycle them correctly according to your local laws and regulations. Do some research and see where your items can be recycled and used again rather than creating more waste.

24. Not clearing unwanted or old furniture out

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Yard furniture can lose its charm if it's not properly cared for, and it's so common for people's backyards to be filled with unused furniture that just sits there looking unsightly and taking up space. So rather than hanging on to it, you could recycle it or refurbish it to its former glory ready to be used or sold on.

25. Ignoring drainage issues

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A common problem in backyards across the country is that they've not got sufficient drainage from their patios and lawns. This might not have been considered previously but by not seeing to it, you could put the foundations of your house at risk and have worse issues in the future.

26. Using invasive species

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When deciding on what you're going to plant, it's important that you do your research first. Some plants can be incredibly invasive and cause problems for you, your neighborhood, and the environment around you. Invasive species like Japanese Knotweed can kill other species and cause issues for the structure of your house.

27. Forgetting about the wildlife

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When you're clearing out your backyard, remember that it's outside and this means that there might be wildlife present. They could nest and live amongst overgrown gardens or shelter underneath furniture. Be mindful of this when you're working and make sure you move them responsibly and seek professional help when required.

28. Neglecting safety

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When you're busy working at home, it can be easy to forget about your own safety and the safety of the people around you.  So be sure to be mindful of your surroundings, wear protective gear when required, and clear away any equipment that could potentially cause an injury.

29. Underestimating how long it takes

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If you've decided to sort out your backyard for that BBQ you're planning to have next week, then good luck. This is a mistake many people make when they seriously underestimate how long it takes to sort your backyard out. Not only this, many underestimate the time it takes for plants to thrive too, and might rip them out to start again.

30. Taking on too much

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You have visions for your backyard and you want to make those dreams a reality but it is important that you don't take too much on by yourself.  If some of the jobs are too much for you to do alone, or beyond your skill level, make sure you draft in some help. Good luck!

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