10 DO’s and DON’Ts of Landscaping: A Comprehensive Guide

Even the most modest landscaping projects can appear overwhelming at first glance. Choosing the right plants, deciding on bed layouts, and determining what elements to keep or remove can leave you feeling perplexed. Just like any endeavor, breaking it down into smaller steps can make the task much more manageable.

We’ve assembled a detailed list of the ten DO’s and DON’Ts of landscaping to assist you in tackling “that spot” in your yard.

DO think long term.

Landscaping is an investment in the future, and plants, particularly trees, can take years to reach their full potential. Always consider the mature size of a plant, looking at least a decade ahead. Planting a tiny sapling too close to your house might seem innocent now, but it could lead to structural problems as the tree grows.

DO allocate your budget strategically.

Budgeting wisely is an essential aspect of landscaping. If you’re working with a limited budget, consider buying smaller sizes of fast-growing plants. This will allow you to invest more in larger, slower-growing plants that can provide long-term structure and appeal to your landscape.

DO prioritize curb appeal.

While backyard outdoor spaces have gained popularity, the front yard is what everyone sees first. Investing in your curb appeal can significantly enhance the overall impression of your home. From well-maintained pathways to thoughtfully placed plants, a visually appealing front yard can make a lasting impression on visitors and potential buyers alike.

DO plan for low maintenance.

Time is a precious resource, and designing a low-maintenance landscape can save you countless hours of upkeep. Opt for plants that require minimal pruning, weeding, and watering. Incorporate mulch and other techniques that help retain moisture and suppress weed growth, reducing the need for constant intervention.

DO stay on top of weed control.

Weeds can quickly take over a garden and undermine its beauty. Regularly dedicating a small amount of time to pulling weeds before they go to seed can save you significant effort in the long run. Implementing a proactive weed control strategy will keep your landscape looking tidy and inviting.

DON’T start without a plan.

One of the most common mistakes in landscaping is diving in without a clear plan. Selecting plants based solely on their aesthetic appeal can lead to a chaotic mishmash of vegetation that lacks cohesion. Before you dig a single hole, take the time to create a well-thought-out plan that includes the types of plants you want, their placement, and how they’ll complement each other.

DON’T be afraid to remove overgrown plants.

While established shrubs and trees contribute to the beauty of a landscape, overgrown specimens can have adverse effects. They can obscure views from windows, create an overcrowded appearance, and even encourage issues like wood rot and insect infestations. Don’t hesitate to prune or remove plants that have outgrown their designated spaces.

DON’T always think in straight lines.

Straight lines might be the quickest route between two points, but they can also lack creativity and intrigue. Instead, opt for curved pathways and garden beds that slow down the eye and add an element of surprise to your landscape. Curved designs can make your yard feel more dynamic and inviting.

DON’T create a maintenance nightmare.

While an elaborate and vibrant landscape may be a dream, it can quickly turn into a nightmare if you don’t consider maintenance. Before planting, honestly assess the amount of time you’re willing to invest in caring for your garden. Choose plants and designs that match your maintenance capabilities.

DON’T think in singles.

A solitary plant can get lost in the expanse of a garden. Instead, think in terms of multiples and odd numbers. Planting groups of the same species or complementary colors can create eye-catching focal points and increase visual impact. Swaths of color not only enhance the aesthetics but also reduce the need for extensive maintenance.


Landscaping is a rewarding journey that requires careful planning, patience, and a willingness to adapt. By adhering to these ten DO’s and DON’Ts of landscaping, you’ll be well-equipped to transform your outdoor space into a harmonious, beautiful, and enjoyable extension of your home. Whether you’re tackling a small corner or revamping an entire yard, remember that thoughtful decisions and strategic actions are the keys to landscaping success.

Check out DIY Farming: 10 Tips for Healthy Plants & Homestead Success for more tips.