Few things are as impressive as a well-done landscaping job. Passersby can quickly decipher between a well thought-out, majestic garden and one tossed together without much skill. Find out what some of the most common landscaping mistakes are, and learn how to avoid or overcome them for the garden of your dreams.

1: Not Enough Focus on Curb Appeal

Many home owners don’t take into account the importance of curb appeal when creating their landscaping plan. There are several things you can do to improve the appearance of the outside of your home. For example, you can make sure that your lawn looks well manicured and that you have chosen attractive design elements such as large stones and useful pathways to make your yard look its best. You can also use the power of color to make your home stand out from others on the block by adding flowers that thrive in your area.  Improving your home’s curb appeal is a great investment in the long run if you ever decide to sell your home. Homes that are attractive externally tend to go for more money.

2: Going Crazy with the Ornaments

Don’t get us wrong—lawn ornaments are a fantastic way to improve the appearance of your garden. They can be fun or serious, colorful or monochrome, and they definitely make a statement about the gardener. But unfortunately, many people just overdo it. Having too many ornaments in your garden is not the way to go, as this leads to unnecessary lawn clutter and can kill your grass. Try choosing only one or two intentional ornaments, and placing them in a spot that adds something special to your outdoor space.

3: Not Mowing or Fertilizing Grass Properly

If your garden is largely lawn-based, these are mistakes you can’t afford to make. The health and appeal of your grass depend on it. Many people tend to mow their grass too short. This may sound counter intuitive, as shorter grass should mean less work for you, but cutting it down too short may actually kill it in the long run. One tip to keep in mind is this: Let it grow longer in the summer to provide adequate shade, and shorter in the winter to allow for good, healthy sunshine to soak in. This is one of those landscaping mistakes that you don’t hear about very often, but it is definitely something to keep in mind.

Secondly, grass fertilization is a common problem for new landscapers. It either doesn’t get done, or it gets overdone. A good rule-of-thumb for when to fertilize your grass is to do so biannually and to ensure you mix it with soil to avoid too strong a potency (or not enough as the year goes on).

4: Starting Without Research or Knowledge

There are so many things that can go wrong when landscaping, for both new and experienced landscapers. The risk factor of committing one of these landscaping mistakes multiplies when you decide to start without putting in the time to do some research. You need to know things such as which flora to plant in what season, how deep to plant them, wherein your garden to plant them, and most importantly how to continue caring for them long-term. Starting a landscaping project is exciting, but without adequate knowledge, it won’t meet your expectations.

Avoid This Mistake: Find Out How to Create a Landscaping Strategy

5: Not Planning and Following Through

Perhaps the biggest mistake people make when landscaping is failing to create a plan—or follow through with it. In order to accomplish anything with success, a plan of some sort is absolutely needed. Decide in advance what you want the end result to look like. Brainstorm, sketch, research, and even ask others for advice. Once you have a pretty solid idea of what you want and what you’re looking for, you can begin looking into which plants, decorations, and tools you’ll need to buy.

While doing this, be sure to take into account certain factors such as the current state of your garden and other renovations you’re thinking about. Then, you can concoct some wonderful ideas and solutions that will bring out the best in all of your endeavors. But this isn’t enough. A plan is nothing without the determination to follow through all the way.