Limitations of DIY Landscape Design: Should You Hire or Not?

Hannah Mitchell

May 15, 2018

Every homeowner knows that landscaping is a crucial aspect of your home. It's the first thing people see when they approach your home. It also is a way to showcase your home's features and create a backyard getaway. The question to ask yourself when you decide to upgrade or redesign your landscaping is  "should I hire of not?"In this article, we have some things to consider before you make your decision.

Determine the Scope of Your Landscaping Project

Before you even answer that question, you need to ask yourself a couple more questions. The first one being  "what is the scope of my project."

Consider Your Timeframe

When deciding whether to hire or not, you need to determine how long you want this project to take. If you are wanting your landscape to be transformed as quick as possible, you should probably hire a professional. If you want to work on it as you go and time is no issue, then you can probably tackle this project you

Hands in gardening gloves planting seeds in landscape

rself.The hardest part of DIY landscape is trying to determine the project length. You may think that a project could only take a weekend, but if you aren't experienced, it could take much longer. Consider how much sweat, blood, and maybe some tears you're willing to put into your new landscaping project.

Make a Plan/Design

You also need to consider how big your project is. Are you planting a handful of plants or installing a large shrub? Consider your skill set and the scale of the project. If you have reservations, then you should probably consult a professional.You should also keep in mind future growth. All the plants may fit once installed, but in a few years, they could overtake your yard! A professional landscaper has the expertise to make sure all the plants will develop nicely over the years.

Common Mistakes in DIY Landscape Design

If after those questions you think you can handle this project on your own, keep reading to avoid these common landscaping mistakes!

Planting Incorrectly

The biggest mistake that we see homeowners make is planting incorrectly. Planting sun-loving plants in shady areas never really thrive. Planting shade-needy plants in full sun will cause them to wilt. This can lead to withering plants and wasted time, energy, and money. Think about how much sun your home gets and the areas that you are looking to landscape in. Then, choose the plants that make sense for those areas.

Woman in hat, crouched, performing landscape maintenance

Picking Plants Based on Aesthetic Rather Than Functionality

You really like the look of a certain flower, so you decide to incorporate them in your landscape design. This is a big problem if you don't do your research. It may match your home's look, but if they aren't suitable for your climate or your home's soil, then they won't last very long. Some plants may look beautiful but may require much more work to maintain than you anticipated.

Mismatched Design

We already discussed the importance of making a design before even starting the project, but it's a common mistake that DIY landscape presents. If you don't consider future growth when designing your landscape, plants will crowd each other out. On the other hand, if you plant them too far apart, then they will look odd and bare.When a client chooses us as their landscape professionals, we schedule a one on one consultation with you to go over your vision. From there, we use software technology to develop a 3D landscaping rendering. That way, you can see live what your yard could look like before we even start working.

Improper Pruning

Another mistake is improper pruning of your plants. This can take many forms from not pruning at all to excessive shearing. You could even prune the buds off and hinder new growth. Different plants call for different pruning techniques. For example, azaleas need to be cut back after the flowering in the spring and shouldn't be trimmed again after August 1st while knockout roses need regular pruning in order to flower often. Doing this yourself, you may overlook and approach pruning with a  "one size fits all" mentality and choose to prune all your new plants the same way.

Incorrect Amount of Fertilizer/Chemicals

Fertilizer can help or harm your plants if you aren't careful. You shouldn't assume that fertilizing is essential to your landscaping. For example, if you are incorporating Texas Sage in your landscape design, fertilizer actually harms it.

Irrigation Problems

Irrigation is essential for your plants, but it's something that you have to keep an eye on. You need to be aware that different times of the year require different settings. Also, overwatering can cause root rot or fungus to develop in your landscaping. On the other hand, a lack of water will starve your plants causing them to never thrive and they may even die.

Leave it to the Professionals

Gainesville landscape designer, Denise Weber, consulting

There are many mistakes to avoid if you decide to tackle your landscape project by yourself. While DIY landscaping may be tempting, leaving it to the professionals presents many benefits.

Ease of Mind

You can rest easy leaving your landscape project in the hands of professionals. You don't have to give up your weekends to complete your next landscaping project. Relax while the professionals work hard to make your dream landscape a reality.


If you want a quicker turnaround time than taking on the project by yourself, hiring a professional is the best move. Trained landscaping professionals will complete the project within a timeframe that works best for both parties. You don't have to take time off from work or give up time spent unwinding.

Within Budget

By hiring a landscaping professional, you can make a budget and stick with it. If you choose to do it yourself, you could run into unforeseen problems and spend much more than you wanted. Landscaping professionals can tailor a custom landscape that will match your tastes and fit your budget!

Landscape Design with LawnMore

It's less stress and less work to trust professionals with your next landscaping project. If you are interested in making your dream landscape a reality, contact LawnMore. We can work with you to create your perfect landscape that fits your timeframe, budget, and needs.

Get an easy, custom quote for your landscaping or maintenance project today.

For small projects, large renovations, and maintenance agreements for homes and businesses of any size, we’re ready to do an excellent job for you.

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