New Homeowner No-No’s – Outside


For your first landscaping project, do not over-mulch. Too much mulch can suffocate plants and prevent water from reaching roots.

Instead, add mulch to no deeper than three inches.


It may look charming, but ivy will keep growing. Eventually ivy will spread under a home’s siding or shingles, damage their integrity, and ultimately cost you, either in replacing siding, providing entry points for invading pests, or both!

Instead, research how and where to thoughtfully plant ivy. A quick web search can also provide better alternatives for plants to safely grow along the base of your home. Note: plants need to be placed two feet minimum away from the foundation.


Planting trees close to a home may look nice when the trees are young, but they grow, too! You need to consider the room that baby tree will need at maturity. Trees planted without thought to full height can grow roots that push up through your driveway, sidewalk, and foundation.

Instead, plant each tree according to its height and root spread at full maturity. The Arbor Day Foundation has a handy tree spacing guide to help you ensure adequate clearance from your home, fencing, and so on.


Do not store firewood right outside your home against exterior walls, otherwise you will invite termites and other pests into your home.

Instead, keep firewood at least twenty feet from your home, further if your property provides room to do so. Better to take small hike out to wood pile than let pests make an easy hike into your new home.

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