View over Pismo beach and Shell Beach

Avoid these 5 Shell Beach Landscaping Mistakes

Don’t make these 5 common mistakes with your Shell Beach Landscaping…

New landscaping can be an exciting and attractive improvement to your property. The benefits are numerous and it can sometimes be easier just to jump right in, but a little bit of research before you get started can help make the outcome better and your experience more pleasant.

Whether you are doing the work yourself or hiring a contractor for the job, there are plenty of things to watch out for.

To help you out, we’ve compiled a list of the 5 most common mistakes we see with Shell Beach landscaping.

1.Starting without a plan

Before any landscaping project begins, there should always be a design and plan in place. A design can range from a simple sketch to a formalized landscape design created by a professional.

The former can serve just fine if you are doing the work yourself, since the vision for what it will look like is largely in your head. However, if you are hiring someone for the job, you’ll want to see an actual design that gives an accurate representation of what your landscaping will look like when the project is complete. This way you’ll know what you are going to get before it’s too late to make any changes.

A lot goes into a professional landscape design and the end result will allow you to know all the details of what will be included in the new landscaping. Plant choices and placement, patio design, walkways, drainage solutions, and many other aspects of the project will be in the design. After reviewing the design, you can then make any changes you’d like and work with the designer to create a fully fleshed out plan for your new landscaping.

Not only does the design let you see what your new landscaping will look like, but it will also provide guidance and structure for whoever is doing the work. A landscaper without a plan is really just winging it. Of course, some landscapers are probably very good at this, but that’s typically not a risk you want to take. It’s better to get the project started on the right foot with a landscape design so that everyone is on the same page. You’ll stand the best chance of having a pleasant experience and getting the beautiful new landscaping you deserve.

2.Choosing the wrong plants

This is a very common mistake with Shell Beach landscaping. With the ocean right there and the nice weather, it’s tempting to want to go with the idealized California dream and put in palm trees and a lawn. However, in reality, we live in a semi-arid Mediterranean climate that receives a modest amount of rainfall in the winter followed by long dry summers. Since we don’t have a lot of extra water to spare around here, we need to choose plants that will not need a lot of supplemental irrigation.

Luckily, there is a huge array of climate appropriate plants to choose from. You can have a variety of colors, textures, and plant types. You can even use native grasses to create a low water lawn! It’s all about making smart plant decisions when creating the landscape design.

If you are hiring a landscaper to do your project, screen them carefully to make sure they know their stuff when it comes to plants. There’s nothing worse than getting a new landscape only to find out in a few months that the plants they chose don’t do well in Shell Beach and are causing your water bill to skyrocket.

3.Mismanaging stormwater runoff

Shell Beach is literally right above the Pacific Ocean where fragile marine ecosystems are trying to maintain a healthy balance despite increasing environmental pressure from our coastal communities.

Stormwater runoff from roofs, driveways, patios, and streets carry pollutants into the ocean and disrupt these ecosystems. This means that each and every home in Shell Beach has the opportunity to help decrease this environmental impact by using sustainable practices and managing the run-off from the property.

The best way to manage run-off is to use passive rainwater catchment. This is simply the redirection of rainwater from impervious surfaces like your roof or driveway into the landscape. This allows the rainwater to permeate into the ground instead of flowing off the property into a storm drain where it ultimately ends up in the ocean.

By allowing the rainwater to permeate into the soil in your landscape, any built-up pollutants that would have harmed marine life will be naturally filtered by soil microorganisms. In addition, this rainwater will now be an asset for you. It will provide your plants with extra water which will decrease the amount of supplemental irrigation they need.

A great way to use passive rainwater catchment is to build a Rain Garden. This type of landscape includes a swale or other basin type that slows rainwater down and spreads it throughout the landscape.

Another best practice for rainwater management is to use permeable hardscapes. When building a patio or walkway, use materials and techniques that will allow rainwater to soak through into the ground. This will help decrease run-off and bring more water to your plants.

When doing a landscaping project in Shell Beach, rainwater management is an important consideration and should be a part of the overall plan and scope of work. If you’re not comfortable with planning for and implementing rainwater management, make sure you find a professional that is well versed in these skills.

4.Not hiring the right landscaper

It’s not hard to find a good landscaping company. There are a ton of great companies around here that serve Shell Beach.

The trick is to find a good landscaper that is also the right fit for you and your project.

Every landscaping company has its strengths and weaknesses. Where some fall flat, others excel. What you’ll want to do when finding a landscaper is to look for one that excels in the areas that you value most and the areas that are most crucial to your project.

For example, if you want to have your landscaping done by a company that has excellent customer service and communication, don’t hire the company that takes forever to call you back and doesn’t seem that friendly. On the same token, if you want a low-maintenance landscape installed, don’t hire a company that installs lawns or does a ton of landscape maintenance as part of their business.

Instead, search around for the landscaper that you “click” with. It’s worth the time and effort. If it’s good customer service you’re after, find a company with a solid reputation for that. If you want a low-maintenance landscape, look for a company that installs mostly low-maintenance landscapes.

The point is to find the landscaping company that most closely matches you and your project. This is one of the most critical decisions you can make that can either make your entire landscaping experience wonderful or terrible.

If you need some extra help with choosing the right landscaper and want to learn all of our tips and tricks for this, be sure to download our free “Consumer’s Guide to Landscaping in SLO County”.

5.Not doing anything

It can seem overwhelming to start any home improvement project. There are a lot of decisions to be made and costs to consider, not to mention the time investment. So, it’s easy to just say forget it and put off your landscaping project for another year.

Totally understandable…

But ultimately, you may be doing yourself a disservice. Living with poor landscaping can take away from the enjoyment of your home. You see your front yard every time you pull up to the house. You see the backyard every time you look out the window. If you are to the point where you are researching and considering new landscaping, then you are probably fed up with the way your yard currently looks. The sooner you get your new landscaping in, the more time you’ll have to enjoy it.

The nice thing is that the whole experience doesn’t have to be dominated by tough decisions or time commitments. Landscaping is fun! You get to use your creativity and add color and life to your property. Plus, with the right landscaping company as your partner, they will make the entire process pleasant and easy by assisting you every step of the way.

While the costs of landscaping can vary quite a bit, there is usually a way to upgrade your landscaping and have it fit within your budget. Whether it’s removing an old lawn, changing out plants, adding a patio, or doing an entire landscape renovation, the first step is to discuss the potential costs with your landscaper. They can help you figure out what will fit within your budget.

Remember too that landscaping costs tend to have a good return. Both in harder to measure terms such as your enjoyment and visitors enjoyment of your home, and in more specific terms such as increasing your home value.

When thinking about putting in new landscaping, there can sometimes be hurdles to overcome and it might seem easier to just live with what you have. Don’t let that stop you though. You deserve nice landscaping and by finding the right landscaper to help you, the whole process can be easy and exciting.


It’s our sincere hope that your landscaping project goes off without a hitch. Hopefully the tips above will help prepare you and let you avoid some common mistakes we have seen with Shell Beach landscaping projects.

If you need any additional info or want to learn about our landscaping services please feel free to give us a call. We are committed to making landscaping beautiful, fun, and environmentally responsible so we’d love to hear from you.