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Is a Lawn Care Service Right for You?

Is a Lawn Care Service Right for You?
Is a Lawn Care Service Right for You?

As spring lawn care begins for 2017, homeowners begin the age-old process of dragging out the mower, sprayer, spreader and taking inventory of all the products that are necessary to properly care for the lawn and landscape. It’s certainly the right time to do this, but is it for you? To answer this question, it’s wise to think long and hard about a few factors in an honest and forthright fashion.

Begin by evaluating your schedule. Asking if you have the free time required to care for the lawn is helpful. If you travel frequently, work 60-70 hours a week, have children and pets to care for or simply don’t have the interest, the answer might be “no”.

Next, think about your knowledge of lawn care. If you’re a new homeowner or have never cared for a lawn, it’s important to learn the basics. Fortunately, one of the key roles of Nebraska Extension is to provide research based information to homeowners on sustainable, common sense lawn care practices, so if you’re trying to figure out what to do next, simply call your local Nebraska Extension office.

Benefits of Hiring a Lawn Service
One of the benefits is the capacity to shift some or all of the responsibility to care for your lawn to a professional. While no service provider can perform miracles, reputable companies are very familiar with contemporary recommendations, products and technologies for proper turf and landscape management.

When using a professional, you won’t have to store or properly dispose of unused products. Fertilizers and pesticides are not sold in the perfect amount for a specific lawn, which means you’ll always have too little or too much.

As well, with a lawn care company, you won’t have to purchase and maintain specialized equipment such as aerators and power-rakes.

Other benefits vary by company and the level of service provided. Some firms offer only partial services such as mowing, irrigation system installation and maintenance and/or fertilizer and pest control, whereas others may offer a range of services including comprehensive landscape maintenance during the growing season and snow removal in winter.

When comparing companies to hire, many factors should be considered including:

  • the level of training that their employees have,
  • their flexibility to make changes or provide different levels of service, and
  • willingness to treat different parts of your lawn and landscape differently based on individual needs and options for payment.

Perhaps the most important considerations are their reputation and ability to communicate regarding timing of applications and respond to any concerns that may arise for problems that develop in the lawn and landscape.

In some cases, if you have the time, capacity and interest, it may be best to learn best management practices and care for your own lawn. In other situations, using a lawn care service may be more appropriate.

John Fech
John Fech
Extension Educator - Horticulture
John Fech is a horticulturist with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and certified arborist with the International Society of Arboriculture. The author of 2 books and over 200 popular and trade journal articles, he focuses his time on teaching effective landscape maintenance techniques, water conservation, diagnosing turf and ornamental problems and encouraging effective bilingual communication in the green industry. He works extensively with the media to extend the message of landscape sustainability, making over 100 television and radio appearances each year.

Contact John at:
Douglas/Sarpy County Extension
8015 W Center Road
Omaha, NE 68124-3175
(402) 444-7804

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