Gardening: Choosing A Lawn Care Service
One of our favorite songs is an old country-western tuned entitled ‘The Green, Green Grass of Home.’ Besides being one of our favorite songs it also happens to be one of our favorite subjects – grass or lawn, that is.
We both take great pride in our front lawns. Few things are as satisfying as enjoying the site of our freshly cut lawns. They are like thick carpets with their rich green color.
For most people, the lawn is the focal point of the yard and, thus, its appearance has much to do with the overall complexion of the yard and, consequently, the curb appeal of the home.
However, having a thick, green lawn isn’t automatic. It takes a lot of work. Regular mowing, weeding, fertilizing, watering, pest control and aeration are all-important factors in making your lawn healthy and handsome.
In these hectic times, for many, anything more than an occasional mowing is unrealistic. What leisure time many people do have is spent running around with the kids to soccer practice, little league games, swim lessons and dance rehearsal. God forbid, being able to work in an occasional round of golf!
Consequently, more and more people are opting for help in the yard. A garden service isn’t a new concept, however, a lawn-care specialty company is a service that many people are not familiar with.
Why a lawn-care service? Of all the tasks in the garden, the lawn typically requires the greatest amount of time and energy. Many people love to prune roses and harvest fruit, but would just as soon leave the time-consuming ‘grunt’ work to a professional.
What should one expect from a lawn-care professional? In short, a healthy, green lawn. However, you must decide to what extent you are willing to have them involved. This boils down to time and budget.
Lawn-care companies provide a range of services, including mowing, maintenance, aeration, seeding, fertilizing and best control. Depending upon the company, some will less while others will offer a more broad range of services such as tree trimming.
The biggest problem that most folks have with their lawns is weeds. The most effective means of dealing with weeds is identification and treatment with the applicable herbicide. This is where a lawn-care company can be of real value. Weed, left untreated, will ultimately take over a healthy lawn and be the cause of its early demise.
Most lawn-care services charge between $40.00 and $60.00 per month for four of five chemical treatments per year.
When shopping for a lawn-care service, start by finding out if there are any companies already providing service for your neighbors.
Interview two to three companies and ask them to provide a lawn inspection and a free estimate for service. Companies that quote a price without seeing your lawn are only guessing what your lawn might need. Also, ask about the pricing system and which services are included. Be sure to inquire about services that are not included and get a fee schedule for these services.
Do not begin service without a written contract that explains what services are to be performed, what services are excluded, the frequency of the various services and the types of chemicals used. Never enter into a verbal agreement. Remember our credo: if it’s not in writing, chances are you won’t get it.
In many states, lawn-care professionals must be licensed for the application of pesticides. Be sure to obtain a copy of this license before entering into an agreement.
Keep in mind that even though you have a lawn-care service, there will still tasks that you must perform to guarantee a healthy lawn.
For instance, if you will only be contracting for fertilizing and pest control, but will continue to mow – never cut more than one third of the grass in any one mowing. Mowing too low too often can damage the roots causing them to die. Dead roots build up a thatch layer that can be harmful.
Mow in a different direction each time so that grass blades don’t develop a lean that results in an uneven cut. And always keep the blade sharp. A dull blade rips and shreds the grass tips providing entryways for disease organisms. This also causes the surface of the lawn to turn brown and unsightly.
When it comes to watering, most grasses require about one and one half inches of water per week. Too much water is just as bad as not enough.
Hope that your green lawn brings you many years of pleasure, pride and enjoyment.