DIY Or Professional Lawn Care

This years lawn care season has begun and its time to make your lawn care decision. Is this the year you hire it done or keep doing your own? The question isn’t whether you want a great looking and healthy lawn: it’s how are you going to achieve that goal.

You have two choices. Hiring a lawn care service to do the work or doing it yourself. Understanding the advantages and disadvantages of both can help you decide.

The big advantage in hiring a lawn service is that they are the professionals! Well, at least they are suppose to be. Check their reviews and ask the neighbors about their service. And don’t always go with the lowest price. Don’t forget that lawn care starts early if you want to control crabgrass.

Advantages to hiring a lawn service:

  • Time savings. Someone else is doing the work for you. That means extra free time for you.
  • Lawn service schedule. With many lawn care services, you’ll get consistent weekly service. You can request same day and same time month after month.
  • Professional grade lawn care products. Lawn professionals usually have a license or permit that allows access to premium professional lawn care products.
  • Equipment provided. They bring the tools. Lawn care services provide the tools, equipment and fuel.
  • Skills and experience. Lawn care pros offer the benefit of training and expertise.

Disadvantages to hiring a lawn service:

  • Increased costs for lawn care. You’re going to pay more to have someone else do your lawn care. And the pro’s like to get paid for what they do.
  • Inflexibility. A lawn service usually lets you set the schedule. But once its set, its very hard to change it up. A fixed schedule that doesn’t always work especially when you want to be home to see what they are doing to your lawn.
  • Increased product costs. A good lawn service is going to try and sell you more. Grub control and insect control are usually extra charges. Some services charge more for professional products you cant find at Lowes or Home Depot.
  • Automatic treatments. Many service programs provide a one size fits all treatment for all lawns they service, regardless of your lawns requirements.
  • Need for careful screening. Hiring a company to do your lawn care is more than just paying for the service. Some lawn services have very little training and experience. Request and check references for any company you hire.

Home Depot, Lowes And Menards Fertilizer

You’re probably going to check the big 3 for prices. And maybe Wal-Mart too. Menards does not carry Scotts fertilizer in most stores. If you are researching and using store brands instead of Scotts, you will want to compare Menards Premium, Lowes Sta-Green and Home Depot Vigoro brands.

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Here’s the latest prices from Home Depot for buying and making your own 4 step program. I checked at Lowes and prices are within pennies of each other.

Current prices for the 4 step program. 5000 square foot bags are $97.88 and the 15000 square foot bags are $232.88. This is for all four bags. Now all you need to do is get local pricing for lawn applications in your area.

Most lawn care services will be charging $300-$425 for six applications on a 5000 square foot lawn. Usually fertilizer applications will start in late March and go through September. 5000 square foot is a typical size lot for a 3 bedroom ranch in the suburbs. Measure your own lawn and do the math to see what its going to cost you or call up one of the services to get a quote.

So using my example above, you can see that you are paying about $200 extra to hire it done. $100 pays for the bags and you could do it yourself. Or pay roughly $300 to have professional applications done through the season.

You will find many different versions of weed and feed programs out there. Check out your local garden centers too. They all will have some variation of the following:

Step 1. Crabgrass Control
Step 2. Weed and Feed
Step 3. Summer Fertilizer with Insect Control
Step 4. Fall or Winter Fertilizer

Lawn Care: How Valuable Is Your Time?

If the idea of spending your weekends pushing a lawn mower or a fertilizer spreader doesn’t sound that appealing, hire a professional lawn care service. It will cost you more, but for some people, it’s worth the money.

Lawn care is hard work, but the results are very rewarding. A good looking lawn can improve the curb appeal of your home if done right. If you take pride in your landscaping and creating a beautifully green lawn, do-it-yourself lawn care is probably for you.

One bit of advice I can offer. If you have never done your own lawn care, do it at least once. You will find out how its done, whether its something you can do correctly and if its worth it.