Homeowners with lawns ponder this question every time they have to lug out the lawn mower, every time they find a dead patch of grass and every time they muse over the confusing packages of fertilizer at the home improvement store. Lawn care is hard, and because it is hard, professional lawn care services are probably exorbitantly expensive, right?
In truth, the answer is incredibly complex. Lawn care costs depend on a number of unique factors, like the size and type of your lawn, the area of the country you’re in, the services you want to be performed and more. If you are seriously considering obtaining professional lawn care help, read on to learn what you need to do to determine how much it should cost.
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Gather Info About Your Lawn
Different types of grass require different kinds of care, which means before you can get an accurate quote for professional lawn care, you need to know what type of grass you have. For instance, cool-season grasses, like tall fescue, ryegrass and Kentucky bluegrass, grow better in temperatures between 65 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit, which means they require special attention in spring and fall. They also tend to require a taller mowing height, around 3 inches.
Conversely, warm-season grasses, like zoysiagrass, bermudagrass and St. Augustinegrass, thrive in temperatures between 75 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit, so they do most of their growing in the summer, and they need to be cropped close to the ground at a height no taller than about 1.5 inches. Typically, cool-season grasses are planted in regions that experience temperate summers and harsh, cold winters, whereas warm-season grasses are found where winters are mild but the other seasons heat up fast.
If you put in your lawn, you should know precisely what type of grass is growing there — but few homeowners do. Most grass is distinguishable in some way, such as it’s color or blade thickness, so using tools online you should be able to identify what’s growing in your lawn. Additionally, you should know the square footage of your lawn. This will help you determine what type of care is necessary for your lawn, which will get you a step closer to understanding the costs of professional care.
Decide What You Can (and Want to) Do
Here’s a list of typical lawn care responsibilities:
- Controlling Pests
Watering, at least, can be automated with a sprinkler system, but most other chores require some knowledge and skill, not to mention some purpose-built tools. If you don’t fully understand why or how to complete a chore properly, it might be best to outsource the job to someone with lawn care experience. It’s not uncommon for homeowners to decide against purchasing and maintaining a piece of equipment like a lawnmower; if you lack sufficient yard space to store a machine like that, it makes sense for you to outsource the task to professionals with adequate tools. Then again, if there are some tasks you simply abhor, you should save yourself the stress and have someone else do them.
Talk to Your Neighbors and Friends
The best way to find a lawn care service is through a referral, so you should talk to the people you know who use lawn professionals. Your friends and family will be able to give you a good idea of the pricing structures in your neck of the woods; for instance, you might discover that Memphis lawn care, which includes mowing, sidewalk edging and debris removal, costs about $35 and the addition of other services like weed killing is $5 per. You might be able to negotiate an even better deal, thanks to your referral from a good, long-term customer.
Get Quotes From Those You Like
It’s likely that your neighbors, friends, and family will provide a few lawn care options for you to consider. You should use the internet to research these suggestions, using review sites to determine whether other customers enjoy the services as much as your loved ones. It’s important to note that you should always take online reviews with a grain of salt; good reviews can be purchased or faked, and bad reviews are often hyperbolic or due to customer misconceptions. You should keep a few key features of lawn care service in mind, as the ease of communication or effectiveness of service, and look for evidence of those in the reviews.
Finally, you can reach out to your top choices for quotes. Most services should be able to give you a quote over the phone, provided you have an accurate measurement of your lawn, information about your grass type and a list of necessary services. Receiving a quote isn’t a commitment to acquiring the services; you can and should look for multiple quotes to ensure you are getting exactly what you want from your professional lawn care — especially in terms of rate.