A lush, green lawn is the perfect welcome mat to any home and an asset to your property value as well. But it’s a lot of work to keep up. Season after season, there are chores to do, and even the most diligent homeowner can wrestle with stubborn weeds, pests, and turf diseases to the point where he or she dreams of paving the whole thing over.
Before you give up on having that idyllic lawn, it’s time to consider hiring someone to take care of it all for you. We’re not talking about a weekly “mow and blow” gardener who tidies the lawn and adds fertilizer once in a while. We mean complete lawn care services with people trained in the complex science involved in keeping your yard healthy as well as beautiful. If you think you can’t afford it, decide how much your own time, effort, and sanity are worth. Aren’t there dozens of things you’d rather do than spend your weekends battling crabgrass?
It’s worth it for more than the beauty a lawn adds to your home. Did you know that turf grass actually helps the environment? It acts as a water filter and cleans the air by trapping pollutants and greenhouse gases. A lawn also cools surrounding areas, eliminating up to 50 percent of heat through transpiration, and the average front lawn has the cooling effect of 8.5 tons of air conditioning. A 2,500 square foot lawn also produces enough oxygen for a family of four for one year!
Here’s what a good lawn care service should do:
Analyze Your Lawn
Lawn care is more a science than you might imagine. Like any other living thing, grass thrives in an environment that’s best suited to its needs.
Soil analysis. Testing the soil is an important first step to uncover imbalances in pH and the vital nutrients phosphorous, nitrogen, and potassium that grass needs to put out healthy roots and grow.
Lawn usage. A study of how you use your lawn will play a part in deciding what kind of seed to sow. A front lawn that’s merely decorative doesn’t have the same requirements as a backyard lawn that’s expected to host touch football games or be a play area for children and pets.
Climate and microclimate. Within the main categories of cool season, warm season, and transitional zone types, there are many varieties of turf grass. Analyzing the conditions where you live, the purpose of your lawn, and the look you’d like to achieve, a professional can select the kind of grass that will best suit your needs and thrive with the least amount of care.
Disease diagnosis. With so many potential causes, you really need an expert to diagnose and treat lawn diseases. It’s crucial to know not just what kind of disease you’re dealing with and what kind of treatment to use, but also when to use it to maximum advantage. Using the wrong product at the wrong time can cause more harm than good.
Create a Treatment Plan
Establishing a lawn isn’t a one-time thing. At various times through the year, it needs to be fertilized, aerated, over-seeded, and treated with pre-emergent and targeted weed control as well as preventative pest control. A service should stay on top of all your lawn’s needs and save you the worry.
Customize for Every Season
Just as your wardrobe changes from winter to spring, your lawn needs different kinds of care in every season. Watering and mowing requirements need periodic revision based on the weather, and a good service will teach you tips and tricks that will keep your lawn looking its best throughout the year.
Guarantee Services and Satisfaction
As long as birds keep flying over and dropping weed seeds from around the neighborhood, no one can guarantee that your lawn will remain problem-free. Your service should visit as often as necessary to take care of any continuing issues and to deal with new ones as they occur. A reputable service will stay current on the condition of your lawn and be available between scheduled visits to make sure that both you and your lawn are happy.
For more reading about some interesting things you may not have known, visit The Lawn Institute.