When it comes to home maintenance, one thing that the majority of American homeowners are obsessed with is their lawns. Probably a reason why people spend so much effort keeping their turf well-manicured denotes success–a manifestation of the so-called “American Dream”. In fact, according to the podcast Freakonomics, homeowners in the U.S. spend as much as $60 billion each year to keep their grass green.
We absolutely understand if you’re one of these people who invest in their grass and landscaping. Our lawns are an extension of our homes. It’s a place where we could relax, entertain; overall, it makes our property more beautiful and inviting. If you’re a new homeowner or have just decided to hire professional services for your lawn, you might be confused about the difference between lawn care and lawn maintenance. Don’t worry, because you’re not alone. Basically, the objective of lawn care services is to improve the overall health of your soil and turf. On the other hand, lawn maintenance services are to keep your lawn and outdoor area clean and manicured throughout the year. To get a better understanding of what you need, we will go into detail about the services included in lawn care and lawn maintenance so keep reading!
What is lawn care?
As mentioned above, lawn care services programs are aimed to boost the vitality of the grass, shrubs, potted plants, and other vegetation in the yard. It is more focused on improving the condition of the soil and turf than making your lawn look appealing (although lawn care is essential to achieving an envy-worthy lawn).
Lawn Care Services
Depending on the contractor that you will hire, lawn care services vary. But to give you an idea, here are the common lawn care services:
Fertilizer Application – Fertilizer is key for grass to grow green and healthy. Regular feedings of high-quality fertilizer are key to providing nutrients to the turf, which helps it grow thick and strong. Although applying fertilizer may look easy, doing it wrong will make your grass susceptible to disease instead of making it healthy. Fertilizing should be done at the right time, with the right type of fertilizer, and making sure the yard gets even coverage. If you’re unsure how to do this and worried that you may do more harm than good, it’s best to trust a pro lawn care service to do it for you.
Aeration – This is a process where the soil is punctured with tiny holes to allow air, water, and key nutrients to easily penetrate the grassroots. Aeration allows the roots to grow deeper, which will result in a more robust lawn. As with fertilizing, aeration should be done at the right time– particularly during the growing season (early spring or fall for cool-season grass and late spring for warm-season grass).
Dethatching – Like aeration, dethatching also helps the elements to reach the lawn’s root to help the grass grow and thrive. This procedure removes the topmost layer of the grass (the thatch) to allow the soil to breathe and receive more oxygen, water, and nutrients.
Weed Control – Another way to make sure your lawn grows healthy is proper weed control. Note that weeds take away the important nutrients and sunlight even before they reach the grass.
You could use weed killers and also apply some weed control techniques like feeding regularly, mowing higher, and watering deeper. Call a professional if you’re dealing with stubborn weeds in your yard.
Mulching – This is a technique where the soil is covered with a thin layer of grass clippings that were cut into finer pieces. This mulch can then easily provide nutrients for the soil. Mulching is an easier and more cost-effective way to feed a lawn and help it grow stronger.
Sodding – If you’re looking to get green and luscious grass in faster, you may want to consider sodding your lawn. This is where strips of pre-grown grass are installed on exposed and prepared soil. It only takes 2 to 3 weeks for the sod to take root, which is convenient; however, this is a more expensive option than seeding.
Irrigation Systems – An easy way to water your lawn and keep it hydrated is having an irrigation system. Especially if you live in an area that doesn’t get much rainfall, getting a good water supply in the form of irrigation is vital to maintaining your grass green and lush. Ask a professional lawn care contractor to see what type of irrigation system is suitable for your property.
Organic Lawn Care – Some contractors offer organic lawn care services where all-natural methods are utilized to keep your lawn healthy and your grass free from chemicals.
How much do lawn care services cost?
Homeowners pay anywhere around $57 and $266 for lawn care services. Fertilizing will cost around $350 while aerating is around $450. The price also depends on the size and the extent of the service that needs to be done.
What is lawn maintenance?
If lawn care services are to keep your soil and turf lush and healthy, lawn maintenance services keep it nice and neat. It focuses on the appearance of the lawn and it includes services such as removing leaves and debris, lawn mowing and cleaning up your yard.
Lawn Maintenance Services
Regular Lawn Mowing – As you would know, mowing is an integral part of proper lawn care. Mowing your lawn keeps the turf healthy and removes pests from the grass. However, as important as mowing is, not everyone has the time and knowledge to mow their lawn properly. Hiring lawn moving services can help you save time, lower costs (no need to invest in expensive equipment) and get great results.
Hedge Trimming – Besides having your grass mowed, another thing that will make your lawn look pristine is trimming the hedges. Other than keeping your hedges look visually appealing, trimming also helps keep your plant healthy. In addition, trimming prevents the likelihood of attracting pests, rodents, and snakes.
Spring/Fall Clean Up – Seasonal maintenance is also vital if you want to have a well-kept and healthy lawn. Lawn maintenance contractors offer spring and fall cleanup to help maintain your outdoor space in excellent condition.
Fall clean up is needed to get your lawn ready for the harsh winter months. Cleaning up your yard during autumn helps assure that you’ll get a green, lush lawn come spring.
Spring clean up on the other hand involves services (collection of debris, overseeding, trimming, grass cutting, etc.) that are much needed by your lawn after the winter months. This also helps prepare your turf for the growing season and improve the look of your landscape.
How much do lawn maintenance services cost?
For a regular lawn mowing service, prices range from $30 to $60, depending on the size of the lawn and the package you will choose. For a weekly lawn mowing, the service will cost around $30 – $35 for a small lawn, $35 – $45 for a medium-sized lawn, and $45 – $55 for a large lawn. A bi-weekly lawn mowing service costs $35 – $40 for a small lawn, $40 – $50 for a medium lawn, and $50 – $60 for a large lawn.
Take note that lawn mowing companies charge by the hour or a flat rate, we recommend that you get a customized quotation to know how much you’re going to pay.
Is it worth hiring professional lawn care and lawn maintenance services?
Applying fertilizer, removing weeds, and mowing the lawn all seem such simple tasks. However, although these things may sound easy, they will all take your time for you to accomplish them properly. Without the right expertise, you may even be making your grass more vulnerable to diseases and other infestations.
When you hire professional lawn care and lawn maintenance services, you get your money’s worth by gaining some advantages. More importantly, you have the assurance that your lawn is taken care of by expert hands.
Benefits of Hiring Lawn Care/Lawn Maintenance Companies
- It gives you more time – Did you know that people in the U.S. spend 70 hours every year just tending to their lawns? If you have lots of things to juggle – working, taking care of kids, running the household, yard work will just take too much of your time.
Hiring a contractor to take care of your lawn takes time-consuming tasks from your shoulder so you can have free time to do the things you like.
- It is cost-effective – Going DIY doesn’t necessarily mean lower costs as you have to invest in lawn care and maintenance equipment and products to take care of your lawn. It would be easier to search online “lawn care services near me” and then look for affordable contractors from your area. You’ll have professionals that have the right tools and knowledge tending to your lawn.
- Avoid mistakes – As we mentioned above, applying fertilizer is not as simple as sprinkling some on your lawn. The timing needs to be perfect and the fertilizer should be properly used. Remember also that fertilizer is a chemical so it should be handled carefully. Any excess fertilizer on the sidewalk or driveway should be removed as it is a safety risk, especially for children and pets.
Although most homeowners dream of having a manicured lawn, achieving this involves lots of hard work and dedication. While some people do enjoy tending to their lawn, yard work isn’t always fun. It’s time-consuming, physically demanding, and requires some expertise. If you’d rather have more time to enjoy your lawn (than spend time working on it) and save yourself from the stress, hiring a lawn care or lawn maintenance company might be a good option.
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