Maybe you’ve newly discovered a green thumb, or perhaps you’re purchased your first home, complete with a yard. If you have grass at your home, you know that it takes considerable time and effort to keep your lawn and gardens looking their best.
Undoubtedly, you’ve weighed the costs and benefits of DIY lawn care versus a landscaping lawn service. Still not sure what’s the best plan for you and your home? At Home Pros makes it easy to connect to a local lawn care provider, so the process is easy and painless.
Before you parcel out the tasks of lawn care to paid professionals (or your kids), you should know about the different types of services.
Types of Lawn Care Services
If you’re the type of person that wants to handle all the lawn care chores on your own, then you should have a basic understanding of certain landscaping practices in order to keep your grounds in top shape. As an alternative, you can pay a lawn care company to handle the hard work for you.
There’s also a middle ground that many consumers don’t know about, known as guided lawn care service. Here’s a bit more about each type of treatment so you can make the best decision for your property.
DIY: If you’re going to undertake all of your lawn care services on your own, you should have a working knowledge of fertilizing routines, broadleaf weed prevention and general lawn maintenance — like mowing, watering, seeding and aerating. A lot of people who successfully manage their own properties have spent years of trial and error, or are off-duty landscapers themselves.
Guided: This type of lawn service straddles DIY and full-service care. Instead of handling it all on your own, however, a guided lawn care service can help you with soil testing and serve as an expert resource for all the things you don’t know.
Full-Service: If you find a local lawn care service provider to hire, they will take care of all of it. You don’t even need to own a lawnmower, as they will bring their own.
A lawn service does a lot, like mowing, aerating, seeding and maintaining a strict watering and fertilizing schedule. They will also handle maintenance of bushes and trees, and dethatch and mulch as well. A reputable full-service landscaping and lawn care company rarely overlooks a necessary task.
No matter what type of maintenance service is best for you — guided, DIY or full-service — your lawn and gardens require a few responsibilities in order to maintain a vibrant look and healthy ecosystems. Here’s what you (or a hired professional) regularly need to do to keep your yard an orderly and lovely oasis.
Basic Maintenance Tasks
Whether you’re at the mower (or edger, or aerator) or someone else is, it’s essential to apply a routine when taking care of your lawn to keep it looking healthy. Here are the most-requested lawn services to keep your space gorgeous.
Keeping your lawn at a certain length will promote optimal growth in your turf. Of course, you don’t want to trim it too closely as that won’t foster new growth. You also don’t want to leave your grass too long without a mow, as that can invite weeds and other issues.
Aim for a height of three to four inches at the peak of summer. You can trim it a little shorter in the springtime to get rid of the dead ends, and short again for the last mow of the season in late fall to prevent snow mold.
Along with mowing, watering is an essential task to keep your lawn at its best. Consistency is the best approach to your watering regimen, with long, deep watering sessions more advantageous than shorter ones.
You want to saturate the grass all the way to the roots, so aim to water your lawn one to one-and-a-half inches of water per week, which works out to once or twice a week for at least 15 minutes per session. If it looks like your lawn is beginning to be susceptible to root rot or other overwatering problems, cut the schedule back and keep an eye on soil moistness.
Hardly the most glamorous part of a gardening routine, weeding is nonetheless very necessary. Your grass should be able to grow without crowding or barriers, and without competition for water, light and nutrients. You can tackle weeds in the most organic method, by hand, or with a weed killer or herbicide, which you should limit to lessen harmful exposure for waterways, animals and plants around you.
Life can get in the way of any well-intentioned fertilizing schedule. Healthy lawns need a consistent hand with the fertilizer, and pros are paid not to miss a visit.
Of course, it depends on what part of the United States that you live in, but generally, once the soil has warmed up in the spring sun and reached 55 degrees Fahrenheit, you should start a fertilizing program with your initial treatment.
Three times throughout the growing season is a sufficient number of feedings — in the middle of May, at the end of June, and at the very end of the season in late fall. For the final fertilization, it’s best to use a slow-release granular fertilizer that will feed your lawn all winter and help it pop up springy and plush in the springtime.
Pest Control and Disease
Whether it’s snails, slugs, ants or hornets, bugs are bound to find your lawn and gardens attractive. Most of the time, these guests aren’t detrimental, but a large infestation can affect the health of your grounds.
Specific bugs, like grubs, feast on your lawn’s roots, weakening its most vulnerable areas. Without proper treatment for grubs or lawn moths, it’s difficult for your lawn to recover its former health. Professionals know, for example, that it’s most effective to use a preventive grub control treatment to take grubs out before they hatch.
It’s not just bugs, either. You also have to think about protecting your grass from disease. Snow mold can blight your lawn, creating deadened spots and unsightly patches. Too much moisture from the sprinklers can result in fungus that will eat away at grass, and local environmental issues can cause your lawn to turn up discolored or, worse, dead.
Aeration, Seeding and Dethatching
Some additional tasks that a lawn care specialist will take care of for you on a regimented schedule include aerating, dethatching and overseeding. After the basic tasks of mowing and watering, you can take your landscaping game to the next level with these additional chores.
Aerating gives the roots of your lawn space to grow. You can either rent a large-scale aerator from a local hardware store if you have a lot of grass to tend to, or you can use aerators that strap on to your shoes to get a little exercise while you’re bettering your greenery.
If you have patchy areas in the high-traffic areas of your lawn, you can add seeding to your list of gardening chores. An even expanse of lawn provides a pulled-together aspect to your property, raising property values and curb appeal.
Dethatching is another beneficial task that can make your lawn look its very best. The thatch is the layer of material between the living blades of grass and the roots of your lawn. To dethatch your lawn, you must give it a deep, firm raking. Gardeners suggest doing this vigorous practice at least once a year, sometimes more often.
Additional Requested Services
Some people prefer a broad swath of green, and some love flowerbeds and other shrubbery dappling their grounds. If you have a variety of growth and species across your property, you may need some additional services like expertise on trees, flowerbeds and shrubbery.
There is more to your gardens than simply grass. A knowledgeable landscaping professional will vary the colors and blooming schedule of your flower beds so that you will get the best out of them for most of the year.
Trees and shrubs need pruning to remain healthy and attractive. For safety’s sake, you should maintain areas free of debris and dead branches so that no one will injure themselves when traveling across your grounds.
Irrigation and Mulch
If you have enough land that you need an irrigation system, you may want to consider using a lawn care service to make sure that all the equipment and machinations are running smoothly. With underground piping and computer components, an irrigation system can be a complicated bit of machinery to maintain.
Mulch is as essential an ingredient as fertilizer to a gorgeous landscape. But you shouldn’t apply it with a completely free hand as this practice may invite fungus. The best time of year to mulch is in the fall.
At Home Pros is a one-stop shop for the most reputable lawn care service providers in your area. If you’re looking for someone to take care of aerating, dethatching, mowing, fertilizing and watering your lawn, At Home Pros has you covered. Simply submit your location details, and At Home Pros help you connect to top-notch landscapers and lawn care professionals in your neighborhood.
Contact At Home Pros today to start your journey to the loveliest yard on the block!