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When most people think of lawn care, they think about mowing the lawn and watering the grass. However, much more than that goes into maintaining a healthy lawn. There’s fertilizing, aerating, irrigating — the list goes on and on. And it’s all worth it.
You have the option of doing this work, and more, on your own, or you can reach out to a professional lawn maintenance company to do the work for you. Just keep in mind that not all lawn care companies are created equally, and they might differ in services offered, cost, reputation, and more. We’ve reviewed the in’s and out’s of professional lawn care companies to provide our top recommendation, TruGreen.
At Gardening Know How, we know that proper lawn care maintenance can mean the difference between a brown, patchy lawn and one that you’re proud of. We’ve created a comprehensive guide to help you keep your lawn looking beautiful.
How Do You Maintain Your Lawn?
Proper lawn care involves many different steps. Each of these steps ensures that every grass blade is tended to, healthy, and growing properly. Here are a few of the most important maintenance steps that go into ensuring you have the healthiest lawn possible.
Mowing your lawn is more than just cutting your grass. Mowing trims the top portion of the grass, allowing the roots to get more water and grow healthier. If you allow your grass to grow too high, your roots may have trouble getting the water they need.
When the warm seasons hit or between rainy days, you need to make sure to water your lawn. Watering helps your grass roots take in more nutrients, allowing them to grow healthier. The type of grass you have will determine how much you need to water and how often. If you have warm season grasses, for example, they can tolerate heat and drought-like conditions longer than shady or cool season grasses can.
Every lawn has the potential to have pesky, harmful weeds pop up now and again. Applying pesticides to cut down on weeds helps ensure that your grass receives the fertilizer and nutrients you apply to your lawn. If your weeds get too overgrown, they can choke out your grass and cause brown patches.
Applying fertilizers is very important to keep your grass growing. However, to properly fertilize your lawn, you need to know when to enrich your soil. The ideal time to fertilize will depend on your climate and your grass type. As a general rule, consider fertilizing when your grass begins to grow in the spring and again in late summer.
Keeping your lawn watered allows your grass seeds to grow more effectively and take in more nutrients from the soil. If you live in a rainy climate, you won’t need to water your lawn as often. If you live in a more arid climate, you’ll need to water your lawn more often. You also need to water more often when the weather is warm.
Running a lawn aerator over your yard creates tiny holes that provide extra oxygen to the soil. These small holes allow for more nutrients and water to reach the root systems of the grass and plants you have in your yard, making your yard healthier in a short time.
Putting down seeds helps grow in bare or thin spots around your lawn. However, you need to know which types of grass are native to your climate and which can grow in your lawn. You also need to time your seeding correctly so your roots can take hold before winter. Seeding regularly with the correct grass seeds is crucial for lawn care maintenance.
When you have pests infiltrating your yard, they can destroy your plants, grass, and take the nutrients out of your soil. You need to know which pesticides and treatments are safe to use in order to get rid of the pests without harming your plants.
Pruning trees and shrubs
One of the best ways of keeping trees and shrubs healthy is by keeping them pruned. Overgrowth puts stress on the root system of the tree and can cause the plant or tree to become unsafe.
What Equipment Do You Need for Lawn Care Maintenance?
Do you think that lawn care maintenance only requires a mower? Think again. There are tons of different tools that contribute to a healthy lawn. Let’s take a look at some of the most common gardening tools you might need.
- Lawnmower — This helps to cut the grass and keep it all at a uniform length.
- Gloves — These protect your hands from chemicals, treatments, and sharp blades.
- Rake — This can be used to help gather leaves or clippings on the lawn for easy removal.
- Spade — This type of shovel makes breaking into a thick layer of hard soil much easier.
- Shovel — A shovel can be used for moving soil around, planting trees, or putting new plants in or around your landscaping.
- Hose — A hose allows you to quickly water your lawn and garden. It’s also useful for cleaning soil off lawn equipment.
- Fertilizer spreader — A spreader helps put an even layer of fertilizer on your lawn.
- Shears — These are heavy scissors used for pruning trees and shrubs.
- Hand pruner — This is a small hand tool used to prune trees and shrubs in smaller areas, especially around the trunk.
- Soil knife — This hand tool cuts through roots, divides plants, digs into compacted soil and more.
- Wheelbarrow — A wheelbarrow is great for moving equipment, plants, sod, or tools around the yard as needed.
- Hand hoe — Hand hoes are used to help cut the roots of plants, dig out weeds, and moving the soil around at the base of plants and trees.
You may need all of these tools or only some of them depending on the condition, location, and size of your lawn.
When Should You Start Treating Your Lawn?
Treating your lawn begins in early spring. Let’s take a look at the basic steps you’ll take to make sure your lawn is ready to grow in healthy and full throughout the year.
First, you should rake up anything left from the fall and the winter. Anything left can make it difficult for springtime grasses to grow. Raking gives your grass more room to breathe and absorb nutrients from your soil.
Next, you want to look around to see if foot traffic is compacting soil around your yard. If it has, you need to aerate this portion of your soil to help the new grass grow. Put down grass seed on areas that are bare or thinned out.
Fertilizing your lawn comes next. You need to make sure your new grass has the right nutrients to help it grow in healthy. You can fertilize your lawn once in early spring, once in late spring, and once in early fall. Avoid fertilizing your lawn during the peak of summer, when hot temperatures make it more difficult for grass to grow. If you aren’t sure which fertilizer to use, consult with a professional lawn care company.
You should also take steps to remove weeds from your property. Weeds can suffocate your grass seeds and make it more difficult for them to grow. Remove any weeds that are growing in where perennials, annuals, or grass should be growing. You may also want to spray weed killer or pre-emergent to make it more difficult for weeds to thrive.
Tuning up your traditional or mulching mower comes next. This includes changing the oil and making sure you sharpen your mower blades, as necessary. After you mulch your garden and trees, all you need to worry about is regular maintenance until next season. Ensure that your mower is charged and mow your lawn about once a week for healthy, lush grass.
How Do You Get Grass to Grow and Stay Thicker?
Thick grass looks and feels better when you are outdoors. It simply makes you want to be outside longer each day, and it adds curb appeal to your home. Let’s take a look at a few ways you can help your grass grow thicker this season.
- Improve your soil — Make sure your soil is full of nutrients. If your soil is nutrient-poor, grass will struggle to grow. Hire a lawn care company to test your soil’s pH and nutrient content to make sure that your grass won’t struggle to grow this year.
- Fertilize your lawn — When you fertilize your lawn, you add a bunch of nutrients. Each type of grass needs different nutrients to grow, so match your fertilizer to your grass for the best results. If you aren’t sure which type of grass you have, consult with a lawn care professional.
- Overseed your lawn — Not every grass seed you plant will flourish. Adding more seed than the space needs allows the grass to grow in fuller from the start.
Once your lawn is growing in and looking great, you need to take steps to keep it that way. That means making sure to mow it regularly, weed it as necessary, and keep it properly watered. Let’s take a look at how you can set your grass up for success.
- Mowing — During summer months, your lawn should be mowed once or twice per week. Outside of prime growing time, once per week should be plenty.
- Weeding — You should take the time to assess your lawn regularly for weeds. When you see some, you need to either pull them or treat them with a weed killer to avoid choking your grass.
- Irrigation — Watering your lawn is necessary to keep it looking healthy. Water your grass regularly but also take care not to overwater.
How Do You Restore A Diseased Lawn?
If your lawn does not look healthy, it can make your whole house look less appealing. In most cases, a diseased lawn can be fixed. However, in the worst-case scenario, the old, diseased grass may need to come out and new sod or seed put in. Let’s take a look at a few methods you can use to restore a struggling lawn.
- Aerate the soil — Running a lawn aerator over your lawn adds in holes that let nutrients, water, and air reach the root systems of your grass.
- Raking — When you rake a diseased lawn, you may pull up unhealthy or loose grass, which could be choking out healthier grass trying to come up from underneath.
- Re-seeding — By re-seeding your lawn, you add new grass in where old, unhealthy grass was struggling to grow in. This can help fill in brown patches.
- Fertilizing — Fertilizing your lawn adds in the three most important nutrients – potassium, nitrogen, and phosphorus. These nutrients can be a lifesaver for a lawn struggling to grow.
- Watering — Watering your lawn allows the roots to pull more nutrients from the soil and keep the grass blades green.
- Filling in dead patches — If your grass is already dead in some spots, you may need to put new seeds or bits of sod in these areas to fill them in.
Keep an eye on your lawn’s quality throughout the year. If you notice a more severe issue, like mold or pests, you might need to hire a professional lawn care company to handle the job.
Top Recommended Provider for Lawn Care Maintenance: TruGreen
Keeping your lawn healthy can be a lot of work. If you don’t have time to take care of your own lawn care maintenance, we recommend hiring TruGreen to handle it on your behalf. TruGreen is a nationwide lawn service company offering a variety of packages and protections that will keep your lawn looking better, no matter the season.
Let’s take a closer look at what TruGreen offers, how much their services cost, and whether they might be right for you.
TruGreen’s Plans & Services
No matter what type of lawn care maintenance you need, chances are high that TruGreen has a plan for you. TruGreen currently offers five distinct plans, and each plan includes different services and treatments. Here’s a summary of the plan options currently offered by TruGreen’s team.
|Healthy Lawn Analysis||Healthy Lawn Guarantee||Weed Control||Aeration||Fertilizer||Lime||Trees & Shrubs||Visits per Year|
*The TruNatural plan uses organic fertilizer and non-chemical weed control methods.
TruGreen also offers the following services a la carte:
- Mosquito control
- Soil amendment services
- Tree and shrub services
The Cost of TruGreen Plans & Services
TruGreen’s pricing is based on your specific lawn care needs, the package you choose, your location, and your property size.
Here’s an example of what you might expect to pay for your TruGreen package in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania with an estimated property size of 7,490 square feet.
|TruComplete Lawn Care Plan||$75.95 per standard visit, $344.00 per aeration and overseed visit|
|TruHealth Lawn Care Plan||$75.95 per visit|
|TruMaintenance Lawn Care Plan||$73.95 per visit|
|TruNatural Lawn Care Plan||$134.30 per visit|
We didn’t receive an online quote for the TruSignature plan during our review.
TruGreen is available throughout the United States. The only states they don’t currently service are Alaska and Hawaii. If you live in any one of the continental states, chances are high that there’s a local TruGreen service provider near you.
TruGreen is accredited with the Better Business Bureau and holds an outstanding A+ rating on the BBB’s website and 319 reviews. This high rating indicates that the company regularly engages in fair marketing practices and provides the services they claim.
TruGreen holds a high rating on the Trustpilot platform. Let’s take a look at a few sample reviews from TrustPilot.
On June 11th, 2019, Edwin T. wrote about his excellent experience with TruGreen:
In the beginning we were skeptical about a large company doing our lawn. But that all changed when they started treating the yard. From the start the manager called to customize the treatment that best suited our need to the yard technician our service has been great.
On May 28th, 2019, Kim B. praised the professionalism of her TruGreen technician:
Spencer Coby has been doing a great job. The sod is really coming around. He knows what he is doing and, he always has the answers, he is pleasant and has a smile on his face. The lawn is looking great!
Overall, we rate TruGreen 5.0 out of 5.0 stars when it comes to lawn care and maintenance. Their comprehensive list of plan offerings, nationwide availability, and affordable pricing makes their company an excellent choice for any homeowner.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you maintain a lawn?
The best way to maintain your lawn is to keep it healthy. This is done by mowing, weeding, watering, and feeding your lawn with fertilizer as needed. You should also take steps to prevent pests and mold from taking over your lawn to help your grass grow greener.
What do you need for lawn care?
The most important tools for lawn care include a traditional or mulching mower, gloves to protect your hands, and some hand tools to ensure you can edge or prune parts of your yard when they need it. You also need a maintenance schedule to stay on top of your lawn’s care needs.
When should you start treating your lawn?
When it comes to regular maintenance and fertilizing treatments, begin treating your lawn in early spring. If you notice a specific problem, like brown patches or a pest infestation, call for professional treatment as soon as possible.
How do I get my grass to grow thicker?
If you want thick grass, you need to make sure that you have healthy soil full of nutrients, then overseed the area. This way, your grass has the nutrients to grow, plus the proper amount of seeds to grow in thick and healthy.