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Gardening might be your passion, but lawn care can be another beast entirely. You might have infinite patience to tend to your flowers or vegetables but lose your temper with a lawn full of weeds. You’re not alone. Even the most avid gardener needs to call in the cavalry for the big jobs.
If your neighbors know you love to garden, you probably want to have a tidy lawn to match. If you haven’t got the time, ability, or desire to put that much work into patches of grass, consider hiring one of the many professional lawn care companies who can do it for you, or at least put you on the right path. Additionally, lawn care maintenance professionals usually have the kind of equipment and products that a homeowner might only need to use once a year, so there’s no need to rent machinery or buy more fertilizer than you could use in a decade.
In This Article:
- Recommended Lawn Care Service Provider: TruGreen
- What Lawn Care Services Are Available?
- What Does Lawn Care Service Cost?
- Frequently Asked Questions
Of course, not all professional lawn care companies are equal. You’ll need to choose between local and nationwide services, and different companies offer different services at varying price points. Gardening Know How has reviewed some of the most popular lawn care companies, taking into account costs, customer reviews, professional reputation, and more.
Recommended Lawn Care Service Provider: TruGreen
When it comes to a nationwide provider of lawn care services, we recommend TruGreen. TruGreen offers a number of comprehensive packages tailored to your specific needs at a competitive price. We’re confident about recommending TruGreen, as the company has an excellent reputation in the industry.
TruGreen offers five lawn care plans that encompass a year’s worth of services. All packages come with an analysis of your yard’s health and current condition performed by TruExpert certified specialists who are fully trained in the company’s Premier Green program. Additionally, all plans include some form of weed control. From there, the specifics vary based on what your lawn needs and how often it needs it.
TruGreen Plans & Services
|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.
If you find that you don’t need a comprehensive package, you can purchase the following services individually.
- Soil analysis and amendment
- TruShield tick and flea control
- Grub control and prevention
- Mosquito defense
- Fire ant defense
- Tree and shrub care
The Cost of TruGreen Plans & Services
As with all lawn care services, TruGreen’s prices will vary based on the specifics of your yard. For comparison, however, here are approximate costs for a 5,000 sq. ft. yard in Tulsa, OK.
|Plan or Service||First Month||Next 11 Months|
|TruCare mosquito defense||$39.95||$38.61|
|TruShield tick and flea control||$80.95||$29.44|
|Tree and shrub care||$49.95||$59.97|
TruGreen’s services are available in 48 states, everywhere but Alaska and Hawaii. They employ 13,500 people nationwide, so they have plenty of local representatives available. Additionally, they have an app and a mobile-friendly website to make it as easy as possible for you to keep in contact with your lawn care professionals.
TruGreen is accredited by the Better Business Bureau, and it holds an A+ rating based on its business practices and responsiveness to customer complaints. On Trustpilot, TruGreen holds a rating of 3.5 out of 5 stars. Out of 2,259 reviews, 58% gave the company 5 stars. Here are some sample reviews.
On July 29, 2019, Becky L. shared:
To date we’ve been very satisfied with the services provided. The Care Specialists have all been professional. They worked quickly and proficiently. They answered any questions we asked and our lawn is looking terrific after the big flood. TruGreen has revitalized our property. Thank you for excellent service.
On May 30, 2019, Michael B. shared:
Good service in general. I still have problems with dollar weed control near property boundaries and trees. Knowledgeable and conscientious employees.
Now, let’s take a look at some of the individual services that most lawn care companies offer.
What Lawn Care Services Are Available?
Not all companies offer all of these lawn services, so the first thing you need to figure out is what your lawn needs. The good news is that if you’re having trouble with this, most lawn care professionals can take a look at your yard and make recommendations.
Mowing and General Maintenance
If you’ve got turf, there’s no escaping the lawn mower. A healthy lawn should be mowed regularly to keep the grass in the best condition to resist disease and pests. Mowing, like washing the dishes and doing laundry, is a chore that you need to keep up with, so it often makes sense to hire a professional to come on a regular basis.
It’s worth noting that if all you need is lawn mowing, a local company might be your best bet. Many nationwide services don’t offer mowing, so you’ll want to check out what’s available in your area. However, most yards need more tending than a simple haircut, so take your lawn’s overall health into consideration when finding a lawn maintenance company.
Watering is another regular part of lawn maintenance. If you’re willing to put in a little of your own work, though, most lawn care services will help you understand when and how much to water your lawn, especially in conjunction with their other services. It’s easier to overwater your lawn than you might think, so don’t be afraid to ask for help when it comes to irrigation.
Some lawn care services will actually help you design your yard’s look and feel; others will only work with what’s already there. However, most professionals are knowledgeable enough about local flora to help direct you when choosing the right plants, trees, and grass for your yard.
Fertilization and Treatment
Feeding your lawn involves more than scattering a bit of slow-release fertilizer from time to time to help your grass grow. You need to consider what specific nutrients your grass needs, how much it needs, and when is best to distribute it. Luckily, nearly all lawn maintenance services offer some kind of fertilization program. Many will work with you to develop a year-long schedule to ensure that your grass gets its nutrients.
However, if you’re having problems keeping your grass alive and thriving, you may need more than just fertilizer. Most lawn services offer some kind of soil analysis to help you determine the problem — the ground could be too acidic or lack proper minerals to help grass roots absorb the water and nutrients they need. Lime amendment, top dressing, and soil revitalization are just a few of the processes a professional might use to make your yard a more hospitable place for the plants you want to grow.
Another key to maintaining soil and lawn health is aeration. Over time, weather and foot traffic lead to soil compaction, where soil particles are squeezed so close together that they can’t hold water or nutrients properly. When this happens, roots have little opportunity to grow. The solution is aeration, or the act of adding air to the soil to improve its overall structure.
The two main methods of aeration use either spikes to poke holes into the ground a few inches deep or a coring machine to pull plugs of dirt out of the ground. Spike aeration is the easiest method for most homeowners since the equipment is usually less expensive, but it’s not the recommended method, as it can actually increase the compaction around each spiked hole.
Plug or core aeration requires specialized equipment, but it does a better, more thorough job of restructuring the soil. Nearly all lawn maintenance companies offer aeration services, but if you’re hiring a professional, make sure they perform plug aeration to get your money’s worth.
Seeding isn’t just the act of spreading seeds; it also involves preparing the soil and following up to ensure new growth. A professional service will take care of the entire process, loosening the soil and fertilizing it at the right time of year for the best results. They’ll also make specific recommendations for watering so you can keep the soil properly damp without washing away the new seeds.
Some places in the US have weather that’s good for a single type of grass, but many states are in a transition zone that is too hot for cool season grasses in the summer and too cold for warm season grasses in the winter. In these areas, to keep your yard looking green and lush in all but the coldest weather, you’ll need to transition between warm and cool weather grass seeds as the seasons change. A professional lawn service will do this for you.
Nearly all lawn maintenance companies offer some form of weed control. When it comes to yards, this usually involves applying herbicidal — that is, plant-killing — chemicals to weeds in order to kill them. Professionals will work with you to identify the weeds that have taken hold in your lawn, root them out, and prevent them from returning with pre-emergent weed killer.
Some homeowners have concerns about the types of chemicals that are typically used to kill weeds, since they can potentially pose dangers to children or pets and end up polluting the water that runs off the lawn. Nowadays, many companies offer organic products or services that use natural herbicides or other methods to remove weeds without the use of synthetic chemicals. If you’d prefer such products, make sure to ask whether the company keeps them in stock.
An insect infestation can negatively affect the health of your lawn on its own, and it can also attract other animals like moles that do their own damage. Since pest control and lawn health go hand-in-hand, many lawn care companies offer pest control services to target the problems specific to your yard. Some will even take care of nuisance insects like mosquitoes and fire ants that don’t necessarily damage plants but do keep you from enjoying your home’s outdoor spaces.
As with weed control, many services offer organic pesticides and insecticides to keep your lawn free of pests without endangering humans or pets. Some may even recommend non-pesticide methods like row covers or introduction of beneficial species that eat insect eggs. Again, if you want to go organic, you’ll need to discuss your specific goals for pest control with any company you hire.
Fall/Spring Clean Up
The changing of the seasons can greatly increase the time needed to keep your lawn looking good. Falling leaves and new weed growth require attention, and if you don’t have the time for it yourself, hiring a professional lawn service is a must. Companies that offer mowing and landscaping services will often also provide seasonal clean up at your request to rake up any debris and prepare your yard for the changing weather.
Tree and Shrub Maintenance
Finally, some lawn care companies will care for more than just your grass and small plants. If your yard is rife with trees and shrubs, consider hiring a service that will check them for disease and insect problems, treat them as necessary, and apply fertilizer regularly. Some companies also offer pruning and trimming services, as well.
What Does Lawn Care Service Cost?
This is a difficult question to answer because so much depends on the size of your yard, its condition, where you live, and the plan or services you choose. A large yard will cost more to maintain than a small yard, and lawn care will be more expensive wherever the cost of living is higher or environmental conditions make maintenance difficult. Once you’ve made up a short list of companies in your area, most will provide free lawn maintenance estimates if you contact them.
Keep in mind that some lawn care companies offer packages that bundle a number of services together for a discounted price. Others offer individual services so you won’t pay for things you don’t need. The most cost-efficient option for you will depend on how much care your lawn requires.
Why Professional Lawn Care Services May Be Right for You
The most obvious benefit of hiring a professional lawn care company is that it saves you time and effort. Lawn care can be hot, dirty work, and not everyone enjoys spending their down time mowing and weeding. If you hire professionals, you don’t have to worry about having the right equipment or products for the job.
Additionally, professionals should be able to spot emerging problems like disease or poor soil quality before they become full-blown disasters. If you’re having problems keeping your lawn green, they’ll be able to put their expertise to work to come up with a solution.
If you’ve decided a professional lawn service is right for you, the first question is whether to hire local or look at national companies. Each type of company has its benefits and drawbacks.
Nationwide lawn service providers are usually able to offer better prices and more options than their local counterparts. Their employees are often held to a higher standard of training, and they have the resources to take care of even large projects quickly. These companies are also easier to contact, as many have a substantial online presence and large customer service departments.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much does lawn care service cost?
There is no set price for lawn care services. Even neighboring yards may incur different costs. You will need to get in contact with your chosen lawn care provider to receive an estimate. In general, however, professional services set their prices based on the following factors.
- Size of the yard
- Current condition of the grass/plants
- Geographical location
- Types of grass/plants
Although size and geographical location are the most important determining factors, your lawn may cost more to maintain if it is in bad shape or diseased or if it contains delicate or difficult-to-maintain plants.
How much does TruGreen actually cost?
This question is beyond the scope of Gardening Know How, since we don’t have information about your lawn or where you live, but you can easily get a free quote from the company itself. Visit TruGreen’s website or call 877-386-6512 and answer a few quick questions about the specifics of your lawn to get an estimate.
How much is insurance for lawn service?
As a homeowner, you won’t need to worry about purchasing insurance for your lawn. When you work with a licensed company like TruGreen, the company will provide insurance for its employees and services. That way, if a lawn care technician is injured on your property or a technician inadvertently damages your property, you are not liable for the costs.