Although a teenager with a mower and trimmer can manage basic lawn maintenance, it’s important to choose your lawn service wisely and discuss expectations before signing up. Even a national company could scalp your lawn, fertilize incorrectly or overwater, damaging and perhaps killing your grass. Follow our tips and find the right lawn service to keep your lawn looking its best.
If you’ve noticed that a neighbor’s lawn looks particularly fabulous, ask which service they use — you’re already a fan of the results. Also ask around at work or poll your Facebook friends for recommendations.
By starting with a list of companies whose work is appreciated by neighbors and friends, you can skip ahead to the short list. If you’re new to town, look at online reviews and check with the Better Business Bureau to help narrow the field.
No matter the size of a lawn service, quality varies widely. Don’t assume that starched uniforms plus slick brochures and fancy equipment equal better results. A hard-working person in an old pick-up truck may take greater pride in their work, for example.
Consider the type of service you prefer. Some people are happiest working with an owner-operator who runs the business and does the work personally or a small business owner who oversees a couple crews. Other homeowners prefer to work with a larger company with a recognizable logo. Or perhaps employing the earnest teenager down the street is the perfect fit for you.
Determine what work needs to be done. Basic lawn maintenance usually includes mowing, trimming, edging and blowing, but some landscape professionals offer much more, including irrigation, fertilizing, weed and pest control, mulching and pruning. When you contact a landscaper, make sure they offer the full range of services you require.
Ask potential service providers about their experience.
-How long have they been in business?
-Are they licensed?
-Do they have professional certifications?
-What about liability insurance?
The more complex the work, such as irrigation, fertilizing, pest control or pruning, the more important licensures and certifications become. It takes specialized knowledge to properly install and calibrate sprinkler systems or to safely handle and apply chemicals. You want to ensure the person you hire won’t make costly mistakes.
Before you hire someone, whether an earnest teenager or a national company, it’s important to discuss expectations. Ask potential service providers how often they change or sharpen mower blades. What measures do they take to protect trees, shrubs and flowers from trimmers? Do they adjust mower height for grass variety, weather and season? Do they take precautions to avoid contamination of chemicals, weeds, pests and diseases between clients? Do they offer organic options?
Never sign on the dotted line until you are comfortable. If you’ve tentatively chosen a service, but you’re lacking confidence, ask about a trial period.
If you do sign a contract, make sure expectations are clear on both sides. How does scheduling work? What happens during inclement weather? Who is responsible for hauling away yard waste? What happens if you’re generally dissatisfied, move to a new home, or just decide to switch service providers?
Once you decide on a lawn service, keep the lines of communication open. Let them know you appreciate their hard work when they do well. And if an issue arises, stay calm and ask about the situation before jumping to conclusions. A good company will work hard to make your lawn healthy and make you happy.
If you have questions about best practices to care for your grass, give our Certified Turfgrass Professionals a call at770.832.8608 or email at info@NGTurf.com.