Lawn Service: Finding the Company that's Right for You

by Marcus Pickett

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Finding a lawn service company and determining what services you need go hand-in-hand. Some services are mostly about convenience while others are beyond the typical homeowners resources. Whether you're concerned about having a thick, green, aerated lawn or if you simply don't want to lose valuable summer mornings or evenings schlepping your lawn mower around your yard, you can find the lawn company that best fits your individual needs.

Standard and Optional Packaging
Nearly all lawn service companies offer standard packages. These packages are a list of services they provide to your lawn for a set price. Most companies will offer more than one type of package—a deluxe package, for example, includes extra services. While you can usually add optional services for an additional cost, it may be impractical to modify or substitute services. Some homeowners may like to fertilize their own lawns but need a lawn servicing company to treat the lawn for weeds and insects. The problem is most companies purchase and mix these treatments together to reduce the cost of the treatment.

Before you talk to a lawn service company you should make a list of services that you need the company to take care of, services that you will choose if the package remains in your price range, and services that you don't want or need. Different companies may offer different packages and matching these packages to your needs will help you choose which company to hire. However, don't necessarily let a particular package be the end-all, say-all when you hire a lawn service company. You still need to feel comfortable that the company is reputable and trustworthy.

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The most common services are focused on killing weeds and improving soil quality. While lawns typically have more trouble with weeds than insects, lawn treatments usually take care of both. To achieve optimal soil quality, your lawn service company should test your soil to provide you with the best fertilizer available. You should also ask about late-season fertilization, as heavy doses of spring fertilizer can increase the risk of disease and vulnerability to heat and drought.

Lawn mowing service and water service are included in many packages, but these services can also often be dropped or added since crew transportation is one of the only benefits for packaging these services. Many homeowners don't want extensive chemical treatments but need or like the convenience of having someone mow and water their lawn. Other homeowners have no trouble with basic lawn maintenance but need annual or biannual chemical treatments. Most companies realize many homeowners fall into one of these two categories and are flexible with these services and pricing.

Companies also offer educational services. Understanding the basics of lawn care and maintenance can help facilitate the process of creating healthy lawns. One of the things you should understand is that even with superior lawn care, things can still happen to your lawn. You should be suspicious of lawn companies who offer 100% guarantees about preventing disease and insects. They may offer to take care of the problem if it arises, but they should also be upfront about the fact that yearly climate changes can affect your lawn despite superior care.

One Time Service
Most companies also offer one-time service for specific needs. You should consider hiring a lawn service company when you're on vacation. Having someone take care of your lawn can be an importance piece of home security. Basic lawn mowing service is one way to prevent drawing a would-be burglar's attention to the fact you're away from your home. If you're going on vacation in the spring or fall, this may be the perfect time for an annual fertilizer treatment, anyway. Plus, hiring a company for a one-time lawn mowing service means you don't have to worry about mowing your own lawn the day after you get back.

Marcus Pickett is a professional freelance writer for the home remodeling industry. He has published more than 600 articles on both regional and national topics within the home improvement industry.