Hiring a lawn care specialist in NJ is a great way to ensure a green, healthy lawn year-round. Professional lawn care and maintenance will give you more free time for enjoyable activities with family and friends and provide quality care and dependable maintenance services for your lawn.
If you have never hired a professional lawn care company, you may want to ask some questions that address your lawn care needs and concerns. This will help you choose the best company for your immediate and long-term landscape needs and make sure the company you hire can handle them within your desired budget.
1. Can You Tell Me About Your Company?
There are numerous lawn care companies in Northern NJ, but services and prices can vary between companies. It’s important to find a lawn care specialist in NJ that can handle your long-term lawn care needs within your budget. You’ll want to hire a company that offers professional landscape knowledge and experience, skilled crews and reputable, dependable services. Here are some important questions:
- How long have you been in business? – A landscape company that’s been in business for 10 to 20 years is obviously providing expert care and quality services to their clients. A lengthy business history is a good indicator of continued success.
- How large is your company? – A larger company usually has a larger landscape crew and staff to accommodate busy work loads and service issues. Make sure the company you hire has adequate staff to handle your property needs in a timely, efficient manner.
- Are you licensed and insured? – Reputable, qualified landscape companies should be professionally licensed and insured to provide professional lawn services. They should have a current business license, liability insurance and worker’s compensation insurance.
- Do you have referrals? – An experienced landscape company will have an established reputation in their service areas. If you live in Bergen County, ask for client referrals in the area, or check the company’s website for client reviews and testimonials.
2. What are Your Professional Qualifications?
Many professional landscape companies are owned by someone who has an educational background in horticulture or landscape architecture. In addition, their staff often includes trained landscape designers, garden designers and experienced lawn care crews with valuable skill and knowledge that will benefit you. A reputable lawn care specialist in NJ will most likely be affiliated with important national or state professional lawn care organizations and societies that promote horticulture education and ethical landscape business practices. These include:
- Professional Landscape Network (PLANET)
- New Jersey Landscape Contractors Association
- Builders & Remodelers Association of New Jersey
- American Society of Landscape Architects
- Pesticide Environmental Stewardship Program
- Northeast Organic Farming Association
Top landscape companies often receive special awards, distinguished recognition and notable press releases for excellence in work, services and business practices. When checking a company’s website for helpful information on work and available services, look for special awards and recognition that indicate excellence within the landscape industry. These awards are not given to just anyone, and they say a lot about a company’s professional credibility.
3. What Lawn Care Services Do You Provide?
A professional lawn care specialist in NJ usually provides basic lawn care and maintenance on a weekly basis, as well as additional landscape services upon request. With basic lawn care service, landscape crews will come to your home and take care of your regular lawn care and maintenance as scheduled. Typical services include:
- Weekly lawn mowing
- Weed prevention
- Border edging for driveways, walkways and patio areas
- Cleaning of driveways, walkways and hardscaped surfaces
- Spring cleanup of lawn debris and dead growth
- Fall cleanup of lawn debris and winter preparation
In addition to your regular weekly lawn care services, a full-service lawn care company can also provide the following lawn care services for your home:
- New planting for small plants and flowers
- Garden designs
- Lawn renovations
- Pruning of shrubs and trees
- Irrigation repairs
4. Do You Offer Organic Lawn Care?
Many homeowners are interested in organic lawn care to provide a chemical-free outdoor environment for their family and pets. A lawn care specialist in NJ that provides organic lawn care can provide a chemical-free outdoor environment for your home. It’s a great way to take care of your lawn and landscape with natural, organic solutions and treatments. Organic lawn care will encourage strong grass root growth and healthy, green grass without any toxic chemicals. The use of organic compounds will help to establish a natural eco-system that improves the soil, prevents week growth and discourages lawn diseases.
Organic care is also available for your shrubs and trees. Organic fertilizers will promote stronger, year-round foliage growth with more protection against insects, pests and fungal diseases that often attack tress and shrubs. Shrubs and trees will grow faster and withstand the stress of Northern NJ temperature and climate changes much better. Talk to a qualified, Bergen County lawn care professional about the many benefits of organic lawn care and maintenance for your home. Applications are typically done in the spring, summer and fall.
5. Can You Help Me With Landscape Projects?
A licensed, full-service lawn care company can help you with a variety of landscape projects for your home. With knowledgeable, trained staff and skilled crews, a lawn care specialist in NJ can create new landscape designs, colorful flower gardens, exotic Koi ponds, as well as great outdoor features that enhance your home and landscape. These services include:
- Grading and Resloping – Grading and resloping services can help you create a terraced lawn, add a new swimming pool or spa, or fix soil erosion problems on a steep slope.
- Land Clearing and Cleanup – Land clearing and cleanup can get rid of dead trees, decayed stumps and debris like fallen trees limbs, branches and dead leaves.
- Landscape Lighting – Landscape lighting can create outdoor atmosphere and extra safety for your home by highlighting landscape features, walkways, pathways and driveways.
- Walkways, driveways and garden pathways
- Patios and multi-level terraces
- Outdoor ponds
- Outdoor waterfalls and fountains
- Outdoor kitchens
- Outdoor Fireplaces and fire pits
- Swimming pools, spas and hot tubs
- Retaining walls
- French drains
6. What Lawn Care Services Do I Need?
Your lawn care and maintenance services will depend on your existing property size and layout, the current condition of your lawn and landscape and your landscape goals. Every property is different, so services usually vary from home to home, even in the same neighborhood. If your lawn is healthy and well-maintained, basic weekly landscape services may be enough, but if you have bad soil, unhealthy grass or a damaged lawn from lawn diseases or outdoor insects and pests, special services and treatments may be required. Your lawn care specialist in NJ can give you a better idea of the exact services you need after seeing your property and discussing your needs. Here are some important things to consider for long-term landscaping goals:
- Do you want to change your landscape design?
- Do you want to add new plants and shrubs?
- Would you like to have a flower or specialty garden?
- Do you want a low-maintenance lawn?
- Do you want a chemical-free landscape?
- Would you like to add an outdoor pond or water garden?
- Would you like to add a new patio with an outdoor kitchen?
- Would you like to add a swimming pool or spa?
7. What Areas of My Lawn Need Improvement?
After a walk-through of your property, your lawn care specialist in NJ can give you an accurate assessment of your property and offer suggestions for improvement. A healthy lawn requires regular lawn care and maintenance, as well as good soil, proper irrigation, fertilization and pest control to establish green, healthy turf year-round. If you have existing lawn or landscape problems, proper treatments can eliminate them and prevent future problems. Common lawn problems include:
- Too Much Sun – Heat and sun rob your soil and grass of water and nutrients, creating a less healthy lawn that’s more susceptible to drought, weeds, insects and diseases. Sunny lawns need proper irrigation, extra nutrients from plant food or fertilizers, as well as weed and pest maintenance controls.
- Too Much Shade – Lawns rarely do well in dense shade. Most grass types need at least four to six hours of full sun each day to stay thick and green. Without sunlight, grass becomes thin, less resilient and more susceptible to lawn diseases. If your lawn is shaded most of the day, it’s important to choose a shade-tolerant grass that grows well without sunlight.
- Thatch – If you have a heavy layer of thatch, it may be necessary to dethatch your lawn so your grass can get proper air, water and nutrients for healthy growth. Dethatching is a big job and it’s best left to a professional lawn care specialist in NJ with proper knowledge and equipment.
- Weeds – There are hundreds of varieties of broadleaf and grassy weeds that grow in Northern NJ. It’s important to include a pre-emergent herbicide in early spring since weeds grow most abundantly in the spring and summer. Talk to your lawn care specialist in NJ about proper weed control.
- Brown Patches – Brown patches in your lawn can be caused by certain lawn diseases, as well as dog urine. They can often recover and turn green again with proper irrigation and fertilizer, but if they are caused by insects and pests, the culprits will need to be eliminated first.
8. How Can I Control Outdoor Insects and Pests?
Professional lawn care and regular maintenance will keep your lawn looking well-maintained, but without regular pest control your lawn is susceptible to numerous outdoor insects and pests. Not all insects and pests cause lawn damage, but those that do can quickly destroy your entire lawn. Small insects like fire ants, aphids, caterpillars, mealybugs and beetles can invade your lawn, and hard-to-see insects that live underground like sodworms, grubs, wire worms, webworms and slugs can invade your soil. Once this happens, it’s difficult to get rid of them without the use of herbicides, fungicides and pesticides. To keep your lawn green and healthy year-round, pest control should be a part of your regular lawn care.
An Integrated Pest Management Program (IPM) focuses on safe, gentle pest control solutions that keep your lawn and landscape insect and pest free. If you have existing insect and pest problems, a professional lawn care specialist in NJ can identify the pests and offer the right pest control solutions to clear up the problems. An Integrated Pest Management Program usually includes:
- Property visit from an IPM specialist throughout the year.
- Inspections during each visit to check your lawn, shrubs and trees for harmful insects and pests.
- Reports after each inspection detailing insect and pest problems that were located and the treatments that were used.
9. When is the Best Time to Fertilize My Lawn ?
The best times to fertilize your lawn is in the spring and fall. It’s best to choose a light, slow-release or organic type fertilizer that won’t burn your lawn. In Bergen County, early fall is also an important time to fertilize. It will help protect your lawn during the winter by allowing grass roots to store essential nutrients.
When fertilizing, our process is broken into five applications throughout the season to ensure your lawn is able to promote the best result to your lawn.
- Early Spring: Fertilizing your lawn in early spring strengthens the root system that is essential to healthy, stable leaf growth during warm weather.
- Late Spring: As your grass is using up stored energy to grow and weeds are actively growing as well, fertilizing with the right products will provide nutrients for continued lawn growth and essential weed control.
- Summer: Heat, drought, foot traffic and insects put stress on your lawn. Fertilizers offer added protection from summer insects and encourage fall growth.
- Fall: To ensure your grass is strong enough to survive the upcoming winter, fall is an important feeding time. Additionally, fall brings warm days, cool nights and morning dew, all ideal growing conditions for your lawn.
Cool-season grasses, like fine and tall fescue, bentgrass, perennial ryegrass, wheat grass and Kentucky bluegrass, are common in Northern NJ lawns. These types of grasses grow most vigorously during the winter months when temperatures are cool and air is moist. Cool-season grasses should be fertilized in the fall to promote strong growth through the winter. Cool-season grasses need a complete fertilizer as opposed to one that’s only high in nitrogen. Based on your grass type and existing soil conditions, your lawn care specialist in NJ can schedule proper fertilization times for your lawn.
10. How are Costs for Lawn Care Services Determined?
Lawn care costs will vary based on your location, property size, terrain, existing landscape conditions and the lawn care services you choose for your home. It’s important to discuss your immediate and long-term landscape goals with your lawn care specialist in NJ to get accurate costs. Once you choose the right landscape company for your needs and budget, schedule an appointment at your home to view your landscape, discuss your needs and get a proposal for lawn care costs. You can address specific lawn care needs and concerns, existing lawn problems and ask questions about things you don’t understand. A good lawn care specialist in NJ will take the time to explain lawn care services and answer any questions you may have.