Whether you handle your own lawn care or hire lawn professionals to handle it for you, it always takes a lot of time, effort and commitment. Although you may think that DIY lawn care saves you money, does it really? When you compare the amount of time and effort it takes you to keep your lawn green and beautiful against the money it cost you to hire a professional, you may find that DIY lawn care just isn’t worth the difference.
The Benefits of Professional Lawn Care
1. More Free Time
If you’re doing your own yard work, you know that it’s a tedious, time consuming job. Even if you have a small Northern NJ property that doesn’t require extensive upkeep, lawn care still requires effort and commitment.
Minimal care like mowing the grass on a Saturday can interrupt personal commitments and take time away from work or family. If your job requires long hours, spending every free weekend doing yard work probably isn’t on the top of your to-do list. It’s important to weigh your time commitments against paying lawn professionals to take care of your regular lawn care and maintenance. Hiring a landscape contractor to handle your lawn care will free up your time, so you can do things you really enjoy.
2. Quality Care
When you’re taking care of your own lawn, it may include just the basic necessities like mowing and watering. Quality lawn care requires a more extensive commitment and a different level of skill to keep your yard healthy and well-maintained.
Lawn professionals have essential knowledge and experience that’s required to understand quality lawn care. They know about different soil types, proper planting techniques, plant growth patterns, proper pruning schedules and choosing correct lawn care products for your property.
Many lawn professionals are educated and skilled in landscape architecture or horticulture, so their overall plant and landscape knowledge is quite diverse. As a DIY lawn care provider, you can’t possibly compete with the quality lawn care that a professional landscape contractor provides, such as:
- Weekly lawn mowing
- Routine weeding
- Border edging for all hard surfaces like patios, sidewalks, walkways and driveways
- Cleaning of all hard surfaces
- Yard cleanup each Spring of dead winter growth and debris
- Yard cleanup each Fall of summer debris and preparation for winter
3. Professional Equipment
In addition to your time and labor, DIY lawn care requires you to invest in necessary lawn equipment to get the job done right. This equipment can get quite expensive, so you should weigh your expenses against professional lawn care costs for your home.
If you have a large Bergen County property, you’ll need to invest in even more equipment to keep up with the required maintenance.
- Lawn Mower – You’ll need to invest in a good lawn mower, either gas or electric, that can handle the size and requirements of your property. If you have a large property, you may need a riding lawn mower to make things easier, but it will cost you more money. A traditional mower with an attached bag for grass clippings will handle a smaller property, but you’ll have to deal with the clippings as trash or mulch.
- Leaf Blower – Unless you want to rake up all of the leaves in your yard each week, you’ll need to invest in a good leaf blower. It’s important to buy one with enough size and power to adequately handle your lawn needs, but even the best leaf blower still requires your effort and labor. One more important thing – to protect your hearing, make sure you invest in a good set of ear plugs to silence the noise from those deafening leaf blowers!
- Spreader – To apply necessary nutrients like fertilizer, lawn food or lawn seed, you’ll need to buy a quality broadcast wide-type spreader to apply lawn treatments in the proper amounts. Depending on the size of your property, you may need to buy a larger spreader that you can attach to your riding lawn mower.
- Lawn Tools – To compete with lawn professionals, you will need to invest in a variety of lawn tools to take care of your property on a regular basis. You will need a good quality shovel, rake and hoe, a hole digger, edger and hedge clippers, tree trimmers and pruners, a sturdy ladder, a good wheel barrow, three or four buckets and strong, durable yard gloves. In addition, you will need a strong back and good energy to keep your lawn and landscape looking good year-round.
4. Professional Knowledge
Lawn professionals have extensive knowledge of lawn care procedures and products that are essential to a green, healthy lawn. Unless you’re prepared to spend time educating yourself on a variety of lawn care topics, you should hire a professional lawn service that understands proper lawn care procedures and the pros and cons of lawn care products. Your lawn’s health and overall appearance depends on this valuable knowledge:
- Proper Planting – All grass is not alike and it’s important to plant the right type of grass for your climate and weather conditions. Choosing the wrong sod or seed can result in poor grass growth, bare spots, weeds, plant diseases and insects. Trees, shrubs and plants are also subject to poor conditions when the wrong species are used. Lawn professionals understand plant requirements and can choose grass and plants that will grow well in your existing area.
- Fertilization – Most soils are not fertile enough to supply adequate nutrients for a healthy lawn. The soil in most areas is depleted of proper nutrients – nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium – required to keep your lawn green and healthy. Fertilizers and plant foods must be added to promote healthy growth and strong roots, but the right fertilizer must be used. Otherwise, your lawn will suffer from “grass burns”, yellowing, brown patches and dead grass.
- Pesticides – There’s a variety of herbicides and pesticides on the market, but what do you really know about them? Many over-the-counter products contain harmful or toxic chemicals that degrade the soil, pollute ground water and pose significant danger to children and pets. Learning about the different types of herbicides and pesticides is complex, so it’s best to leave these products to lawn professionals who know the pros and cons of each product and can choose the right one for your home.
- Organic Lawn Care – Lawn professionals can provide organic, green lawn care that offers many benefits for your Northern NJ home. Green lawn care is a great way to take care of all of your lawn care needs without the use of harmful chemicals. It uses completely natural and organic products that are safe for your family and pets and don’t pollute the environment. As a DIY lawn care provider, learning about green lawn care will take time, money and experimentation to get it right.
- Aeration Process – Proper aeration ensures that your soil is not compacted, so it provides adequate air, water, nutrients and drainage for a healthy lawn. Sometimes soil plugs need to be removed with special equipment to provide proper aeration. Lawn professionals are skilled in proper aeration methods and equipment used to aerate your soil, and how often it needs to be done based on the condition of your existing soil.
5. Special Services
In addition to basic lawn care and maintenance services, professional landscape contractors and lawn professionals are qualified and skilled to provide special lawn care services like tree and shrub pruning, mulching, seasonal planting, garden and landscape design, lawn renovation, grading and resloping, irrigation systems and property analysis. They can provide specialized lawn care services based on the condition of your existing property, as well as great design/build outdoor features such as:
- swimming pools
- hot tubs and spas
- outdoor fountains and waterfalls
- outdoor ponds
- patios and terraces
- outdoor kitchens
- outdoor fireplaces and fire pits
- fencing and retaining walls
- landscape lighting
Hiring knowledgeable, experienced lawn professionals provides many benefits for your home. As a homeowner, consider the numerous advantages of professional lawn care over DIY efforts and it’s easy to see that the costs of professional services is well-worth your time and effort to keep your lawn green and healthy year-round.