Is your home’s exterior looking a bit run down and shabby? Has your home lost its curb appeal? If you answered yes to these questions, you may need to take a closer look at your landscape. If you’re doing all your own yard work, maybe it’s time to consider a professional lawn care service that can give your home’s exterior a makeover with a new, well-maintained landscape.
If you have never worked with a professional landscape contractor before, you may be on the fence about hiring one. Here are some important questions that will help you make an informed decision about professional lawn care for your Northern NJ home.
1. Why Do I Need It?
If you are taking care of your own yard work, you’re investing a lot of time and energy which may or may not be worth the effort for the outcome.
- More Free Time: Regular lawn care is a tedious and time-consuming job. Even minimal efforts like mowing the grass on a Saturday or Sunday can take up a lot of your free time and interrupt plans with family and social commitments. If you work long hours through the week with your job, spending your weekend doing yard work is probably not appealing. Give some thought to your schedule and how much of your free time you really want to devote to lawn maintenance. Hiring a professional lawn care service will give you more free time to devote to family, friends and things you really enjoy.
- Quality Care: To keep a lawn green, healthy and well-manicured, it takes effort and commitment. It also requires a good knowledge of different soil types, plant growth patterns, proper pruning schedules and correct lawn care products that work best for your property. Qualified, licensed landscape contractors have education and experience in horticulture, so they are well-trained in proper lawn care, maintenance and any problems that arise. Professional lawn care providers also have all the right equipment and a well-trained crew to tackle even the most difficult landscape projects with ease.
2. What Lawn Care Services Will I Get?
Professional lawn care typically includes basic lawn maintenance services for your property. These basic services usually include:
- Weekly or bi-weekly lawn mowing
- Regular weed prevention
- Regular border edging for sidewalks, walkways and driveways
- Regular cleaning of hard surfaces like sidewalks, walkways and driveways
- Spring yard cleanup of debris and dead winter growth
- Fall yard cleanup of debris and preparation for winter
Additional lawn maintenance services are typically offered by expert crews. These services include:
- New planting and foliage
- Lawn renovations
- Tree and shrub pruning
3. Do They Offer Organic Lawn Care?
Landscape maintenance services also include organic lawn care for your Bergen County, NJ home. Many Northern New Jersey homeowners are interested in green living and organic lawn care. It’s a great way to provide a safe, healthy chemical-free environment for your family and pets. It promotes a green lifestyle that protects the environment from toxic fumes and harmful chemicals that get spilled into the earth and atmosphere from unhealthy fertilizers and pesticides used in professional lawn care.
Organic lawn care promotes strong root growth in your lawn and plants. It helps to naturally control thatch growth by improving soil conditions. Custom mixtures of organic nutrients used promote healthy plants, increases plant stability and adds resistance to diseases and insects.
Organic Tree and Shrub Care
There is also organic care for your trees and shrubs. Proper fertilization is essential to healthy trees and shrubs and organic fertilizers add nutrients to your existing soil for better growth patterns. Trees and shrubs grow faster and are less susceptible to insects, fungus and diseases. Organic tree and shrub maintenance services typically include Spring, Summer and Fall applications for best results.
Organic tree and shrub maintenance services may include:
- Organic feeding
- Deep root and soil conditioning
- Deep root feeding
- Disease and insect control
- Mite and scale control
- Borer-Weevil control
- Winter overcoat protection with organic mixtures
- Regular tree and shrub pruning
A pest management program offers regular inspections of your trees and shrubs to check for insects and diseases. You will get site visits and reports that let you know the condition of your trees and shrubs and what treatments are needed.
4. Do They Provide Any Other Services?
Yes, in addition to professional lawn care, a licensed landscape contractor can provide many other valuable services for your home. They are qualified to help you with these additional services:
- Landscape Design: Create a landscape design that may include new trees and plants, garden areas, outdoor walkways or pathways and special outdoor features.
- New Landscaping: Create a feasible budget and develop new landscaping and landscape features throughout your yard.
- Landscape Grading and Resloping: Provide grading or resloping for pools, spas, outdoor patios and terraces and new planting and garden areas.
- Land Clearing and Cleanup: Provide land clearing, hauling and cleanup of seasonal debris such as fallen limbs, dead shrubs and excess leaves.
- Outdoor Lighting: Install exterior lighting that includes a variety of outdoor spots, accents lights, pathway lights and motion detection lighting for added security.
- Design/Build Services: Design, build and install a variety of specialty outdoor features for your home that add beauty and value. Special outdoor features include:
- Swimming pools
- Spas and hot tubs
- Patios and terraces
- Outdoor water features
- In-ground ponds
- Pathways, walkways and driveways
- Outdoor fireplaces and fire pits
- Fully-equipped outdoor kitchens
5. How Much Do Basic Landscape Services Cost?
Basic Landscape Services – $1,500 – $10,000
Although professional lawn care prices can vary between landscape contractors based on specific services required, size of your property and location of your home, they will typically include regular maintenance services. Since property size, layout and specific needs are different for each home, prices will vary, but here’s an average range of prices you can expect for professional lawn care in Northern NJ areas:
- Lawn Mowing (Average Cost Per Square Foot – 500 square feet): 2 hours – $25.00 – $95.00 (includes labor, equipment, preparation, cleanup)
Expect to pay in the high end of the estimated price range for a licensed, bonded and insured landscape contractor and for complex or rush projects. Hire carefully and verify the quality of work for the professional lawn care provider you choose.
- New Landscaping: $3,600 – $9,000
- New Sod: $2,300 – $4,800
- Lawn Resloping: $1,500 – $3,300
- Mulching $900 – $2,000
6. Does Organic Lawn Care Cost More?
Organic Lawn Care – $3,500 – $7,500
Prices for organic lawn care in Bergen County, NJ will vary based on your needs and the landscape contractor you use. Good, regular maintenance should include Spring, Summer and Fall applications to keep your lawn, trees and shrubs healthy and pest-free. Talk to a reputable, professional landscape contractor who is knowledgeable and experienced in organic lawn care. Based on your needs, he can discuss specific services and prices that are right for your home.
Organic Tree and Shrub Care – $3,500 – $7,500
Professional lawn care is essential for healthy trees and shrubs. Organic tree and shrub care is available as part of organic lawn care services.
7. Can I Create a Flower Garden?
Yes, a professional landscape contractor typically has experts on staff with extensive knowledge in garden design and blooming plants and flowers that thrive in Bergen County, NJ. Services may include:
Design and Planting Services
- Annual and perennial gardens
- Containers and window-boxes
- New bulbs
- Garden designs and renovations
- Seasonal planting and outdoor displays
- Outdoor holiday lighting and decorating
Garden Maintenance Services
- Garden cleanup for Spring
- Fall garden pruning
- Cultivating and weeding for garden beds
- Fertilizing nutrients for annuals and perennials
- Control for plant diseases and insects
8. How Much Will A Blooming Garden Cost?
Garden Design – $4,000 – $8,000
Prices will vary depending on the size and design of your garden and the plants you choose. A landscape provider can help you design a beautiful garden that will fit your needs and professional lawn care budget.
9. How Do I Find Quality Lawn Care?
Before you hire someone to handle your landscape needs, you need to make sure they are qualified to handle the job. Make sure you hire a reputable company with adequate staff to take care of your property needs. They need to be knowledgeable, dependable and experienced in professional lawn care services. You may want to talk to several landscape companies before you choose one.
- Do a website search: In today’s computer generated world, most reputable businesses have a website. It’s a major component of doing business these days. Take a look at the company’s website to gather helpful company information, review services, see photos of their work and read client testimonials and referrals.
- Get Referrals: A company’s name and reputation usually gets around quickly, especially in the areas where they do business. Get referrals from friends, relatives or neighbors in your area who may have used them for landscape services. You can also ask the company for referrals.
- Visit the premises: Some landscape companies have a showroom or nursery that’s open to the public. If one is available, stop by for a visit to get an idea of their work and the services they provide. It’s also a good opportunity to meet some of the staff you may be dealing with if you hire them.
- Get Estimates: Schedule a site visit for your property, so the landscape contractor can evaluate your professional lawn care requirements. After the meeting, get an estimate for their services based on things you have discussed.
- Check Professional Affiliations: Professional affiliations are an important part of a company’s credibility. Check to see if they are affiliated with some of the better national professional lawn care or northern NJ organizations that promote horticulture education and ethical business practices, such as:
- Professional Landscape Network (PLANET)
- New Jersey Landscape Contractors Association
- Builders & Remodelers Association of NJ
- American Society of Landscape Architects
- Pesticide Environmental Stewardship Program
10. Will I Need To Sign a Contract?
After you discuss your property requirements with your landscape contractor, you will receive a proposal outlining specific services and prices. With basic landscape maintenance services, your proposal should be quite simple to read. If you plan to add design/build features, make sure costs are clearly defined. If you want to do several projects, ask your contractor to give you a separate proposal for each project. Ask your contractor to break the proposal down with separate costs for materials, labor and installation, so it is easier to read and understand.
- Materials: Materials for landscaping can include new sod or seed, new plantings and flowers, bark or mulch, fertilizer and special nutrients and potting soil. If you’re installing design/build features, materials can include all necessary building materials and supplies to complete the job. The materials you choose will impact your professional lawn care prices.
- Labor: Labor costs are based on the amount of time necessary to complete the work. Labor costs can be quoted in hourly charges per worker or in a lump sum charge for the entire job. If labor costs in your proposal are broken down into hourly charges per worker, be clear on how many workers and the total number of hours necessary to complete the job.
- Installation: Some contractors combine labor and installation charges, so ask them to separate them if possible. There could be additional charges for installation that don’t relate to labor costs. This could include special equipment, utility lines or hauling services.