In life, some people make dinner, and some people make reservations. Lawn care is just one more front in the age-old battle between time and money. If you're trying to decide between hiring a lawn service and doing the work yourself, congratulations. That means you care about how your lawn looks and know how a healthy lawn can add value to your home. The choice is more than just between convenience and cash flow. Other factors, such as quality, consistency, and choice of products, will influence your decision.
Like most new customers, you'll want to invite several companies to give you a free estimate. That's where the questions begin. Is the lowest bidder using fertilizer that causes a fast green-up but only lasts two weeks? Do your kids and pets have to stay off the lawn for a day after an application? Do you get weed control along with your feeding? Will you get stuck in a contract you can't get out of? How these questions are answered can make a big difference in your satisfaction.
A reputable lawn service will use slow-release fertilizers that feed your lawn for up to two months. These feedings should be applied evenly and consistently, with weed or insect control as needed. Your service people should be properly trained to spot problems and fix them before they get out of hand. Also, you want to deal with a company, such as Scotts Lawn Service, that guarantees its work and belongs to the Professional Lawn Care Association of America, which sets professional standards for its members. After all, if you're going to spend extra money for convenience, you should be happy with the results.
If you're the kind of homeowner who likes to get your hands into every project, or just save money, doing the work yourself is the way to go. If you don't have one already, you'll have to invest in a spreader. Also, you'll need to buy products for feeding your lawn, as well as controlling insects and weeds. Since you're not a paid professional, you may spread your lawn food unevenly, or get way behind on your feeding schedule. On the plus side, if you follow the right steps, you'll save some money and enjoy the satisfaction of a job well done. Also, if you have any questions about your lawn, you'll find answers on this site.