Using a Lawn Service…after Snow Removal?

Here in the dead of winter, a valuable service to hire to maintain a residential property is a snow removal company.  No more aching back, slipping and falling and shivering in the cold.  Of course all of that comes at a price, so you have to determine if it’s worth it.  As well, as their employees clean off the snow, there’s a chance that your mailbox or landscaping might be harmed, so that may be a factor in the decision.

 

As you contemplate, you may notice that many snow removal companies are also lawn care service companies.  It’s a good fit for them – the mowing and fertilizing is over and done before the first snowflake flies in most years and it’s a good way for them to keep some employees on the payroll year round and an income stream coming in.

 

Sooo, that leads to a consideration of the same question, but for care of the lawn as well as the driveway and sidewalk.  After all, as a homeowner, it’s your responsibility to care for all aspects of the maintenance of a property – painting, roofing, tree care and litter included.

 

There are many benefits to hiring a lawn care company including shifting the responsibility to a professional and increasing your own time for work, leisure or volunteering in the community.  Most lawn care companies are up to date with the latest university recommendations and utilize them on the job.  Hiring a company means not needing to buy and store fertilizers and pest control products, as they are never sold in the exact amount required to do a job – you’ll always have some left over.  Having services provided excludes the need for specialized equipment such as thatch removal machines and seeders.

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Naturally, in addition to the cost, there are concerns with hiring a lawn care company.  One of the most important is the level of knowledge of the persons working on the lawn.  When choosing from several options, it’s important to interview the representatives as to the training and certifications that these employees have obtained.  Equally as important are your expectations as a homeowner.  In most cases of property maintenance, you get what you pay for.  Expecting a golf course quality lawn on an economy minded budget is unrealistic.  In addition to quality, the time it will take to improve a lawn’s condition is a question that should be asked up front in the discussions, as well as the capacity to adjust a treatment program to the lawn’s individual needs.  One-size-fits-all programs rarely succeed.

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More information on this topic is available at: http://extensionpublications.unl.edu/assets/pdf/g1617.pdf

John Fech
Horticulture Extension Educator at Nebraska Extension
John Fech is a horticulturist with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and certified arborist with the International Society of Arboriculture. The author of 2 books and over 200 popular and trade journal articles, he focuses his time on teaching effective landscape maintenance techniques, water conservation, diagnosing turf and ornamental problems and encouraging effective bilingual communication in the green industry. He works extensively with the media to extend the message of landscape sustainability, making over 100 television and radio appearances each year.
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