The love of a lush green lawn is a trait my father passed down to me. As a teenager, I was in charge of mowing and watering the lawn by manually moving a hose and sprinkler during the summer. Because of that responsibility, I learned to appreciate the hard work that went into keeping the lawn looking great.
When I bought my first home, my dad sat me down and gave me “the talk.” Meaning, that conversation every father should have with his son about how to properly apply fertilizer and weed killer to his lawn during the growing season.
After 15 years of doing it myself, a new neighbor told me he did commercial lawn care as a side business. I figured it wouldn’t hurt to get some information to see how paying a commercial lawn service stacked up to doing it myself.
Is DIY or Professional Lawn Care Better?
DIY Lawn Care
Four applications make up a typical weed and feed program. I priced out the four bags of Scott’s lawn care products (my preferred brand) needed at full price for a 15,000 square foot lawn:
- Turfbuilder + Halts (crabgrass control): $59.98
- TurfBuilder + 2 (broadleaf weed control): $49.98
- Turfbuilder lawn food: $39.98
- Winterizer: $44.99
Total cost: $194.93
- Able to apply at will
- Requires applicator purchase (one time cost of around $60)
- Must apply correctly for optimal performance
Professional Lawn Care
My neighbor indicated his program would also be four applications. Each application was $65.
Total cost: $260
- Commercial product may be a bit more powerful
- Applied at the discretion of the lawn care service
So, Which Is Better?
For an experienced lawn DIYer like me, the skill and time needed to apply the fertilizer myself is not an issue. Commercial lawn care product is at least perceived to be more powerful (not sure if that’s factual or not), but is only applied whenever you fit into their schedule — which may or may not be the optimal time for your lawn. I’ve had friends with lawns in full dandelion bloom, who had to wait over a week for the lawn service to get to them.
After weighing the information, the savings in cost, along with the ability to apply the product at exactly the right time (weather permitting), DIY is the right choice for me. But it might be different for you.
Do you care for your own lawn, or do you hire a professional service? Why?
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