There are a dime a dozen lawn care companies that come in various forms: from new, shiny trucks with professional looking workers, new equipment and flashy logos to dilapidated trucks with unsafe trailers and old equipment. It’s worth noting that there are some cases where the old-looking equipment might provide great service, and some where the professional looking brand new company has amateurs with little experience.
So, how do you differentiate good lawn and landscaping companies from the bad ones? Below are some of the things you need to look for and the questions you need to ask.
Cheapest doesn’t necessarily equate to best
Except for a few cases, you get what you pay for—most of the time. It may be worth it to pay a little extra to get good services. Carefully assess lawn programs of prospective companies and find out exactly what services they provide. If you’re not interested in certain treatment, that should be okay. In case you want to do your own fertilizing, that too should be okay.
Good lawn and landscaping companies offer both standard packages and customized services. However, remember that the converse applies: high rates don’t necessarily mean great service.
Does the company have qualified, certified, well-trained employees? What is the background of the supervisors and owners? In addition to being good at what they do, they also need to be honest, trustworthy people. A company that offers pest control and fertilizer applications should have at least one crew member with some agronomy or turf education.
Good lawn care services are open and straightforward about their licensing, staff qualifications, and products they use among other things. They should strictly follow all state and local laws and regulations regarding application of pesticides.
Mow and go
Mow and go crew are the most common lawn and landscaping companies. They come in teams of two or three, quickly mowing, blowing and string trimming, typically at affordable rates. Some may offer grub control and fertilization, but again, confirm their qualifications. Such companies are great for leaf removal in the fall, mulching and spring clean-ups.
When picking a mow and go service, it’s a good idea to balance great work and professional appearance. The workers should be polite and clean, and the equipment and truck should be well-maintained and clean.
The laws governing application of chemicals differ from state to state. Services that involve application of chemicals should be performed only by licensed professionals. Some laws require prior notification or signage on the lawn. Pick a lawn and landscaping company that adheres to these.
Some companies can apply pesticides or fertilizer up to eight times per season. That’s too much and is probably costly. A bit of research in lawn care programs goes a long way in helping you choose the right company.
Organic lawn care
If you’re interested in organics, look for a company that has accreditation or certification to demonstrate that they have received formal training in organics. Online reviews can be a reliable source of information about prospective service providers.
Eric C. Bonanno, a gardening aficionado and landscaping professional in a well-established lawn care services provider in Omaha, Nebraska, loves to share lawn care tips with beginners and experienced property owners.