The question that most homeowners ask themselves when thinking about lawn care services, is "how much is lawn care service?" Like most other professional services, this of course is heavily determined by who you deal with. However, no matter which professional lawn fertilizing company you work with, there are a few details that will determine how much you can expect to pay for lawn care. We'll break down what factors control pricing, and what you can expect to pay for treatments.
The Factors That Influence Lawn Care Service Pricing
- Types of Fertilizer - Fertilizer varies greatly between the different lawn care companies that are out there. Some use a "big box" store brand that is low on nutrients, while others use state of the art, professional grade fertilizer. And while there is virtually no noticeable difference between "brand name" and "generic fertilizer" itself, the difference actually lies in the amount of active ingredients in the bag. Often in the green industry, generic fertilizer bags contain a lot of "filler" such as sand, limestone and other material. (Read more about fertilizer types and choices)
Recommended & What You Can Expect to Pay: Typical fertilizer services should cost you around $50 to $60 for 5,000 treatable square feet. If you get a price for anything less, at that square footage, you should ask to see an actual product list, complete with NPKs and ingredient lists for each round. If you do, you'll quickly discover that the price of $29.99 doesn't look so good when reviewing what's in the fertilizer application. (Read more about the $29.99 pricing "scam")
- Treatable Area Size (How Much Grass You Have) - The size of your lawn is the main way that professional lawn service companies come up with their pricing. While you may think that having someone with a measuring wheel on your lawn would be the best way to measure, most lawn professionals use satellite images to precisely measure your lawn, allowing them to measure with precision.
Recommended: Know the size of your "treatable area" before you go into any negotiations on the price of lawn care. If you know your lawn's exact size, a professional company won't be able to base your price of a guess. Programs, such as Google Earth, have plug-ins that will allow you to measure your lawn. (Read more about measuring your lawn and controlling your price)
- Number of Applications - Knowing your application price is one thing, however knowing your total price is another. Some homeowners believe that four applications of fertilizer is more than enough to get you through the season. However, four applications in our changing climate does not provide the adequate nutrition needed. Similar to a prescription from your doctor, taking less than what is required will cause inadequate results.
Recommended: A balanced nutrition plan that meets your lawn's needs every 35-45 days is what's best for your turf. In Cleveland and Columbus this translates into 5-6 applications throughout the year.
- Additional Treatments (e.g. Grub, Aerations, Lime, etc.) - Additions to your fertilizer program can add up quickly, making your lawn care package quite expensive. However, several of these applications are vital to the overall health of your lawn, and if not done can undo all the good that you've done.
Recommended & What You Can Expect to Pay: It's recommended that any lawn care program you sign up for includes a grub and a crabgrass pre-emergent. These two applications can save your lawn from unsightly crabgrass and grubs that will destroy your lawn. Additionally, the hot Ohio summers with little water can lead to soil compaction. It's important that you relieve this compaction and allow your turf's root system to grow and receive the vital oxygen it needs. Typical costs for an aeration can run you $70 for a 5000 square foot lawn, while grub control can cost you twice as much as a normal fertilizer application.
Price is Only One Piece of the Puzzle. Find Out What Else You Should Look for When Hiring a Lawn Professional.
We all want a great deal when it comes to lawn services and other products for our home. However, we have to balance price with quality when it comes to important services like these. Going with a cheaper, but inferior, service can cause your lawn to look awful and become a total waste of money. That's why we've put together a comprehensive guide that helps you determine what attributes a lawn care professional should have when going through the hiring process. We've made this guide completely free, and available to download by clicking the link below.