Homeowners have many more lawn care options nowadays than simply paying the kid down the street to mow the lawn. Even that now costs more than just a few bucks. Before you hire anyone to prune your trees or tighten your edging, become an educated consumer by figuring out what services you want.
Choosing Maintenance Services
Start by asking yourself a few questions. Do you want to come home to a perfectly coiffed and sculpted outdoor Utopia, or do you just want someone to trim your hedges and mow your lawn once a month?
Some lawn companies focus on lawn and tree care, while others specialize in grooming carefully manicured ornamental shrubs and will help choose and plant bulbs to make sure your landscape is colored by the season.
Most companies offer basic packages of year-round maintenance that include fertilizing, trimming, edging and weed control. Maintenance packages often include lawn care, using varied mowing patterns to draw a focal point to any spot you choose.
While lawn maintenance is a relatively simple science, outdoor pest control and pruning require more skill and more qualifications than a seasonal clean-up service. Some companies have highly trained arborists on staff.
Questions for Prospective Landscape Maintenance Companies
Understanding the needs of your lawn, trees and plants will help you know whether a company's suggested services are for you. Questions to ask prospective companies:
- When and how often will you provide mulching, fertilizing and pruning?
- What types of weed control do you practice?
- How do you determine whether a pesticide is needed?
- Are your pesticides safe for children and pets to be around?
- Is your company insured, licensed and bonded?
- Will a lawn maintenance representative visit my home before drawing up a contract?
Another good tip: Once you've narrowed down your list to a few lawn maintenance companies you're interested in, check them out on the Better Business Bureau site to see if there are any consumer complaints against them.