“The challenge homeowner’s face when considering hiring a lawn care company is they treat the selection process as if they are picking a commodity. As if all of the companies are the same and the price and the service schedule are the only real factor,” says Terry Kurth, Owner of Weed Man Lawn Care. “Of course, using that process is where people can fall prey to companies that look the part, but may not be prepared to execute at a professional level.”
First, it’s important to understand exactly what you want a service to accomplish in your yard. Do you want weed control? Do you want full, consistent grass growth? Do you have special needs in terms of insects or location? Even though the same tools are available to every company, knowledge, skills and cutting corners will affect the level of service you receive.
According to Kurth, knowing what products to use and when to use them is significant. That’s why, when selecting a service, homeowners should try to ascertain whether the staff will know how to use the materials correctly. “Asking the right questions up-front can make a huge difference,” Kurth says.
Comparing Apples With Apples
Where is a good place to begin when looking for a lawn company? A good place to start is to determine if a company uses a 65% Sulfur Coated Urea (SCU). While it’s slightly more expensive, it has a time released quality which meters out the nitrogen to ensure proper fertility, resulting in more consistent growth, thicker grass for choking out weeds and giving your family a cushioned surface for every activity. Now, by contrast, if a company cuts corners and doesn’t use a time released product, which happens often, you’ll experience a rush of green growth where you’ll have to mow a great deal just to keep up, but within a month your lawn will be off color because the fertilizer will be depleted, or, if timing is poor, hot weather could prompt a brown-out/burned-out lawn. It may cause some nitrogen runoff with a heavy rain into our watershed whereas proper fertilization won’t.
Timing Is Everything
“Monitoring,” says Kurth,“is also very important. For example, our program is structured with six distinct treatments during a growing season, including fertilizing and weed control at strategic times. Additionally, we conduct a mid-season assessment to be sure things are proceeding as planned and that the conditions haven’t changed since the original plan was enacted. If so, we are equipped and flexible enough to adjust to the conditions. You should expect this from your service.”
Terry’s List Of Considerations:
As an expert, Terry Kurth suggests that you ask the following questions, the answers may help you find the service that’s best for you.
- How involved/detailed is the initial review of your lawn?
- How detailed is their service plan?
- Does it include sulfur coated urea?
- Can they provide reasonable weed control? (How will they do it?))
- Do they have a plan for stimulating new growth without too much growth? (What is it?)
- Can they protect your lawn against insect infestations?
- Do they have a plan for making your lawn aesthetically pleasing throughout the growing season?
- Are they flexible enough to adjust in mid program if needed?
- Will they be convenient for you to work with?
- Will they help you be more knowledgeable?
- Are they using green practices to minimize or nearly eliminate runoff? (i.e. slow release fertilizer and blowing off excess granules from your drive way and sidewalks back on to the lawn?)
- Does the owner/professionals have a degree in agronomy, soils or horticulture?
- Are they members of professional organizations committed to improving customer satisfaction, industry responsibility and overall knowledge?
- Do they use products developed to achieve long-term results and lawn health?
Healthy grass and timely applications of weed treatments eliminate dandelions and other unsightly weeds.