Picking a local lawn care company can definitely get confusing and overwhelming. The industry is competitive, leaving you with several companies to choose from. There are large, national companies; the guy in a pickup truck with a spreader; the company that mows, weed-wacks, blows walkways, hangs Christmas light, etc.; and the company that specializes in turfgrass care and lawn care programs. As you begin searching for a local lawn care company, here are a couple of things for you to consider when making your decision:
Decide what Type of Lawn Care Program You Want
Do some preliminary research and check out different program offerings. You may be interested in an organic lawn care program with no pesticides and using fertilizers that do not contain any synthetic materials. You may choose a fertilizer program with some synthetic components, but still want to remain pesticide-free. Alternatively, you may wish to use a standard lawn care program with pesticides. Whichever lawn care program you are hoping to utilize, be sure the company you choose offers the programs you are interested in!
Inquire About Company Philosophies
Are they using the most up-to-date products? Is the fertilizer a slow-release product, meaning it has an additive that helps the plant use the nutrients more efficiently? Are their machines calibrated in order to ensure proper amounts of product are used? Will they test your soil and use the results to help correct the soil? Is the seed they plan on using the best seed variety for your lawn? Are they cognizant about the environmental impact they could make if the product isn’t applied properly? When choosing your local lawn care company, these are perfectly acceptable questions to ask!
Request a Lawn Inspection and Free Estimate
It doesn’t hurt to ask for a salesperson to come out and walk your property. If you are home during the lawn inspection, be sure you discuss your expectations and your goals. It is very easy to get a quote over the phone, but sometimes lawn issues may be improperly identified or described and expectations may not be as clear.
Ask What is Included with the Price/Service
Not all local lawn care companies include the same treatments in their lawn program. As you are companies companies, it’s best to have clarity on what is included in the program for the price. Great questions to ask include: How many applications are going to be made? If there is an issue after a visit, will they do a service call free of charge? Is there an extra charge if there is a turf disease issue? Be clear of the wording they use – are they doing visits or applications – ask them the difference.
What is the Payment Structure?
Check to see if there is an option to pay up-front and receive a discount. Check the invoicing procedure. Do they leave an invoice at the door, electronic copy, emailed? Knowing the answers to these questions in advance will help you identify the best local lawn care company to fulfill your needs.
Inquire About Qualifications
This is extremely important in the lawn care industry. Is the applicator properly trained and aware of the products they are putting down on your property? The technicians should have proper licensing as required by the state they work in. They should be able to produce a label for the products that they are applying. Are they honest and upfront with their qualifications and product that they are using? There should be at least one staff member on staff with a degree in a type of agronomy.
A Little About Organics
If your plan is to go with an organic lawn care program there are some things that you may want to consider. Make sure you are using a company that is educated in organics. Be sure to check their qualifications. Proper execution of an organic lawn care program takes a lot more than throwing down organic fertilizer. One easy and quick way to tell if the person you are talking to is educated on organic lawn care is if they are going to do a soil test. If they do not do a soil test, they are not familiar with how an organic program works.
Hopefully you find this information useful in picking a local lawn care company!