Keeping a lawn lush and green requires consistent mowing, weeding, watering, fertilizing and more. If your lawn is particularly large, it may make sense to hire a full-service lawn care provider. Whether you take a DIY approach or bring in the experts, maintaining your lawn requires a range of tasks.
Plan to mow the lawn often, allowing it stay longer than may seem convenient — longer grass is healthier grass. The general rule is to cut off no more than a third of the grass blade. This helps prevent damage to the lawn as well as keeping weeds from taking root. It’s also important to remove any weeds, then prevent new ones from growing. In spring, consider spraying a pre-emergent herbicide on your lawn to prevent crabgrass and other types of weeds from sprouting from seed. During other seasons, broadleaf weeds like dandelions can be pulled by hand or sprayed with weed killers. The best time to water your lawn is early in the morning, allowing the sun to help dry the grass. Make sure to thoroughly soak the lawn so that the water penetrates several inches into the ground.
Lawn care also requires feeding; look for a mixture of fast- and slow-release fertilizers that include nitrogen. Some lawns also benefit from aeration, which creates small holes to let air, water and nutrients penetrate the grass roots. Although most homeowners can manage these tasks on their own, a full-service lawn care company can handle them on a regular schedule, taking the guesswork out of maintaining a beautiful lawn.
Having a beautiful lawn doesn’t just happen by magic. A multi-pronged approach to lawn care will result in a healthy lawn that will have your neighbors green with envy. The national average price for multi-service lawn care ranges from $40 to $50. Whether you tackle the project yourself or hire a lawn care professional, looking after your lawn requires consistent work. A baseline of lawn care is keeping your grass mowed and your irrigation system working properly. Fertilizing plants and grasses, as well as trimming and pruning foliage, may promote the health of your plants and lawn. Many lawn care pros offer different packages with varying monthly fees depending on your lawn size and the services you desire. Here are a few examples of average lawn care prices:
- 1,000- to 2,500-square-foot lawn: $60-$90 per month
- 5,000-square-foot lawn or larger: $110-$150 per month.
- Includes lawn maintenance, cleanups and irrigation repairs. The company trims shrubs, pulls weeds, blows out yard waste, fertilizes and does minor irrigation repairs.
- Up to 8,000-square-foot property: $30 per week/$120 per month.
- 8,001- to 15,000-square-foot property: $35 per week/$140 per month.
- 15,001- to 20,000-square-foot property: $40 per week/$160 per month.
- Includes mowing all turf grass areas; trimming grass away from fences, structures, trees, and lawn edges; and clearing or blowing all grass trimmings from driveways, sidewalks, curbs, etc.
Professional landscaping can help reinvent your outdoor space, boost your curb appeal and get a major return on investment with. Landscaping can encompass anything from adding new plants, trees and shrubs, to leveling the ground and laying sod for a lawn, to building in hardscaping such as sidewalks, water features or retaining walls. The national average landscaping price is $10,160. Landscaping prices can be far lower (with hourly rates ranging from $50 to $150) if you’re only seeking professional help with softscaping or seeking consultation on landscape design. Softscaping means adding or changing horticultural elements, such as planting a garden or adding a hedge. Hardscaping is where costs can really start to rise. Hardscaping requires labor and heavy equipment to excavate the earth; you may need to pour concrete, or you may need a pro who can transport and place gravel and other inorganic elements. Your total landscaping cost will vary based on the amount of work you want done, how much labor is required, and the cost of the materials you are using. A good rule of thumb for a major landscaping project, according to the American Society of Landscape Architects, is to budget 5 percent to 10 percent of the value of your home.
Prices for landscaping your front yard can range from a few hundred dollars to tens of thousands of dollars, depending on the scale of your front yard project. Your landscaping price will reflect how much change you implement, how much labor is required, and the cost of materials.
Landscaping is typically made up of softscaping and hardscaping. Softscaping refers to selecting trees, bushes, flowers and plants to achieve a desired aesthetic and to meet goals such as having a drought-tolerant yard. Hardscaping refers to moving earth, installing structures, and putting in decorative stonework, sidewalks or lighting. For softscaping, you may want to hire a landscape designer to consult on your plants and layout, and then do the digging and planting yourself or hire a gardner to handle the heavy lifting. A landscape designer’s hourly rate may range from $50 to $150 or more. If you want a turnkey approach, meaning someone who works with you to create the vision and then executes all the work, landscaping pricing will typically come down to a cost per square foot rather than an hourly rate. It’s a solid investment: Great landscaping can add up to 28 percent value to your home.
Spring is the perfect time to start thinking about lawn care. The ground is recovering from a long, cold winter, plants are starting to grow, and the earth is ready to receive new seeds. When the weather starts to warm, the first step in your lawn care strategy is deciding what you would like to achieve and what you need to do to make it happen. Your next step is to start cleaning up. Rake your lawn free of decomposing leaves, trim back shrubs and branches, and clear out all the weeds. Once your lawn is cleared of debris, tend to your irrigation system. Test your system and decide whether any repairs are necessary. Now it’s time to nourish the lawn. If you opt to aerate your lawn in spring, the national average cost is $70-$100. Consult with your lawn care pro, as some regions benefit from only aerating in fall. If you have bare spots, you can overseed the lawn to encourage new growth. Next you’ll want to fertilize the lawn to ensure it grows in rich and lush. Professional fertilization services may range from under $50 to over $200, depending on your lawn size. If you have a bad weed problem, you (or your lawn care pro) can apply pre-emergent herbicide to prevent a weed outbreak. Make sure the irrigation system is routinely watering your lawn, and then enjoy watching the grass grow.