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Should I Hire a Professional Lawn


Care Service?
Zac Reicher and Clark Throssell
Purdue University Turfgrass Specialists
Reviewed by Tom Voigt, Univ. of Illinois

Considering hiring a professional lawn care Are there disadvantages to hiring


company to maintain your lawn? There are professional lawn care?
many different companies available to • Some consider professional lawn care
maintain your lawn and each company may to be expensive.
offer slightly different services and at
different prices. The following are answers • With some companies, busy produc-
to some commonly asked questions when tion schedules may not allow for
considering hiring a professional lawn care perfectly-timed application or ser-
company. vices.
• Some enjoy working on their lawn.

What are the advantages of hiring


professional lawn care?
What should you look for in a quality lawn
• Service - it is a convenient way to care service?
maintain an attractive lawn, especially
• Reputation - check with friends or
with today’s busy lifestyles.
neighbors and ask for references to
• Expertise - lawn care professionals determine if it is a reputable company.
should understand how plants grow
• License and insurance - the state of
and what it takes to create an attrac-
Indiana requires all lawn care compa-
tive lawn.
nies to hold pesticide applicators
• Simplifies the confusing task of licenses and liability insurance.
purchasing the proper fertilizers and/
• Membership in professional organiza-
or pesticides for your lawn.
tions such as the Professional Lawn
• Eliminates the time-consuming task of Care Association of America
calibrating spreaders and sprayers to (PLCAA), Indiana State Lawn Care
accurately apply products. Association (ISLCA), and/or the
• Eliminates the liability for proper Midwest Regional Turf Foundation
storage of fertilizers and pesticides (MRTF). These organizations promote
which should be stored in a locked, professionalism in the lawn care
waterproof, and ventilated area. industry and provide education on the
latest lawn management techniques.
• Reduces the possible risks to our
environment from inexperienced • Willingness to customize application
homeowners applying fertilizers and schedules and to fit your needs and
PURDUE UNIVERSITY
pesticides to their lawns. wants.
• Knowledgeable applicators that are COOPERATIVE
• Professionals can use some pesticides
that are not labelled for home-owner willing to share information with you.
EXTENSION SERVICE
use.
WEST LAFAYETTE

INDIANA 47907
Why does my lawn care company make you maintain your lawn. No matter
applications at different times of the year how much work a company does on
than is recommended by Purdue your lawn, it can not be an attractive
University? lawn unless you mow and irrigate
• Purdue recommends an ideal time to according to their instructions.
apply a particular fertilizer and/or • Do not apply extra fertilizer or
pesticide to a lawn. However, even pesticides beyond that which is
though Purdue often recommends a applied and/or recommended by your
specific week for a management company.
practice, that practice could probably
be done a couple of weeks earlier or • Mow frequently and at a height of
later without sacrificing the desired 2.5 to 3.5 inches
effect. Lawn care companies often • If you decide to irrigate your lawn,
have many lawns to treat and thus, it water early in the morning and water
is difficult to schedule an application “deep and infrequently”. Deep and
at the exact time that Purdue recom- infrequent watering means to wet the
mends. Additionally, lawn care soil profile to a depth of just below
companies may apply the recom- the root depth and then don’t water
mended rate of a product, but it may again until the grass shows the first
be applied in two separate applica- signs of drought stress, which is
tions. when the grass turns a bluish-grey
color during the heat of the day.
What can I do to help my lawn care
company make my lawn look better? • Follow the company’s recommenda-
• Working with a lawn care company is tions for irrigating, mowing, and use
a partnership where the effectiveness of a lawn after an application.
of their work depends largely on how

More information is available at


www.agry.purdue.edu/turf

COOPERATIVE EXTENSION WORK IN


AGRICULTURE AND NATURAL
RESOURCES AND CONSUMER AND
FAMILY SCIENCES, STATE OF INDIANA,
PURDUE UNIVERSITY, AND U.S.
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
COOPERATING; H. A. WADSWORTH,
DIRECTOR, WEST LAFAYETTE, IN. ISSUED
IN FURTHERANCE OF THE ACTS OF MAY 8
AND JUNE 30, 1914. THE PURDUE
UNIVERSITY COOPERATIVE
EXTENSION SERVICE IS AN EQUAL
OPPORTUNITY/EQUAL ACCESS
INSTITUTION

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