Sunday
Aug222010

Tips For Choosing A Lawn Care Company

Here are some factors to consider if you are thinking of hiring a lawn service...
Many lawn companies will try to sell you a standard lawn care package without taking the time to find out exactly what your specific lawn needs or the level of results that YOU desire. Does your lawn care company offer a basic low budget program as well as a comprehensive program that includes everything you need to get great results?
When you get an estimate, the company should offer to take a soil test. How do they know what fertilizer formulation your lawn needs without knowing what your specific soil needs? A doctor would not make a diagnosis without performing any tests or x-rays. I've taken many soil tests and results always vary greatly, even in lawns next door to each other.
A sample of your soil is taken from various parts of the lawn and sent off for lab analysis. You will get a report showing the levels of all the relevant nutrients, the soil ph, and recommendations for treatments to replenish any lacking nutrients. Without knowing the history of your lawn, this is a vital tool in getting the lawn off to a good start.
Your estimate from any lawn service provider should include an approximate square footage measurement of your turf area. The cost of your lawn care program should be based on the size of your lawn. If they have not measured, most likely they are overcharging you to make sure they pad their profit. If the company underestimates the amount of materials needed to care for your lawn, they will most likely cut corners to make up the cost. This results in poor results and a waste of your time and money.
Make sure your lawn service provider is a certified pesticide applicator in the state. Certification requires testing and continued education on safely handling and applying herbicides and pesticides. You don’t want anyone applying chemicals to your lawn who has not gone through this training.
It is a good idea to ask about the staff used by the companies you are talking to. Illegal immigration is a sensitive issue in our communities today and it is no secret that immigrant labor is highly utilized in the landscape industry. Companies that use cheap labor can usually save you a few bucks on your service, but also can experience high turnover resulting in inconsistent service quality. These companies usually don’t carry workers compensation and can put you at risk financially if an accident occurs on your property. Also, many homeowners prefer to be able to communicate with the people who are working on their property. I have found that open communication solves 99% of the issues that come up with my clients. Make sure the company you select has a system in place for open communication (regular newsletters, owners/supervisors working in the field, mid year property evaluations, etc).
Hopefully you will end up with a company you are happy with for many years. As the owner and operator of Whitehouse Lawns, I place a high value on each and every client and have made many endearing friendships over the years as a result. Unfortunately, many companies consider their customers simply as a transaction. A company that has your best interests in mind and you enjoy working with will deliver long-term satisfaction.