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What to Ask Your Landscaper

by Joe Cooper, All About Lawns Columnist

If you use a landscaping company to manage your lawns, and if you have more than one, ensuring you have a good partner with a common goal of thriving lawns is a top priority. This year, staying current on landscaping issues can help you make good choices for your lawns.

How would you like to improve your lawn?
  • Make it greener
  • Eliminate patches
  • Less weeds
  • Make it thicker
Do you own your home?
Yes   No
Enter your zipcode:
 

Many landscaping companies are requesting more contracts for regular service in order to stabilize their businesses this year, and if you are a homeowner or business owner with a large lot or multiple lots, these considerations are for you.

  1. Pester them about pests. Pest control is a growing issue in lawn care, and a good landscaping company will be able to suggest solutions that are cost-effective and environmentally sound. White grubs, molecrickets, fungus--these and more are the lawn pests that can ruin your investment, especially with large lawn areas.
  2. Focus on fertilizer. Brown patches and discoloring can often be signs of poor fertilization. When spring arrives and temperatures start to climb again, fertilizer can take effect as long as you don't overdo it. Landscaping companies will be able to recommend fertilizer solutions for large areas, like rotary spreaders. They'll also mix it with bonuses like weed preventers, and should be able to go organic if that's your preference.
  3. Wait for a green watering plan. It's 2010. Your landscaping company should be able to present a cost- and resource-effective solution for all of your lawns, even if that total is one. (They should also integrate this plan with the fertilization plan to account for details like making the lawn damp before feeding it).
  4. Lobby for low maintenance. There may have been a time when bigger was better and fancy landscaping plans were in (and that time may come back), but now's not it. If you spring for new landscaping ideas to augment the appearance of your lots, go for low maintenance ideas like shrubs, gravel, or small trees.
  5. Don't rule out downsizing. Does your contract with your landscaping company seem a little too big? Downsize it. Shorten the term or streamline the services to make yourself comfortable.

Getting the most out of your landscaping contract in early spring can ensure that your lawns stay healthy and your budget stays intact throughout the year.



About the Author
Joe Cooper writes education, home services, and design articles, and manages corporate communications. He holds a bachelor's in American Literature from UCLA.

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