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Cost Cutting: A Green Lawn for Less Green

by Dawn West, All About Lawns Columnist

Costs for your lawn can mount quickly. There's soil prep, ponying up for seed or sod, paying for an irrigation system, a mower, fertilizer and herbicide. While some of those are one time expenses, others are ongoing, turning that lush green grass of your dreams into an expensive nightmare. Well, fear no more. Here's a list of the best ways to cut your lawn care costs while still maintaining a great lawn.

You may not want to spend a lot of money, but you still want beautiful grass. It's not an impossible dream. Let these tips help.
How would you like to improve your lawn?
  • Make it greener
  • Eliminate patches
  • Less weeds
  • Make it thicker
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For simple lawn care tasks like fertilizing and mowing, you can save money by forgoing a lawn care service and doing the job yourself. If you're really trying to cut costs, you can save more money by making your own fertilizer. Compost or manure will work wonders on your grass, and they don't cost as much as bag after bag of synthetic fertilizer. For weed control, go the old fashioned route and pull them out or dump boiling water on them.


For big jobs, you're likely to end up saving money in the end if you hire a service. If you've got a serious weed problem, a service can knock out the problem in a couple of tries whereas you might spend a whole season applying herbicide. If your yard needs to be graded, hiring a service will ensure things end up nice and smooth, saving you expensive hassles with drainage later.

Rent, Don't Buy

When it comes to heavy lawn care equipment, buy a lawn mower and leave the rest to rentals. A yearly aeration is a great idea, but you still don't need to buy the aerator.

Seed, Don't Sod

Putting in sod is immensely satisfying. You go from dirt to full lawn in an afternoon. Unfortunately, it's also expensive. Go for seed, and you'll have to tend to it and wait patiently for that carpet of green, but you'll save a bundle in the end.

Lawn care can be expensive, but with a few cost saving strategies, you can maintain both a great lawn and a decent balance in your bank account.

About the Author
Dawn West B.A. holds a B.A. in English from Harvard University and teaches writing at Oregon State University.

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