What To Expect From A Lawn Care Service?
So, after what is typically years of struggling to grow and keep a nice lawn, frustrated by the myriad pests and weather challenges that are a normal part of nature, you’ve decided to throw in the towel and hire a lawn service.
Are congratulations in order? Well, maybe. Whether you are to be congratulated or not largely depends on the service you hired…and why you picked this particular home service. Trusting your lawn and landscape to a for-hire service is really a significant decision. Pick the wrong service provider and you could be the victim of over-promising and under-delivery of the service and results you expect and deserve.
Lawn care services are NOT all alike! Some operators are basically mowing services. While they may apply fertilizers, most are not licensed and certified to apply necessary pest controls when needed. Whether they will tell you that during the sales process is questionable.
Some so-called lawn services are mainly tree specialists. No problem, except for the fact that trees and grass plants are not alike; and require different treatment and maintenance practices. Recently, a neighbor of mine, tired of telling the man of the house to get rid of the crabgrass…or what she thought was crabgrass, hired a very well-known tree service. While discussing the program recommendation, the seller told this homeowner to “start now and get the situation under control before winter.” The sales rep went on to say that “now is the time to prevent next spring’s crabgrass with a fall pre-emergent application.”
As I listened sympathetically over the backyard fence, I got more and more irritated at the tactics some services use to get the sale! After she finished telling me how she had solved her crabgrass problem, I felt the need to give her a few facts about controlling crabgrass. In the north, Ohio in this case, crabgrass turns purple and drops tens of thousands of seeds per plant in early fall. Then, being an annual plant, it dies with the first frost. So, nature kills all the crabgrass each fall. The next generation of crabgrass will not sprout until soil temperatures exceed 55 degrees for several days next year. Those are the facts. No treatment needed.
While, in the mid and deep south, fall pre-emergent products are used to control winter annuals, making those applications in Ohio is simply wasting the homeowner’s money. By the time spring crabgrass germinates in April, that fall application will mean little in terms of control. Why then would a well-known service talk my neighbor into a preventive crabgrass application now? The answer is simple; some less than honest salespeople understand that you “sell people what they want”, regardless of whether or not it makes any sense or delivers value. And, sadly, it works. The rep got the sale by selling what she wanted, crabgrass control, now! And the homeowner will never know she’s been fleeced.
A reputable service rep with the right training would have explained that fall is the time to fertilize and build deep roots. Crabgrass is controlled next spring in this part of the country. Of course, fertilizer and root building were not on her “hot list” of problems to solve, so she was sold what she wanted…a worthless application.
No matter which lawn service you consider, here are things you should expect and deserve:
An honest presentation of the company, it’s operating standards, employee training and qualifications to do the job right, service cost details, and any guarantee
A Knowledgeable explanation of services offered with details of how your lawn will benefit
What products will be included in each lawn program and how potential problems will be addressed
Results to expect after applications
Seasonal lawn care information and tips on how to make the service pay off
Responsive, speedy follow-up when service between scheduled visits is required.
Most importantly, you should expect the company to deliver at or above the level promised during the sales process. If they can’t or won’t, cancel and hire someone else.
At the risk of repetition, a word to the wise; don’t assume all services are alike. The cheapest service will NOT deliver the quality you deserve. If your lawn problems, like my neighbor’s, is not resolved, it’s hard to see how you got a good deal. For information on quality, reliable lawn care solutions, contact ExperiGreen.
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