We wish there was a definitive answer; however, deciding whether you should take care of your lawn yourself or hire a professional service to do it for you is best done by weighing all the pros and cons.
Here are five questions to ask yourself:
How Important Is the Perfect Lawn to You?
If you’ve moved into a suburban neighborhood, anything less than a well-manicured yard might be considered an eyesore. In rural areas, a few dandelions here and there and a lawn made up of mixed grasses might not be as important.
Although DIY seems the less expensive option, if having a perfect lawn matters a lot to you, a pro could save you hassles and money in the long run. A professional lawn care service will have technicians who know exactly how to diagnose and solve any problems. They also have fertilizers and weed control materials you can’t usually buy without a license (and for which you’ll have to find storage space).
Do You Have the Right Equipment?
Is your yard relatively small and flat? A self-propelled push mower will probably do the job just fine. On the other hand, riding mowers are much faster than push mowers and are best for larger lawns with thick grass.
Consumer Reports has put together recommendations for the best types of mowers for different sizes and types of lawns. Check the links below to see which mower would be right for you.
• Up to ¼-acre yard
• ¼- to ½-acre yard
• Regularly shaped yard of ½-acre or larger
• Irregularly shaped yard of ½-acre or larger
In addition to a mower, lawncare tools for do-it-yourselfers should also include handheld grass clippers, pruning and edging tools, a blower and similar items you’ll need to keep your yard looking its best.
Do You Enjoy Doing Yardwork?
Some people look forward to their lawncare routine as a chance to unwind a bit from the stresses of daily life. However, what looks fun in theory can turn into a chore when you factor in how much time and effort will be involved every week. Aside from mowing, heading to the garden store for fertilizer and weedkillers, dealing with unpredictable weather conditions, and maintaining your mower, clippers, edgers and other tools is a whole other job in itself. Ask yourself whether or not you look forward to assuming these responsibilities.
Also think about safety: many lawncare tools and devices can be potentially dangerous if used incorrectly. Make sure you read the instructions and know how to safely operate the tools you’re using.
Is It Worth Your Time?
Maintaining a lawn takes time – and your time is valuable. Even if you enjoy taking care of your yard, ask yourself whether or not the time you do have would be better spent enjoying activities with your family and friends. Especially if your yard is on the larger side, you may find that hiring professional help is a wise investment in the long run.
Is It Within Your Budget?
At first glance, professional lawn care seems expensive. However, when you factor in that a professional service already has all the right tools, knowledge and skills to tackle the job – and avoid mistakes – the additional cost might actually be minimal.
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