What to Consider When Hiring a Lawn Care Company
There are many different reasons why one would hire a lawn care company. Whether your reason is for medical reasons, time constraints, or simply you just don’t want to do the work, there are many considerations you should take into account when hiring a lawn care company. Some of these considerations include:
- Reputation of the lawn care company? Does the lawn care company have a good reputation? Ask for references, and check them out! Drive by the reference addresses and look at the lawns.
- Frequency of mowing the lawn. Most lawns only need mowed bi-weekly in early spring, and late fall, and weekly during the active growing season.
- What mowing height are the mower decks set at? The first mow of the season should be lower than the normal but not scalped, then the deck should be raised to the next level until the afternoon temperatures reach consistently above 95 – 100 degrees, then the deck should be raised one more level. Never, during the active growing season, should more than 1/3 of the blade of grass be cut off!
- Do you have to sign a contract? I would not sign one!
- Will they be there each week/bi-week on the same day?
- Is line trimming (weed-eating) done each time the lawn is mowed?
- Do they edge around the drive-way, curbs, and sidewalk, each mowing, with a line trimmer, or an edger with a steel blade. You get much better results with a steel blade edger.
- Do they clean up afterwards, and not just blow the debris into the street (which if it doesn’t anger you, it will probably anger your neighbors).
- Do they bag the clippings? Using a mulching mower and not bagging the clippings puts the nutrients back into your lawn.
- Do they mow your lawn in a different direction? Your lawn should be mowed in a different direction each week to keep wear paths from developing, and to promote healthy growth in your lawn. The directions should be changed weekly, using the directions of horizontal, vertical, diagonal from left to right, and then diagonal from right to left. Then repeat the sequence.
- How often do they sharpen their blades. A good lawn care company will change to a sharpened blade each day! Otherwise, your lawn is getting torn not cut!
- Do they offer other services that you can order? Fertilization, weed control, sprinkler repair, planting bed maintenance, etc. Weed control and sprinkler usually require that the company be licensed, are they?
- Are they insured? You want them to be insured. If the equipment throws a rock and breaks a window (yes, it happens), or worse, what if it hits a child, or passerby? You would be liable, if they don’t have insurance.
- Are their workers documented workers, legal to work in the United States. You can be held liable for hiring undocumented workers. Also, are the workers sub-contractors or employees? Will the same people be mowing your lawn each time?
- Do they charge sales tax as most state laws require? If they are willing to cheat to be cheaper, they will also cheat you on the service?
- What methods of payment do they accept (cash, check, credit cards). If they only accept cash, they probably are cheating on their taxes, or are not a legal company. Also, if you must pay in cash, that means you have to be there or hide the money somewhere. NO THANKS! Most reputable companies will accept check and credit/debit cards.
- How often do they collect the payment. Do you really want to be charge each week? Reputable companies will invoice and charge you monthly for the services that they performed. By all means do not pay in advance!
Finally, don’t just look at the cheapest. Talk with the representative. If they are a reputable professional company, they will be able to speak with knowledge and authority about your lawn, plants, fertilization programs, weed control, sprinkler systems, and other landscape needs. If they can’t, then the old saying “Buyer Beware” should be sounding in your conscience!