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Professional Lawn Care Vs Do It Yourself – Which Is Better?

Which is better – DIY lawn care vs professional lawn care? DIY lawn care is cheaper and you have full control over what you do and when you do it. Professional lawn services use commercial products and tools for achieving better lawn results. Hiring a lawn care professional is also convenient.

Want a picture-perfect lawn? Don’t know if you should do it yourself or just hire a professional lawn care service? 

I can help you make the right decision! 

In my experience, lawn care can be done at home for cheap without professional help. I am a big advocate of doing things on my own! However, you may need to call in your local lawn care company if your lawn has been neglected for way too long

Before you do this, though, you should hear me out! I’ve decided to look at the pros and cons of professional and DIY lawn care. You can find everything below! 

Professional Lawn Care Service Vs DIY Lawn Care

DIY Lawn Care Pros

Full Control Over What You Want

A beautiful lush green lawn

Nobody knows what you want for your lawn better than you! Have a unique idea? You can make it happen without having to explain the details to somebody who won’t get it or won’t be on the same page as you.

Doing your own lawn care gives you complete freedom of choice. You can select whatever grass seed you want, whatever fertilizer you want, and whatever weed killer you want – whether it be a harsh chemical herbicide or a simple homemade vinegar spray

In my experience, professional lawn care companies have an assortment of products they use and are rarely willing to experiment with new products that customers may want to try. 

It’s Cheaper

A woman sitting near a lawn mower

Hiring lawn care professionals to evaluate your lawn and maintain it as per a schedule is not cheap. You have to pay for the labor and cost of professional-grade products and tools. The price will significantly increase if you pick a company that has a great reputation and is hard to book

When you do the lawn work yourself, you don’t have to pay for the labor. You only have to account for the products and materials used to maintain your lawn. That includes the cost of adding gas to your lawn mower, buying fertilizer, weed control, grass seed, and more.

What makes DIY easier now is the option to rent out professional tools from home improvement stores. You won’t have to spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars on machinery you will likely use only once or twice a season

Optimal Timing 

A sprinkler watering a lawn

Based on my experience, timing is the key to achieving a perfect lawn. You have to mow, water, feed, weed, and overseed your lawn in time to get the best results. 

Staying on top of mowing is especially important if you want to follow the one-third rule. The one-third rule means you should never take off more than one-third of the total grass height. 

When you do the lawn care yourself, you can fire up the mower as soon as you notice your grass reach the right mowing height. Getting the timing right is also important when you are cutting new grass for the first time.

Professional lawn care companies may not be as flexible in time as you are. They are often overbooked or won’t bother to come if rain is forecast. In this case, your lawn may have to wait for its weekly haircut or you will have to apply weed and feed on your own before it rains

Great Hobby And Exercise

A woman mowing a lawn with a lawn mower

Lawn care can be fun and exciting! It is a great way to connect with nature, learn new skills, share tips with your neighbors, and stay in top mental and physical shape

Once you see the results of your hard work, you will feel a sense of accomplishment and pride. In my opinion, nothing beats the feeling of having achieved or fixed something on your own. 

DIY Lawn Care Cons

Lack Of Equipment

Simple lawn care tools

One of the downsides of doing DIY lawn care is not having access to some of the professional tools and equipment.  

When doing your lawn work, there will come a time when you wish you had a tool or two more in your garage. This means that you will either have to buy some of these essential lawn tools or rent them out. Let’s not forget that for every new thing you buy, you will also need storage space

When you hire a professional company you don’t have to worry about having the right rake or mower blade on you. All machinery is provided along with fuel, repairs, and maintenance that come with it. 

More Likely To Make Mistakes 

Dry lawn with patchy grass

When you are doing your own lawn care you are more likely to make these maintenance mistakes. Some of the mistakes you make will be minor, while others may require professional intervention

That’s why I suggest you always research every new method or product you are trying on your lawn for the first time. You surely don’t want to burn your whole turf with non-selective weed control because you didn’t bother to read the product label

Lawn care professionals are less likely to make major landscaping mistakes. They are trained and have years of experience in the field

It’s Time-Consuming 

A man mowing a lawn with a lawn mower

Yes, lawn care is time-consuming! It can really keep you busy on the weekends and days off. 

Weekly mowing and watering are two chores that will occupy you the most. Other lawn care maintenance steps, like fertilizing, applying weed control, overseeding, and aerating, are done once or twice a season, but still require time to do

If you have a tight work schedule and you are feeling overworked, you may be better off calling in a professional lawn care company, so you can catch a break. Or, you can learn the most efficient mowing pattern and spend less time mowing your lawn!   

Professional Lawn Care Pros

You Can Get Better Results

A professionally maintained beautiful lawn
Image Credit: flickr.com

Landscapers at professional lawn care companies know the ins and outs of their trade, at least that is what is expected from them. That’s exactly why you are more likely to get better results on your lawn if you hire a professional to do the work.

With years of training and experience in the field, they have seen it all. They have the knowledge to quickly evaluate a lawn that is in poor condition and prescribe the best lawn care program for it

Not only that, professional lawn care services have access to commercial-grade weed control products, fertilizers, tools, and equipment that you can’t buy at regular home improvement and gardening stores. 

If you do things on your own without prior experience, you are more likely to face challenges along the way. For instance, you may end up watering your lawn too much, mowing your lawn with dull blades, or fertilizing at the wrong time of the year. 

If you face these challenges, it doesn’t mean you won’t succeed at growing a beautiful and healthy lawn, it just means that you may get to the finish line at a slower pace

Lawn professionals have a lot of knowledge they may or may not be open to sharing with you. Some of the things they already know that you can learn on your own are:

Here is a lawn care duo that gladly shared their tips on how to mow a lawn like a pro:

YouTube player

Convenience

A uniformed person mowing a lawn with a big lawn mower

The biggest advantage of hiring a professional lawn service is convenience and less physical labor for you. In my opinion, that’s their biggest selling point.

A lot of homeowners already have enough on their plate and the last thing they want to do is spend their weekends mowing and watering their lawns. 

Here is a fun fact for you. A person with an average yard size of 0.15 acres will spend anywhere from 7 to 48 days of their life mowing the grass. 

So, if you don’t have time to tend to your backyard or simply don’t like doing lawn maintenance, hiring a professional landscaping company is a perfect choice for you. You will have a healthy lawn without breaking a sweat.

Easy Solutions For Serious Issues

Soil preparation for the lawn

Even though I am a huge advocate of doing things on my own, sometimes we don’t have an option but to seek professional help

Professional lawn care services offer effective solutions for serious turf problems like weed infestation, lawn diseases, pest infestation, bald spots, poor soil pH, lawn discoloration and the list goes on

If your lawn has been neglected for years and is severely damaged, don’t hesitate to hire a landscaping company. Once the professionals successfully treat your lawn, you can take on the role of landscaping.

A telltale sign of a neglected lawn is overgrown grass. You won’t need to call a lawn care professional if you learn how to cut tall grass without damaging your lawn

Professional Lawn Care Cons

It’s Costly

Mowing lawn with a heavy lawn mower

The biggest disadvantage of hiring a lawn maintenance company, at least in my opinion, is the cost of their services

Even a simple mowing session can cost you anywhere from $50 to $190 in total. The average cost of mowing comes to about $120. If your lawn needs to be mowed once a week, that number can quickly skyrocket

Expect to spend the same or even more on seasonal lawn care treatments. Weed control that is typically done in early or late spring will cost you $110 on average. Aeration comes to about $145 and lawn seeding to a whopping $1,245.

These prices should give you an idea of what to expect before you hire a lawn care company. The cost of lawn care services ultimately depends on the size of your lawn, the type of service you need, and the company you hire. 

Based on my experience, the best way to save some money is to do some of the lawn work yourself. Having a landscaper come mow your lawn is not very cost-effective. You can do that chore by yourself and call in a professional for some of the more challenging tasks, like weed control, fertilization, or overseeding.

Inflexibility

Cool season lawn care calendar

Lawn care companies are not as flexible in their time and availability as you may think. This especially rings true for those companies that have a great reputation and are overbooked.

When you hire a lawn care company, you will get a fixed schedule that won’t always correspond to the best timing for your lawn. 

Here is an example: If it is raining a lot, your lawn may end up needing a trim a couple of days before the scheduled visit. If the professional doesn’t come earlier, the lawn will overgrow and end up looking unpresentable

The worker will either have to take off more than one-third of the top to get it to its optimal height, which will cause a lot of stress to the grass, or, the lawn doctor may end up mowing your turf higher and having to return later again.

Good Results Are Not Guaranteed

A lawn with patchy grass

Hiring a professional lawn care company for your lawn doesn’t inherently mean you will get professional results. Even landscapers sometimes fail to achieve optimal outcomes despite having all of the resources at their fingertips. 

Now and then, even a professional with years of experience faces a lawn that is just too stubborn to correct. In fact, a common complaint lawn companies get from their customers is that the lawn is never green or thick enough

That’s why you shouldn’t set your expectations too high and end up disappointed in the end. Don’t expect a lawn care company to turn your mediocre lawn into a lawn worthy of being in front of the world’s most prestigious palaces

One of our in-house lawn irrigation experts, Trevor Lively, shared his tips about how to choose a lawn care service company to avoid disappointments; check it out!

FAQs

Can I do lawn care myself?

You can do lawn care yourself by learning basic things about lawn maintenance and grass types. You can mow, water, fertilize, weed, reseed, aerate, and do other things on your own and feel a sense of accomplishment once you see the results.

Is it worth doing your own lawn?

It is worth doing your own lawn because you have full control of what you do. DIY lawn care is cheaper since you don’t have to pay for labor costs. You can also tend to your lawn when it’s best for it without having to wait for a scheduled visit.

Is it cheaper to fertilize your own lawn?

It is cheaper to fertilize your own lawn since you won’t have to pay for labor costs. Assuming that you already have a lawn spreader, you will only have to buy fertilizer and reserve part of the day for the job.

What are the weaknesses of the lawn care company?

The weaknesses of the lawn care company are high labor costs and inflexibility. Lawn care is labor-intensive work that can be very expensive. Their fixed lawn maintenance schedule won’t always best correspond with your lawn.

What does a lawn doctor provide that I can't easily do myself?

What a lawn doctor provides that you can’t easily do yourself is get access to commercial-grade chemicals and tools. A lawn doctor also offers knowledge and experience that you may not have.

The Decision Is Up To You 

Now you know the pros and cons of lawn care services and DIY lawn care. Which route you take ultimately depends on you! It comes down to how much you enjoy doing the lawn work, your budget, and the state of your lawn.

In my experience, growing a healthy lawn is not difficult. The key to getting professional results is knowing what your grass seed needs, when it needs it, and staying consistent with the program.

Don’t shy away from calling the lawn service if you can’t solve a problem on your own. They are there to help you get the best-looking lawn!
Do you agree? Let me know in the comments below, and feel free to ask me any questions. I would love to hear from you.

About The Authors

  • Nadya Jones

    Nadya's the creative mind behind this blog, sharing her passion for landscaping, gardening and making spaces that nourish the soul. An entrepreneur and writer based in Raleigh, NC, Nadya turns imaginative ideas into inspiration, fueling home and garden dreams. Though Nadya crafts gorgeous posts and photos showcasing lush yards or blooming gardens, the real magic happens behind the scenes where Nadya's partner Brett provides endless support, implementing each vision with care and dedication. Brett's the one ensuring her creative concepts come to life. At heart, Nadya remains an imaginative soul, forever dreaming of whimsical details, vibrant hues and lush landscapes. Each manicured edge or blossoming bloom fuels inspiration, expanding her vision of what's possible in design and life. She shares her love for landscaping, gardening, and outdoor design in her blog, the one you are visiting right now. If you are interested in the same things, be sure to check it out! Also, follow Nadya on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Flickr!

  • Jenn Peters

    Jenn Peters is an experienced content manager and editor who holds a degree in English and certifications in Social Media Marketing and Copywriting from the College of Media and Publishing. She has been working for ANestWithAYard since 2018. In addition, Jenn works as a content editor for Valnet across 7 company sites, publishing numerous articles weekly. Connect with Jenn on LinkedIn.

Photo of author

About The Author

Nadya Jones

Nadya's the creative mind behind this blog, sharing her passion for landscaping, gardening and making spaces that nourish the soul. An entrepreneur and writer based in Raleigh, NC, Nadya turns imaginative ideas into inspiration, fueling home and garden dreams. Though Nadya crafts gorgeous posts and photos showcasing lush yards or blooming gardens, the real magic happens behind the scenes where Nadya's partner Brett provides endless support, implementing each vision with care and dedication. Brett's the one ensuring her creative concepts come to life. At heart, Nadya remains an imaginative soul, forever dreaming of whimsical details, vibrant hues and lush landscapes. Each manicured edge or blossoming bloom fuels inspiration, expanding her vision of what's possible in design and life. She shares her love for landscaping, gardening, and outdoor design in her blog, the one you are visiting right now. If you are interested in the same things, be sure to check it out! Also, follow Nadya on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Flickr!

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