Lawn care cost guide

The aesthetical beauty of homes as well as backyard garden has always been popular in the US neighborhoods. While everyone likes how the weeded garden and a perfect lawn look like, most homeowners don’t have time for putting everything in order on their own. For this reason, such services as lawn care exist. There are 117 million gardeners in the US (based on statistics of 2017) and all of them provide quality services. This means that among almost a third of the country, there won't be a problem to find a reliable expert.

Here you will learn about:

Lawn care services include a wide variety of garden care methods. Depending on the professional, you can expect to get everything from basic lawn mowing or weeding and up to landscape design and planting.

The average cost of lawn care services is between $50 and $250. The lower end can guarantee you basic one-time lawn mowing, sometimes some weeding as well, while the higher end can include trimming, fertilization, and pesticide treatment for the garden.

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Lawn care services can be divided into one-time services (for instance, planting or reorganizing the garden) and regular, namely weekly or monthly services (such as trimming, plants care, watering, etc.) In the former case, you will pay an hourly rate between $15 and $25 per hour. The latter form of employment will be a long-term one, so you will pay for a package that includes particular services. You can expect to pay anywhere from $100 to $500 depending on the garden size and plants.

Additional yard features

What services are included in a standard lawn care?

For the upper end (about $250-$300) of the average lawn care services cost you can expect a variety of different services; the actual list depends on a company and can always be discussed with a gardener. In most cases, you will receive the following package services:

  • Assessment Examination of your lawn maintenance and development of a treatment plan.
  • Fertilization Fertilization of not only the lawn, but also flowers, vegetables, or trees depending on your garden needs.
  • Insect and weed control Application of organic or non-organic pesticides and insecticides for lawn and plants protection.
  • Watering Watering of all lawn and garden premises on a daily or weekly basis (this depends heavily on your climate).

How much does aerating cost?

This lawn care allows air and nutrients to get to your plants and grassroots. It’s an essential procedure after winter that costs about $70-$180 depending on the size of working area.

How much does dethatching cost?

Basically, it gives the same effect as aeration, but costs cheaper, about $145-$200.

How much does fall clean-up cost?

Leaves cleaning, weeding, removal of grasses from flower beds, trimming of spent blossoms in fall costs $200-$460 for a half acre.

How much does fertilizing cost?

About $350 per year or around $40 per visit you will need to spend for fertilizing, but this price already includes the cost of the fertilizer.

How much does landscape trimming cost?

Trimming of hedges, shrubs, and ornamental trees is required 1-2 times a month and costs about $175-$400 depending on the size of your garden.

How much does mowing cost?

As a one-time project you will pay about $20-$40, however on a contract basis, you can get a package for about $270. In case you also need leaf blowing, hedging, and minor trimming, be ready to pay about $65-$90 per visit.

How much does overseeding cost?

This service helps cover after winter patches with new grass. Service costs start from $670.

How much does spring clean-up cost?

Cleaning of winter debris, basic trimming of old branches, leaves and debris removal will cost about $200 for a half acre.

How much does weeding cost?

About $25-$50 will you pay a gardener every time for weeding out flower beds in the garden.

Yard care issues

When should I start planting?

Planting schedule depends on the planting calendar in your region and on the plants you choose. For instance, cold season grasses should be planted in early fall, while warm season grasses in spring. Trees, flowers, vegetables, and other plants, in general, should be planted in spring, around April.

How can I choose plants for my yard?

When you consider plants for your backyard garden, they should match not only the general climate of your region but also the condition and characteristics of your yard.

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Plants depending on weather conditions:
  • Hardy perennials for cold conditions (resilient flowers and shrubs like sorrels, ostrich fern, and daylilies).
  • Heat-tolerant plant for (sub)tropical climates (amaranths, all kinds of ferns, orchids, aloe, or bamboo).
  • For regular natural showers almost any plant would be a good fit; in case your area is poor on precipitation, be ready to organize additional good watering 2-3 times a week and additional light watering on a daily basis.
  • For areas prone to severe frosts, opt for either annuals or plants that can endure freezing cold (coneflowers, Siberian irises, American mountain ash, and coral bells)
Plants depending on garden conditions:
  • Work with space you have: for small gardens choose more grass and flowers, while for large yards fruit trees and bushes can make a difference. For large spaced gardens go with fast-growing specimens like creeping phlox or Roman chamomile to fill the space and make the garden homey. For small spaces go with container gardening or pot gardening to make everything fit.
  • Pay attention to your soil because if your yard consists of sand only, you won’t be able to plant many flowers there. For extremely dry and unwelcoming soils remember to fertilize it regularly.
  • Sunlight is everything for flowers. For shadier yards go with green plants, while for sunnier areas plant flowers.

Do I need fertilization?

Yes, fertilization matters a lot in good gardening. As much as possible, go with natural fertilization, like compost, old leaves, ash, etc. Natural fertilizers work on their own without much efforts needed on your side. In case, however, your soil is absolutely unwelcoming for planting, go with professional fertilization of your gardener’s choice.

Additional expenses for lawn and garden care

What additional costs can I have in lawn and garden care?

Besides the services described at the beginning of this article, lawn and garden care can, but not always, include such services as landscaping, constructions removal or building. For instance, you can have great landscaping ideas in your head and hire a professional who can make the backyard of your dreams; such a service costs anywhere between $1,400 and $5,300 and includes reshaping your backyard form as well as planting and sometimes fence building. Additional building or removal of a gazebo or a bath-house, a shed or a fireplace are also possible as extra garden expenses.

How much does it cost to build a swimming pool?

If you can satisfy the need of a pool with an inflated kids pool, then the cost is about $10-$50. However, if you want to build a real swimming pool in the yard, then the cost can vary from $11,000 and up to $100,000 depending on the size of the pool, the complexity of excavation works, materials used for decoration and ornamentation as well as additional features you decide to apply.

How much does it cost to remove a tree from the yard?

The average cost of a tree removal service is $650, however, the lower end equals only $75. The cost usually depends on the size of the tree and whether you need the roots to be excavated or not.

Frequently asked questions

Do I need to hire a gardener?

Lawn care takes much time, like, really much time. For instance, basic lawn mowing requires 2-3 hours a week, basic trimming about 2-3 more hours, add to it fertilization and regular watering and you will get almost 20 hours a week. And remember that weeding and special care (like chemical spraying against pests) also need some hours. If you have this time or adore gardening and it’s your hobby, then you can work with a gardener for a month to learn all the basics. After that meet with a professional once a month to ensure that you take proper care of your garden.

In case you are a busy person who wants to have a beautiful garden but doesn’t want to or doesn’t have enough time for garden maintenance, then hiring a gardener will save you both your daytime hours and money while providing the feeling of aesthetical pleasure.

What lawn care can I do myself?

Traditional lawn care that is performed by homeowners is watering and mowing. Those having more free time do the weeding on their own as well. If you get some professional advice and a workshop, then even trimming of trees and bushes can be done on your own.

Bottom line

Lawn care can include a variety of different services from weeding and lawn mowing to a complex project of landscape design. The average price for the service is about $20-$40 per hour of work, however, you can easily save by hiring a gardener on a long-term basis. If you need to save, think also what services can be performed by yourself and where professional assistance is inevitable.

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