TIPS ON HIRING A LAWN CARE SERVICE
Not sure how to hire a lawn or landscape service? The Professional Landcare Network (PLANET) can help.
Lawn care companies offer services ranging from fertilizing and pest control to aerating, mowing, and plant health care. Residential property values, the environment, and the community all benefit from healthy, thick lawns.
Experts at PLANET suggest homeowners think quality as well as price when calling in a pro. According to a Harris Survey, good references and reputation ranked number one in the selection of a lawn and landscape service. When selecting a company, consumers should ask for the following items: a detailed listing of services and costs, a written estimate and length of service, a list of references, and evidence that the company meets all state licensing requirements.
It is also important to make sure the company is a member of a professional association and to check the company's service record by calling the local Better Business Bureau. Members of PLANET can be found by using the professional locator service at LandcareNetwork.org. PLANET also offers a rigorous certification program, which includes three designations for lawn care professionals: Landscape Industry Certified Lawn Care Manager (formerly known as CTP), Landscape Industry Certified Lawn Care Technician (formerly known as CTP - CSL), and Landscape Industry Certified Horticultural Technician (formerly known as COLP).
"When you hire a professional, you're entering into a partnership," states Jim Martin, Landscape Industry Certified Manager. "The role homeowners play in maintenance of their lawn is key to enhancing the lawn's health and performance and to getting the most out of the service provider."
PLANET advises homeowners to follow these basic maintenance practices:
- Watering. Water deeply but not too often.
- Mowing. Mow often, never removing more than one-third of the leaf surface. Make sure the mower blade is sharp, and grasscycle the clippings by leaving them on the lawn.