Am I Getting a Good Deal? - 5 Hidden Costs in Lawn Care Services

Posted by Dave Schwarm on May 28, 2020 5:36:09 PM
Dave Schwarm

Common Lawn Care Hidden Costs 

Have you even been car shopping and found a "great deal" only to realize later that you were charged extra for your 4th tire?
 
I have 30 years of experience working in the lawn care industry and I have seen a lot of "slicksters" who take advantage of uninformed customers. I’m here to level the playing field and inform you. 
 
Here’s what I have found is common practice in the lawn service industry and where the hidden costs may lie:
 

5-Steps of Fertilizer:

Standard:
 
A 5-step fertilizer program is the “Gold Standard” for Connecticut lawns. Premium Fertilizer Programs generally include blends of fertilizer plus:
  • Crab grass pre-emergents
  • Border control
  • Insect control
  • Root enhancers
  • Winterizers
Hidden Cost:
 
Some companies will omit Service 5 (winterizer) to make their overall cost more appealing. They will then likely call you in September to up-sell this valuable service.
 
fall winterizer fertilizer
 
How do winterizers work? They help your lawn store more nutrients to survive a harsh winter. They will increase root development and help your lawn "green up" faster in the springtime.
 
This can be one of the single most beneficial applications you can feed your lawn - especially when you live in the Northeast where cool season grasses are abundant.
 
 

Surface Insect Control: 

What is surface insect control? Surface insect control targets bugs that feed above ground such as chinch bugs and billbugs. They damage lawns by robbing them of nutrients and chewing grass blades. 

Billbug vs Chinch bug
 
Standard:
 
Insect control is another commonly included application in the Northeast. Some companies will advertise it as a "Free" application and even give you a coupon for it. 

Hidden Cost:

Since this is a pretty standard inclusion, ensure that this is not a separate charge. It is often paired with service #3 and you might already be unknowingly receiving it then being charged AGAIN for it as an add-on. 

 

Nutsedge Control: 

What is nutsedge? Nutsedge is a pesky perennial weed that can look like grass but is identified by its yellow, spiky flowers.

Nutsedge grows faster than most grasses so it will stand a bit taller than the rest of your turf. It's a tricky weed to control because its roots can grow as deep as 8-14 inches. 

Nutsedge - how to identify

Hidden Cost: Nutsedge control can be very difficult and very expensive to control.  Some companies include this in their full program but others treat this as an "add-on".

 

 “Special” Weed Control:

Hidden Cost:

Not all weeds can be killed with standard weed controls.  Weeds like Ground Ivy, Violets and Cinquefoil will need more expensive weed control that some companies just won’t use or will charge extra for. Ask your lawn care provider if this is included or if its an extra charge. 

 

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Bottom Line:

Lawn care is a business - the trustworthy companies are upfront and honest about what they are doing and will take the time to see what your needs are before talking price and recommended services.  As always, check a company's reviews. This can save you a lot of trouble in the long run.  Hidden costs can be some of customer's biggest complaints.

 

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Since 2007, Green Meadow Lawn Care has provided homeowners throughout the greater Tolland, Connecticut area with premium fertilization programs, tick control, mosquito management, seeding & aeration and tree & shrub care. 

Visit our Learning Center to find out more about how our services can help you or visit our Youtube Channel to view more in our Learning Center Series.

To speak to our Customer Service Manager, please call Dave (view Dave's video bio here) with any questions. Dave has been in the industry for 30 years and is always happy to help with his expert advice.  

860-870-5700

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