Whenever it comes to a service that your home and property may need, you likely consider whether it’s something you can do on your own or whether you should hire a pro. The same likely goes for lawn maintenance. You might be considering a DIY lawn care plan as you don’t want to pay for something that you can do on your own but you might not be sure what exactly is involved.
We recognize that a lot of homeowners do weigh DIY lawn care vs. a professional lawn care service and they want to understand the difference. Oftentimes it’s assumed that the main investment is time (to do the work) and money (to buy the necessary products). But there are actually a variety of other factors that also need to be considered which are often overlooked.
Because we don’t want you to get in over your head or be stuck with a “DIY fail” that could have been avoided, we’ve rounded up some helpful advice that you might want to consider before tackling DIY lawn care.
What Can Go Wrong with DIY Lawn Care?
We find that what most people really want to know is “What can go wrong?” Lawn maintenance tasks such as fertilization, weed control, and even mowing don’t seem overly complicated but most homeowners do recognize that there is room for error (they just may not realize how much).
Unfortunately, we have seen quite a few DIY fails from well-intentioned homeowners who have brought us in to fix what went wrong.
Whether big or small, the last thing that you want is to end up with lawn problems that detract from the overall look and performance of your lawn because of a mistake you made.
Here are a few of the most common problems resulting from DIY fails that we’ve seen.
1. Weed Control or Fertilizer Burn on Lawns
Fertilizer and weed control products can burn the lawn when applied at the wrong time or at the wrong rate of application. This is actually a pretty easy mistake to make, so don’t feel bad if it has happened to you. We see it all of the time.
Unfortunately, it can be a frustrating setback to getting a great-looking lawn because now you have to focus on fixing those problem spots. Lawn burn can result in damaged or even bare patches that may take a little bit of time to fix, depending on their severity.
2. Ugly Stripes in Lawn
Lawn striping (where you might see dark green stripes in some parts of the lawn and brown or yellow stripes in other areas) occurs when fertilizer is not applied evenly. This isn’t as severe as a burn but it can still be ugly. This is another mistake that is also easy to make. It’s because coverage and application rate are critical.
Spreaders must be constantly calibrated to make necessary adjustments. At Kingstowne, we are measuring and calibrating the equipment constantly. Even the speed at which you walk factors into the equation. It’s a lot more complicated than homeowners often realize.
3. Overall Lawn Discoloration
Overall lawn discoloration can also be the result of DIY lawn care mistakes. If your lawn is turning brown or yellow, it could be a disease or a pest but it could also be because you mowed the lawn too short and it’s now struggling.
Dull blades are also a problem. It’s safe to say that most homeowners do not take the time to sharpen their blades so they’re making jagged cuts to the grass, which can actually damage its health. This can also cause your lawn to yellow.
Another common mowing mistake is mowing infrequently. The homeowner will wait too long between mows and then need to make a dramatic cut. Unfortunately, this is quite traumatic to the lawn and can cause its health to suffer as a result. This is another common reason for a yellowing lawn.
Beyond that, there are other conditions that can negatively affect the overall color of your lawn. These include improper watering, turf disease, insect damage, soil pH issues, soil compaction, and more. A lawn care professional can help you diagnose if one of these causes is what’s stealing your deep, dark green.
Other DIY Lawn Care Considerations
The possibility of making mistakes is definitely one of the main reasons that you might want to avoid a DIY approach. We hate to see homeowners waste time and money on a DIY lawn care plan that goes awry.
Besides subpar results and setbacks, you should also recognize that DIY lawn care can be taxing. It’s a lot of work to perform these services and you likely have better ways that you can be spending your time. On top of that, it’s also a relatively substantial investment. You not only need to buy the products but the equipment to apply them. When you factor in having to try a variety of different products to find the right ones, it can really start to add up.
Instead, you could have just hired a pro to handle it all for you.
Not only will a pro get the best possible results (thanks to superior products and skill), but they’ll save you from the headaches of having to figure any of this out and the time of having to perform the work yourself. After all, you’re busy and it’s not like you have endless free time to be performing lawn maintenance.
Choosing a Lawn Care Company for a Gorgeous and Hassle-Free Lawn
In the end, the choice is yours. It’s wise of you to do your research and to determine whether you’re choosing the right path.
Chances are you’ve come to realize it may not be worth the headaches or the hassles involved with DIY lawn care. You’re starting to recognize that when you invest in a professional lawn care service, you’re also investing in peace of mind—and that’s an incredibly valuable asset.
After all, not only will you have a pro helping you achieve the results you desire, but that pro will also be looking for problems (such as pests or diseases) that could arise and wreak even more havoc on your lawn. But when you work with a pro, you can hand those worries over to them to address.