If you’re a homeowner, taking care of the lawn is just as important as looking after your home’s interior. Maintaining a lawn is important for many reasons, including curb appeal, investment purposes, complying with neighborhood regulations (if they apply), and simply for the reward of seeing it when you arrive home from work.
If you’ve put a lot of effort into renovating or maintaining your home, neglecting the lawn means that you will still perceive your property as an eyesore. Have you ever driven around a neighborhood and seen a lawn that has grown tall and weedy, with trash all over the place? It’s not a pretty sight.
Maintaining your lawn is relatively easy, and doing so will add to the all-around homely feeling of your property.
It’s clear that lawn care is necessary, but what exactly does it involve? Is it expensive to maintain a lawn? Can you do it yourself or do you need to hire a trained professional? Let’s examine some fundamental aspects of lawn care and the costs involved:
Mowing Your Lawn
Mowing your lawn is the most common lawn maintenance task, and can quickly be done by the homeowner. However, sometimes it’s just more convenient to hire a professional. This is particularly true if your lawn is large or an odd shape, or in the midst of summer when grass tends to grow very fast.
Most often a professional will charge $40 to $50 for mowing services, but that price will vary by the size of the lawn. Calculating how long it takes to mow your lawn will help you do a budget for hiring someone to do it, as long as you know their rate. You multiply their rate by the length of time it takes to get a cost estimate.
Fertilizing Your Lawn
Fertilizing a lawn ensures it gets all the nutrients it needs to thrive. Plants need at least eighteen elements to ensure optimal growth, so it’s no surprise that fertilizer is often required. While natural soil processes provide most of the nutrients, sometimes that needs to be supplemented.
Moreover, the region you live in and the type of soil on your property may not be the correct concentration for the seed you’re using on your lawn or the plants you’ve chosen for your flowerbed.
If you choose to fertilize your lawn, it will cost you between $7.50 and $17 per 1000 square foot, so it’s a very reasonably priced job. The cost fluctuation depends on the specific concentration and the quality of the fertilizer.
Aerating Your Lawn
Aeration is a term used in landscaping which in basic terms means letting the soil breathe. Lawn thatch and compacted soil both make it difficult for your lawn to breathe, which can inhibit the necessary processes it needs to flourish.
Aerating your lawn can improve the appearance of it. Hiring a professional to aerate your lawn will cost approximately $22 for every 1000 square feet of area, most spend $100 to $200 for the entire yard.
Seeding Your Lawn
Calculating the cost of grass seed will help you figure out how much seeding your lawn will cost. All you do is measure the length and width of your lawn and specify whether it’s a new lawn that needs full seeding, or an area that needs overseeding. Couple this with the type of seed and you can find out how much grass seed you need for seeding your lawn.
Maintaining a Healthy Lawn
The steps involved in maintaining a healthy lawn depend primarily on the problems you encounter. The best way to take care of a lawn without draining your financial resources is to address each issue as it happens.
If you see a bare spot, buy the equipment needed for seeding the area and seed it. If you see a lot of weeds pop up, prepare yourself for some weeding. Grocery and hardware stores often carry a great variety of gardening equipment and materials for almost every common problem.
Your priorities and values will often impact how you address a particular problem and will influence the cost. For example, if you don’t like using harsh chemicals on your garden and you have some weeds, you might prefer just to pull the weeds by hand or research natural weedkillers.
However, the general rule is that the less harsh something is, the less effective it is. It’s up to you which is more important: having to weed more frequently or using harsh chemicals.
Essential Lawn Tools for Homeowners
If you want to make sure you always have the basics on hand, here is a list of some essential lawn tools for any homeowner, as well as their average price:
A typical push mower can cost less than $200, while a riding mower costs thousands. You really only need a riding mower if you have a large plot of land that is impossible to mow by hand. For a standard electric mower which is much faster and more convenient than a basic push one, expect to pay between $250 and $500.
A hose will cost anywhere from $20 to hundreds depending on the features you want. The longer the hose, the more expensive it will be. If there is a pressure washing feature on it, it will cost more. Retractable hoses cost more than ones you have to wind back up yourself, and so on.
A decent quality garden rake will cost between $20 and $50.
Some useful gardening tools to have include gardening shears, gardening gloves, a spade, and a leaf rake. All of the tools you need depend on the specifics of your yard. If you have flowerbeds, you will often find a use for an edging iron, for example.
All of these tools generally fall into the $20 to $50 price range, so you will likely be able to get all the tools you need for less than a few hundred dollars.