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Hi,
New yard-owner here (used to live in a condo) and like many I'm getting exposed to the reality of landscape maintenance. I have about a .5 acre lawn. I'm currently doing everything myself, but I recently received some circulars about customized lawn applications. It says that it is $29.99 for the first application (trugreen/lawndoctor). Few questions on those that may have used these services:
-Is this usually one of those deals where $29.99 if I pay like $500 for 5 more applications?
-Are they any better than me buying something myself and spreading/spraying it?
-Is it worth it just to have a lawn professional to take a look at my lawn? It's in pretty bad shape, I chopped down a bunch of trees and tried a diy new lawn.
-Any other fatwallet-esk ways to take care of landscaping (not limited to lawn, but also bushes and stuff). I've subscribed to some landscaping forums, but I welcome any other advice.

Thanks,
Psyber

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scotts
Disclaimer
Do it yourself with scotts turf builder, some touch up grass seed, some touch up weed killer and you are good for the season.
All the products are found in the Lowes and Home Depot gardening products dept.

A guy at work used to have guys that came every week to do the lawn.
He got rid of them one year,went to do it himself and still maintains a good lawn.





Home Depot's Spring Black Friday sale is coming up in regions based upon climate.
There was one last week in warmer areas.

Get bargain mulch for the bushes.

go native

well, it all depends. If you have the time and energy, it is always good to yourself. You know what you are doing, you will put in quality products in your yard, great workout. Nobody cares like family.
On the other hand, if you don't have enough time or know how, hire somebody. If it is just know how hire someone for summers and watch /ask questions. When the season is not so thriving in winters, start doing it yourself so you are prepared for next summers. If a yard guy does it for you, it's ok...there's no harm...other than it will cost. $29.99 you are talking about is just weed control treatment, which is usually 7 applications in an year. The price sounds right, no problem there. I know of a lot of people who cut the grass themselves, but outsource weed control. you might wanna do that if you dont have enough know-how.

Homeowner since 1987. Always didmy own yard. Went to TruGreen this year. The price was for a year of service autorenew. I paid $250 minus 10% pay up front discount + taxes . Ended up just under $250. First thing I noticed after two apps is that they don't do s good as job as I do, but better than my neighbor. Plus You still have much work on other things like grass/weeds in flower beds,sidewalks,pathways. They overspray and damage some of my plants. The good thing is they do it! The house next door is bank owned with old owner as renter. They weeds are a little overgrown on so the wind blowing weeds into my yard was a big factor. TruGreen will come back and retreat as needed. I killed weeds in both yards when I did it!

It cost me about the same to DIY as TruGreen charges, but much happier with my results and the house next door is now untreated so it makes my house look much worse. Maybe TruGreen will treat it to the driveway next door to prevent recalls for weeds.


So TruGreen does better job than 75% of homeowners who honestly work on their yards and orse than the top 25% in my opinion. Price is only slightly more than normal DIY. (Scotts has special promotions almost every year that can be found on this site) Still have other weedkill dutys.

Trugreen costs me the same as doing it myself and my lawn is in a much better shape than it was when it was DIY. I was able to PM to a local lawn company a couple of years ago and have always called trugreen every year and told them that I want the same price the year before else I will be leaving them and they have always given me that price. And they will come in apply the fertilizer if there are weeds that are starting to show up or you call them and they will come by and reapply.

Plant natives that require less water/maintenance -
http://www.seedsource.com/catalog/detail.asp?product_id=2864

I think it is a reasonable service. You CAN DIY for cheaper/better, but especially as a new homeowner it might be worth tryign it for one year or so- especially if your yard is weak- they could help you get it up to speed. Lawn care isn't as easy as you would think..

We use a service, costs something like $30 a month. They spray fertilizer, weed treatments and some other stuff. They also try to upsell over the course of the summer, but I always do those suggestions myself. For example, they told me it was time to spread lyme to balance the PH, gave me the amount and type needed and said they would do it for $100. I did it myself for about $20.

The lawn looked great last year and I had nice reminders of when to do the extra stuff...


Garden Expert
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lawn
Disclaimer

lawn
Disclaimer
Decent gardening radio show and associated websites and forum

http://www.thegreatgardener.com/forum/


http://www.thegreatgardener.com/forum/viewforum.php?f=3&sid=1fa6...


Email:
nicholasroozen@radiogardensense.com

http://www.wabcradio.com/showdj.asp?DJID=49799

Garden Sense NYC Area Saturday: 6:00 AM - 7:00 AM

Learn from the experts! NYC Area: Every Saturday from 6am - 7am, Jos Roozen will answer your questions on any topic concerning your Lawn & Garden. Or you can go to Jos's site at http://www.thegreatgardener.com


The Objective of GARDEN SENSE is to share with our listeners the many advantages the Independent Garden Centers in their neighborhood have to offer, both in terms of knowledge and advice as well as in terms of products which will yield superior results and are not available from Discount or Big Box Retailers.


Jos Roozen grew up on a tulip farm near the Dutch city of Haarlem on Holland’s coast (as if you couldn’t tell by listening to him) and became a Horticulturalist. In addition to his vast knowledge of flowers, his expertise on the diagnosis of plant diseases and insects as well as their treatment is highly recognized in the industry. After moving to the States in 1970, Jos founded Roozen’s Nursery in Fort Washington, MD. Approximately ten years ago Jos branched out into the saltwater fish business, which has grown into the largest retail operation of it’s kind on the East Coast, with multiple shipments from around the world arriving daily.
For more about “Garden Sense” and Turf Trust visit www.radiogardensense.com
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Contracted with Scotts last year; what a disaster! They treated our neighbor's lawn twice (same neighbor) and billed us for the service. It was not even our next-door neighbor! They did not come back to do the service on our lawn either time. The neighbor did not have a contract with Scotts. Scotts expected us to pay the bill; even though we told them their mistake(twice). Took two months to get them to understand that we would not pay the bill for service on our neighbor's lawn. We cancelled service; and they actually asked me why I wanted to cancel. Neighbor was very appreciative!

haha did your neighbor ask you to call a roofer also?
http://www.signonsandiego.com/uniontrib/20060115/news_1h15noroof...

Switched to the Scotts DIY program. We do the 4-apps ourselves and save $500/year.
Lawn still looks like cr*p, but did with the service too.

Our lawn service uses huge 3000-lb mowers and it compresses our lawn, not to mention nothing but clay soil in our subdivision.
Add that to the summer heat and its not good no matter how you slice it.

A buddy of mine uses a smaller gas powered mower, and has nice rich black soil.
He does the 4-step DIY Scott program and his lawn makes you want to take off your shoes and walk thru it.

Never step near TruGreen. These guys sell you on "applications" and some applications are just them walking around your yard looking/spraying weeds. Plus they dont use enough nitrogen (do the math on how big your lawn acreage is, not your lot acreage, and how much N is required) so when you call them up saying your lawn isnt looking great they will convince you that you need more applications (more nitrogen)

Scotts or similar 4 step is OK on price and may or may not get the job done.

If you want the best bang for your buck go find your nearest Lesco and use what the pro's do
http://www.lesco.com/

First I would get your soil tested. Your local County Coop Extension should be able to do soil tests or you can mail soil samples out to a place like Umass http://www.umass.edu/soiltest/ (they do them pretty cheap and you dont have to live in state)

Why get your soil tested? Well fertilizers come with 3 main ingredients, N-P-K, and depending on your soil you might not need certain amounts of P/K (you always need N) So the advantage of Lesco is that you can get a wide variety of bags with different NPK amounts vs the Scotts/Big box store where its 1 size fits all. Which is why some people say Scotts is great or Scotts sucks

Pound for pound, Lesco is cheaper, and puts down exactly what you need and nothing you don't. Why pay for something your lawn doesnt need?

It was more effort reading up on how to do everything but in the end knowledge is power and you will be your own "lawn expert"

YMMV on Lesco helpfulness. The closer of the 2 by me was not very helpful or interested in my business (I only buy ~75lb per app vs the professionals who lay down tons) however the other one was super helpful in getting me started, went over my soil test with me and looked at pictures/lawn samples I dug out to bring in



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