The sun, the surf, the year-round warm temperatures…we get it all in the Tampa Bay area where I live and usually on the hottest days of the year is when I find myself mowing and edging and trimming my grass and hedges. Its also about this time when I am thinking about hiring a professional company to take all this work away from me.

So the question is: Do It Yourself or hire a professional lawn care provider
Some people think that taking care of a lawn is simple. Well yes, its not rocket science but there is a little more to it than just mowing.

DIY’ers need to know many things about caring for their garden such as: what type of sod or grass should be planted in your area? What type of fertilizer should be used, how often should it be applied, should you use commercial brands or organic fertilizers?

-Why should you get a soil analysis of your soil? How to you get a soil analysis performed to tell you what nutrients are present in your soil and even what nutrients should be present.

-How exactly should you mow, should you cut it short or leave it long? What tools are needed to take care of your lawn once its mature? How do you take care of a newly seeded or sodded?

-How often should you water and how much water should you give it?

Yes, there is more to lawn care than just mowing the grass.

So the question is, do you want to make the commitment to spend the time and effort to learn how to take care properly and then actually do the work of caring  or should you spend the money to hire a professional lawn care provider?

Consider the time you will need to do the research to understand how to properly take care of your lawn.
Things such as soil science: the different types of fertilizers the soil and lawn will need and why.
The types of weeds and how to effectively remove then and keep them away from the different types of turf grasses grow in and what type is best suited for your area, etc.
Then there is the actual doing the work..the mowing, trimming, edging, carting off the debris to the compost pile, etc.

And then consider that this is usually all done during the hottest times of the year, usually twice a week like I do in Florida!

While some people need to do the work themselves to save money especially during these hard-hitting economic times but for me its the great sense of accomplishment I get knowing I did all the work myself when I look out my window and see my great looking lawn. The old pioneer spirit I guess!

Still, others find a professional lawn care provider is simply the prudent thing to do for themselves. Perhaps the hands-on approach are not their style or they don’t do things well with their hands or its that they are just too busy.

When hiring professionals to handle their lawn care needs many people look for the cheapest offer. This isn’t usually in their best interest. The cheapest guy may have just lost a job last week at the local burger joint and has borrowed a lawn mower, then put out fliers to land some lawn care jobs. Do you want this guy taking care of your lawn? Due diligence is required here to find a lawn care professional that will be trustworthy and experienced. Ask for references and look at their work. Ask the homeowner if they are happy with their provider.

Now during these trying economic times, negotiation is key. Remember everyone is looking for new customers and the lawn care business is very competitive especially in year round warm climates like Florida. Most providers will want to sign you up for a year or a season contract. Just make sure you are getting all their services in writing and get yourself a good price.