Angie's List Report: Choosing a Lawn Care Company

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Updated: 5/23/2013 10:38 pm

The quest for a lush, green lawn takes a lot of work and involves more than just mowing. In this Angie’s List report, how to pick a company to treat your lawn without getting mowed down.

Denise Wallace enjoys her yard, but she didn’t have the time to keep up on lawn maintenance, so she hired a company to spray and take care of the weeds. But she wasn’t fully satisfied with the work.

“We never really actually saw them spray the yard, there would just be a little sign in the yard that said they had done the spraying and on the yard itself the weeds would be brown at the tip but they would never go away. Several times we called in and asked them to come back out and retreat and they would attempt to and another sign would be left, but the weeds would never go away,” Wallace said. Denise is not alone, as the founder of Angie's List, Angie Hicks, can attest.

“When it comes to lawn care you typically aren’t even home as a consumer when the job is done so unfortunately we hear horror stories where the company didn’t actually do what they said they were going to do or they actually damaged the lawn so you want to be sure you have a good company that knows what they are doing,” Hicks said.

Fertilizing your lawn is worthwhile in any climate and can help your lawn stay healthy. Other than seeing the little flag in your yard, there are ways to know if your lawn care company has done what they said they would do.

“Fertilizer granules colors are usually white or yellow, sometimes they can be a purple or aqua color, but typically white or yellow are the ones you are going to see usually. The size usually about cat litter, so that is what you are looking for when you look for the granules along the edges,” said lawn care contractor Marcus Hoone.

After a treatment you might also notice spreader tracks or footprints in the grass. If you have your lawn sprayed for weeds, the weeds should curl up in about a week or two.

“When hiring a lawn care company get at least three estimates, they should be estimates at your home where they evaluate your yard. You should get a written document of what is going to be done on each application and be there for the first couple of applications so you can ask questions and learn how to best take care of your lawn, Hicks added.

Fertilizer adds nitrogen to your lawn, but if you add too much, it can actually dry it out and kill it. You'll be able to tell if you over-fertilized if you notice yellow or brown spots where the grass has died. And be careful using pesticides – check the ingredients. Some can be very harsh on a lawn and cause damage.

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