As you all know, Life and Lawns is all about do-it-yourself lawn care and lawn care tips. However, recently I have been getting quite a few emails from folks who want to utilize a professional lawn care service in conjunction with their own lawn treatment efforts. (we are speaking of fertilizer and other types of treatments here; not cutting and mowing)
I can see how this approach could be a solid one as there are many of you who are just testing the waters and you lack the experience and confidence to get out and take care of your lawn for a full season. In addition, some of you just don’t have the time and your lawns are in dire straights! I also get the idea that there are some things that are a little tougher, even for the most experienced. With that in mind, here are some recommendations for you:
DIY Lawn Care Treatments and Professional Lawn Treatments Combined
If you are looking to purchase the best lawn treatments from a lawn care service while still adding in your own personal touches, here is what I would recommend.
I would buy 4 regular lawn care applications from the professional lawn spraying company. Each lawn treatment company has their own idea of how many treatments you “should need” per year and what each one entails, etc. But honestly guys, they’re all about the same; trust me.
With that in mind, it doesn’t really matter if you live far south somewhere, or up north like me, you just need to get 4 lawn treatments from the professional lawn spraying service.
The 4 treatments you want are the first 4 of the year. Typically this would mean your first one will come sometime in March and then 3 more about 5 weeks apart. It is very important that you verify that at least one of the treatments contains a crab grass pre-emergent in the mix.
These 4 lawn applications will probably be completed by July or August depending on where you live and what time the weather breaks this year. The reason I recommend these first 4 is because the beginning of the season is typically when the main onslaught of weeds occurs, so you might as well let the pros work them outta there for ya.
A final note before we move on: most professional lawn spraying services will offer you free repeat visits in between regular treatments. Be sure to take advantage of these “free service calls,” especially when the main weed pop hits in the mid-spring.
Now, onto the do-it-yourself portion of this “hybrid” lawn care program:
Ok, so we know that the pros are going to be handling the basic fertilizing (they will probably use mostly crappy nitrogen fert) for the first few months of the year, as well as the weed control and crab grass pre-emergent; so what is left for us? The answer is: the icing.
Yeah, you get to put the icing on the lawn cake here my friend. You get to add in what the lawn really needs to take it to the next level.
Your first order of business is to pick up some Milorganite organic fertilizer and lay that down in the middle of April (follow label directions). It doesn’t matter where you live, April is the time to put it down. If you are concerned about hurting you lawn with too much fert, don’t worry, the Milorganite organic is super slow release and will only aid in what your lawn company is already doing. In addition, Milorganite offers slow release iron for the lawn which is what gives it that dark blue-green color.
Next you need to turn to the lawn fungus treatment and grub worm treatment. These are really simple applications but very important. It is best to apply a lawn fungus control application in mid-May and your grub worm treatment in mid-June. The good news here is that you really can’t screw these up so putting them down will give you a good feel for how to spread lawn products if you are just starting out.
Next, lay down another treatment of Milorganite sometime in the later summer. You should also be prepared to spot-spray any weeds that invade during the hotter months.
Always be sure to follow my lawn watering tips too.
The final piece of this puzzle involves the lawn aeration. There really is no skill needed to aerate your lawn, but the machine is pretty large and you may not have a way to get it to your house if you rent one. In this case, you may want to call the pro back in for the fall time to aerate.
That is really it. If you look back at everything here, you will see that you are hiring the pros for 4 treatments, and you are doing 4. This way, you save time and if you are a beginner, you get a real feel for actually pushing the spreader and laying down treatments. With more confidence, you will be ready to take on more and more of the DIY lawn care in the future.