Lawn and Landscape Maintenance can be a hard job. Physically taxing at the least, but there are also other issues to consider. Do you have the proper equipment to do the job right? Do you have the time to invest in the job to do it properly? Do you know how to do it, properly? Will you really save any money by doing it yourself?
Let’s examine these points.
Equipment For Lawn and Landscape Maintenance
The equipment to do Lawn and Landscape Maintenance costs thousands of dollars for professional grade equipment. Although you don’t have to have professional grade lawn and landscape equipment, you usually get what you pay for.
Some landscape jobs can be accomplished with lesser expensive equipment and if you use it properly, you can still get good results. But even with the lesser expensive equipment, you may spend hundreds more on equipment than what you could get the job done for you by a qualified Lawn and Landscape Maintenance professional.
For example, you can buy a pretty good tow-behind, core type aerator that can be used for aerating and overseeding/aerating jobs, for around $250.00. That’s not bad for a core aerator (the best kind) that will probably be good enough for home owner use. A professional walk behind type aerator will set you back over 3K.
Even mowing your own grass should be examined. Again, ask yourself the same questions about equipment, time, physical ability, and just plain old “want to”. We have people that will hire our company to cut their grass because they can pay us to mow it for a few years for the price it would cost to buy a good quality commercial style mower.
Others have said that they only have 2 days available on the weekend, and they don’t want to spend them cutting grass or pruning shrubs. We get that, that’s why there are commercial Lawn and Landscape Maintenance Companies in business.
Some people absolutely love to mow, and plant flowers and prune shrubs and do all sorts of Lawn and Landscape Maintenance items, and that’s great! It’s good exercise, it gets you out of the house in the fresh air and gives you a sense of satisfaction. But, it’s not for everyone.
Let’s round out what it would cost to stock your garage with the equipment you would need to take care of all the Lawn and Landscape Maintenance items you would need to do throughout the year. These will be “middle of the range” in price for equipment you could buy, not the most expensive and not the cheapest. Just examples for you to evaluate.
- A mid-grade mower a
- A string trimmer (weed eater)
Tanaka TCG22EAP2SL 2-Cycle Gas Powered Solid Steel Drive Shaft String Trimmer/Brush Cutter, 21cc $199.99 (electric and battery powered models are available)
- A set of electric hedge clippers
BLACK+DECKER HT22 Hedge Trimmer, 22″ $46.00
- A gas powered set of hedge clippers
Ryobi ZRRY39500 26cc 22-in Gas Powered Hedge Trimmer Certified Refurbished $139.99
Agri-Fab 85-Pound Push Broadcast Spreader $59.54
- Hand held gas blower
Husqvarna 952711925 125B 28cc 2-Stroke 170 MPH Gas Powered Handheld Blower $149.00
This meager stash of Lawn and Landscape Maintenance equipment will just get your lawn mowed, trimmed, the walk and driveway blown off and your shrubs pruned. You will still have to have all of the usual shovels, rakes, wheelbarrows, and miscellaneous had tools to do what you need to. These could easily add up to over another $1,000.00
So you can see that depending on the size of your property, you may be able to hire it out cheaper than you can buy all the equipment you might need. Of course, most of us have a little equipment to start with, but still, it’s expensive to buy and maintain equipment, as well as time consuming.
Another cost of doing your own maintenance is the cost of fuel, oil, maintenance, grass seed, fertilizer, weed and feed products, etc. that you would buy to do your work. These items alone sometimes add up to more than you can hire the particular chore out for.
So the choice on equipment comes down to, can you afford it, how much do you want to spend, and of course, do you want to do it yourself to start with?
Should You Take the Time to do it?
Having the time to do the Lawn and Landscape Maintenance chores is another thing. Many people like to do the work themselves, but simply do not have the time. If you look at the average Family of 4, there is work, school activities, baseball, soccer, basketball, plays, dancing and all of the 100’s of other activities the kids get into that will take up your time.
Many of our customers are young business professionals who choose to spend their time honing their business skills and let someone else handle the physical work, equipment maintenance, and all the headaches that come with owning equipment. This is something that each person will have to weigh themselves to factor into this decision. Some of our young professional customers make more per hour for their own work than what it would cost them to hire it out, so for them, it’s an easy choice.
Do You Know How to Do it?
Knowing what you’re doing is very important for some Lawn and Landscape Maintenance and installation projects. More so on the installation side than the maintenance. Let’s face it, anyone can get on a mower and drive it around in circles until there is no more grass standing up. But there is a difference in a well manicured, freshly cut lawn, and a lawn that just got “mowed”.
Some tasks that you should absolutely not attempt if you don’t know how are: installing a retaining wall, installing an irrigation system, grade work on your lawn, electrical work, pesticide application including weed control, insecticide or fungicide applications. There are others, but the idea is if you are unsure about whether or not you should cut that ornamental tree in half, then don’t. Call someone in to at least advise you.
Pruning ornamental shrubs and trees is an item that is best done with a little knowledge under your belt. Some shrubs need to be trimmed in Spring, some in Summer, and some in Fall. It is also a little more difficult to prune a row of American Boxwoods all to the same size than you might think.
Keeping your shrubs and trees in check is also an important issue. If you don’t cut enough off at each pruning, the shrubs will slowly grow out larger and larger to the point that they are so large that they either have to be cut down drastically or pulled out altogether and your landscape renovated.
Paying someone to prune your shrubs is less expensive than paying someone to prune and keep them in check.
The bottom line on deciding will usually fall on your own opinion, desires, and whether you consider Lawn and Landscape Maintenance a hobby or a pacifying activity that you enjoy doing, or a chore from hell.
Will it save you money, that you will also have to put a pencil to. For some of you, without a doubt, I could say you could hire it done for less than you could do the job yourself. For others, it would be less expensive to do the work yourself.
But, do you want to? Can you? Do you have a couple of kids that are sitting on the couch that need something to do? In the end, you will decide, but don’t be afraid to call a professional in for an estimate, most are happy to give you and estimate, and probably a little free advice to boot.
Happy gardening in 2017!