Lawn Care

Essentially a blanket term identifying the many different aspects of caring for your yard, lawn care breaks down into several categories (2). Gardening, planting, soil work, seeding, and fertilization will all add incredible quality to your home. Be it professional work or a DIY project, lawn care has been around for practically as long as lawns themselves (3). A quick and very general financial breakdown for an average sized backyard:

  • Landscaping

    Landscaping

    Between $4,200 and $10,000.

  • Lawn mowing

    Lawn mowing

    $35 to $40.

  • Aeration

    Aeration

    $40 to $110.

  • Sod

    Sod

    $40 to $110.

  • Seeding

    Seeding

    $250 to $700.

  • Fertilization

    Fertilization

    Between $60 and $180.

  • General

    General

    Between $60 and $180.

Lawn Maintenance

Simply maintaining a lawn can also vary in price, size, and time of completion but the average 4,000 sq. ft. yard can usually take about a half an hour to completely mow (4). As stated before, this usually costs an average of around $40. For larger acreage, the cost scales pretty effectively. To maintain a football field-sized length of grass can cost anywhere between $8,000 and $15,000 per year. If that grass is synthetic, the price range can be $13,000 to $40,000 (5). The price markup is due to the hidden costs of replacing the older units when they begin to break down.

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Gardening

There seem to be two schools of thought when it comes to gardening. You can either turn your backyard into a personal DIY project with plants, or you might actively employ a master gardener (6). Either way, gardening is a rewarding way to enjoy your home's yard. If you're harvesting fruits and veggies or just decorating your property in plants, gardening is a great pastime that can add value to your land. Otherwise, you can always enjoy a serene moment with a new water fountain addition. Think of adding the following features to your backyard garden:

  • Simple fountain ~$100
  • Arch ~$200
  • Waterfall between $300 and $20,000+ (depending on work)
  • Outdoor Kitchen < $25,000
  • Entertainment Patio < $50,000
  • Backyard Terrace < $150,000 (with fireplace)
  • Resort Style Bar > $300,000
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Irrigation

Irrigating your yard not only saves water and distributes it more efficiently, it's really the only way to properly care for a large lawn or garden. Roughly 70% of all the world's freshwater withdrawals go towards irrigation use (7). While humans have been using irrigation systems for as long as they've been cultivating plants, modern technology has not only streamlined the efficiency of said techniques, but also made them incredibly important for today's society. Regardless of being used in a farm or for a home, roughly 90% of the water in this world returns to its environment to replenish the source (8).

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Sod

Sod, in layman's terms, is pre-grown grass. As such, it's slightly more expensive and takes slightly more effort to lay down, but the benefit is that it grows fuller and faster. As a result, you can mow and cultivate your lawn quicker. It takes root easier, fares weather better, and in general is just more reliable. You only need to fertilize once and don't have to water as often with sod. As an added benefit, weeds don't grow as frequently. With that being said, it is a bit more expensive of a production. You can get sod in a large array of different grass types, including:

  • Annual Ryegrass
  • Bahiagrass
  • Bentgrass
  • Bermudagrass
  • Buffalo Grass
  • Carpet Grass
  • Centipedegrass
  • Fine Fescue
  • Kentucky Bluegrass
  • Perennial Ryegrass
  • Rough Bluegrass
  • St. Augustine Grass
  • Wheatgrass
  • Zoysiagrass

There's also a bit involved with the actual process of laying down sod (9).

  1. Aerating the topsoil $80 - $110
  2. Leveling the surface $500 - $2,500
  3. Laying rows of the sod $700 - $1,800
  4. Watering (varies)
  5. Mowing $35 - $40
  6. Fertilizing (one time cost) $60 - $180
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Lawn Aeration

Aerating your lawn has a number of health benefits for the grass on your property, especially if you're trying to grow grass. sIt can improve soil drainage, encourage worms, microflora, and microfauna, which in turn helps the grass grow (10). It may seem like a strange idea to dig up parts of your lawn, but allowing oxygen into your soil is one of the best things you can do to promote growth. Lawn aeration is a great way to breathe new life into your yard.

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Tree Care

Caring for your trees doesn't only help the environment and the air you breathe, it also improves the look of your yard and adds to curb appeal. Proper pruning can keep your tree healthy and growing tall (11).Essentially tree care breaks down into three main jobs: tree trimming (pruning), tree removal, and stump grinding. All jobs depend on the size, location, and type of tree, with a rough price breakdown as follows:

  1. Tree trimming
    • > 30 ft. is roughly $75 to $450
    • 30 ft. to 60 ft. is around $150 to $875
    • < 60 ft. and up can be $200 to $1,000
  2. Tree removal
    • Under 25 ft. is about $150 to $500
    • Around 25 ft. to 75 ft. is generally $200 to $1,000
    • Anything over 75 ft. can be $1,500+ and up
  3. Stump grinding
    • By diameter ~ $3 per inch
    • By diameter ~ $3 per inch
    • By the stump ~ $100 to $200 per stump (discounted rate for each additional)

Otherwise, if you were looking to plant a live tree larger than a sapling, there is also a pretty lengthy planning process involved with mature trees as well (12). It's a very thorough step-by-step procedure to ensure the tree's survival and long term health. You can expect the following steps to have a generalized all-inclusive sum price established with the professional landscaper before any work is to be completed.

  1. Beginning to plan where the tree will go and what type
  2. Evaluating the size of the tree, branches, and roots
  3. "Blueprints" for the tree installation
  4. Conservation design for the tree
  5. Pre-construction phase
  6. Construction phase
  7. Landscaping phase
  8. Post construction work
  9. Enacting conservation design
  10. Implementation of tree conservation design
  11. Any temporary barrier work
  12. Any necessary demolition work
  13. Waste clean-up phase
  14. Soil changes needed
  15. Excavation phase
  16. Trenching phase (if applicable)
  17. Detail work
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Snow Removal

In the off season, many landscaping companies turn to snow removal. It's beneficial for everyone, as long as there's snow. This is a great way for landscapers to earn a wage during winter, and for you to get the snow removal services you need at the same time. And these offers aren't limited to just plowing and shoveling. If the top of your home is flat, or has simply seen more snow that in previous years, professionals can help with that as well. Getting roof snow removal will protect the structural integrity of your home and keep you dry and warm in the winter. Also ice removal services can greatly improve the safety of your home. If you're experiencing damage to your gutters, ice dam removal is also available. There have been many new changes to ice salt formulas in recent years that can help with driveways and walkways (13).

References

  1. "Landscaping Cost". Landscaping Network. Retrieved 15 June 2017.
  2. "Do It Yourself Lawn Care Tips & Advice". Lawn Care. Retrieved 15 June 2017.
  3. "A Brief History of Lawns". USNA. Retrieved 15 June 2017.
  4. "Mowing Basics". Lawn Institute. Retrieved 15 June 2017.
  5. "Synthetic (Artificial) Turf vs. Natural Grass Athletic Fields". UA Division of Agriculture. Retrieved 15 June 2017.
  6. Guest, Margery."On Becoming a Master Gardener". National Gardening Association. Retrieved 15 June 2017.
  7. "Water". Global Agriculture. Retrieved 15 June 2017.
  8. "Irrigation water use". USGS. Retrieved 15 June 2017.
  9. Womble, Ashley"How to Lay Sod". This Old House. Retrieved 15 June 2017.
  10. "Lawn aerator". Wikipedia. Retrieved 15 June 2017.
  11. "How to Prune Young Shade Trees". Arbor Day Foundation. Retrieved 15 June 2017.
  12. "Management of Trees and Shrubs During Site Planning, Site Development, and Construction". TCIA. Retrieved 15 June 2017.
  13. Baun, Greg."An ice melting game changer". Sima. Retrieved 15 June 2017.
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