Reclaim Your Turf: DIY Like a Pro

Man with pennington grass seed

A thick, healthy lawn can make outdoor time spent with family and friends even more enjoyable, but a well-maintained lawn has other benefits as well. As part of an attractive landscape, a beautiful lawn contributes to an increase of up to 17 percent in perceived property value.1 A healthy lawn also delivers environmental benefits, from oxygen production to improved water quality.

The question isn't whether you want a thick, healthy lawn — it's which path you'll take to achieve that goal. When it comes to investing time and resources, two choices top the list: hiring a lawn care service to do the work or reclaiming your turf and doing it yourself. Understanding the advantages and disadvantages of both can help you decide which one's for you.

Lawn care guys planing Pennington grass seed

Lawn professionals provide the tools and professional products.

Hiring a Lawn Care Service

Putting the responsibility for an attractive lawn on someone else's shoulders can be appealing if you're limited on time or commitment. Going the lawn service route involves some tradeoffs you'll want to think through.

Advantages to hiring a lawn service:

  • Time savings. With a service, someone else does the work. That means extra free time for you.
  • Consistent schedule. With many lawn services, you'll get consistent weekly service — same day, same time — rain or shine.
  • Professional-grade lawn care products. Lawn professionals have access to premium pro-line products at trade-only pricing.
  • Equipment provided. Lawn care services provide the equipment and fuel , along with repairs and maintenance.
  • Skills and experience. Qualified lawn pros offer the benefit of focused training and industry expertise

Disadvantages to hiring a lawn service:

  • Increased labor costs. Your time's valuable, but so is the pro's you'll pay.
  • Inflexibility. A lawn service's fixed schedule doesn't always correspond to the best timing for your lawn.
  • Increased product costs. Some services charge more for trade-only products.
  • Automatic treatments. Many service programs provide automatic treatments for all lawns they service, regardless of each lawn's individual needs.
  • Need for careful screening. Some lawn services lack training and professional experience. Top care takes more than equipment. Request and check references if you take the do-it-for-me route.
Man planting grass seed

With DIY, you can follow your lawn's lead instead of a lawn service schedule.

Reclaiming Your Turf with DIY

Doing your own lawn care can be a simple, satisfying achievement. You get to experience and influence your lawn's progress from start to finish — and still enjoy free time. Doing it yourself also has pros and cons to consider.

Advantages to DIY lawn care:

  • Cost savings. Go ahead and pay yourself. Labor costs drop when you go DIY.
  • Optimal timing. From quick weekend fixes to month-to-month lawn care, you can schedule DIY lawn care for the best possible time for your lawn.
  • Professional-grade consumer products. With premium consumer products such as Pennington Smart Seed, you are a pro. Water-conserving Pennington Smart Seed grass varieties used and recommended by lawn pros are available to help you create an exceptional lawn.
  • Personalized choices. With DIY, you decide and do. Whether choosing between seed or sod or growing grass in shade, you can select the best possible grasses and lawn care products for your unique lawn conditions.
  • Health and fitness benefits. Lawn care activities as simple as mowing can contribute significantly to your current and future health.
  • Knowledge and expertise. When you take on your lawn care, the opportunity to research, learn and do gives you specialized knowledge you can share with others.

Disadvantages to DIY lawn care:

  • Time commitment. Consider the value of your free time and whether you enjoy hands-on outdoor tasks. Creating a healthy, beautiful lawn requires a commitment to learning and lawn care, but that doesn't mean you'll forfeit your weekends off.
  • Equipment investment. To do it yourself, you'll need basic equipment, such as a mower and spreader, and room to store them. You may also have occasional equipment rental for special projects such as aeration.
Pennington smart seed bag

With premium Pennington products, you are a pro.

Whether you decide on a do-it-for-me service or DIY like a pro, expert advice and premium grass seed and lawn products will help. Your local county extension agent is an excellent source of information on lawn care for your region, and Pennington's educational resources can help you sharpen your knowledge and achieve the goals you desire. As a leader in the industry for three generations, Pennington has cultivated the trust of lawn professionals and homeowners by growing the finest grass seed available. You can count on Pennington for results — guaranteed.

Pennington and Smart Seed are trademarks of Pennington Seed, Inc.

Sources:

1. Elam, E. and Stigarll, A., "Landscape and House Appearance Impacts on the Price of Single-Family Houses," Journal of Environmental Horticulture, December 2012.

Grass Seed Resources