Caring for grass can be quite a chore, no matter how large or small your property.
As a homeowner, you want to keep your lawn healthy, lush and green. But choosing whether to do it yourself or hire a lawn care service is more than mere practicality. It hedges on the ultimate desired result and how you want to spend your leisure time. Let’s face it: You really can find better ways to spend precious weekend hours. So, let’s take a look at the pros and cons of do-it-yourself lawn care.
Mowing Your Own Lawn: the Positives
Ah, the smell of freshly cut grass! Mowing your lawn helps you to experience its true and natural essence firsthand. That’s just one of the positives of caring for your own turf. But there are other things to consider:
Costs and timing
It will cost less to care for the lawn when you do the work yourself. You can choose the day without having to worry about scheduling on someone else’s timetable.
You know your property best
You can make sure that new sprinkler head isn’t disturbed and the most-visible edge is cut just right. You can also learn which grasses grow best in Texas, like St. Augustine and Zoysia. And learn about horticulture and how to best care for your property. The value of your home depends on it!
Organic or chemical care?
The choice is yours. Do you prefer organic or chemical fertilizers and weed control?
Mowing, trimming, and edging is a great source of exercise. You can get an instant workout.
Cons of Mowing Your Own Lawn
Choosing the DIY method of lawn care has its drawbacks.
If you want the best results, you will need to devote sufficient time. A beautifully maintained lawn requires dedication. Depending on the size of your yard, it could take less than an hour or more than two or three hours of your sunny day. Speaking of the weather, it’s a huge factor on your mowing schedule. If it rains all weekend and you aren’t able to take a day off during the week, your lawn can become too shaggy before the next opportunity.
Time spent on lawn mowing is time not spent with family and friends.
Equipment and Storage
The purchase of basic lawn care items is a long-term investment. Their storage and upkeep can also be a chore. You will need a mower, fertilizer spreader, edger, weed control apparatus, aerator and more. If your property has several acres, a riding mower is preferable to the standard push and walk behind model. You can always build a storage shed. (There goes another weekend!) Storing all these items is easy if you have a large garage or shed, but doing so leaves little room for other things such as bicycles, golf clubs and fishing gear. Never mind, because you won’t have a lot of time for those recreational activities, anyway.
It’s not just the mower…
Mowers can be expensive. Then there are maintenance costs, fuel, fertilizers, weed killers, insecticides, aerators, seeds, thatch rakes … the list can be overwhelming.
More than 800 children are injured in lawn mower accidents every year in the U.S, with some of those children losing limbs. Another 75 people are killed. If you’re accident prone or not the cautious type, it may be best to step away from the mower. Slowly.
Making the cut on Instagram
Will the lawn be perfect enough for a photo shoot in a magazine? That all depends on what you can live with, but the bottom line is that, unless you’re an expert in lawn care, you may not have the ultimate result. Doing it yourself means there’s more trial and error and more need for compromise.
Teri Silver is a journalist and outdoor enthusiast who spends her weekends mowing her 5-acre lawn.