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Choose lawn care company carefully

Lawn care and landscape maintenance is big business in Rowan County.
With more than 50 established lawn care and landscape companies, the popularity of these companies continues to be a major part of the green industry.
The increased popularity of these services can be attributed to a number of reasons. Many just don’t have time and prefer to hire a company. Age has crept up on some people, limiting their ability to take care of landscapes, while others don’t understand fertilization and weed control. Some have pushed a pencil and feel it’s more cost effective to hire a company and not invest in the tools needed for proper upkeep.
Regardless of your situation, many people will take the winter months to ponder hiring a lawn maintenance company. There are basically three types of service: partial lawn care, total lawn care and those that offer full lawn and landscaping services.
Below are a few tips in selecting a lawn care company.
– Determine which level of service you need. Some only want weed control and fertilizer application. They opt to cut grass themselves. Others will want a total package handling everything from lawn care to keeping bird feeders stocked.
Part-time workers often fit the bill for those who only need their lawn mowed once in a while, but keep in mind that these companies are limited. Those that apply pesticides must have and maintain a commercial pesticide license. This requires 10 hours of training every five years.
– Make sure the company follows proper lawn care procedures as recommended by N.C. Cooperative Extension. Do these companies offer soil testing? Do they follow accepted recommendations when applying seed and fertilizer? Lawn care and landscape companies should be able to outline their maintenance program in detail to give customers assurance of their capabilities.- Lawn care companies should provide some guarantee of their work unless, of course, there are extenuating circumstances such as bad weather, insects or diseases. Customers must realize that some problems take time to resolve and also realize that if they impose certain restrictions, problems may still exist. For example, some want a weed-free lawn without the use of herbicides. Unfortunately, this is quite difficult bordering on impossible in most situations.- Obviously, another important method of choosing a lawn maintenance company is to review their work. Most lawn maintenance companies are conscious of their work, regarding well maintained landscape as a living billboard for advertisement. A personal inquiry from friends and homeowners is a key factor in choosing a company that will meet your expectations.
Darrell Blackwelder is an agricultural agent in charge of horticulture with the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service in Rowan County. For archived garden columns or other information, visit the Rowan County Master Gardener web site at www.rowanmastergardener. com , e-mail Darrell_ Blackwelder@ncsu. edu or call 704-216-8970.

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