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4 Results Clients Expect

4 Lawn Care Results Clients Expect and How You Can Deliver Them

Introduction

There are four fundamental results clients expect when they hire you as their lawn maintenance and/or lawn care contractor.

In this article, I’ll break down what these outcomes are and how you can deliver these results using best practices.

Let’s get started.

Difference between Lawn Maintenance and Lawn Care

Some see the words “maintenance” and “care” as interchangeable. When it comes to lawns, however, they describe two completely different categories of services.

Lawn Maintenance deals with the aesthetics of a lawn. Mowing, trimming of hedges and trees, dead foliage removal and other tasks required to keep the overall appearance of your client’s green space daydream-worthy.

On the other hand, Lawn Care requires a more in-depth and complex approach. It encompasses the overall health of lawns with the use of fertilizers, soil mapping, and the elimination of pests and weeds.

By their definitions, you can understand how both would require their own skill sets. In most cases, they also need different licenses and certifications, especially for the handling of chemicals.

Some landscaping businesses offer a mixture of both. Some specialize in one area of care or maintenance.

Once you have a clear idea of what is required for your chosen business, define it for your customers.

People outside of the industry see the words care and maintenance as interchangeable. Avoid all confusion by using clear definitions of what clients can expect from you.

Emphasize how the two go hand in hand. Neither achieves the lush, healthy results your clients seek without the other.

Results you can offer and how to achieve them

A quick note for best practices: Provide customized packages for your clients to choose from. Not all lawns require the same level or kind of care depending on previous works done and seasonal changes.

Offer consultations for personalized assessments. This consultation can be free or discounted, comprehensive, or the basics, the incentive is up to you.

In your lawn assessment, consider:

  1.   Climate requirements
  2.   Existing soil condition
  3.   Suitable grass types
  4.   Lawn usage

Result #1 - Sustain a Thicker, Greener Turf

It’s (almost) every home owner’s dream to have a barefoot-worthy lawn. Here’s how you can help.

Lawn Care Services

  • Overseeding

With overseeding, you can “patch” damaged spots in existing turf without having to disturb the grass or soil. It’s a corrective approach for small to medium fixes. If the damage spans over 50% of the lawn, starting from scratch may be the best recourse. It also works for thickening a lawn space that has gone thin.

Learn more about the process of overseeding and best practices from The Lawn Institute.

  • Slow-Release Fertilization

Slow-release fertilizers, when applied at key points each season, stimulate growth, density, and the deep green color of a well-tended turf.

Thicker turfs crowd out pesky weeds as part of your weed control plan. And with slow-release fertilizers, you eliminate the risk of fertilizer burns that come with over application or improper dilution of quick releasing fertilizers.

  • Mulching

Slow-release fertilizers may cut down on the frequency of application, but the convenience comes at an added cost. Mulch lawn clippings to maximize the nitrogen you apply when fertilizing. It’ll save you and your clients some extra cash.

Other ways it saves your clients money — it prevents the growth of weeds and retains soil moisture to lessen watering.

  • Aeration

Reduce compaction and promote root development with proper lawn aeration. The deeper the roots, the stronger, and more robust the lawn will become.

Aeration increases water, air, and nutrient flow into the roots while pulling microorganisms to the surface. These microorganisms help in the breakdown of thatch.

Lawn aeration services also promote healthier, stress-resistant turf, as it creates a strong foundation for lush, healthy, green lawns.

  • Dethatching

Thatch buildup chokes the life out of the soil as it prevents water and necessary nutrients from soaking down to the grassroots. Dethatching removes this accumulated organic debris allowing the lawn to breathe with water and air to flow freely.

Good thatch management involves prevention and physical removal. In the case of prevention, be mindful some grasses produce more thatch than others. Kentucky bluegrass, for instance, creates a lot of thatch. But if you mix the bluegrass with perennial ryegrass, you can reduce thatch removal operations.

You can read more about thatch management from Penn State’s Center of Turfgrass Science.

Lawn Maintenance Services

  • Mowing

Prevent bald spots and undue stress on the grass by varying mowing patterns. Don’t run mower wheels consistently over the same areas.

Sharpen the blades of your mower, so you cut rather than rip and tear the grass. Sharp blades cause less stress on the turf and maintain thickness while manicuring.

Result #2 - Healthier, Stress-Resistant Turf

Healthy turf starts at the roots, which means soil care is essential.

Lawn Care Services

  • Mulching (Grasscycling)

Here are some added benefits you offer with mulching:

  • It protects the soil from hard environmental conditions determined in large by climate changes.
  • It prevents soil erosion.
  • It improves soil conditions and promotes the growth of healthier plants.
  • It creates a habitat for beneficial organisms to the soil, such as earthworms.

Grasscycling is easy with a mulching mower. It chops clippings into fine pieces that easily filter back to the soil surface, returning natural nutrients.

  • Soil Testing

Since each patch of ground has its unique chemical components, soil testing is a useful method of determining exactly what you’re working with.

It takes the guesswork out of creating a tailored lawn care program. If the pH level in the soil is too high or too low, the test will show it. This eliminates trial and errors, wasted time, and wasted monies.

From there, you can apply the most effective soil amendment strategy with a higher rate of success.

Result #3 - Reduce and Remove Weeds

Some of the services mentioned above like slow-release fertilization and mulching have the spill-off effect of reducing and eliminating weeds. However, you should always have a targeted approach to deliver year-round protection.

Importance of weed removal:

  • They provide sanctuary for pests.
  • They compete with the turf as they are aggressive growers and resource guzzlers.
  • The longer they grow unchecked, the harder it is to get rid of them from the roots.
  • They are ugly things and throw off the overall aesthetics you’re trying to create.

Lawn Care Services

  •     Weed Control

Weed control comes in two forms: prevention and damage control.

In terms of prevention, use a fertilizer with weed control. Think of it as killing two birds with one stone. A healthy lawn is dense and allows little space for unwanted plants. Applying them in tandem ups your weed control game and the chances of success.

You can also choose to add a separate weed preventer.

Then there is damage control…

If your client’s weed problem gets out of hand, a chemical weed killer will be required. In these instances an expert touch becomes necessary. Improper handling can lead to lawn damage.

Do not handle any chemicals if you are not qualified and licensed to do so.

Generally, herbicides are not environmentally friendly and therefore should only be used when necessary.

Result #4 – Control and Eliminate Grubs and Pests

Much like weed control, grub and pest control works best as prevention.

Lawn Care Services

  • Grub Control

Grubs, like other insects, have life cycles. Some species are also more prevalent in certain areas than others.

Learn which grubs are indigenous to the area you serve and everything you can about their life cycle.

Let’s look at the southern masked chafer as an example.

According to K-State Research and Extension

  • Adults lay eggs in the lawn during early to mid-summer.
  • These eggs hatch in mid-August and start to feed. It is this feeding period that damages the lawn.
  • Winter’s arrival forces the grubs deep into the soil.
  • Come spring they move back to the soil surface and prepare to emerge, starting the cycle over.

Collating a profile like this on all the grubs and pests in your area gives you a timeline for when to apply preventative strategies. In the case of the southern masked chafer, mid-June to early July for the best results.

Understanding the habits of and chemicals to kill grubs are the keys to successfully controlling them.

  • Pest Control

For Pest Control apply the same principle as we did for the grub. Read up about pest-troublemakers in your area and learn their life cycles.

With a timeline, you can schedule when to target the little buggers for beneficial results.

Common lawn nuisances, where to find them, and how to control them.

Weather the Conditions

In delivering results that your client’s want, be mindful of the weathering effects of Mother Nature.

The location of your client base will significantly impact how you go about providing them with the best service.

Create seasonal packages, if you service an area with clear differences between winter, spring, summer, and fall months.

Conclusion

Customers want gorgeous lawns that are the envy of their neighborhood. It’s a source of pride. When you know what your customers really want, you can tailor special packages to deliver those results. You’ll grow your business in the process and be seen as an expert that really understand lawn maintenance and lawn care.

Here’s a recap of the results that your customers want:

Result #1 – Sustain a Thicker, Greener Turf

Lawn Care and Maintenance Services:

  • Overseeding
  • Slow-release Fertilization
  • Mulching
  • Aeration
  • Dethatching
  • Mowing

Result #2 – Healthier, Stress-Resistant Turf

Lawn Care Services:

  • Mulching (Grasscycling)
  • Soil Testing

Result #3 – Reduce and Remove Weeds

Lawn Care Services:

  • A preventative approach that prevents or drastically limits the appearance of weeds from the beginning.

Result #4 – Control and Eliminate Pests and Grubs

Lawn Care Services:

  • A comprehensive pest and grub strategy that takes into account those prevalent in your area and their life cycles.

Spare no time in learning all you can about how to offer the most comprehensive services to your clients.

Your efforts, before the first meeting, will demonstrate your expertise, your investment in the project and begin the process of building trust between you and your clients.

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