Lawn Care: Do It Yourself Vs Hiring A Service Or Person

Lawn care can be time demanding or expensive, depending on which way you choose to manage it. Here are some pro's and cons.

After moving into a property with a large, attractive lawn, the weekly care that comes with managing the yard and periphery in mild weather can be overwhelming. If you're not sure whether to care for your lawn yourself or hire someone to manage it for you, here are a few things to consider:

1. Do you have the right equipment? A ten-year-old push mower or a 30-inch cutting blade on a lawn tractor is probably inadequate for mowing an acre of land. If you need to buy the right tools, compare the cost of these purchases with the fees of someone who can do it for you. Of course, if you can buy reliable used equipment, that may be better in the long run since it will pay for itself over time. But if the tractor or other lawn appliances turns out to be undependable and requires costly maintenance, you'll end up having to pay someone else to do the work anyway. Tools could include the lawn tractor, oil and gas, annual maintenance or tune-up, a bagger, and a plow if you decide to use it for winter snow.

2. Do you have enough time for lawn chores? A sizable lawn of a half-acre or more might require several hours of care each week, including cutting the grass, trimming or edging borders and the driveway, and raking leaves or pulling weeds. If your schedule is busy already, will you become stressed out from trying to keep up with the yard work as well? On the other hand, your hectic pace of life may benefit from your taking time to work outdoors in the fresh air and sunlight. Everyone needs a change of pace from time to time.



3. Do you have someone to help you? Even if you decide to care for the yard on your own, you may need an occasional assistant for the growing season in spring when grass may need to be cut more than once a week. A family member like a spouse or teenage son or daughter can help trim, edge, weed, or rake the lawn while you cut the grass, or vice versa. There may be times when you are ill, extra busy at work, or out of town when a family member's help could come in handy. If you don't have family members who can help, perhaps you could pay a neighbor teen to lend a helping hand at times.

4. Does your health allow you to work outdoors? Seasonal allergies, sun-sensitive skin (with or without certain medications), and a heart or joint condition may place limitations on your ability to work out of doors. If you've ever been diagnosed with melanoma, for example, you should protect your skin and avoid exposure to direct sunlight. Check with the doctor if you believe you have a health situation that may keep you from working on the yard on a regular basis.

5. Does your monthly budget favor paying a professional? Even if your schedule leans toward your not doing lawn work and hiring someone to do it instead, perhaps your budget leans the other way. Go over your budget for the spring, summer, and autumn months to see how much you can afford to pay for lawn care. If you don't have enough extra income to cover another expense at present, perhaps you can do the work temporarily or look for ways to cut costs to pay for a lawn helper.

Whatever your situation, try to view your property as an enjoyable part of your lifestyle. If you do the work yourself, consider it a refreshing change of pace or perhaps even a hobby. If you pay for lawn care, view it as a luxury. Either way you're sure to enjoy the smell and look of a freshly trimmed lawn.

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