You probably haven’t thought about it much, but did you know there are actually 4 different types of lawn care service companies? Depending on your needs and budget, you may only use one or two but it’s important to understand who to call to get what you need.
The 4 Types Of Lawn Care Service
Within the residential lawn care business, you generally have four types of lawn service:
- Lawn Maintenance
- Fertilization & Weed/Pest Control
As a general rule, each of these categories is a business unto itself. Among smaller companies it’s rare to see a lawn maintenance company that also does good fertilization. Or you may find a good fertilization company, but they don’t do landscaping, and so on.
Some larger companies are able to perform more than one service at a high level, but even then they usually perform one service better than all others.
Lawn maintenance consists of maintaining the week to week basic physical needs of your lawn. Common maintenance tasks include:
- Mowing (includes edging, trimming, and general clean up)
- Small and medium shrub trimming & pruning
- Mulch installation
- Leaf clean Up
- Hand weeding
- Small tree pruning
- Aeration (optional)
Commercial Or Residential
These tasks need to be completed on commercial and residential property on a constant basis and within the lawn maintenance niche some companies may strictly perform commercial maintenance or, like Lawnshavers, may be focused squarely on residential service.
For most lawns in the Cumming, GA area, the growing season is approximately March Through November, with March and November both requiring less than weekly mowing. Additional tasks such as leaf clean up and pruning can be completed over the winter months. If you have a lawn with cool-season grass, you will need additional maintenance through the winter.
All maintenance crews use the same general tools. One ore more lawnmowers of various sizes, string trimmers (weedeaters), and edger, leaf blowers, and various hand tools and smaller equipment. For more efficient operations, trucks outfitted for maintenance will generally consist of a specially modified bed designed to hold all of the equipment. Many operations may also utilize open and enclosed trailers to store and haul equipment.
While general lawn care may not seem like it requires much skill, truly professional lawn maintenance providers must know proper mowing and trimming technique and know how to prune various shrubs and decorative plants. Most maintenance companies do minimal if any installations, but GA requires a license if you are selling or distributing live plants as a “landscaper.”
Lawnshavers falls squarely in this category. In fact, we even specialize in particular types of lawns within the lawn maintenance category.
Fertilization and Weed Control
Fertilzation and weed control consists of keeping your lawn and landscape healthy and thriving. The primary applications include:
- Periodic fertilization applications
- Pre-emergent weed control applications
- Identifying disease and pests
- Miscellaneous pest control
Commercial Or Residential
Like maintenance companies, fertilization and weed control companies often serve commercial and/or residential accounts with some companies focusing on one or the other.
Fertilizaton and weed control applications occur throughout the year at periodic intervals based on your grass and plant types.
One of the reasons lawn maintenance and fertilization don’t go hand in hand is because fertilization requires it’s own setup separate from a a maintenance rig. For smaller operations, it’s simply not practical to own a fertilization equiped vehicle and only use it periodically throughout the year. It’s much easier for a company to specialize in one or the other and then refer other quality service providers to their customers.
The second reason maintenance and fertilization companies are separated is simply due to the knowledge required for each. Chemical application requires the company to be licensed as a pest control contractor and spray technicians require very specific training on the needs of ornamental plants and turf. Applicators must also require specific knowledge about various pesticides and their affect on plants, animals, and humans.
As a lawn maintenance company, Lawnshavers does not currently offer fertilization and weed control, but we will happily refer you to a competent company that can. We do plan on offering fertilization and irrigation services in the future.
Irrigation Service & Maintenance
Irrigation service includes the installation and/or maintenance of your irrigation system (generally sprinklers). Common tasks include:
- Installation of complete watering systems
- Maintenance of watering system
- Irrigation repair
Commercial Or Residential
Like other services, both commercial and residential customers require service, though less specialization occurs. Many commercial outfits have their own onsite repairmen as well.
Sprinkler and irrigation needs occur year round with both repairs rising with use in the spring and summer. Installs can be completed year round, weather permitting.
Like maintenance and fertilization, irrigation service is best served with it’s own vehicle setup. A irrigation technician needs tools and supplies on hand to complete their work.
Knowledge of irrigation, plumbing, and Low Voltage Electrician’s License.
Lawnshavers does not currently offer irrigation installation or repair, but we plan to in the future. We will happily refer you to an irrigation professional if needed.
Landscaping consists of anything that would change the overall appearance of your yard and goes hand in hand with hardscaping. Landscapers handle:
- Landscape Design
- Landscape Installation
Commercial Or Residential
Again, landscapers and hardscapers can do both and often specialize in one or the other.
Most landscaping work occurs during the growing season when weather is nice, but some projects can be completed in the winter. It also depends on the company. Hardscaping projects, such as water features and patios, may be more common, but irrigation and new plants projects can be done. Obviously winter weather may affect any planned winter projects.
Equipment needs vary based on the type of landscaping work being done and the varied equipment needs are another reason you see some lawn maintenance companies who don’t specialize in landscaping. Dump trucks, large trailers, and even heavy machines like back hoes or skid-steers be required for many landscaping projects.
Many landscapers and hardscapers will need a contractor’s license to stay above board with the state. Knowledge of equipment, plant life cycles, plant needs, erosion control, and ability to manage large projects and crews are needed.
Many landcapers may have lawn maintenance divisions as well though some don’t and those that do tend to cater toward commercial accounts.
Lawnshavers does not provide large landscaping projects. We will happily refer you to a landscape company if needed.
Choosing A Service Provider
Sometimes you will see a lawn maintenance company that also provides fertilization or vice versa. At a certain size, a company can afford to outfit multiple trucks and will have a customer base that can support both services. However, it is still common for them to be more proficient at one than the other, at least in the early stages of such an effort.
When in doubt, hire a specialist for each type of project you need. Many lawn companies say they “do it all” when in fact they simply do not have the equipment, skill, or people to adequately do the job in question. Less than 10% of lawn care companies are truly large enough to be able to adequately serve multiple types of clients. Often this is because they are trying to do too much.
Hire Separate Companies To Minimize Your Overall Concerns
Unless you know your company has dedicated people to serve each individual sector of the lawn care industry, hire a lawn maintenance company to handle your grass and shrubs, hire a fertilization company to make your grass as green as you want, hire an irrigation company to manage your sprinklers, and hire a landscaping company if you want to redesign your landscape.
You will be better served and ultimately happier for it.
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Finding the most efficient way to mow your lawn is easy. Just look to quality lawn care companies and learn their techniques. Good lawn care companies strive to be as efficient as possible while delivery a good looking lawn week in and week out. Here are a few tricks of the trade:
For pure efficiency, Lawnshavers recommends the maintenance routines outlined below. For the purpose of this article we’re assuming you will be doing all the work yourself. The work order may be slightly different for a two or three man mowing crew.
As a general rule, mowing is faster than trimming, so you want to mow as much area of the lawn as possible. If you trim first, you may miss areas your mower can’t go, or worse, you may spend time trimming more lawn than you need to. By mowing first, you also know exactly how high to trim to keep an even grass height.
For a lawn that is regularly maintained, we recommend:
- Clean Up/Blow Debris
For an overgrown lawn:
- Trim (trim high as you may be mowing high as well).
- Clean Up/Blow Debris
Why Change The Order For Overgrown Lawns?
Efficiency at the expense of a good looking lawn does not work in the lawn care business because the lawn needs to look good every time. When you trim and edge an overgrown lawn, you’ll have a significant amount of longer grass debris than if the yard is maintain regularly. Edging and trimming first allows you to bag or mulch the excess debris. If you mow first, you’d either leave lots of large grass debris on the lawn when you’re done, or you end up mowing large portions of the lawn twice.
What Do Other Lawn Care Companies Do?
Honestly, we have no idea. Every company is different. Some lawn care providers may use a different work order for various reasons, but for efficiency, we’ve found these work orders work best to give us the cleanest look in the fastest possible time.
Hate doing all this work yourself and live in Forsyth County, Georgia? You’re always welcome to request an estimate and let us take care of it for you!
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Lawnshavers didn’t solve the four most common complaints in the lawn care industry by accident.
When Lawnshavers was founded, the owner wanted to make sure the company had the strongest competitive advantage possible, and he insisted the foundation for any competitive advantage needed to come from solving problems routinely faced by lawn service customers.
How We Identified The Four Most Common Complaints In The Lawn Care Industry
The easiest source of information regarding lawn care complaints was reaching out to other lawn care companies that were successful at acquiring large numbers of clients and keeping them happy.
We looked to the owners of multiple companies in search of their insights regarding customer complaints, and we also talked to everyday folks who had hired lawn service companies.
In every case, the same four complaints surfaced over and over again, and we wanted to make sure we solved every single concern for our clients.
What Are The Four Most Common Complaints In The Lawn Care Industry?
The four main complaints in the lawn care industry are:
- Lack of communication from the service provider.
- Lawn care service provider not showing up when they said they would.
- Service provider leaving fence gates open (and allowing pets to escape).
- Service provider not accepting common credit and debit cards.
1) Lack Of Communication From The Service Provider – SOLVED!
One of the pet peeves our founder has is when a business changes something and doesn’t communicate the change to him. It drives him up the wall crazy with frustration. In this day of hyper communication, there is no excuse! Solving this problem was easy. Whenever there is a change in service or circumstances come up with a service route that affects you, you will be notified by text, email, or phone.
The most common reasons you’d hear from us about a change in service plans are:
- Weather related service delays
- Notifying you of expected make up day for any missed service
- Route update (we periodically update our routes to maintain optimum route efficiency)
- Emergency situation affecting the crew servicing your route.
Another common frustration we found was customers who couldn’t communicate directly with onsite crews due to language barrier of the crew members. That’s why Lawnshavers requires at least one crew member on every crew to speak fluent English.
We strongly feel there is no excuse for one of our customers to not hear from our office when appropriate or not be able to communicate with the people who are actively working on their property.
2) Not Showing Up When Scheduled – SOLVED!
Not showing up when scheduled and lack of communication obviously go hand in hand. Many are small single-man or small group operations that manage their business in their heads or on a scratch pad. Lawnshavers is completely different. We are a fully established corporation dedicated to providing you the highest level of lawn maintenance service possible.
In order to attract customers and grow into the business we want to become, we knew we had to have an effective way to manage a large number of clients and schedule their work consistently and without error. To do this, we invest in a proprietary software program that allows us to manage and track all of our services specifically set up and designed for the way we do business.
Every service we provide is dispatched to a corresponding crew on a daily basis. Our system knows which customers receive service on any given day. Crews access their pre-scheduled route on their mobile devices and follow a designated route to avoid missed services.
3) Leaving Fence Gates Open – SOLVED!
Hey, we’re pet lovers here too. Absolutely under no circumstances do we want to be the reason your pet escapes from your house.
All Lawnshavers crews must triple check for shut fence gates before they leave your property. Once they have loaded up their equipment, the last thing they are required to do before driving off is to go and double check your gate. It really is that simple. We really couldn’t figure out why this issue was so common, but we’re determined not to lose our customers because of laziness on the part of our crews.
4) Not Accepting Common Credit and Debit Cards – SOLVED!
In this day and age, not accepting credit and debit cards is like not having proper insurance and licensing. Lawnshavers happily processes Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and Discover cards. You never have to run to the ATM again, you never have to leave cash on the back porch, and you never have to buy checks for us. We make our billing and payment process as easy as possible. Problem solved. Done!
Final Thoughts From The Founder
Eric here. I just want to let you know that Lawnshavers is committed to giving you the highest quality lawn service possible.
My staff and I are committed to continuously seeking out these types of problems and solving them, because the lawn care industry has been lacking in professional standards for too long.
We’re here to show you that you can have reliable, dependable lawn care service. If you’re thinking about changing companies, have just moved to the area, or are hiring your first lawn service, please give us a call at 678-456-5662 for a free quote for whatever service you need.
Eric Lowery, Founder & CEO
Let’s face it. No one really enjoys leaf clean up and removal. You’ll be cold, probably wet, and even with good equipment, leaf clean up takes forever! Here are the most common ways professional lawn companies work to get rid of your unsightly leaf debris. If you already know you want to hire someone to do it for you, contact Lawnshavers today for a free quote.
Mulch Leaves With Your Mower
Mulching leaves with a mower may be the fastest and easiest way to handle basic leaf clean up. Mulched leaves break down to less than 1/10 the volume of fallen leaves and can be absorbed by your lawn as a nutrient rich resource.
- It’s fast, easy, and inexpensive.
- Shrubs and flower beds still need clean up, but this most often happens by hand no matter what you do.
- Mulched leaves on the lawn can be difficult to bag without the right equipment.
Blow Leaves (or Tarp Them) Into The Woods
If you have an area of your property where you can dispose of leaves, use it! On-site disposal allows you to keep time and costs down. Simply pick up a leaf blower and get to work. You can also put out a tarp, rake or blow on the the
- It’s relatively easy, but can still take some time. This is the preferred method of lawn professionals if your property allows for it.
- Moving large quanities of leaves across your lawn can be time consuming. Even with the most powerful backpack blowers on the market, large leaf piles can be difficult to move. You may find yourself blowing leaves onto a tarp and dragging them to be as effective.
Bag Leaves For Curbside Pick Up
If you don’t have an onsite area to dispose of leaves, check your neighborhood or county for curbside disposal. If offered, it will likely cost less than professional disposal. Just bag your leaves and leave them at the road for pick up.
- You can rid your entire lawn of leaf and lawn debris for a clean look all winter long.
- It takes longer. Mulching piles of leaves and then bagging works best to move quickly and keep the number of bags a low as possible. If you use the rectangular brown bags, you’ll find bagging debris with a push mower (one where you can turn off the blade but the mower stays running) and then dumping the mower bag directly into the refuse bag will work best. If you bag without mulching, you’ll probably have to use about 10 times as many bags as if you mulch, and you’re going to bend over more than if you mulch.
A Few Notes About Professional Leaf Work
Depending on the size of the lawn and the volume of leaves, some professional lawn crews may utilize any of the above methods of leaf clean up. Since most professionals charge by the hour (plus disposal) for leaf clean up and removal, you should always have a thorough conversation about what work will be completed. Inquire about the method of clean up, method of disposal, and likely man-hours required to complete the job.
In some cases, a lawn crew may have a large leaf vacuum and/or dump truck available to haul away your leaves without taking the time to mulch or bag. Make sure to ask any lawn care professional how their disposal fee is calculated as it may be more expensive than disposing onsite or through local pickup.
How To Save Money On Leaf Clean Ups And Protect Your Lawn From Decay
There are two schools of thought on leaf clean ups. Pick them up as they fall or wait till all the leaves fall and only do it once.
What we’ve found is most of our clients don’t want a huge pile of leaves on their lawn all fall and winter while they wait for leaves to finish falling. Not only is it unsightly, but the longer leaves sit, the harder they are to remove in the future, and the more likely your lawn will experience fungus and/or decay due to lack of sunlight.
We recommend to blow loose leaves out of shrubs. Then mulch the grassy areas of your lawn weekly as the leaves fall and clean out flowerbeds when all leaves have fallen. Even if grass has stopped growing, weekly lawn maintenance helps keep your lawn healthy and looking good. It’s probably about the same cost as a one time clean up (after grass has stopped growing), but your lawn will look good the entire time.
Flower beds and shrubs often need leaves cleaned out by hand for best results. That’s why we recommend waiting until all leaves have fallen to completely remove these leaves. This way, your winter clean up consists primarily of cleaning out flower beds because your lawn should be relatively free of significant leaf volume. You can also schedule your flower bed clean ups to off-season shrub trimming and mulch installation so you’re not paying to clean out the same areas twice in the same three month period.
Does Lawnshavers Provide Leaf Clean Up Services?
Absoutely! Give us a call or visit our lawn care service page for a free estimate!
Lawnshavers’ mission can be summed up in one phrase:
We provide the most reliable weekly lawn mowing and maintenance service available in Forsyth County, Georgia.
Our primary goal is to make sure that our weekly lawn maintenance customers receive the highest level of reliability and dependability from our company. That means we care for their lawns on the same day every week, we bill credit cards on the same day every week, we provide a consistent level of quality workmanship, and we communicate quickly and effectively for client concerns or special requests.
Ours Services Support Our Mission
Because of this commitment, we are not a one-size fits all lawn service company. In fact, there are many services we don’t provide, because it would make it more difficult to serve our core clients. For example, Lawnshavers doesn’t perform large scale tree trimming or custom landscape design. These are speciality services best provided by companies who specialize in those particular services, and chances are they don’t provide weekly lawn maintenance because that’s not their focus.
Current & Future Services
That doesn’t mean we won’t provide additional services. As we grow, Lawnshavers intends to provide the following suite of lawn care services:
- Weekly Lawn Maintenance
- Bi-Weekly Lawn Maintenance
- Small and Medium-sized Shrub Trimming
- Crepe Myrtle Trimming
- Mulch Installation
- Flower Bed Weeding and Weed Control
- Spring/Fall Clean Ups
- Leaf Clean Up & Removal
- Chemical Weed Control
For information or a free estimate about these services, please visit our services page to learn more.
At Lawnshavers, we care about our relationship with our customers. In fact, one of our core values is to create a WOW! experience for all of our customers. One of the ways we create a great experience for you and promote our company values is to share with you what we believe should be your Lawn Care Bill of Rights.
Your Lawnshavers’ Lawn Care Bill Of Rights
Lawnshavers believes there are certain inalienable customer rights in the way business should be conducted. That’s why we’ve established an official lawn care bill of rights and even a company belief system. Here are the 10 elements of our customer bill of rights.
1) Right To No Service Contract
You have the right to hire (and fire) a lawn service provider without the need for a long-term contract. No homeowner should be required to pay for services on their property they no longer need, want, or desire.
2) Right To Simple No-Haggle Pricing
You deserve quality lawn maintenance at the best price possible. Lawnshavers continuously works to improve our efficiency to ensure that we can keep our prices reasonable and competitive while still providing the highest level of customer service.
3) Right To Friendly Service
You have the right to friendly service from your lawn care provider. We are here to assist and serve you, and we are grateful for the opportunity to do so. Rude or otherwise unfriendly interactions will not be tolerated from our staff.
4) Right To Communication
You have the right to communication from and with our staff. Regardless of the reason, if we are unable to service your property as scheduled, or if there is a change in our service plans, you have the right to be notified in advance. In addition, should the need arise to communicate with an onsite crew, you have the right to be able to communicate directly with personnel on your property. At least one member of every Lawnshavers crew must speak fluent English.
5) Right To Confidentiality
Your personal information, service agreement, and other financial information regarding your business transactions with us are confidential between you and Lawnshavers. At no time will Lawnshavers or any employee of Lawnshavers disclose your personal, business, or financial information to any other person or entity without your knowledge and permission unless required by law.
6) Right To Make Decisions
You have the right to decide how your lawn care is managed. Lawnshavers will default to industry best practices for lawn maintenance when no special requests are made.
7) Right To Be Informed
You have the right to be informed of damage or disease we find while working on your property.
8) Right To Safety Of Person And Property
You have a right to personal safety and the safety of your property. All Lawnshavers, LLC employees must be legally allowed to work in the United States and must conduct a background screening.
9) Right To Be Protected From Damage
You have the right to be protected from accidental damage from personnel or equipment. Obviously Lawnshavers doesn’t set out to damage your property, but we also know accidents can happen. That’s why we carry a $1,000,000 general liability insurance policy to protect both you and us from unnecessary financial risk.
10) Right of Redress
In the event Lawnshavers, LLC causes harm to your property you have the right to make a grievance and seek resolution.