DIY shows are quite popular on cable tv and DIY as a whole is growing in popularity. But when it comes to fertilizing and controlling weeds it’s worth knowing what you’re getting into to achieve the lawn of your dreams. Let’s look at the two options and what they involve.
DIY: If you’re committed to the idea of taking care of your lawn, that is great. But it does come with a financial and time commitment. First let’s look at the time commitment. To treat weeds and fertilize your lawn may take 30-60 minutes per treatment — it all depends on the size of your yard. There is also a learning curve to understand what products to use, how much to use and when to use them. While this isn’t a huge commitment, it does involve some time. So the big question is what is your time worth?
DIY Cost: If you don’t have a fertilizer spreader, you’ll need one. Perhaps you can borrow one, but most people simply buy one. They can range from $30-60, depending on model. Fertilizer and weed control products generally are available in liquid and granular form. Granular products can cost $20 – $60 per bag depending on the size bag you purchase. Scotts products, for instance, are available in bags that treat 5,000 square feet and 15,000 square feet. The average Indianapolis lawn is about 7500 square feet.
DIY Pitfalls: The biggest mistake made by homeowners when they fertilize their lawns is application of the product itself. They simply do a poor job of spreading the fertilizer on the lawn. The image to the right demonstrates what this looks like. Significant stripes appear in the lawn, with the darker grass demonstrating where the fertilizer is going.
Professional Service: Using a service to care for your lawn provides several benefits. First, you don’t have to do any work. Second, you don’t have to learn anything. Third, you don’t have to think about when and how much fertilizer to apply. This generally appeals to busy families or homeowners who simply aren’t interested in this aspect of lawn care.
In the end the cost difference is negligible if you put some value on your time. It will cost nearly as much to do it yourself as it does to hire a professional.