A lawn is a beautiful addition to your house. But Is lawn maintenance an expensive hobby? Many people have been under the illusion that maintaining a lawn is a huge responsibility and an expensive one. Grass can be tricky to maintain, as it dries up easily, and could wilt if the right conditions are not met. Replacing patches of your lawn could be quite expensive as well. But the actual maintenance costs could surprise you.
Lawn maintenance is not too expensive if you go about it the right way. It is important to understand the type of grass that you are buying for your lawn. If you are strategic about lawn maintenance, you can enjoy the benefits of having your own personal lawn at a low maintenance cost. However, some initial investment costs need to be taken care of.
If you are a DIY person, then lawn maintenance could initially turn out to be more expensive than you imagined. There is a lot of initial investment to be done includes lawn mowing equipment. You also have to find the right pesticides and cleaning materials. Mowing the lawn itself could consume more time than expected. There is also the added task of disposing of all the waste. You also have to keep an eye out for any plant-related disease so that you nip it in the bud.
If you are already fazed by the tasks involved, remember that all of this can be received at a price from a professional service.
How much does the average person spend on lawn care?
The expenditure on the lawn depends on
- The size of the lawn
- The type of grass
- How often do you mow it
- Whether you do it on your own or employ someone
- The region you live in
- Any extra services you require
On average, a lawn costs anywhere between $150 to $250 per acre. Since most of us do not have acres of land to be mowed, lawn care or maintenance costs could come up to $60 per month. This, of course, depends on various factors.
Here are some of the services you might require for maintenance of your lawn, and the cost you will probably incur for them.
|Trimming||$150 – $750|
|Aeration||$40 – $50|
|Weed control||$40 – $50|
|Fertilization||$50 – $80|
|Leaf removal||$100 – $200|
Taking it as a hobby how often do you have to do lawn maintenance?
Lawn maintenance is essential at the beginning of spring. Mowing the lawn is not the only factor involved in maintenance. Your lawn maintenance involves weed removal, removal of dead patches of grass, removal of diseased patches, aeration, and so on. Complete maintenance is necessary only once a month, or even once in two months, depending on the health of your lawn.
Weekly mowing will keep your lawn looking prim all the time. But it is not necessary that you mow it every week. You could do this based on the length of the grass. Usually, it is a good idea to cut only up to one-third of the length of the grass blade.
If you hire a professional service, you will have them take care of the basic services once in two weeks. A full cleanup includes leaf blowing, weeding, trimming, mowing the lawn, and the removal of any other debris. But unless you live in a particularly windy place, there is no need for this unless it is fall. If the lawns are fertilized properly, then professional services would recommend mowing once in two weeks.
Usually, it is a good idea to set up a schedule for lawn mowing, even if you are doing it on your own. During the spring and summer, it is a good idea to mow your grass once a week. But if you have any variety of short grasses, this may not work out for you. During the peak growing season, short grasses will have to mow quite often. But you need to take care of the length. When you cut the grass too short, it tends to grow mold or get smothered by the cutter blades. It could also result in weak roots and brown patches.
Another important factor is the amount of water your lawn gets. While installing a lawn, a proper irrigation system is very important. Pools of water can cause more damage than good to your lawn. If you mow while the grass is wet, you could damage the mower. You could also end up cutting too far and end up with bare spots on your lawn.
Knowing all these things, lawn maintenance may not be an expensive hobby but it can be a time taking hobby. You need to invest a lot of time to maintain it on your own.
You need to keep the following in mind-
- If the grass is properly fertilized and watered, then it will grow quickly
- The faster it grows, the more it needs to be mowed, but the lawn will look greener and fresher
- Do not cut more than one-third of the length, so mow accordingly
- Mulching helps the grass grow better, so do not bag all the cut bits every time you mow
How much time do people spend mowing their lawn?
The time that we spend mowing our lawns is largely dependent on the type of grass and the climate of the place. On average, lawns need mowing once in two to three weeks. So, if you add up the time you spend mowing your lawn and on maintenance, then, you spend an average of twenty hours per year, taking care of your lawn.
How did anyone reach this conclusion? Believe it or not, there have been a few studies dedicated to finding this out. Researchers framed an easy way to reach a number. They asked three questions-
- How long does it take to mow and edge your lawn, to the nearest ten minutes?
- How many times in a month do you mow your lawn?
- How many months a year do you mow the lawn or maintain it?
Considering that winter makes lawn mowing a moot point, most people mow their lawns from spring to fall- March / May to October / November. On average, a person spends about an hour mowing the lawn. So, that is around 19 hours and twenty minutes per year.
If you take a look at it as per the region in the US, the Northeast is the one with people who spend the most time taking care of their lawns. This could also be because the average yard size in the Northeast is the largest in any region. The Midwest is next, with an average lawn size of 0.21 acres and people spend about 0.9 days per year on maintenance of lawns. The South and the West come last, with less space used up for lawns.
If you’re not taking up lawn maintenance as a hobby, Is it worth it to hire a lawn service?
There is no consensus on this. Some people feel that it is easier and cheaper to mow your lawn on your own. But others are of the opinion that a lawn service could save you some time and money. We have weighed the opinions and costs. This is what we have worked out.
Yes, it is worth it to hire a lawn service. The most important reason behind this is that it saves you time. It also saves you the cost of investing in equipment. Including maintenance costs and know-how on the ways to keep your lawn looking good, the average cost that you incur for the upkeep of your lawn will amount to more than it would if you were to hire a professional for the same.
Let us take a rough estimate. The total investment for the equipment could be around $1750 if you were to only buy a riding mower, a lawn blower, and a weed eater. If you take the maintenance of the equipment into consideration and the fuel or electricity requirements into account, the costs could go up to $2000. Add to this the time that you have to allow for the same. You also have to dispose of the cut grass and weeds.
The average mowing price in most states is about $45 for half an acre. This, of course, varies depending on the suburb you are living in, and how often you call for a service. Usually, you need to mow your lawn an average of 30 times per year. If you were to calculate the average cost for a year, you actually end up saving less than $300 per year, if you do mow your lawn on your own.
You also have to take into account that this chore could result in
- Over-exposure to the sun, causing sunburn and other skin diseases
- Injuries such as lacerations, burns, broken bones, and deep cuts if you lose control of the machine
- Inhalation of harmful fumes
- Ignorance about the potential lawn problems like pests or disease
It is important to do your research before you choose your lawn care company. This will help you reap the benefits that most companies offer, like pest control, landscaping, and proper plant care.
All things considered, it would be a good idea to let the pros handle this task.