As lawn care professionals we are often faced with prospective residential and commercial clients that would rather do the work themselves.

I came across a new article recently proclaiming residential customers can save money by fertilizing their own lawns.  Since a spreader is only $24 and a bag of fertilizer is only $15, the cost is about $40 vs. $65 for professional fertilizing:

The news article failed to mention three key components of hiring a professional perform lawn care work.

1) Time benefit:

Visiting a garden center, choosing correct fertilizer, reading instructions, donning protective gear, readying equipment,  fertilizer application, and equipment clean all take time.  A home owner can easily spend 4 or 5 hours trying to save $15.

2) Knowledgeable Application

Knowledge of fertilizer types, timing of application (weather), spreader settings, and dispersal densities all increase the efforts needed for correct fertilization of a residential lawn.

3) Professional Material Handling:

Being in the lawn care business since 1992, I have received dozens of calls from homeowners who have tried to fertilize their own lawns.  A typical caller asks if I can come fix their lawn because they either over applied fertilizer, accidentally broadcast lawn fertilizer into flower to shrub beds (killing their plants), or spilled a pile of fertilizer onto their lawn when they knocked their broadcast spreader over or the fertilizer bag split dumping contents into a pile on their lawn.

$15 Savings?

Is all this hassle really worth the $15 a home owner might save by doing it themselves?

Next time you are faced with a do-it-yourselfer let them know they are only saving a few dollars versus the tremendous amount of time, energy, and money they will expend attempting to get professional results.

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