Professional Landscape Maintenance vs. DIY: 5 Key Considerations

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    Keeping your Kansas City landscape looking great is important for you to enjoy your time outdoors and maintain your property’s look and value.

    No one wants to come home to an overgrown lawn that is riddled with weeds, tree branches and roots causing trip hazards or shrubs erupting over walkways making them impassible.

    So, it’s natural to want to keep up with your home landscape maintenance to ensure things don’t get out of control.While some landscape tasks may seem simple enough to do yourself, like cutting your grass or feeding your plants, you might be wondering as you struggle while dragging out your rusty, old lawn mower if you could be spending these few hours of your weekend doing something else. You might even be questioning whether the job could be done better.

    We completely understand. Some weekends, particularly during the spring and summer seasons when it seems like the grass and weeds won’t stop growing, you might be thinking you’d rather be hanging out with your family, enjoying time with friends, or even just embracing some chill downtime. Naturally, as you consider these options, you might be thinking about comparing professional landscape maintenance vs. DIY to see if there are any benefits you’re missing out on.

    There are certainly a few key reasons you might want to hire a landscaper for the job. Let’s take a look at the most important ones.

    Should I Hire a Landscaper or Do It Myself?

    Your landscape can feel like a chore that takes over your thoughts during some weeks.

    “I have to get out there and mow the grass. I probably need a fresh layer of mulch. Ah – there are weeds I must pull. I wonder if I should be cleaning up my hardscapes in any particular way. I should also prune those dead branches on that tree; can I even reach them?”

    There are quite a few tasks that must be done to keep your Kansas City landscape thriving. And there are two ways to get them done: hiring a professional landscaper to do it or DIY landscaping.

    Consider these points to help you make your decision.

    1. The Time Factor

    Tending to your landscape maintenance properly is something you certainly have to schedule.

    Especially as your lawn is growing strong and plants are blooming, the more you put the work off, the more you risk adding a longer, tougher job to your to-do list or even ending up with poor results or stressed-out plants.

    For instance, if you let your lawn grow too high and then mow more than one-third of the grass blade at one time to get it to a good 3- to 4-inch length, you could see the negative effects in the form of a yellowing or browning lawn. The same results can happen if you under- or over-water, or neglect proper fertilization.

    If you avoid weeding your landscape beds, the weeds will use this opportunity to strengthen their roots and spread, making the chore tougher. If you let it go too far, weeds can even steal nutrients and space from the desirable plants you actually want to grow instead.

    So, putting your DIY landscaping on a schedule can help you ensure you get it done in a timely fashion. But we know you also have other responsibilities and priorities – everything from your full-time job to your family and even hobbies or activities. With a busy schedule, it’s easy to see how landscape maintenance can fall to the bottom of your list and keep being moved to another day or another week until it becomes a much bigger chore.

    When considering your options of hiring a pro over DIY, ask yourself, “How much time do I have to maintain my property?” This can help you figure out whether the time spent out there working versus relaxing is worth it. If you truly enjoy working in the garden, and you have the time to do it, this might be a task you want to try. If you don’t have the time, investing in a professional could be your best option.

    2. Do You Have The Expertise Necessary to Do The Job?

    Another big consideration to ponder when you’re deciding between professional landscape maintenance vs. DIY is your level of landscaping knowledge. Ask yourself, “Do I have the skills needed to maintain my landscape properly?”

    Landscaping can be rewarding work – you can see the transformation from a leggy lawn to a trimmed and tidy lawn in just a couple hours, for example. And that can feel like an accomplishment. But if you’re not mowing to the proper height, aren’t sharpening your mower blades routinely, and are mowing too infrequently or frequently, you could be hurting your lawn versus helping it. And you’ll see these impacts over time with a discolored lawn, bare spots, and additional weeds, just to name a few. In some cases, you could even end up needing a turf renovation.

    So, knowing how to do the work right makes a huge difference. There is proper timing for pruning your different types of plants and a correct way to make pruning cuts. There are tricks on when and how to best handle weed control. There are changes to how you approach different areas of your landscape during different seasons to maximize its health and curb appeal. Landscape professionals know these specifics off the tops of their heads, and they can identify potential problems before they become major issues. They have extensive horticultural knowledge and training, so they make more accurate diagnoses and can implement the best solutions to get the work done well and efficiently so your landscape remains at peak-level performance.

    Learning a new skill and craft is always a positive experience, but remember for DIY landscaping to work for you, you must ensure you build up your knowledge in these areas for optimum success.

    3. You Need The Right Landscaping Equipment

    To perform DIY landscaping, you also need some key partners: the right equipment.

    When you’re taking care of your own home landscape maintenance, you should have all of the proper tools to do the job – everything from a mower to pruners to spreaders or sprayers to edgers and hand tools for digging to pulling up weeds. This is by no means an extensive list, but it certainly includes some of the basics. And when you walk into your home improvement store, your head might spin at all of the options available for each product type.

    Once you have the right equipment, you also need to remember to maintain it properly. Mowing your lawn isn’t easy when your mower is on the fritz and isn’t doing its job.

    Finally, you must learn how to use the equipment properly. When it comes to lawn care, for instance, you want to read product instructions carefully and educate yourself on proper usage, spreader calibration, and any optimal timing necessary to do the job right.

    Landscape maintenance professionals have commercial-grade, high-quality equipment that is expertly maintained by mechanics regularly. They also have access to high-end products and know which ones are necessary for the job and how to use them. It comes second-nature to them, making hiring a pro a good choice if this is not your forte.

    4. Landscape Maintenance Can Be a Tough Job

    Sure, some weekends mowing and edging in the sunshine and cleaning up with the blower is pretty simple and you get the job done with ease.

    Other days, it’s not so smooth. Pruning, for example, can be easy if you learn how to do it at arm’s length. But what about when you have a taller tree or shrub, and you need to climb a ladder? What if your back is achy and pushing the mower or bending over to pull weeds hurts?

    DIY landscaping is tough work. Hiring a professional for some of these things – if not all of them – can save you from tedious and exhausting tasks like raking leaves, climbing, or using heavy or sharp equipment. Instead, you can leave these tasks to a professional who is well-trained and knows what they are doing and is capable of doing the job.

    5. The Cost Difference

    When you look at everything involved in professional landscape maintenance vs. DIY landscaping, hiring a service provider may not be that much more expensive than tackling the job yourself.

    You may want to try the do-it-yourself option to save money, but once you start looking at equipment and product costs, you realize there’s a substantial initial investment.

    Then, on top of that, you must give up some free time to do a bit of hard work, learn some new skills, and maintain your equipment. How much is your time worth per hour and how long is this work taking you?

    Once you factor all of those costs together, the cost-savings may not be that great or they may not be a worthwhile enough difference for you to want to choose the DIY option over hiring a pro. Ask yourself, “Is there room in my budget to take the landscape maintenance burden off of my shoulders?”

    Hiring a Professional: Some Questions to Ask

    When leaning toward professional landscape maintenance vs. DIY, finding the right partner to help you keep your yard in top shape can also feel like a chore.

    Here are a few key things you should look for when seeking the best landscape maintenance service provider:

    • An excellent reputation. Read company reviews so you know the quality of their work and how they interact with their customers.
    • A portfolio of well-maintained properties you can view in person or via photos.
    • An educated staff with low turnover to ensure consistent quality and care.
    • Comprehensive programs so you don’t have to juggle multiple contractors or companies to get the work done, which can end up being time-consuming and stressful.
    • A company that employs people you enjoy working with, feel safe having on your property, and do what they promise.

    Looking for these qualities can help you ensure you’re building a great relationship with a landscape maintenance partner.

    Choosing Professional Landscape Maintenance For Peace of Mind

    You may want to give DIY landscaping a try. That’s commendable and can be enjoyable if you love to garden.

    But whether you’ve tried it or are just considering it, and you feel like it might be a hassle, you might want to consider hiring a pro. That way you can sit back and relax knowing your investment in your landscape is protected. You might not think landscape maintenance is a way to protect your investment, but properly caring for your landscape actually ensures its longer life and increases property values.

    As you’re looking for a professional landscaper in Kansas City, we hope you’ll consider High Prairie in your search. We take a well-thought-out and customized approach to our landscape maintenance services.

    Don’t let your landscape fall short of what it could be with the proper professional care. You deserve to have a place to relax and get the most enjoyment out of your landscape, and we’d love to help make that dream a reality for you.

    Ready to see how High Prairie can transform your Kansas City home landscape with landscape maintenance services? We’d love to share our horticulture expertise with you. Get started today with a free consultation. Together, we can prepare a maintenance plan that is unique to you and gives you a landscape your neighbors will envy.

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    About The Author

    Robyn is a 2009 Graduate of the Kansas State University Department of Horticulture. She grew up in South East Kansas where she graduated from Humboldt High School. She was a Kansas State University Leadership Scholar and President of the Horticulture Club. She married Bret in 2009 and they have a daughter Ellie, born in 2021. Their family is completed by three adopted dogs.

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