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Often a lawn company will offer special rates to every yard owner in an offered neighborhood, figuring it can select up additional service that more than offsets the reduced group rate, Ziehler says. And after that there are the spring specials, vouchers and bonus offers; numerous use totally free services for new customers.

Depending upon the firm, registering for both mowing and fertilizing can sometimes land customers a discount rate, he says. That’s less likely to occur, however, with winter snow elimination, because it’s typically offered individually. And signing on for a smaller variety of fertilizer applications will not always decrease your bill either, he says.

Bromley, the New Jersey horticulturalist, says homeowners need to get their soil tested every 3 to five years. Waiting for a problem to appear prior to testing, she states, is an error. However the majority of lawn services don’t consistently do these tests, says James Murphy, an expert in grass management at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, N.J.

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In his industry’s defense, Ziehler says tests do not require to be done on every client’s yard, because yard services can typically draw conclusions based upon the soil in the area. In a brand-new neighborhood, for example, the soil is most likely to be comparable throughout. “We do not sell tests as a service we’re trying to get everyone to do,” he states.

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That believing modifications when a yard isn’t remaining green up until the next round of fertilizer or is showing some other problem, Ziehler says. In such cases, a soil test can pinpoint the cause. Another crucial time to test, he points out, is before reseeding, to ensure that a sprouting seed has all the nutrition it requires.

Excess fertilizer can make its way into storm drains pipes, streams and lakes, promoting the development of algae and depleting oxygen for plants and fish. Undoubtedly, concerns about the water quality of the Chesapeake Bay prompted Maryland to get rid of phosphorus and minimize the nitrogen content in practically all lawn fertilizers and to ban using fertilizer between Nov.

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Jay Crihfield/ Shutterstock. com The required is impacting other parts of the nation too: Scotts, the world’s largest online marketer of branded customer lawn and garden products, states it has actually decided to get rid of phosphorus from nearly all of its lawn-maintenance items, after its own Chesapeake-related research discovered that most house lawns have sufficient phosphorus levels.

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But yard services tend to err on the side of more. And they, too, state science is on their side. Much of their lawn-care programs require fertilizing four or five times a year, and Ziehler says the overall amount of fertilizer generally used reflects recommendations from state universities. Scotts, whose products are intended at the diy customer, likewise points out university suggestions.

Mike McGrath, a former editor-in-chief of “Organic Gardening” magazine and the host of a weekly syndicated show on National Public Radio on organic gardening called “You Wager Your Garden,” says the number ought to be no more than 2. Overfeeding a lawn or feeding it at the incorrect time motivates weeds, he says.

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While some thatch is normal, too much limits the circulation of air and water to the roots and can harbor fungi that trigger illness. For cool-climate lawns, he recommends one feeding in the fall and possibly a lighter one in the spring. (Warm-climate lawns such as zoysia and Bermuda must get 2 equal-sized summertime feedings.) “Lawns don’t need chemicals,” states McGrath.