Hiring a service to take care of your lawn continues to be a popular trend with many benefits. More and more homeowners realize that a lawn service offers expertise to produce a healthy, beautiful turf that provides a cushioned play surface, filters contaminants from rainwater and reduces runoff, prevents soil erosion, and many other environmental benefits.

LCAP HomeownersHaving a professional to take care of your lawn gives homeowners more time for leisure activities. Typically, a lawn care service provides fertilization, weed control and other professional practices to achieve a quality turf.

To get the most out of a lawn care company, make sure to hire a service that is a member of a professional association like the Lawn Care Association of Pennsylvania or the Professional Landcare Network (PLANET), and check the company’s service record by calling your local Better Business Bureau.

Taking care of your lawn is not just about property investment or neighborhood curb appeal. The good news is that the natural green carpet surrounding homes benefits the environment.

The U.S. Congress noted the benefits of grass and other vegetation in a 1990 Farm Bill: “…low growing dense perennial turfgrass sod in urban areas and communities can aid in reducing carbon dioxide missions, mitigating the heat island effect, and reducing energy consumption, thus contributing to efforts to reduce global warming trends.”

To reap its many benefits, your lawn must be well maintained. The Lawn Care Association of Pennsylvania recommends following these basic steps to enhance the lawn’s environmental benefits:

Soil Sampling
Soil Sample
Consider having your soil sampled and analyzed. Make sure your soil has the correct pH level and key nutrients for healthy growth.

Grass Selection
Only use new and improved variety mixtures or blends that grow well in your area of Pennsylvania, meet your quality expectations and can accommodate your lawn activities, such as heavy use by children at play.

Mow at the highest recommended height and mow often, never removing more than one-third of the left surface. Keep the mower blades sharp and grasscycle. Grass-cycling, or leaving clippings on the lawn when you mow or when your lawn professional mows, allows nutrients to return to the soil.

Water deeply, but not too often. In general, watering should moisten the soil to a depth of 4-6”. Too much water can cause water quality and grass problems, increasing the chance of fungus or runoff and leaching of nutrients. And, it’s a waste of our precious water resources. Ask your lawn care professional what’s right for your lawn.

Fertilization and Pest Control
Apply the right amount and kind of fertilizer and pest control products at the right time and only when needed. Follow all label instructions and precautions. For best results, let your lawn care professional apply these products.