How Much Does Lawn Care Cost?

healthy green landscaped lawn with stone path

Everyone wants to enjoy the pride of having a beautiful lawn... but putting in the work on that beautiful lawn is a real chore. How much does lawn care cost and what's the best option for you when it comes to maintaining a beautiful yard?

Levels of Lawn Care

The trouble with lawn care is that it's not just about cost. Not only do you have to pay for all the equipment and materials to keep your lawn healthy, but you also have to make a huge investment of time.

The amount of money you spend on lawn care can vary greatly depending on where you live, the size of your lawn, and the level of care you want. If you want a well-treated, very well-maintained lawn, you will have to pay for more services.

If a more basic level of lawn care will suffice, you will save money but perhaps sacrifice some comforts, such as pest control.

Low Maintenance

If you don't want to spend a ton of time and money on your lawn, you don't have to. You can do just the basics and perform the bare minimum amount of lawn care in order to keep it looking okay.

Sometimes, having a lawn that's just maintained enough is perfectly adequate. At a minimum, you will need to move your lawn regularly, remove sticks and debris from the lawn periodically, and deal with any weedy patches, overgrowing vines, or other obvious problems.

You might also need to water your lawn semi-regularly, depending on how much natural rainfall you get. If your lawn is prone to developing brown patches, start watering it once a week.

When you water the lawn, get it good and damp but not wet and muddy. Water the entire lawn.

Medium Maintenance

You can take things up a notch and do a little bit more to your lawn to keep it looking fairly well-manicured. You will spend a bit more in both time and money but you will see noticeable results.

In addition to regular mowing and debris removal, you should also do edging once a week to keep the yard looking trimmed and beautiful. This will make a big difference.

Either hand-pull weeds or treat the lawn for weeds regularly during the growing season to keep the lawn healthier and prettier.

High Maintenance

If you're doing a lot of treatments to your lawn, you will be benefiting from many different lawn care services throughout the year.

When you're really doing everything for your lawn that you can, you will add fertilizer every two to three months. Fertilizer is broadcast in an even, thin coat over the entire lawn to promote a healthy balance of nutrients and encourage growth.

You will also need to monitor the pH balance of your soil and, if needed, apply lime to reduce the acidity in the soil.

Professional lawn care companies that are performing a high level of service on lawns will also spray regularly for pests and weeds. This prevents ticks, fleas, and other parasites that might get on pets or plants, along with other lawn troubles.

In addition to regular maintenance, some tasks will be performed annually. Seeding, also called over-seeding, gives you a much richer, thicker lawn.

Seeding the lawn is a big job. You begin by raking all the soil in the lawn to get rid of old thatch.

That's how you begin. Next, you'll add new soil everywhere to enrich the lawn and give the new seed something to take hold of.

Then, you'll broadcast new seeds and encourage thicker, healthy grass growth.

professional landscaper

Hiring a Lawn Pro

Whether you're interested in doing the basics or you want to use all the lawn care for your grass, hiring a pro is an attractive option. First, they know all the tricks and they have all the equipment.

Second, hiring professionals saves you from doing all that work. However, you will pay for these services.

The average cost for U.S. homeowners varies greatly, but you can expect to pay $29 to $65 to have the lawn mowed. Fertilizing the lawn ranges from $20 to $60 an hour, while weeding is usually $65 to $120.

Seeding the lawn can cost anywhere from $330 to $1,000.

Professional companies will also provide services like tree and bush trimming, yard cleanup, and aeration when needed.

Many lawn care companies offer packages featuring differing services for the lawn. If you get a regular weekly package that includes moving, pest control, and weed control, expect to pay anywhere from $170 to as much as $1,350 per week.

Typically, most people pay $48 to $211 to have basic to medium lawn care tasks performed. The national average for lawn care is $129 per week.

If you want to add landscaping services, such as planting and maintaining flower beds and shrubs, and decorative trees, you will pay as much as $1,000 per week or more. For basic landscaping like mulch replacement and weed removal, you'll pay an average of $60 to $120 per hour.

DIY Lawn Care

You can save a lot of money by going a DIY route and choosing to perform lawn care maintenance yourself. This will take up some of your time but with good planning, you can stay on top of tasks and never spend a lot of time on your lawn care.

The secret to great DIY lawn care is to just get into a habit. Maintain a regular routine and schedule of lawn care tasks and your yard will look great, even if you're performing just the necessary basics.

However, you will need your own equipment in order to perform regular DIY lawn maintenance. If you're starting from scratch this will be a big investment upfront.

It will save you money, in the long run, to own this equipment and perform your lawn care tasks on your own, though, so this choice will end up paying off for you.

lawn mower on lush grass

Lawn Mowers

You will need a lawn mower, chiefly, to maintain your lawn. Think long and hard about the type of lawn mower you want to use.

Push mowers are affordable but they require a lot of personal strength and work to use. These mowers range in price from $150 to $500 and to use them, you walk behind the mower and push it across the lawn with your own muscle power.

Self-propelled lawnmowers have a similar upright design to push mowers and you also push these mowers across the grass in order to cut it. Self-propelled lawnmowers, however, have a motor that turns wheels that help to pull the mower across the grass.

Because they sort of pull themselves, self-propelled mowers are easy enough for just about anyone to use and do not require a great deal of muscle strength. Essentially, you simply walk behind the mower and guide it along.

There are even easier options to consider. Riding mowers are vehicles that you literally drive across the grass in order to cut it, remaining seated the entire time.

You can also try the even more modern robot lawnmowers, which don't require you to drive or push or guide anything. You simply set the robot on the lawn and let it do its thing, which is a pretty interesting perk of modern life.

rake moving leaves

Rakes

Leaf blowers can save you time by blasting around leaves and grass clippings, but these machines are expensive, noisy, and not great for the natural areas you're caring for. Blowing dust particles everywhere can be bad for your health, too, as can the fumes from gas models. The loudest ones can permanently damage your hearing.

The classic rake is cheaper, and better for both your body and your garden. Raking your soil will gently aerate it while preserving some of the good natural processes taking place at the microscopic level. Remember, the point of growing things is to create a space for life to thrive, not to manicure a perfect picture at the expense of your health.

Use the handiest of yard tools to easily scoop away leaves, grass, and debris of all kinds from walkways and driveways. It will only take a few minutes, it will make everything look much nicer, and it'll get you moving, which as you probably know is very good for you.

hands using clippers on bush

Clippers

Pick up at least one good pair of clippers or pruning shears so you can trim up bushes, trees, and other areas of the yard as needed. You want to keep shrubs and other plants looking neat and trimmed because letting them get even a little overgrown can make the whole yard look bad.

A good pair of clippers is highly affordable, averaging around $25 to $50.

Other Costs

To maintain your own yard on your own dime, you will also need to buy mulch and fertilizer, usually at least once a year, to perform routine annual tasks that keep your lawn and landscaping areas healthier and prettier.

Bottom Line

Lawn care costs vary a huge amount depending on the level of lawn service you want and whether you hire professionals to do all of it, have them do some of it, or do it all on your own. The price also varies based on the size of your lawn and the area where you live.

Call around to ask professional lawn care companies what they charge, look at prices on lawn care items in local stores, and get an idea of how much it will cost you to have your yard maintained both by professionals and by you based on your lawn size and the pricing where you live.

Think about the lawn care tasks you're willing and able to perform on your own, both in physicality and in the amount of time you have to spend on it, versus how much you would pay to have a professional do it.

Think about all these different factors to choose what type of lawn services you want and whether you will hire a professional to manage all or some of these services.

Once you do this and make some decisions, you should have a strong idea of how much lawn care is going to cost you from week to week.

Lawn Care Cost FAQ

feet with boots using shovel in lawn

How can you find lawn care services?

There are several options when you want to get regular lawn care services provided to you. Look in your local area to find professional companies that can perform service regularly.

Search for companies near your property with high reviews from actual customers. This is a good way to find companies offering a high level of good service.

If you want to save a little money, you can always look for neighborhood flyers from local children who may be willing to charge a little less to mow your lawn. Remember, however, that you will not get the same level of service as you would receive from a professional company.

How much does a new lawn cost?

If your yard is in particularly bad shape, you might be thinking about starting all over and applying brand-new sod to get everything looking amazing again.

This is a big step to take and it will cost you but it will transform your lawn and give you a gorgeous carpet of healthy green. Going by the national average, sod costs around $0.35 to $0.80 per square foot if you DIY this task or $1 to $1.80 per square foot if you have it professionally applied.

How much time does it take to mow a lawn?

The same way the price of lawn care varies based on the size of the lawn, the amount of time you have to spend mowing the lawn and performing other tasks varies based on size. It will take you more time to mow a larger lawn, naturally, so it's hard to say how much time it will take you to get the entire lawn mowed.

On average, you can expect to spend a little over an hour mowing a standard-sized law with a self-propelled mower. You'll spend around 40 minutes to just under an hour getting the lawn mowed with a riding mower, though this time varies based on the speed and abilities of your riding mower.

Further Reading

Do It Yourself Landscaping Ideas

Easy-to-Maintain Lawns and Ground Covers

How to Have Great Soil

Inexpensive but Stunning Landscaping Ideas

Lawnmower Maintenance

No-Mow Lawns

Organic Lawn Care 101

Your Ultimate Lawn Care Cheat Sheet