If you are a classic Weekend Warrior when it comes to your outdoor living space, you have probably asked yourself the following questions:
The short answer is that you can, you just have to have the appropriate license. A number of products have been marked “Restricted Use” (available only to proper license holders) by the EPA due to potential problems (toxicity to people, pets, insects, groundwater contamination concerns, etc.) or they have been marked “Professional Use Only” by the manufacturer (same reasons although lower level of concerns) or the product container size and cost makes the product unaffordable for the homeowner. One common pre-emerge used in the fall costs about $1,500 per gallon. The use rate is about seven ounces per ACRE. A gallon would cover a fairly large suburban lawn… 54 times! Since most homeowners aren’t interested in half a century of product sitting around, it makes using this specific product unrealistic simply due to cost.
4. If products aren’t safe for me to buy, how do I know they are safe for you to use around my family and pets?
The EPA and manufacturers have extensively tested the products as they are intended to be used, that is – at the diluted rates. The safety and efficacy must be determined before the products are approved for sale and use. Additionally, with most products, a surfactant is used. The surfactant is designed to allow thorough coverage of the target plant leaves. Not only does the surfactant ensure coverage, it can also aid in absorption into the leaves. Once absorbed, most products are utilized (similar to digesting food). Once a product is utilized it is transformed into things that are no longer a concern. The surfactant also helps the non-absorbing products to “stick” to the plant, making them difficult to dislodge and become contaminants. These non-absorbing products are typically pre-emergent weed controls. The products that stick to the outside of the plant are moved into and bind with the soil particles (where they are effective) with the next rainfall or irrigation cycle. Once in the soil, it is difficult to dislodge the products and cause a contamination issues. This is one reason that, whether you are a DIYer or have hired a professional, proper post-application watering is important.
5. What does a professional have to offer that I can’t get or do myself?
Most professionals have years of experience that are backed by the education, training, and the support of manufacturers, universities, state and local Agriculture Extension offices and trade industry organizations. Here at Personal Lawn Care, all of our technicians attend yearly seminars where new issues are addressed and products introduced, similar to continuing education credits required in other industries. With this network of support, virtually all problems quickly fall into the “seen it, covered it” category. Knowledge and experience allow a professional to quickly and effectively address problems. They often have specialized tools and equipment as well as the licensing or certifications required by governmental agencies. Professionals also carry insurance to protect their clients and themselves from problematic situations. So, from extensive specialized training to access to the most effective products, a professional lawn care company is a good fit for many homeowners.
6. Is a professional service really worth the money?
With the growth of the lawn care industry from its very humble beginnings in the mid 60’s and 70’s to its multi-billion dollar status today, it is obvious that both individual homeowners and corporate groups or entities find great value in the professional services they receive. By not having to purchase expensive equipment and chemicals or fertilizers, contracting with a professional service is initially much less costly that Weekend Warrior lawn care. Retail herbicide, insecticide, fungicide and fertilizer prices can carry quite a sticker-shock.
If your Outdoor Living Space is your hobby then a little research and some sweat-equity will carry you through even the toughest obstacles. But if you prefer to spend your weekends doing something other than slogging through your lawn in extreme heat and cold, then a professional service may be right for you. What could be better than knowing your lawn is being cared for while you are at the golf course, spending quality time with your friends and loved ones, or heading out to the lake?