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How to Save Money on Lawn Care (do it yourself tips)

2012 September 17
by Charlie

In a bad economy it’s always hard to save money on lawn care, and at the same time you don’t want your lawn to look like a jungle. If you live a suburban lifestyle as well you don’t want your lawn to be the talk of the neighborhood. Since going from being raised on a farm to living in town I’ve realized that taking care of my lawn can be quite costly. From the help of a former co-worker, using online guides from the University of Nebraska Agronomy and Horticulture, and through trial and error I’ve come up with a few tips to help save me money. 

With the smell of fall in the air and the days getting shorter and shorter, it’s a perfect time to implment these money saving lawn tips to help your lawn look spectacular in the spring.

  • Dethatching – at the end of every year your lawn has aquired a lot of dead grass (regardless if you bag your grass or not), and will choke out grass from growing quickly in the spring. Spend some time during the fall to remove some of that thatch, and especially if you are going to overseed. Using a comman rack will work, but take a little while. Be patient, but your efforts will reap huge rewards in the spring. [Thrifty Tips for Dethatching your lawn]
  • Overseeding – having a thick lawn will go a long way to squeeze out any weeds that try and come through. Fall and Spring are a great time to spend a few dollars on creating a nice lush lawn, and buy some seed. I’d recommend going with 100% weed free overseed, which typically isn’t what you get at your local Walmart.
  • Water every day (after overseeding) – when you’re making the investment of overseeding, then don’t let that seed go to the birds. It’s always a good idea to water 15 minutes in each zone over night and the middle of the day.
  • Aireate – throughout the course of the year your lawn goes through a lot of compaction and abuse. Aireating will help loosen up the top soil, clear debris for your lawn’s root system to expand, and will help improve your overseeding taking root.
  • Winterize w/crabgrass preventer – when it get’s late into the fall (atleast 6 weeks after overseeding) throwdown some winterizer which has the crabgrass preventer in it. Now with this fertilizer application you can always go for the cheap store version, which will do the trick. This application will help prevent any crabgrass from germinating and taking root in the spring.

Hopefully with a few of these do it yourself tips you’ll be able to have a nice looking lawn and at half the cost of hiring someone else. What tips do you utilize to have a great looking lawn?


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An IT professional, Charlie also buys and sells liens, lives on the cheap, runs marathons and helps to run his family farm. In his spare moments, he raises 3 children, does the dishes and writes one post a week. His former blog, Frugal Retirement Plan, has been cited by US News and World Report.

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4 Responses
  1. Allison permalink
    September 17, 2012

    Soil testing. That way you know what you lawn needs and what type of fertilizer (number) you should put down. Different fertizlier content has different costs, so it’s best to know up front what your working with and how to bring balance back to the lawn.

  2. September 17, 2012

    I am all about doing the lawn work myself. I am actually about ready to seed some spots that need extra grass.

  3. September 17, 2012

    @Sean – I’d recommend overseeding your entire yard and not just spots.

    @Allison – that is a great idea! How do you get your soil tested?

  4. Allison permalink
    September 18, 2012

    @Charlie- the University of MN has information on it. I think you take samples of your soil (different spots in your lawn) then send it in. They give you a break down of what your soil composition is.

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