How Much Should You Spend on Lawn Care?

If you’re a homeowner, you might be wondering how much lawn care costs. In this guide, we’re going over everything there is to know about lawn care costs, like average prices, what services professional lawn care companies provide, and factors that affect the cost of lawn care.

The value of a well-maintained lawn

A well-manicured lawn makes your property look neat and tidy and enhances your curb appeal. Most people love the look of a lush, green lawn, as it improves the appearance of your home and adds value to your property.

Importance of Lawn Care

Regular lawn care includes mowing, fertilizing, watering, and more. Keeping to a rigid routine results in grass that is healthier and less susceptible to weeds, pests, heat, and drought. Taking good care of your lawn regularly makes it easier to keep it looking top-notch.

Aesthetics and Curb Appeal

A well-groomed lawn makes your home look more attractive and inviting, and, as mentioned, increases its curb appeal. If you’re looking to sell your home, it also makes a great first impression on potential buyers.

Environmental Benefits

Regular lawn care provides plenty of environmental benefits, such as erosion reduction and dust control. A well-maintained lawn can also offset around 50% of the solar heat around your home, providing a cooling effect. Additionally, lawns absorb carbon dioxide, which brings improved air quality around your home.

Enhancing Property Value

While estimates vary, homes with attractive landscaping can be worth anywhere from 5% to 20% more than homes without. That makes lawn care one of the best investments for your property, whether you’re in your permanent home or you’re looking to rent or sell.

Professional Lawn Care Services

For some homeowners, taking care of their own lawns is a hobby. However, just as many may be lacking the time, energy, or capabilities to do it themselves. This results in many homeowners and property managers hiring professional lawn care experts to keep their yards in shape.

Types of Lawn Care Services

There are many services that encompass professional lawn care, and you can opt for them as a combination or as separate services. These include mowing, trimming, edging, aerating, fertilizing, weed control, and pest control. Working with a professional lawn care service lets you enjoy a beautiful, well-manicured lawn without needing to do all the work.

Here are some common types of lawn care services, as well as the average costs for each service:

Mowing- $30 to $85 per service

Mowing is the most common professional lawn care service. You can usually find standard mowing packages that include other services, like trimming, edging, and leaf blowing.

Fertilizing- $65 to $100 per service

Depending on your grass type and what kind of fertilizer you use, you may need to fertilize your lawn up to four times per year. Oftentimes, lawn care companies will give you the option to be put on a fertilization schedule to manage your fertilizer needs year-round.

Weed control- $50 to $125 per treatment

You may opt to add selective herbicides to your lawn to prevent or eliminate weeds. Additionally, many lawn care professionals will often use weed and feed fertilizers when you purchase a fertilization service contract with them, and combining these services can save you money.

Aerating- $75 to $200 per service

Lawn aeration is done with a specialized machine that penetrates the soil with its spikes. This process increases the amount of airflow and oxygen to the root system, promoting growth and drainage. Aeration is usually only required every two years or so, but if you have heavily compacted clay soils, it’s recommended to aerate your lawn yearly.

Dethatching- $75 to $300 per service

Thatch is the layer of organic matter, like dead grass and leaves, that accumulates in your lawn. Dethatching your lawn once every three to five years can reduce the risk of disease and fungi, encouraging healthy growth.

Pest control

Pest control is another service commonly offered by landscaping pros. This service can eliminate pests in your yard such as insects, ants, lawn grubs, and fleas. Here’s a breakdown of average costs for different types of pest control for your lawn:

  • Insecticide treatments– $300 to $550 per treatment for your home and yard
  • Lawn grub treatments– $50 to $150 per treatment
  • Ant control– $80 to $500
  • Flea infestations– $75 for a yard and $100 to $200 per room

If your pests tend to be bigger critters, like raccoons or feral cats, you should contact an animal control specialist who is more equipped to handle those circumstances.

Irrigation system service and installations- $50 to $160 for seasonal services

Some lawn care companies also service and install water irrigation systems. These services will often include winterization and spring turn-ons, but you can also call them out for repairs if the need arises.

The average cost to install a sprinkler system is around $2500, but your actual price will depend on the size of your yard and the type of system you would like.

Other Lawn Care Services

Many lawn care professionals will offer several ancillary services that are required less frequently, including:

  • Artificial grass installation
  • Cleaning gutters
  • Composting and compost collection services
  • Gardening services
  • Hydroseeding and planting grass
  • Land leveling and grading
  • Leaf blowing and removal
  • Mulching
  • Planting annual and perennial flower beds
  • Pruning and trimming hedges, trees, and shrubs
  • Rototilling services for your garden
  • Tree planting
  • Tree removal
  • Snow removal 
  • Watering 
  • Yard cleaning services

Full-Service Lawn Care and Yard Maintenance Plans

You can also usually find packages offered by your lawn care service that cover all of your lawn care needs. These plans will typically include everything in a yard maintenance package, plus fertilizing, overseeding, seasonal cleanup, turf repair, and pest control.

The cost of this type of plan depends on several factors, like your location, the size of your yard, and the combination of services in the plan.

Factors Affecting Lawn Care Cost

It goes without saying that lawn care costs can vary considerably based on a number of factors, like the size and condition of your lawn, and your location. However, the average cost for lawn care is around $100 per month.

If you choose basic services and your yard is relatively small, you could pay as little as $40 per month, but higher-end packages for large properties could run you up to $900 per month for lawn care.

Here are some factors that affect lawn care costs:

Yard Size

Yards come in just about every shape and size, and you can expect to pay more to service a larger yard. The average cost for lawn care is around $30 to $70 per hour, so the longer it takes, the more it will cost.

Type of Grass

Your local region will determine the type(s) of grass growing in your yard. Some grasses grow faster than others and, thus, must be mowed more often. Other lawn types, such as clover lawns, may only need to be mowed a few times per year.


While some lawns make for a simple mow, other properties have obstacles like benches, playground equipment, or flower beds. The more obstacles you have in your yard, the longer your service will take, and the more it will cost.


A healthy lawn requires water and fertilizer, but they also make your lawn grow more quickly, which in turn requires more frequent mowing. Some people prefer their grass mowed shorter and more often, which will play into overall lawn care costs.


If you enter into a lawn care contract, your cost will be determined by the services you choose. Many landscaping companies offer maintenance plans and full-service plans to give you flexibility in pricing.

The Season

Grass doesn’t grow year-round in most cases; even if you live in a southern region, your lawn will most likely still go dormant in the winter. However, if you live in an area with a longer growing season, you will pay more annually for lawn care because you will require more services.

Choosing the Right Lawn Care Provider

You can choose the best lawn care service for your yard with a little bit of research. Do an online search for potential companies, ask them any questions you may have, and get quotes.

Here are some tips for choosing the right lawn care professional:

  • Ask for at least three references and call them
  • Search for online reviews
  • Ask for related certifications and insurance certificates
  • Schedule a consultation and get estimates from more than one lawn care business

Cost of Lawn Care: A Detailed Breakdown

There are so many variables for lawn care that it can be confusing to figure out what it may cost. Here’s a breakdown of the regional cost variations for average-sized lawns to help clarify pricing:

Location (ZIP code) Low cost per square footHigh cost per square footTotal range
New York, NY (10001)$0.08$0.17$80 to $170
San Diego, CA (91911)$0.06$0.13$60 to $130
Chicago, IL (95712)$0.06$0.14$60 to $140
Houston, TX (77001)$0.05$0.10$50 to $100
Seattle, WA (98101)$0.06$0.13$60 to $130
Missoula, MT (59801)$0.05$0.11$50 to $110
Cedar Falls, IA (50613)$0.05$0.11$50 to $110

You may have noticed that your zip code is the first thing online lawn care cost calculators ask for. That’s because regional costs are one of the most significant determiners of lawn care costs. 

Lawn Size and Complexity

The larger your lawn, the more it will cost to mow. However, typically, you will pay less per square foot for larger lawns. Adding in any obstacles or complex designs will raise your overall rate.

To see how the price changes as your lawn size increases, here’s a table of the same locations listed above, but for a lawn that’s 10,000 square feet in size:

Location (ZIP code) Low cost per square footHigh cost per square footTotal Range
New York, NY (10001)$0.02$0.04$200 to $400
San Diego, CA (91911)$0.01$0.03$100 to $300
Chicago, IL (95712)$0.01$0.03$100 to $300
Houston, TX (77001)$0.01$0.02$100 to $200
Seattle, WA (98101)$0.01$0.03$100 to $300
Missoula, MT (59801)$0.01$0.02$100 to $200
Cedar Falls, IA (50613)$0.01$0.02$100 to $200

Service Frequency

It’s common for lawn care companies to schedule servicing for once every two weeks, which is enough to maintain your lawn throughout most of the growing season. For average-sized lawns, a single service takes about 1 to 2 hours per visit.

During spring and early summer, you may need to bump your mowing frequency up to once a week, as this is during peak growing conditions. Ask your landscaping company about spring/summer packages that include a price break for more frequent services.

DIY Lawn Care: Tips and Tricks

Going the DIY lawn care route can give you a feeling of accomplishment and pride in your home that you don’t get when you pay for lawn care services. If you’re interested in doing it yourself, here are some tips and tricks to ensure success.

Essential Lawn Care Tools

Taking care of your own lawn requires the right set of tools, including:

Mowing and Watering – Best Practices

Mowing and watering your lawn may seem pretty simple, but there are plenty of mistakes to avoid if you’re green in experience. Follow these mowing and watering tips to keep your lawn lush and healthy:

  • Mow at the right height for your type of grass. Usually, taller is better, but keep it between 2 and 4 inches for optimal health and to make mowing easier.
  • Water deeply and infrequently. Lawns need about one inch of water per week, spaced into up to two or three waterings.
  • The best time to water your lawn is in the morning. If you water at night, excess moisture encourages fungal growth and diseases.
  • Keep your mower blades sharp. 

Fertilizing and Weed Control

Grass is a heavy feeder, which means it requires plenty of nutrients to stay green and lush.

When you understand how to fertilize your lawn, it will help your grass grow strong root systems that can protect it from things like heat and drought. When properly fertilized, grass is more resistant to weeds, and it also grows in thicker and more vibrant.

The most important factor when fertilizing your lawn is timing. The best time to fertilize your lawn depends on the type of grass you have and the type of fertilizer you use.

However, it’s important to note that over-fertilizing your lawn can severely damage it. You can save time and money by choosing a fertilizer with selective herbicides that feeds your lawn while controlling weed growth at the same time.

Lawn Care Cost FAQ Section

How often should I schedule lawn care services?

If you’re planning on having your entire lawn care schedule taken care of by a professional, ask them about lawn care plans or packages. Doing this will eliminate the need to schedule services every time you need a mow. Otherwise, you should schedule lawn mowing services once every two weeks, with more frequent mowings as needed during peak growing times.

Is it more cost-effective to handle lawn care myself or hire a professional?

If you have the time and the ability, DIY lawn care is far less expensive than paying for a professional service, provided you have the tools on hand. For some people, however, time is more important than money. If you have the resources, it can be more cost-effective to pay for a lawn care service.

What factors should I consider when choosing a lawn care provider?

Look for a lawn care provider who will be reliable and take care of your lawn so you don’t need to worry about it. They should pay excellent attention to detail and provide high-quality service, since your lawn represents a big investment.

When you’re choosing a lawn care provider, it’s a good idea to ask for references and get multiple different estimates to find the best option for your lawn.

Are there any low-cost or eco-friendly alternatives to traditional lawn care methods?

If you’re looking for some cost-saving alternatives to traditional lawn care methods, you have a few options. You could reduce your lawn by opting for low-growing ground covers or planting clover instead of grass. Another option is to install artificial grass if you’re getting hit by large water bills and high lawn care costs.

How can I reduce my lawn care costs without sacrificing the health of my lawn?

There are several ways to reduce lawn care costs while maintaining a healthy lawn. For starters, make sure to avoid overwatering and mow your grass on the taller side. Choose a natural fertilizer that only needs to be applied once per year. Many lawn care providers also let you save money by choosing a yearly service contract.

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