If you use a lawn care service and would like to have your lawn cared for in a healthy way, you can ask the following questions:
- Will you do a soil test before applying any fertilizers?
Find a company that applies fertilizer only when test results show that it’s needed.
- Are insect and weed control products applied on a fixed schedule?
If so, this is not the company to hire, since weather conditions, historical monitoring, and the current extent of the problem should be considered in any application program.
- Do you use non-chemical controls where possible? Use spot treatments instead of broadcast applications? Use watering, mowing and aeration methods that improve grass plant health?
- Are you licensed by the Maine Board of Pesticides Control?
An applicator must be licensed in order to apply pesticides on a “for-hire” basis. (Pesticides include insecticides, herbicides, “weed and feed” products, fungicides, and others).
- Are you willing to mow higher and be flexible when you mow? Water only when needed?
- Can you make suggestions for a more sustainable or ecological lawn? For reducing lawn size? For planting native species?
- Are you aware of the City of Biddeford’s recommended Best Management Practices, and are you willing to follow them?
Above all, avoid the “one size fits all” approach to lawn care. Not every lawn is the same, and a reliable contractor should be able to tailor a program to fit your requirements.