Lawn & Garden Landscaping

How Much Does Lawn Care Cost?

Lawn care cost varies depending on the type of care that’s needed. Typically, a homeowner will pay between $48 and $206, depending on the size of the yard and other factors. Nationally, the average runs about $124.
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Highlights

  • Lawn care typically costs between $48 and $206, with a national average of $124.
  • The main cost factors in calculating lawn care costs are lawn size and shape, type of service, labor costs, grass length and type, accessibility, service frequency, and geographic location.
  • Homeowners may consider lawn care to save time and money, to take advantage of professional expertise, and to enhance a property’s curb appeal.
  • Lawn care is a job many homeowners can tackle; however, it may be strenuous and time-consuming, and professionals tend to deliver the best results.
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Curb appeal starts at the curb: A beautiful lawn sets the scene for an appealing home. But keeping the yard looking its best requires an investment of time, money, and effort. Homeowners who are nervous about lawn care costs can take comfort in knowing what to expect ahead of time and look forward to a lush lawn when the work is done. So how much does lawn care cost? According to Angi and HomeAdvisor, prices range anywhere from $48 to $206. The average lawn care cost is about $124 per service.

Lawn mowing can run for $30 to $80 per week. The price fluctuates depending on the size of the yard, the frequency of mowing, and the services included. While some lawn care companies charge by the hour, others charge per service and size, with price breaks often thrown in for regular customers.

The basics begin with mowing, but some homeowners request fertilizing, weeding, mulching, cleaning up the yard, and performing other maintenance, such as aerating and watering. Those lawn care services run a little higher than basic mowing, again depending on yard size and other factors. If the yard features fences, trees, children’s play structures, or other obstacles, the price is likely to go up accordingly.

Factors in Calculating Lawn Care Cost

Lawn Care Cost Factors in Calculating the Cost
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It’s difficult to pin down an exact lawn care cost because there are so many variables that create a sliding scale of pricing. In general, homeowners can expect to pay between $48 and $206 for lawn maintenance or a national average cost of $124. However, prices vary across the nation, and prices in small rural towns will differ vastly from those in urban metropolises. While city prices might be higher, remote rural areas may invoke a travel charge. Geography can factor into the cost as well. Lawns in wet climates often require more frequent work than lawns in drier regions.

Services such as trimming, dethatching, controlling weeds, removing leaves, watering, and fertilizing will add to the calculation of the cost of lawn care. What may be less obvious is how frequency impacts the cost. Letting the grass grow too tall between mowings can also raise the cost. To combat that issue, many lawn care service companies offer discounts when customers sign long-term contracts: Guaranteed repeat business generates price breaks, sometimes by as much as 25 percent.

Lawn Size 

Size can impact lawn care costs in one of two ways. If a lawn care professional charges by the hour, a larger lawn that takes more time will cost more. Hourly rates range from $25 to $60. If the charges are per square foot—which is not as common, but may be done for smaller yards—the same principle applies: bigger costs more. Typical costs start at $0.01 per square foot.

The price for maintenance of acreages is usually calculated at a different rate than for the average-size lawn. Larger properties often see smaller incremental increases because crews have less trimming and other detail work to perform. The average lawn care cost per acre is $150 to $200, with a property of 10 acres or larger priced at around $50 per acre.

Lawn Size Cost Range
3,500 square feet$35 to $210
5,000 square feet$50 to $300
10,000 square feet$100 to $600
1 acre$150 to $200
2 acres $300 to $400
3 acres$450 to $600
4 acres$600 to $800
5 acres$750 to $1,000
10 acres$1,500 to $2,000
15 acres$2,250 to $3,000

Lawn Shape

A standard square or rectangular yard is straightforward to mow, meaning costs will be relatively low. However, maintenance for lawns with an irregular shape or with lots of features to mow around will be on the pricier side. For example, play sets or flower beds may take longer to mow around or require different equipment. A lawn care professional will take these features into account when determining a quote.

Service Type

In addition to mowing, there are a variety of maintenance services that homeowners may want to consider. Aeration, weed and leaf removal, and edging are common services that can add to each visit’s overall lawn care cost.

Labor

The bigger the lawn or the more services needed, the more manpower is required—and the higher the final bill will be. Whether a lawn care company charges per hour or per job, the charges will likely be multiplied by the number of crew members it takes to complete the work. Typically the hourly cost for landscaping services is between $25 and $60. This cost is likely to be included in the quote along with materials and other charges.

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Grass Length

Tall grass makes mowing the lawn a more arduous task that takes more time. Different varieties of grass have different growth rates, with cool-season grasses exhibiting more growth in the spring and fall, while warm-season types grow more through the summer. Weather, including temperatures and rainfall amounts, will influence grass growth rates. A general rule of thumb advises to never remove more than one-third of the height of the grass in a single cutting.

Grass Type

Grass type can have an effect on the cost of lawn care. Not only do different varieties of grass grow at different speeds, but some grasses thrive at different heights. For example, Bermuda grass is healthiest when mowed frequently and kept under 0.5 inches, whereas Kentucky bluegrass can grow as tall as 3 inches before needing to be mowed. The more often grass requires trimming, the more homeowners will pay for lawn care.

Grass TypeMowing HeightMowing Frequency
Bermuda0.5 to 2 inchesWeekly
Centipede1 to 1.5 inchesWeekly
Fescue3 to 4 inchesBimonthly
Kentucky bluegrass2 to 3 inchesBimonthly
Ryegrass1.5 to 2.5 inchesBimonthly
Zoysia1 to 2.5 inchesWeekly

Accessibility

Fences, trees, children’s play structures, and other obstacles complicate the work to be done, increasing the time needed for mowing the lawn, trimming, and cleanup—and adding to lawn care costs. The time to complete fall and spring leaf removal is compounded by the presence of numerous deciduous trees and shrubs.

Service Frequency

Depending on what services a homeowner needs and what their budget will allow, there are often three options for lawn care service frequency: weekly, monthly, or yearly. Most contracts are billed annually; for example, if the average lawn care cost per month is $400, the homeowner will be charged $4,800 for the year. In regions where there is a significant change in weather for certain parts of the year, it may make sense to get more or less frequent service for a portion of the year. Onetime visits may also make sense in some situations, such as when the house is being put on the market or there has been a storm that has caused significant damage.

Service FrequencyAnnual Cost
One time$75 to $200
Weekly$3,380 to $7,020
Monthly$3,600 to $6,000
Yearly$60 to $150

Geographic Location

A homeowner’s geographic location will play a role in how much they pay for lawn care services. This is primarily due to climate: In regions that don’t experience a significant temperature dip in the winter, lawn care may be a year-round need. On the other hand, areas that do see distinct seasonal changes may need additional maintenance, such as leaf removal. For reference, the cost of lawn maintenance in Los Angeles is between $50 and $800 per year, whereas the same service in Milwaukee runs between $30 and $450. Homeowners will also want to keep in mind that prices in urban areas may reflect higher labor costs.

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Additional Costs and Considerations

Sometimes, there’s an implied “plus or minus” in front of the charges for services. Extra costs may be incurred for a variety of reasons: travel distance, special equipment or equipment maintenance, additional product needed due to the size of the project, or other exceptions. The size of the property, the terrain (hilly, rocky), and the number of obstructions (trees, playground structures, or other lawn features) will increase lawn care costs. In short, anything requiring extra work will result in an extra charge.

The math works both ways; discounts or coupons may be applied to reduce the standard fee. Many lawn care companies try to encourage new business with coupons and return business with discounts for signing a contract for regularly scheduled maintenance. Prepaying for the season may make it possible to subtract even more from the bottom line.

Additionally, fluctuations in gasoline prices may lead to extra charges, as lawn service companies pass along the cost of doing business.

Travel Expenses 

Travel costs are typically included in an hourly rate, but if the home is out of the lawn professional’s vicinity, there could be a travel surcharge. Some companies levy a flat rate travel fee; others charge per mile beyond their service range. In past times of fuel shortages, some companies have added a fuel surtax to cover the cost of travel expenses. To keep costs down, homeowners can search online for “lawn service near me” to ensure they’re within the service range of the company they select.

Equipment Upkeep Costs

The cost of equipment and tools (and their upkeep) is generally rolled into the fees a lawn service company charges. However, it’s a fair assumption that a large or syndicated company with new equipment, company trucks, employee uniforms, and liability insurance is prone to cost more than an independent lawn care professional.

Contracts and Packages

Businesses reward loyalty with discounts. Repeat business guarantees their income, simplifies their scheduling, reduces their need to advertise, and gives them an edge over their competition, so many lawn service companies offer discounts and packages—a money saver for homeowners. Bundling isn’t just for TV and internet service. Packages that add other services to mowing, such as trimming, cleaning up, and fertilizing, may also be offered with incentives and discounts. To use one example, TruGreen lawn care costs are determined by which of five package options a customer chooses, but other companies may offer service plans that are more customizable.

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Lawn Health and Issues

The same people who mow lawns are often the perfect people to keep it healthy and fix issues. Homeowners will want to think of a lawn care professional as a “lawn doctor.” Lawns can suffer from a number of problems: grubs, fungus, fertilizer burn, lack of water, chinch bug infestation, heat stress, too much shade, brown patches (possibly from dog waste), or other anomalies. Lawn care professionals can draft a plan to turn a problematic lawn into a lush landscape that’s well suited to its environment and conditions.

Lawn Care Cost
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Types of Lawn Care Services

One size does not fit all when it comes to lawn care prices. If the lawn is relatively small, it will cost less to mow than an acreage. If the yard is fenced, if there is a large patio or long sidewalk that requires trimming, if the terrain is particularly challenging, or if there is playground equipment or lawn furniture, the added time and effort required to mow will be reflected in the bill.

Similarly, if the yard requires watering or is on a fertilization schedule, homeowners can expect to pay for those services above and beyond mowing. Weed control, pest control, trimming, mulching, and annual leaf cleanup are common add-ons. Homeowners will want to be prepared to pay more for organic treatments if avoiding the use of harmful chemicals is a priority.

Homeowners can consider mowing as the starting point for lawn maintenance costs. Annual or semiannual tasks like leaf removal, aeration, tree trimming, or winterizing go above and beyond the basics. Some homeowners want to take it even further by enhancing their curb appeal with some landscaping projects.

Service Type Cost
Aeration$80 to $200
Edging$700 to $1,700
Fertilizing$80 to $400
Landscaping$1,299 to $5,854
Leaf removal$200 to $500
Mowing$30 to $80
Pest control$200 to $300
Seasonal yard cleanup$100 to $250
Seeding$439 to $1,661
Tree trimming$1,000
Watering$50 to $400
Weeding$40 to $120
Winterizing$100 to $400

Aeration 

Aeration can boost the effectiveness of fertilization as well as the general health of a yard. Typically done in the spring, the process consists of using a tool to poke holes in the soil to allow air, water, and nutrients to reach the roots and promote better growth. All factors considered, the cost of aeration averages between $80 and $200.

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Edging 

Many homeowners appreciate a tidy edge that clearly defines planting beds from the lawn, making maintenance easier. Sometimes called landscape curbing, edging uses brick, concrete blocks, natural stone, wood, or even PVC plastic to create an eye-catching divider and help keep weeds and grass out of planting beds. Depending on the number of linear feet to be installed, as well as the type of material, costs can range from $700 to $1,700 to edge a landscape. Once edging has been installed, many homeowners opt to mulch their planting beds. This is an additional cost, typically starting at $100 per square yard.

Fertilizing 

Regular fertilization aids in keeping a lawn lush, thick, and green. There are many options: liquid or granules, fast- or slow-release, organic or synthetic. All—in addition to the size of the yard—will impact the cost, but routine fertilization generally averages $80 to $400.

Landscaping

In some cases homeowners may want to reduce the area that needs to be mowed and add some visual interest to their yard with landscaping. Landscaping can increase a home’s value through improved curb appeal with simple low-cost solutions like mulched flower beds and native trees or more complex solutions like walkways and solar landscape lighting. It’s even possible for landscaping to save a homeowner money and energy with some ideas like adding a rain barrel. Most landscapers charge anywhere from $25 to $60 per hour, making the typical landscaping project total somewhere between $1,299 and $5,854.

Leaf Removal

Although it’s perfectly acceptable to grind up some leaves with a mulching mower to fertilize the lawn, large piles of leaves are more commonly raked and bagged. Left in the yard over the winter, piles of leaves can create patchy dead spots or become moldy. Professional leaf removal can cost $200 to $500, depending on how many big trees are dropping leaves onto the lawn.

Mowing 

Factors that impact the price of lawn mowing include the type of grass, the size of the yard, the terrain, the frequency of mowing, and any objects (including trees and other plantings) that the crew has to maneuver around. Lawn mowing costs start at $30 and can reach $80 per visit. Homeowners can search online for “lawn mowing service near me” to find out local pricing.

Pest Control 

Proper aeration can also enable effective pest control treatments. Brown spots or dead patches in the lawn indicate the possibility of pests. One of the most damaging is white grubs, but chinch bugs, cutworms, sod webworms, and armyworms can also be problematic. Pest control isn’t limited to insects. Moles and voles can destroy a lawn. A visit from one of the best pest control companies, like Orkin or Terminix, typically costs $200 to $300.

Seasonal Yard Cleanup 

Spring and fall yard cleanup services look similar. Both collect fallen leaves, remove dead and dying branches, trim back old flowers and shrubs, and tackle bald spots in the lawn. The results are similar as well: a healthy, attractive yard. Spring or fall lawn service generally runs $100 to $250. One benefit of hiring out for this job is that the professionals know which plants are best to trim in spring and which should wait until fall.

Seeding 

Seeding a lawn often costs $439 to $1,661 depending on the size of the lawn. A new lawn costs less than reseeding an existing lawn (replacement) because the latter involves removing old sod, rototilling the ground, and amending the soil before planting. Renovation—sometimes called patch seeding—is less expensive because it addresses small areas where the grass is thin, damaged, or nonexistent.

Tree Trimming 

For beautiful, healthy trees that don’t encroach on the home or other structures, a little tree trimming is occasionally necessary. Several factors impact the price: size, number, accessibility, health (rot, disease, and pests can make tree trimming more dangerous), and proximity to power lines. Tree-trimming costs typically reach around $1,000. Trees over 60 feet tall can easily cost over $1,000: Bucket trucks don’t come cheap. Stump grinding or removal costs extra.

Watering 

Whether new seed is being planted or the yard is simply thirsty due to lack of rain, paying a lawn care company to water a lawn can cost anywhere from $50 to $400, depending on the size of the area.

Weeding 

Weed control costs vary based on the size of the yard, the amount of weeds in it, and whether a one-time treatment is enough or the yard requires periodic treating. Common weeds such as dandelions and crabgrass are harmless, but some weeds, such as Canada thistle, are noxious. Chickweed, creeping Charlie, and purslane are among the invasive weeds. Herbicide applications can cost anywhere from $40 to $120.

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Winterizing

Winterizing a lawn is like tucking it in for a long nap. While warm-season grasses go dormant in cold weather, cool-season grasses need extra nutrients in the fall to help them get through winter. They’ll need a different kind of fertilizer—one with higher amounts of phosphorus and potassium that will bolster their hardiness during the cold weather. It’s important to clear fallen limbs, debris, and anything that could kill the grass it rests on. Winterizing usually costs between $100 and $400. If there is also a sprinkler system that needs to be winterized, this may cost an additional $54 to $122.

Benefits of Hiring a Lawn Care Service

Hiring a lawn care service relieves homeowners of the work and worry of maintaining their yards. Time often plays a major role; long hours at work can prevent on-time routine maintenance. Rather than risk a conflict with HOA rules about grass height and landscaping, it’s easier to hire a professional to take care of the lawn. With a lawn care service in charge of the yard, homeowners don’t have to spend time researching which fertilizer goes down and when. They don’t have to drive to the store to pick up supplies. They don’t have to sharpen the blades on their mower.

Another time-saving benefit of hiring a lawn care company involves equipment maintenance. Hiring a service means not having to buy, store, and maintain lawnmowers, weed eaters, or other landscaping equipment. That includes keeping a full gas can standing by or having to mix gas for two-cycle engines on string trimmers.

There are myriad reasons for a homeowner to hire a pro. A home for sale may need a little extra sprucing up. The homeowner may have limitations restricting physical labor or lack the knowledge to complete some tasks.

In addition, someone else can keep track of when the lawn was last fertilized or figure out what kind of mulch is best for the flower beds. The professionals will put the yard on a schedule of mowing, trimming, and fertilizing—or whatever services are included in the plan—that lets the homeowner shift into autopilot for the season.

It may feel counterintuitive, but leaving the yard work to the professionals can even save money in some cases. They operate professional-grade equipment that is outside of most homeowners’ budgets, and they buy materials like plants and mulch in bulk for less cost than retail most times.

Making mistakes that damage the lawn can result in costly repairs. Letting one of the best lawn care services care for the lawn makes it possible for homeowners to avoid this scenario altogether.

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Time Savings

Homeowners could easily spend hours doing yard work every week. Not everyone has that kind of time—or the necessary green thumb. That doesn’t mean they don’t want an attractive lawn. Hiring a lawn care company allows the homeowner to spend time on other things without sacrificing a beautiful yard (or dealing with the wrath of their neighbors with perfectly mown lawns).

Money Savings

It can actually be less expensive for homeowners to leave lawn care to the professionals, who get it done more efficiently. If a lawn care company bids for a homeowner’s business, it may be possible for them to negotiate a lower price. Many offer discounts for prepayment on long-term (year-long or seasonal) contracts.

Expertise

More than 25 million Americans hire a lawn care service provider. The professionals have the experience and knowledge to turn any lawn into a showpiece. Armed with proficiency and the right tools, they can save a homeowner money by achieving the desired results more quickly. They understand planting zones and regional differences in climate. They know native plant varieties. Their background ensures that they recognize issues and have the capability of resolving them.

Curb Appeal

First impressions are critical when trying to sell a home. Curb appeal can help with a faster sale for more money because it increases a home’s property value and beauty. An attractive landscape contributes to the welcome invitation to come inside. A nicely manicured lawn, strategically placed trees and shrubs, a few flowers, the right lighting, and perhaps appropriate decor showcases the home’s personality.

Lawn Care Cost How to Save Money
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Lawn Care: DIY vs. Hiring a Professional 

Basic lawn care often seems manageable, so many homeowners take the DIY route. They save money and get a little exercise, some fresh air, and satisfaction if all goes well. For those with a green thumb, landscaping, gardening, and lawn care are enjoyable hobbies. They’ll have total control and choice, adding to the DIY appeal.

However, there can be hidden costs, and if a homeowner isn’t familiar with how to resolve issues or eliminate pests, bigger problems can arise that result in an emergency call to the professionals.

Some homeowners may feel confused, overwhelmed, or frustrated because lawn care is not familiar territory, so to speak. Hiring a professional provides peace of mind. Letting an experienced pro manage lawn care often provides better results, particularly if the yard has any issues in need of diagnosis.

There are numerous benefits in turning to a professional lawn care provider. Hiring a company provides convenience and assurance that however hectic a homeowner’s schedule becomes, the lawn will be taken care of. Lawn care companies bring professional-grade equipment, they maintain the tools, and they know the correct products to use. The homeowner doesn’t have the expense of buying tools and equipment, doesn’t have to do maintenance on any of it, and doesn’t have to store it, recharge batteries, or refill gas cans.

If the lawn needs some extra help—fertilizing, controlling weeds, trimming—or additional landscaping services are needed, such as trimming trees, mulching, edging, or doing something else, a lawn care service provider may be able to provide those services. It’s easy to add supplementary services to an existing contract with a full-service company that is familiar with the yard. Homeowners will just want to be careful to watch for automatic treatments that can add to the bill but may not be necessary.

Doing yard work may give some people self-satisfaction, but many people are more concerned with the results than the process. For them, time is better spent on other things, and leaving lawn care to the professionals is the best choice.

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How to Save Money on Lawn Care Cost

Keeping a yard looking sharp can get expensive: Lawn care cost can perplex even the most enthusiastic gardener or landscaper. However, there are ways to reduce the cost without diminishing the result.

  • Negotiate. Discuss the price with the lawn care provider, and inquire about prepayment plans or seasonal contracts, which can save money.
  • Incorporate xeriscaping. To reduce the need to irrigate, choose native plants and drought-tolerant plants for success with less watering and maintenance.
  • Reduce the size of your lawn. Adding patios, decks, or beds with low-maintenance native perennial plants will lessen the need for lawn care.
  • Plant perennials. These plants have a longer lifespan than annuals and won’t need to be replanted every year. They also typically require less water.
  • Shop in the fall. Autumn plant sales can yield savings of up to 50 percent.
  • Compost waste. Using organic scraps as fertilizer means avoiding most or all of the cost of commercial fertilizer. Also, consider fertilizing less often; one to two times per season is usually sufficient.
  • Grow from seeds. Seeds and young plants cost significantly less than mature plants. This is especially true of trees—a small sapling will take time to grow but will cost much less overall.
  • Water conservatively. Consider purchasing a sprinkler system with timers or rain sensors to avoid overwatering.
  • Mow less frequently. Not only will this save on mowing costs, but longer grass tends to be healthier and more weed-resistant than short grass.
  • Invest in aeration. While lawn aeration costs about $80 to $200 up front, aerating will delay the need to replace the entire lawn.
  • Try DIY. There may be aspects of lawn care that feel doable, such as mowing or watering. Taking care of these while leaving complex tasks to a pro will save money long-term. Also, a DIY lawn care service like Sunday Lawn Care costs less but may make the job easier.

Questions to Ask About Lawn Care 

Those who have never hired a lawn care service provider before may not know what to ask before deciding on the right company. For the best results and the most pleasant experience, it’s wise to perform a little due diligence on each prospective company by asking the following questions.

  • How long have you been in business?
  • Are you licensed and insured?
  • What kind of experience or expertise do your employees have?
  • What services do you offer, and do you offer packages? If so, what is included?
  • What kinds of products do you use?
  • How is your service different from that of the competition?
  • Do you offer any discounts?
  • Will you perform a soil test? What steps will you take if there are issues with the soil?
  • In your opinion, is my current irrigation system sufficient?
  • Can I change what services I want down the road?
  • Who should I contact with questions or concerns?
  • May I see references or reviews of your services?

FAQs

Almost one-third of people questioned admit to not knowing how to take care of their lawn. Some of the more commonly asked questions are answered below.

Q. How often should I mow the lawn? 

Weekly mowing is common, but it’s more accurate to mow according to the growth of the grass. When it gets more rain or fertilizer, it grows faster and needs to be mowed more frequently.

Different varieties of grass will grow at different rates and in different conditions or climates, but if it’s growing, it needs mowing. For tall grass, homeowners will want to apply the “one-third rule” that advises against removing more than one-third at a time.

Q. Does frequent mowing thicken grass? 

Frequent mowing can thicken grass if at least 2 inches of length are left so it can properly photosynthesize for good health. Mowing frequently promotes horizontal growth and thicker roots. Weekly mowing encourages grass to spread and become thicker, creating a lush lawn. Besides being attractive, thick grass has practical benefits; it converts carbon dioxide to oxygen, filters pollutants, and combats erosion.

Q. How do I manage to keep my lawn green during the summer? 

If the lawn doesn’t get enough rain through the summer, water deeply, consistently, and early in the day (so the water doesn’t evaporate). If temperatures aren’t excessively high, homeowners will want to continue to fertilize. When it’s hot and dry, mowing higher—around 3 to 4 inches—benefits grass by encouraging the roots to go deeper. Homeowners will want to continue to repair brown spots caused by pets and aerate to keep the lawn green.

Sources: HomeAdvisor, Angi, HomeGuide, Fixr, Bankrate