Lawn & Garden

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At House Method, we provide tips, recommendations, and product reviews that help you design your home and outdoor living space to satisfy your lifestyle. Below, find advice on lawn care, garden maintenance, and more. We’ll also help you find the best professional lawn care services in your area. Read our answers to all of your lawn care questions below and start improving the beauty of your lawn. Read more.

Providers

Terminix

Terminix is a leading provider of termite and pest control services in the United States, and provides a 100% satisfaction and protection guarantee provides if you're not satisfied within 30 days of an inspection or treatment. Learn more about Terminix coverage, pricing, and customer reviews.

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TruGreen

Though TruGreen is best known for its lawn services, it offers an extensive mosquito control package that controls mosquitos within 24 hours of employing an innovative formula and targeted application technique. Learn more about TruGreen coverage and consumer reviews.

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Rentokil

If you live in a pest-prone home or area, check out Rentokil's pestfree365 plan for regularly scheduled inspections, unlimited service calls, easy scheduling, and more. See more in our review.

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Orkin

From roaches to mice, bedbugs, centipedes, weevils, bark spiders, and more, Orkin boasts the most comprehensive services list in the pest control business. Learn more about Orkin's services in our review.

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Massey Services

With more than 30 years in business and an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau, see why Massey gets a nearly perfect score in our review.

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Ehrlich

Ehrlich specializes in Green Pest Control and employs a targeted, environmentally friendly, organic approach when treating your property. Here's more on Ehrlich pest services—from how the process works to what pests are covered.

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Western Pest

Western Pest Services is the only pest provider in the business that will refund your entire annual fee in addition to the cost of the service if you’re not completely satisfied. See why Western Pest gets a 5-star rating from us.

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Bad Pest Infestation? 8 Reasons You Need to Call Terminix Right Now

The Terminix pest control professionals can beat store-bought remedies and help you get unwanted visitors out of your home—the first time around.

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Sunny outside of villa with garden, patio and green grass

Your Guide to the Best Lawn Care Companies (2019 Update)

When you just don’t have the time or energy (or desire) to maintain good lawn care, you’re likely doing some research into comprehensive lawn care services that will provide your yard with what it needs at a reasonable price.

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Lawn Care Services

Sunny outside of villa with garden, patio and green grass

Your Guide to the Best Lawn Care Companies (2019 Update)

When you just don’t have the time or energy (or desire) to maintain good lawn care, you’re likely doing some research into comprehensive lawn care services that will provide your yard with what it needs at a reasonable price.

Read More
Gardening tools

Basic Lawn Maintenance: Hire a Professional or DIY?

Whether you choose to maintain the lawn yourself or hire a professional, it’s good to know the fundamentals. Read on for the basics of lawn maintenance and our recommended lawn care service provider, TruGreen.

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What TruGreen Reviews Say About Their Lawn Care Services

We’ve looked at TruGreen reviews to provide you a sense of what lawn care services the company offers and how customers like the service they receive.

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scotts mower (1)

Scotts Lawn Care Products and TruGreen Services

Scotts Lawn Care is one of the best-known brands for products like fertilizer, weed control, and grass seeds.

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House with pretty landscaping and green grass

Best Lawn Treatment for Year-Round Care

Maintaining a healthy, lush lawn isn’t easy, especially when it requires seasonal care. You have to fertilize, water, mow, and maintain proper lawn care. We want to make sure that you’re not just caring for your lawn, but you’re caring for it correctly.

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Aerial view of a Housing Estate

Let a Lawn Service Near You Maintain Your Property

Having a well-maintained yard pays off now and in the future. A healthy lawn requires a lot of work, however, and you may be thinking about hiring a lawn service near you.

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Walk way with perfect grass landscaping with artificial grass in residential area

Best Professional Lawn Care Services (2019 Update)

Lawn care takes dedication, but it can worthwhile to maintain a healthy lawn. But caring for a lawn can be time-consuming and costly. Is it worth it to do it yourself or should you hire a professional?

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Garden maintenance details - close up view of industrial grass mower

How to Find the Right Lawn Treatment

Each lawn is different and requires consideration of location, types of grasses, and timing of treatments.

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Lawn Care Resources

Lawn

What You Need to Know About Lawn Aerators

When watering, mowing, and edging are not enough to keep your lawn healthy, using a lawn aerator can inject new life into tired and worn grass.

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Is Hydroseeding the Answer to Your Lawn Problems?

Hydroseeding, which is sometimes called hydromulching, involves spraying a soupy mixture onto the ground to seed an area with grass or other vegetation.

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garden fertilizer on gardeners hand

3 Reasons to Limit Your Use of Weed and Feed

We’ve done the research on weed and feed, so you can learn why it might not be the best option. We’ve also got tips on how to use it on your lawn if you think it’s right for you.

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Grass seeds in the hand

How to Choose and Plant the Right Grass Seed for Your Lawn

Find the right grass seed for your climate & get the lawn of your dreams with our guide. Discover how you can have a lush, green lawn with the help of TruGreen.

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Blue fertilizer in brown bag on green grass

The Complete Guide to Using Lawn Fertilizer

Our guide to lawn fertilizer explains how to choose the right fertilizer for your lawn, read the label, and safely apply the fertilizer to your lawn.

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rolling out sod

Sod Installation: How to Find Sod Near Me and Grow Grass

Our guide to finding sod near you will help you determine if sod is the right choice for your lawn.

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Vibrant spring grass background.

Hydroseeding: Spray on Grass Seed for Your Lawn

You’ll learn how spray on grass seed works and what hydroseeding products are on the market for residential use, such as Hydro Mousse.

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Dark green grass

How Long Does It Take for Grass to Grow?

A lush, green, established lawn takes patience and attention to achieve. More than that, it takes experience and expertise from someone who has been planting and growing grass for a long time.

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a lush english garden in summer

The Best Lawn Fertilizer? It Depends on Your Lawn

Finding the best lawn fertilizer will help you maintain lush green grass that’s an inviting backdrop to any activity.

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Outdoor Products

Best Portable Generators

It’s hard to predict when you’ll need the extra power, but when you do, you'll want a reliable portable generator. Here's our guide to the best generators available today.

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Best Patio Heaters

Our list of the best patio heaters makes shopping a breeze.

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Best Leaf Blowers

We’re all about saving time, which is exactly what a leaf blower helps you do. Read our quick guide to the best leaf blowers here.

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Best Weed Eaters

We compared the best weed eaters, including both gas and electric options, so you can get your home projects up and running.

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Best Wood Chippers

If you’re dealing with plenty of dead branches and leaves, then you may want to consider a good wood chipper: the machine will help you mulch those twigs for easy disposal or use.

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Best Electric Chainsaws

Chainsaws are hardcore tools for outdoor work. We've collected data on the five best electric chainsaws available, analyzed their performance, and prepared this report to take all the guesswork out of it for you.

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A wood splitter halves firewood.

Best Log Splitters

We've assembled five of the best log splitters on the market today and gone over them to compare the pros and cons, the different power options, and the frequently asked questions about log splitters to give you the information you need to purchase the tool that is best for you.

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Best Snow Blowers

If you live in an area that deals with the cooler climates that bring snow, you understand the necessity of having a good and reliable snow blower to ensure your property is safe and free of snow. This buyer's guide details the most important factors to consider in making sure you get the blower that's right for you.

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Best Pressure Washers

We weighed the pros and cons of electric vs. gas pressure washers. We deciphered the ratings, so you can save time on research and get instant gratification from the best pressure washer.

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Landscaping

Outdoor Living

5 Most Common Problems for Homeowners with Pools

Owning a pool is great. From pool parties to just cooling off with your family. But owning a pool can be hard. Read about the most common problems homeowners with pools face.

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Curb Appeal

How to Identify Poison Oak and Other Poisonous Plants

Here’s how to tell the difference between poison oak, poison ivy, and poison sumac—and spot them in your backyard, local parks, and neighborhood.

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Garden

How to Build a Wooden Planter Box

In addition to providing a defined space for your garden, a planter box contains loose soil that drains well—an ideal environment for healthy plants.

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Garden

Composting at Home

Create your own black gold in the garden with a compost pile using natural, organic ingredients.

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Curb Appeal

What You Can Do About Messy Neighbors

Advice from the pros about how you can solve the problem of messy neighbors. How you can broach the subject with your neighbors, what authorities you can appeal to for help, and how you can obscure the view.

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Inspiration

The Story Behind the Beloved Adirondack Chair

Most of us are familiar with the Adirondack chair and its quintessential summer charm. Here’s a brief history of the design that became an iconic image of coastal landscapes across the US.

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Lawn

How to Grow Bamboo

With the right climate, bamboo can grow in nearly any type of fertile, well-drained soil. Learn how to grow this versatile evergreen and how to care for it throughout the year.

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Garden

How to Keep Deer
Out of Your Garden

Deer creating problems in your garden? We’ll help you identify signs that you’re dealing with deer and provide 17 effective methods (including plenty of humane and harmless tactics) that have been proven to keep deer out of gardens all year long.

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Curb Appeal

57 Things You Can Do This Weekend
to Increase Your Curb Appeal

Increasing your home’s curb appeal can make you the envy of the neighborhood and give you a leg up in the real estate market. Here are 57 things you can do in a weekend to increase your home’s curb appeal.

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Gardening

Curb Appeal

How to Identify Poison Oak and Other Poisonous Plants

Here’s how to tell the difference between poison oak, poison ivy, and poison sumac—and spot them in your backyard, local parks, and neighborhood.

Read More
Garden

How to Build a Wooden Planter Box

In addition to providing a defined space for your garden, a planter box contains loose soil that drains well—an ideal environment for healthy plants.

Read More
Garden

Composting at Home

Create your own black gold in the garden with a compost pile using natural, organic ingredients.

Read More
Garden

How to Keep Deer
Out of Your Garden

Deer creating problems in your garden? We’ll help you identify signs that you’re dealing with deer and provide 17 effective methods (including plenty of humane and harmless tactics) that have been proven to keep deer out of gardens all year long.

Read More
Garden

Delphinium: Everything You Need to Know About Planting and Care

Known for its colorful, eye-catching blooms that shoot upward in tall spires, delphinium is a favorite of hummingbirds.

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Garden

Verbena: Everything You Need to Know About Planting and Care

Most commonly known for their long, trailing flowers that provide the perfect draping blossoms for flower boxes and containers, Verbena is a stunning plant available in a number of varieties.

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Garden

Columbine Flower: Planting & Care

Columbine flower boasts colorful spring and summer blooms that bring a beautiful touch to any garden. Here’s everything you need to know about how to plant and care for columbine.

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Garden

4 Plans for a Vertical Vegetable Garden

A vertical vegetable garden is a perfect way to grow your own food, gild your deck, patio, or exterior walls, and maximize your outdoor space.

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Garden

How to Plant and Care for Bee Balm

Bee balm is an attractive, aromatic, and edible flowering plant known to attract butterflies, hummingbirds, and bees. Learn about the history of bee balm, as well as how to grow and care for this well-loved garden plant.

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Best lawn care companies

When it comes to lawn care, you have the choice between doing it yourself or hiring a professional service. We’ll explain what you need to consider.

What is the difference between a lawn care provider and a landscaper?

In 2017, 40% of American households used a professional lawn care or landscaping service to save time and enjoy their lawn.

However, the difference between lawn care providers and landscapers is important. Lawn care companies treat your lawn, soil, trees, and shrubs to maintain their health. Landscaping companies are focused on appearance, design, and planting. They’re the ones to call when your lawn needs mowing.

What questions should I ask my lawn care company?

The best lawn care providers should be able to fit the following criteria:

  • Individualized/customizable lawn care
  • Licensed or certified specialists, including certifications for pesticide and herbicide applications
  • Follows EPA guidelines and industry safety standards

You should also ask these important questions:

  • Can I cancel my contract at any time?
  • Can I see the full contract? What applications come at an extra cost?
  • Will you make visits between scheduled applications if something goes wrong?
  • How do payments work? Can I pay online?

Can I do lawn care myself?

While there are many areas of lawn maintenance and care that can easily be done on your own, there are also many tasks for which we recommend using a professional lawn service. For example, some weed control and overseeding can be DIY projects, but aerating and fertilizing your lawn can be tricky without a professional.

You can read House Method’s reviews of landscaping and lawn care equipment, such as the best weed eaters or the best lawn mowers.

Pile of fall leaves with fan rake on lawn

Seasonal lawn care and maintenance

Fluctuating temperatures and weather conditions determine how you care for your lawn from season to season. Learn how to care for your lawn during all four seasons.

What should I treat my lawn with in the spring?

During the spring, your lawn is recovering from the winter and needs preparation for the upcoming summer climate. Treat your lawn with the appropriate applications in spring to help it recover and grow.

  • Aerate your lawn to relieve compaction if heavy foot traffic is obstructing your lawn’s oxygen and drainage.
  • Apply lime with a fertilizer spreader if lawn soil is acidic. .
  • Use mulch or compost to fertilize lawns. Use chemical fertilizers lightly in spring for cool-season grasses, though your grass may not need it if you fertilized heavily in the fall.
  • Apply pre-emergent herbicides for annual weeds, like crabgrass, and post-emergent herbicides for perennial weeds, like dandelions.

Fall lawn care tips

Prepare your grass for winter by following our recommended fall routine.

  • Rake away leaves and keep grass slightly longer when you mow it.
  • Aerate your lawn at least one month before the first frost.
  • Fall is the best time to fertilize your lawn. Fertilize after Labor Day to keep grass healthy through the winter.
  • Water your lawn if rain is insufficient.

Preparing your lawn for winter

Fertilize your lawn in early winter to boost nutrients after a harsher summer. You should also rake and avoid high-nitrogen fertilizers to prevent snow mold—a fungal disease fatal to plants.

If you live in the Midwest, Northeast, or Northwest, you should mow your lawn right before the first frost. If you live in the South or Southwest, you may be able to mow your lawn throughout the winter.

How should I maintain my lawn in the summer?

In hot and dry summer months, your lawn will stay green with half an inch of watering once or twice a week. If you’re concerned about conserving water, you can let your grass go dormant. Mow your lawn at a higher height, rehydrate your grass after more than four weeks of drought, and avoid overfertilization. Your grass should have no problem recovering.

Row of traditional suburban homes and front lawns in nice neighborhood

Regional lawn care and maintenance

Adjust your lawn maintenance based on your environment with our regional lawn care advice.

Tips for: Austin, Houston, San Antonio, Jacksonville, Orlando, Tampa

Types of grasses by region

Cool-season grasses grow best in temperatures between 60° and 75°F. They can be found in the Midwest, Northeast, and Pacific Northwest. Cool-season grasses include tall fescue, ryegrass, bentgrass, and Kentucky bluegrass.

Warm-season grasses grow best in temperatures between 80° and 95°F. They can be found in the South and lower Southwest region of the US. Warm-season grasses include Bermuda, Zoysia, St. Augustine, Bahiagrass, centipede, and buffalo grass.

Both grasses can be found in the transition zone, which includes states like Kansas, Kentucky, Virginia, and parts of Colorado, Utah, and California. Tall fescue commonly grows in transition zones.

What is the difference between warm-season and cool-season grasses?

Cool-Season Grasses Warm-Season Grasses
Not very drought resistant

Maintain green color during winter

Established through grass seed

Drought resistant

Dormant during winter

Established through sod, plugs, and sprigs

You can also read about ornamental grasses for landscaping based on warm- and cool-season species.

Types of pests by region

There are 200 species of mosquitoes in the US alone. Pests and insects can cause harm to your plants, family, and pets. Monitor for some of the most common pests in your region.

  • South and Southeast—Chinch bugs, fire ants, tomato hornworms, mole crickets, and tropical sod webworms are common in the South. Mole crickets are especially common in Florida.
  • Midwest—Squash bugs are a common lawn pest around the middle of the country.
  • Northeast—Japanese beetles and cabbage worms are common in lawns and gardens in the northeastern region of the country.
  • Pacific Northwest—Slugs, snails, and aphids are most likely to cause damage in this region.

Read more on how to get rid of pests in your lawn and in your garden.

Mowing lawns, Lawn mower on green grass, mower grass equipment, mowing gardener care work tool, close up view, sunny day

Lawn maintenance

Keep your lawn in top shape by learning about proper lawn maintenance and landscaping.

How often should I water my lawn?

The answer depends on your grass. Cool-season grasses are not as heat and drought-tolerant, so they may need to be watered more frequently than warm-season grasses. Warm-season grasses should be watered infrequently but deeply to avoid shallow roots.

Do not over-irrigate your lawn. This can cause fungal diseases and attract mosquitoes.

Should I install a sprinkler system?

Before you make a decision, you should check with your local city department to see if permits or other plumbing codes restrict you from installing an irrigation system.

Sprinkler systems can cut back the time it would normally take to manually water your lawn with a hose. Many sprinkler systems can be fitted with timers and sensors that regulate water use and help you conserve water and money on your water bill.

Conversely, the wrong type of sprinkler system or poor maintenance can under- or overwater your plants and end up causing higher water bills.

How to fertilize your yard

Your grass needs nutrients to maintain its color and prevent disease. Choosing the right fertilizer involves understanding the nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium contents. A yard measurement and soil test conducted by you or a professional can give you insight into the type of fertilizer you need and how much.

Here’s how to fertilize your yard:

  • Do not use lawn fertilizer in your garden. Use a fertilizer designed for gardening.
  • Fertilize in early summer for warm-season grasses and in the fall for cool-season grasses.
  • Fertilize the day after rain for best nutrient absorption.
  • Use compost as an eco-friendly alternative to chemical fertilizer.
  • Use a broadcast or rotary spreader or drop spreader to distribute fertilizer evenly in parallel lines.
  • Use fertilizer spray attached to a garden hose by its canister for easy spraying.

How do I aerate my grass?

Aeration is an important aspect of lawn maintenance that prevents puddling, improves strength and germination, mitigates compaction, and enhances airflow. You should aerate once per year with regard to your grass type and weather conditions.

Rent or buy a manual or automatic aerator machine for DIY aerating. Or, hire a professional to avoid very expensive machinery. Mow and water your lawn two days before aerating, but avoid aerating during rainfall or drought.

Lawn mowing tips

  • The Lawn Institute advises using the one-third rule to cut off no more than the top third of the grass blade.
  • Leave grass clippings on the lawn (called mulching) to keep your lawn rich in nutrients.
  • Mow the lawn early in the morning or in the evening to avoid stress to your grass in the heat of the daytime.
  • Grass that is too short can lead to weeds and disease infestation.

How can I beautify my lawn quickly?

A beautiful lawn can transform your home and impress friends and neighbors. It is also one of the main reasons to hire a lawn care service or landscaping service. Choose turf grasses and plants that complement each other in color, and make sure that certain grasses are not too aggressive.

Removing weeds is a quick, easy, and cheap way to improve your lawn’s appearance. Aeration will also help your lawn grow denser and faster, so you will have fewer bare or brown spots.

black soil in man hand closeup outdoor

Organic and natural lawn care

Stay environmentally conscious with natural lawn care.

How do I maintain my lawn organically?

It’s becoming more popular to engage in organic lawn care and maintenance. Maintain your lawn organically by:

  • Using compost or organic fertilizer over chemical fertilizer
  • Using natural pesticides
  • Avoiding synthetic weed killers
  • Growing cultivars or newer varieties of grass that reduce air pollution and the need for mowing, watering, and pesticides
  • Avoiding lime in soil amendment

You can also read about organic gardening here.

Do professional companies offer organic lawn care?

Yes, many lawn service companies offer alternatives to chemical application.

What are the health and environmental benefits of lawn care?

In many cases, water usage and pesticides can be harmful to the environment. However, a healthy lawn also has strong benefits. If every American left grass clippings on their lawn, lawns could store up to 37 billion pounds of carbon per year. A healthy lawn can improve air quality and act as a “carbon sink.” By taking care of your lawn in a responsible way, you can help cool the environment, reduce noise pollution, and prevent soil erosion.

In addition, a well-maintained lawn allows you to enjoy the outdoors and heightens your sense of pride. A lawn allows you to be social, as well. These are great benefits for your health and well-being.

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