How Much Does It Cost to Fertilize Your Yard?

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Subject: Why Not Go Organic?

The trouble with this article, like so many, is that the public is lead to believe by these companies that constant fertilizing, using insecticides, etc., on our lawns and gardens is necessary. This is completely false, and it is poisoning our oceans, rivers, and lakes (which we consume food and water from). Take the time, do your homework, and look into going "green", and forego all the chemicals. Chemical-free is good for the environment, and think of all the bees and butterflies (and other beneficial animals and insects) that will visit!

Jeffrey Lilliquist

Subject: oops, to much missed

Not to mention, I have to 3 issues to control in the same lawn. Weeds in front, not enough regular mowing in the side yards and moss (not addressed since winter fertilizer effect the ability to combat weed not the built up moss) along with other issues like clover patches, etc. in the back yard.

Roy McMillan

Subject: Other Costs

I liked your article and found it helpful especially regarding the costs of professional treatment. I think you may have failed to mention some additional costs such as insect control especially mole crickets, fungus control and elimination, plus lime application and aeration, usually annual or at once every other year. These all add up and should be anticipated by the homeowner.


Subject: Disappointed

After writing a lengthy comment, and referencing a previous commenter, I am disappointed to see that the previous comment (Debra's) has been removed. I have thought more highly of Angie's List and wouldn't expect them to censor comments that promote customer knowledge. I am afraid that I will no longer refer to Angie's List as an unbiased resource, or believe that reviewers and comments have not been edited. What a disappointment.


Subject: Lawn-specific fertilization

While the article is easy to understand and provides a base of understanding, I agree with Debra's comment about having your soil tested at your local UTE Extension office. I will also point out that a consistent, reliable watering source is important.
After years of putting off this simple, painless task of getting my soil tested, I finally took the initiative earlier this season. It cost me $30 and I received an informative explanation (via email) what my soil consisted of, as well as what it is lacking. In addition it provided several specific fertilizer options (ratios) with information about how much to apply and how often. After receiving this information I researched fertilizer and found that I can get enough fertilizer for 5 applications for about $50-$80. While at the extension center I was also able to visit the weed control office where they identified an invasive weed/plant that overtook my yard last year (Star of Bethlehem), and offered suggestions for mitigation.
Considering that I paid a company about $60 /application for my small (< 1500 sq ft) yard, and I found that after each application there were MORE weeds(and newly introduced weeds, such as Star of Bethlehem) and less green grass. Granted, I worked with only one reputable company for 1.5 seasons, but was not impressed. Having information about the specific needs of my soil I realize that I was never equipped with similar information from the lawn care company.
Last fall I installed a sprinkler system, tilled my entire yard, and planted new grass. I am looking forward to seeing how self-treating my lawn works, and am hopeful that the sprinkler system helps provide reliable nutrition.
Again, good article, and I understand the reasoning behind promoting lawn care companies (Angie's List advertises businesses to serve others, not self-service opportunities :)) but I hope that readers will also consider the merits of knowing the specifics of their lawns and what they have the power to know/do themselves.


Subject: Lawn care

It is actually better to take soil samples to your UT Extension office (located in every county). They will analyze the nutrients in your soil and tell you exactly how much nitrogen and anything else your lawn needs.

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I second the original question (still unanswered). Speaking as someone who logged in today to try to find an attorney, I see this category as one that's exactly what I have my Angie's List membership for:

1. It's important that I find a good one
2. I'm not an expert enough to know myself who is a good one
3. The industry is full of advertisements and misinformation
4. I wish I knew what experiences other people have had

I don't care about lawns--I planted mine in clover and don't have to mow it. When I do need to mow I use a rotary Fiskars mower, which is great--or a scythe. That's right--a scythe (the European type, which is smaller, and it's very good exercise). Gas-powered mowers, chemical fertilizers and weed killers--all nasty stuff that gets into everyone's air, soil, and water. I'm sure my neighbor doesn't like my wildflowers, semi-wild pockets of fruit bushes, and unmown areas and yes, dandelions (I have 10 acres) but that's too bad. It's better habitat for wildlife, especially the pollinators on which our food supply depends. I think this obsession with the Great American Lawn is a waste of time and resources. Plant some food instead.

I'm not sure Angie et. al. want you to have a complete answer to this question. By re-subscribing at the Indiana State Fair in 2012, I think I paid $20.00 per year for a multi- year subscription. Maybe even less. At the other extreme--and I hope my memory isn't faulty about this--I think the price, for my area, for ONE year was an outrageous $70.00. And they debited me automatically without warning. I had to opt out of that automatic charge. I like Angie's List, but if some of the companies they monitor behaved the way they do in this respect, they'd be on some sort of Pages of Unhappiness. I'll be interested to see if this comment gets published or censored out of existence.

That's very difficult to answer without seeing the house. As one poster said, the prep is the most important part. On newer homes that don't have a lot of peeling paint, the prep can be very minimal even as low as a couple or a few hundred dollars for the prep labor.

On a 100 year old home with 12 coats of peeling paint on it, then the prep costs can be very high and can easily exceed 50% of the job's labor cost.

A 2100 sq ft two story home could easily cost $1000 just for the labor to prep for the paint job. That number could climb too. Throw in lots of caullking  or window glazing, and you could be talking a couple or a few hundred dollars more for labor.

Painting that home with one coat of paint and a different color on the trim could run roughly $1000 or more just for labor. Add a second coat  and that could cost close to another $1000 for labor.

For paint, you may need 20 gallons of paint. You can pay from $30-$70 for a gallon of good quality exterior paint. The manufacturer of the paint should be specified in any painting contract. Otherwise, the contractor could bid at a Sherwin-Williams $60 per gallon paint and then paint the house with $35 Valspar and pocket the difference. $25 dollars per gallon times 20 gallons? That's a pretty penny too.

That was the long answer to your question. The short answer is $2000 to $4000 and up, depending upon the amount of prep, the number of coats, the amount of trim, and the paint used.