Unless you live in the middle of a desert and have rocks for a yard, you should know a thing or two about lawn care vs landscaping. The big question is: do you see the difference between the two? Many people confuse landscaping for lawn care and vice versa.
If you’re a homeowner or a future homeowner, it’s imperative to know the difference between landscaping and lawn care. Neglecting either of the two could lead to decreased property value and significant headaches.
Let’s take a deeper dive and define both lawn care and landscaping so that you can better understand the difference.
Defining Lawn Care
The idea of lawn care is pretty straightforward – lawn care is when you maintain the established grounds of your property in a favorable or healthy condition. Lawn care includes mowing and watering your grass, trimming bushes, and removing dead branches from trees. There’s also a variety of more involved lawn care activities that homeowners either hire a professional to do or do themselves:
You can either fertilize your lawn on your own or hire a professional lawn care company to do it for you. The primary purpose of fertilizing is to give your grass extra nutrients that improve its health. Most professionals recommend that you fertilize your lawn at least four to five times per year. Fertilizing is often a scary word to some because homeowners compare it to chemicals and toxins. In reality, there are many natural fertilizers, such as those that contain alfalfa and corn gluten meal.
Seeding is an activity for which you should hire a professional. When you sprinkle seeds on your grass without proper preparation, you’ll end up with an uneven and inconsistent lawn. Lawn care companies will prepare the soil correctly and ensure that you are using the correct type of seed for your property.
Although not a requirement, many homeowners aerate their lawn, so it looks better. Aerating is when you penetrate small holes into the yard, allowing nutrients and water to seep into the roots. The grass’ roots will continue to grow deeper into the ground and flourish for years to come. Come summertime, you’ll have a greener and healthier-looking lawn.
A widespread grub problem is every homeowner’s worst nightmare. When left untreated, grubs can destroy your entire yard. Before you know it, the grass will all turn yellow. Lawn care companies use various products, including clothianidin and imidacloprid, to prevent grubs. If you don’t prevent grubs, you will have to use grub killer to get rid of them. However, your best bet is to catch them before they breed on your soil.
Irrigation System Maintenance and Repair
Depending on the climate you live in, you may need to install an irrigation system. Most homeowners get irrigation systems to keep their yards green and healthy-looking. Not only that but having an irrigation system is much easier than trying to water your yard with a hose. If you have irrigation installed, you’ll likely need a lawn care company to turn it on and off each year. You may also deal with unexpected repairs, or you may need to pay for backflow testing each year.
Albeit often confused with lawn care, landscaping is different by definition. Even though the exact meaning varies, landscaping is when you take a piece of land and approve its appearance. Landscaping may involve planting trees and flowers, adding decorations to the yard, or laying down rock and mulch.
Landscaping is not simply keeping your grass or trees alive on your property. Also, landscaping isn’t necessarily as detrimental or financially straining as lawn care. You won’t kill your lawn by not landscaping. However, you could destroy your property by not taking control of a grub problem. If you don’t landscape, you may end up with an unattractive yard and poor curb appeal.
Is Lawn Care or Landscaping More Important?
Although one could argue that lawn care and landscaping are equally important, lawn care is inarguably more critical. Think of lawn care as a prerequisite to landscaping. How can you improve the appearance of your property’s grounds if the grass is dead?
Moreover, your HOA (if you have one) and your neighbors will expect that you at least maintain your lawn – rake it during the fall, mow it during spring and summer, and trim your bushes. You don’t necessarily need to go over the top and have the best-looking lawn on the street, but it’s essential to keep it alive and maintained.
The Benefits of Lawn Care
Aside from merely keeping your grass alive and yard attractive, lawn care…
- Helps keep your house from flooding
- Lowers the level of noise pollution
- Helps keep your yard cool during the summertime
- Prevents widespread problems that are expensive to fix
- Maintains the appearance of your property
The Benefits of Landscaping
Landscaping is worth the extra effort because it comes with various benefits. Landscaping…
- Can increase the property value of your home
- Improves your quality of life and happiness with your home
- Can provide room for more living space
- It makes it easier to entertain guests
- Lowers heating and cooling costs
A Glance at the Costs of Lawn Care and Landscaping
The cost of lawn care and landscaping can vary greatly depending on where you live. Since lawn care should be your first priority, we’ll examine the prices of different activities and the frequency of each activity. Note, these are the costs of paying a professional lawn care company, not the costs of doing it yourself.
Costs of Lawn Care
- Frequency: weekly
- Cost: $30 to $80
- Grub control
- Frequency: annually
- Cost: $100 to $125
- Frequency: annually
- Cost: $150
- Frequency: Four to five times per year
- Cost: $40 to $60 per time
- Bush trimming
- Frequency: Fives times per year
- Cost: $50 to $75 per year
Costs of Landscaping
- Planting a tree: $150 to $300
- Laying down mulch: $100 to $300
- Laying down rocks: $1,000
- Building a fence: $1,600 to $4,000
- Building a courtyard: $4,150 to $11,185
Your Lawn and the Value of Your Home
As you can imagine, there is a direct relationship between the value of your home and the appearance of your lawn. According to real estate professionals, good landscaping can increase your property value from 5.5 to 12.7%, depending on the location. On the other hand, poor lawn care practices can decrease the value of your property. Who wants to visit a house with a yellow yard and dead trees? No one, unless they’re getting a nice discount!
The most common misconception is that lawn care and landscaping are expensive. That’s not the case. It only becomes expensive when it comes to lawn care when you have to pay for restorative services instead of preventative services.
Sure, landscaping can be expensive, depending on what your plans are. However, there are many inexpensive options, such as laying down rock or mulch. It’s always a good idea to hire a landscaping company, but you can often save a good amount if you provide the materials.
A Final Glance at Lawn Care vs Landscaping
As we’ve laid out, lawn care and landscaping are two separate things. Lawn care is maintaining your yard in a healthy state. Landscaping is when you improve its appearance. Both lawn care and landscaping impact your property value, so it’s always best to use professional lawn care or landscaping companies.