Lawn Care FAQs
What makes your company different?
Only Ford’s Hometown Services Has a Unique Balanced 3-step Customized Approach to Lawn Care Plant Health!
“Take a 3-step Approach to a Beautiful and Healthy Lawn”
- Premier Fertilization & Weed Program
- Laboratory Soil Testing w/ Corrective email recommendations
I found a lower priced company, why should I go with you instead?
- Our timed-release temperature controlled fertilizer is a true golf course grade fertilizer with a 4-month slow release feeding, not a 2-3 week nitrogen load feeding like our competitors. These fertilizers are more expensive, they have a significantly longer duration of effect, and due to the duration they feed the lawn more consistently between applications. These types of products are far superior to what the vast majority of our competitors use, and they are healthier for your lawn.
- We include a maintenance liming and grub preventative rather that it being an optional service. If you are paying money to take care of your lawn, these services should certainly be included. One bad grub issue can undo all of the hard work, money, and time you have put into your lawn. Liming is essential to the health of the lawn, and to the effectiveness of the program you are paying for, and as such, should be included in any comprehensive lawn care program!
- Our program includes many other things that our competition does not. We include a full micro-nutrient package, a preventative surface feeding insecticide, sea kelp bio-soil stimulant to improve microorganisms in the soil, and a high potassium summer guard to help reduce stress and help with water intake.
Will my price be the same every year?
What is the importance of a soil test?
- A soil test will show us the level of nutrients in soil and help us to determine the PH of the soil. Maintaining proper PH ensures that the plant can absorb 100% of the nutrients present in the soil itself, as well as the nutrients we apply as a part of our program (due to the Cation–exchange). If the PH is low and the plants can’t absorb the nutrients, it seriously impacts the health of the plant and diminishes the results of the program that you are paying for. A low PH must be fixed by corrective liming in order to maximize the health of your lawn, and significantly increase the effectiveness of fertilization!
- The liming included in the program is maintenance liming. The purpose is to maintain the current PH each season. However, if your PH is off from the start, we will only be maintaining an incorrect PH level. A soil test will help us make a corrective adjustment to reach a neutral PH of 6.5.
- There is a symbiotic relationship between all nutrients and the grass plants themselves, and maintaining proper levels is extremely important to lawn care. The soil test will provide us with the organic matter percentage, macro and micro nutrient deficiencies, and also determine harmful levels of nutrients so that we can make adjustments.
- Additionally, a soil test is required by Massachusetts state law in order to apply phosphorous.
Soil PH Analysis
Nitrogen provides: Shoot growth, color, disease, and drought resistance.
Phosphorous provides: Exceptional seedling and root growth.
Potassium provides: Resistance to heat, drought, cold, traffic, and disease
I now understand why I need a soil test, but why does it cost $50.00?
We do not profit from the $50.00 fee. It simply covers the cost of
- Pulling soil samples from several areas of your yard
- Packaging and shipping the samples to a laboratory
- Paying the fees for the laboratory to perform the test
- The president of the company or the turf department supervisor will email you full recommendations and observations about your property.
Will you be able to get rid of my crabgrass?
Crabgrass is best controlled with pre-emergent herbicides before it germinates in early spring. Our first application is a fertilizer with pre-emergent crabgrass control. If you receive this service it will significantly reduce crabgrass, and you should experience fantastic results throughout the season. In addition to the pre-emergent, we will spot treat any crabgrass with a post-emergent herbicide throughout the season. If you do not receive the first service or if you sign on with us after May 7th, you will probably see a higher amount of crabgrass during your first season, but we will still work to fight it off and produce the best results possible for you!
When should crabgrass pre-emergent is applied?
As soon as possible in early spring. Crabgrass starts to germinate when soil temperatures reach 56 degrees for 3 days in a row (please remember that soil temperatures vary from the temperature of the air), so it is very important to get that product down before that happens.
Why do I always have crabgrass in some areas, but not in others?
Crabgrass grows in full sun; it does not grow in shaded areas. It is a warm season weed competing with a cool season grass. Soil along driveway, walkway, patio, and sidewalk edges are called “hot spots”. These areas are much higher in temperature and grass becomes non-competitive against crabgrass. Herbicides cannot hold off crabgrass all season on those areas without proper watering and mowing to help the grass plants compete!
Are the chemicals you use safe?
- Yes, if applied correctly. Our highly trained technicians are licensed with the state, and follow proper application guidelines to the letter. All of the products we apply are approved by the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) and we follow the label of the product, which is the law. Additionally, we leave detailed instructions informing our customers exactly what we did and what they need to do, along with providing a required Pesticide Consumer Notification that answers all your questions. Finally, we will pre-notify you before each visit.
- If you are absolutely against pesticides and can live with insects & weeds, we do offer a more expensive certified Organic Lawn program.
How long after treatment do I have to stay off the lawn?
Is it a problem if I have a garden?
No, we have excellent control over all of our applications. They are selectively applied by our trained and licensed technicians. We can also make a note to avoid your garden as an extra precaution.
Why am I paying more for the organic program even though it doesn’t include pesticides?
- The 100% organic fertilizers cost 10 times more than traditional fertilizers. We do not use a bridge product that is only 10% organic like many companies offer. We use only 100% organic!
- Also, the only weed control is competition, which is why aeration and over-seeding is done every year.
Will either of your programs harm the honey bees?
Will anyone notify me when you are coming out to perform an application?
Do I need to be here when you come out to perform an application?
How soon after the first application will I see results?
How long after an application should I wait before mowing my lawn?
How often and for how long should I water my lawn?
Will I get the same technician on each service?
How do I tell if I have grubs?
Why did my lawn tear up when I raked it?
- Grubs that feed on grass have severed the roots. In this situation, a curative grub application is needed as soon as possible. We will protect the lawn against future infestations with the yearly grub preventative application that is included in the program.
- The roots drowned because of inadequate drainage, or they suffocated because the lawn was too compact. In this situation, we recommend fall core aeration and reduce watering.
- Grass in shaded areas are not rooted and anchored deeply into the soil. Pruning and tree removal is needed, if applicable. You should not rake or de-thatch in shade to prevent this issue.
- You have Bentgrass, a patchy surface spreading weed grass that is present in some lawns. We do offer specialty herbicides to rectify Bentgrass issues, but they are not included in the program.
How short should I cut my lawn?
Can I grow grass in the shade?
Why should I seed in the fall and not the spring?
There are several benefits associates with fall seeding:
- Seed germination in the spring, due to cold soils, can take longer to mature vs. the fall when the soil temperatures are still elevated from the summer.(8 weeks vs. 4 weeks)
- A longer maturity time also means higher watering bills and as well as more time spent watering.
- Since rooting is limited in spring vs. fall, entering summer stress is risky and can reduce results significantly.
- We cannot use our usual crabgrass pre-emergent on newly seeded areas, requiring us to up charge for a more expensive pre-emergent that can be seeded into. Additionally, it may not produce the same level of control as the usual product, leaving your lawn with more crabgrass and other weeds for the season.
- We cannot spay post emergent herbicides until your 3rd application since the new grass plants will not be mature enough.
I put down seed, but nothings coming up. Is there anything I can do to get my grass to grow?
- If seeding during the spring, try fall seeding instead.
- Ensure that the new grass plants are being properly watered (three times per day)
- Consider trusting us with your seeding efforts, as we have access to starter fertilizer that will help the grass to mature, and we have substantial expertise when it comes to seeding.
How long after seeding can you spray for weeds?
What is aerating and why is it so important?
- Aerating is a cultural practice that pulls cores of soil from the lawn. These cores are not removed but are recycled back into the lawn after a few watering’s. Aeration helps to relieve compaction, improves drainage, and reduces moss. It helps the efficiency of water and nutrient movement to the roots. It also reduces thatch by increasing microbial activity that feeds on thatch. The U-Mass Turfgrass Extension recommends aeration every year. Golf courses do it twice a year. It is one of the best practices you can do for your lawn.
- Core aerating should be done in the fall when rooting is at its best due to soil temperatures. Aeration also creates an opportunistic platform to over-seed.
Why are fungicides not included in the program?
Why do I have a disease? Is there anything I can do to prevent diseases?
Is there anything I can do about the brown spots in my lawn caused by my dog?
How often should I have my lawn de-thatched?
Do you do dethatching?
Do you have a referral program?
Actually yes, we have one of the best ones around. For each customer who signs up for any of our annual programs (lawn, pest, tick or mosquitoes) you will receive a $100.00 credit towards our services. Then we will offer your friend our offered promotions (if applicable), plus an additional $20.00 off.
How can I pay my bill?
Pre-pay (by check, cash, or credit card), or after each service by the same methods, and on our website (although pre-payment cannot be processed on our website).
FREE LAB SOIL TEST
5% PRE-PAY DISCOUNT
with the purchase of a full 7-Step “PREMIERE” Lawn Program.
(Discount only applies to first visit, if pre-paid. If not, last visit)
FREE LAB SOIL TEST
5% PRE-PAY DISCOUNT
with the purchase of a full 6-Step “ORGANIC” Lawn Program
(Discount only applies to first visit, if pre-paid. If not, last visit)
5% PRE-PAY DISCOUNT
with the purchase of a full 2-Step “MOISTURE MANAGEMENT”
(Limited time offer)
10% DISCOUNT OFF
Fall lawn services including
Aeration or Over-seeding Services
(Valid 8/15 – 9/15
Must be Pre-Paid)
*PROMOTIONS ARE FOR NEW ANNUAL CONTRACT SALES, APPLIED TO FIRST SEASON ONLY. 5% ANNUAL PLAN BUNDLE DISCOUNTS WILL BE APPLIED AUTOMATICALLY ON SECOND SEASON
*NO CRABGRASS WARRANTY AFTER MAY 7TH. Please see here for more info on Crabgrass Control.
"Very efficient, used safety practices, kept me informed, exceptional professional."
"We are very happy & satisfied with our technician."
"We are very happy with your service. We will be ongoing customers."
-B & J. Douty
The best service starts here.
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