In early June I decided to bring my weed infested lawn back to health and called several companies for quotes. Most believed new sod was the way to go but as it was more expensive than overseeding, I chose to believe the wonderful Homestars reviews of Lawnsavers and went with overseeding, and weed and grub control applications. Lawnsavers was the only company that did not actually come out to evaluate the lawn. They evaluated my lawn based on pictures, ever confident that it could be brought back to health. In theory, overseeding works but in practice, it can be too labour intensive and prone to variables that the homeowner has no control over: watering in a drought is expensive and if the overseeding is not intensive will yield you a lawn full of crabgrass or Creeping Charlie; after a flood, grass seeds and seedlings may be swept away especially on slopes, and you always have the birds to take their share; mowing – how and when depending on your turf (seedlings, weeds and healthy lawn all have best practices) and if you have a mulching lawnmower be sure to pick up the clippings, even though the city of Toronto wants you to mulch and doesn’t want your clippings in yardwaste; weed control – their blanket applications work best but the spot checks were completely ineffective as my Creeping Charlie just bounced right back; if you decide to pull the crabgrass as recommended, be prepared to look at bald spots for some time as there will be a best time to overseed for the second time, and with that comes the expense of watering religiously again should the weather not cooperate, and hoping that more weeds will not rise from the lawn, as opposed to grass seedlings. I learned a great deal from this experience: do your research prior to purchase and know your lawn – do it yourself is probably the best way to go and avoid the frustrations of depending on a company that can’t possibly meet your lawn’s individual needs. Don’t waste your time or your money following their schedules.
Lawnsavers has well-trained customer service reps who will dazzle you with “horticulture speak” and confusing service notices but thus far have not allowed me to speak to the owner.
Aug 29, 2013: My original intention was to inform the reader that your renovation package may work in an ideal world but that people might be wiser to do it themselves, and while we seem to agree on many points, you chose to blame the victim, or at least my tenant. To be clear, my tenant did not provide primary maintenance for this project – I did! As I’m sure you can understand, any landlord is responsible for general maintenance of their property. My tenant was on holiday the week after the renovation and most weekends throughout the summer. He was primarily responsible for turning on the sprinklers I set up, if I wasn’t there. He also mowed three times, later in the summer. I enlisted family and friends to mow, water and pull weeds and all of this was done to your company’s specifications on my watch. I put in hours and hours of hard work to try and make your service worth the cost. Although you state you have “premium” products, I have used an appropriate and sufficient quantity of store bought grass seed and organic topsoil to fill in some of the bald spots with great success; a $2.00 roll of sod has been successfully laid on a slope with a layer of organic topsoil underneath and 10 days of minimal watering in a drought. At no time did your company offer me sod. Customer service recommended against it as “the sod could be contaminated with weeds!” Ha! The sod is the healthiest piece of my lawn! Doing it yourself allows you to concentrate on small problematic areas; doing it yourself avoids emails and phone calls to a company that doesn’t respond effectively when needed, possibly because they are top heavy on marketing and customer service while clearly less concerned about adequate product and service delivery. Oh, and by the way, according to our service agreement, you not only need to overseed again but also, as stated by customer service, provide the following: “Late Summer/Fall visit including fertilizer + Fiesta weed control - we will also touch up seed/top dressing LATE AUGUST/MID-SEPTEMBER -Nematodes grub control - late August to mid-September -Late-season visit including winterizing fertilizer, Fiesta weed control, and soil conditioner - we will also touch up seed/top dressing MID-LATE OCTOBER.” Doing it myself, would have avoided writing the 27 emails I wrote requesting everything from after service information, to another weed application, to my air miles, to a return phone call from you, to a time to meet with the technician who was doing the weed application. To be fair, I finally got my air miles and you finally agreed to speak with me.