Homeowners in Tampa, Florida, have sunny weather all year-round. It makes the city the great place to spend time outdoors enjoying your lawn. However, the summers get very hot, which can harm even the hardiest warm-weather grasses. For the healthiest Tampa lawn possible, Floridians should consider hiring a professional lawn care company.
This Old House Reviews Team believes TruGreen is the best option for lawn care in Tampa, with multiple comprehensive plans, a variety of a la carte services, and decades of experience and expertise. Weed Man and Lawn Doctor are two other alternatives in the area.
Top Recommended Lawn Care Provider: TruGreen
TruGreen is one of the most popular names in lawn care. The lawn care company services 2.3 million residential and commercial customers across the country, in all states except for Alaska. Unlike its top competitors, TruGreen offers five different annual plans in addition to its a la carte services, including pest control. Homeowners can choose between more standard services and comprehensive plans, depending on the extent of their needs.
All of TruGreen’s services are performed by TruExpert℠ Certified Specialists. Every specialist must pass the TruExpert Lawn Certification Program, an intensive 10-day course that covers topics like horticulture, agronomics, and safety. For full-program customers, service is backed by TruGreen’s Healthy Lawn Guarantee® that a TruGreen lawn care specialist will return to your lawn as many times as needed between treatments to make sure treatments are effective, at no extra cost. TruGreen also offers a mobile app and an online chat function. We give TruGreen a 97 out of 100.
Compare the Best Lawn Care Companies in Tampa
|Options||TruGreen||Weed Man||Lawn Doctor|
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|Overall Score out of 100||97||84||83|
Why You Should Hire Professional Lawn Care in Tampa
Like all regions, Florida has unique concerns when it comes to lawn care. In Tampa, sandy soil is common, which makes growing grass more difficult. Add humidity to that equation, and lawn care takes a lot of work.
Taking care of a Tampa lawn means knowing when and how often to fertilize, how to fight weeds, and how to prevent pests like chinch bugs and mosquitoes, which are a big problem with Florida humidity. Professional lawn care companies have the equipment and products to keep your lawn lush and healthy.
The Most Common Grasses in Tampa
Warm season grasses thrive in Tampa. Here are the four of the most common types you’ll find in the city and some of their key characteristics.
- St. Augustine: This popular, dark green grass has thick blades and a coarse texture. It has high shade and salt tolerance and thrives in areas with good drainage. On the negative side, it is vulnerable to diseases and pests and requires more moisture than some warm season alternatives.
- Bermuda: This hardy, light-to-dark-green grass is drought tolerant and can withstand heavy foot traffic and grow well in sandy soil. However, it is shade intolerant, and because it grows so quickly, it is more high maintenance than some alternatives.
- Zoysia: This vibrant green grass is resistant to weeds and drought and grows a nice, dense turf. It tends to grow slowly.
- Centipede: This yellow-green grass is relatively low maintenance and holds up against pests. But it does not handle foot traffic or drought conditions well.
How to Choose Lawn Care in Tampa
There are a variety of factors to consider when choosing a lawn care provider in Tampa, from cost to reputation.
- Cost: Finding a lawn care provider that works within your budget is crucial. You can submit your name, address, and contact information online to receive free, customized quotes from the top lawn care providers. Many use an online tool that allows the specialist to map out the exact dimensions of your yard so that they can give you a precise, tailored quote.
- Plans and services offered: Different lawn care companies offer different core plans and a la carte services. For convenience sake, it’s advisable to work with one company for multiple treatments rather than hiring, keeping track of, and paying several different companies for your lawn care. Some companies may offer broader services, while others may specialize and target specific lawn issues.
- Reputation: A lawn care company’s reputation can tell you how competent, trustworthy, and reliable it is. Companies with decades of experience will have a longer track record than those that have only been in business for a short while.
- Guarantee: One of the benefits of choosing a top lawn care provider is that it is more likely to offer satisfaction guarantees. TruGreen promises full-program customers that a specialist will return as needed between scheduled lawn visits to re-treat at no extra charge. That way, you can be sure the service is worth your while.
- Organic options: If you’re interested in environmentally friendly lawn care solutions, you should pursue a company that offers natural fertilizer, like Weed Man and Lawn Doctor.
Tampa Lawn Care Tips
Test and amend your soil
All types of soils have unique pros and cons. Sandy soil is light and gritty, with large particles that dry out quickly. Unfortunately, this means that it’s often poor in nutrients, and water and fertilizer tend to leach out. Soil amendments can help with this—try integrating compost and other organic matter that is rich in soil microbes.
Be mindful of water restrictions
Tampa has strict watering restrictions that homeowners must adhere to. The precise days you can water will depend on your address. These rules apply to all water sources except for reclaimed water. Homeowners in all addresses can only water between midnight and 8 a.m. or between 6 p.m. and midnight on the specific days. They cannot water twice in one day.
Tampa Lawn Care FAQs
How high should I mow my grass?
The best height for your grass will depend on your specific type of grass. Different grasses, even among the warm-season variety, thrive at different heights. It is always advised to mow high in the summer—setting your mower to the highest or second-highest setting—to reduce stress on your grass.
Is lawn fertilization worth it?
Fertilization can help your grass grow lush, green, and healthy—if you apply the right type, at the right time, and the right frequency. Fertilization can give your lawn the key nutrients it needs to thrive. To take any guesswork out fertilization, consider hiring a professional lawn care company.
When should I water my lawn?
The best time to water your lawn is before sunrise, preferably between 6 a.m. and 10 a.m. Watering at this time will prevent the moisture from evaporating before your lawn’s grassroots can soak it up. If you’re unable to water in the morning, the next best time is between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. Late at night may be cooler, but if the water sits on the lawn overnight, it will make it more susceptible to disease.
What does dethatching mean?
Dethatching is the process of removing excess thatch build up from your lawn. Thatch is the layer of living and decomposing organic matter that collects between the soil and your grass blades. A thin layer can be beneficial, insulating the grassroots from extreme fluctuations in temperature. But if the layer gets to be over ½ an inch, you’ll need to break it up and lift it off with a dethatching rake. If you don’t, your grassroots will suffer, unable to access the water, air, and nutrients they need.
Our Rating Methodology
To provide readers with the most objective, accurate, and detailed recommendations, the This Old House Reviews Team continually researches lawn care service companies on the market. We take the following steps to obtain up-to-date information about the industry and each company we review:
- Analyze more than 100 customer reviews from third-party review sites, such as Yelp, the Better Business Bureau (BBB), and Google Reviews, for each company
- Secret-shop for lawn care plans and packages to get a sense of cost, offered services, and the overall shopping experience for prospective customers
- Speak with representatives on the phone to simulate the customer service experience from each provider
- Update information on a regular basis to ensure the most accurate information when plans or services change with each company
We use the data from our research to build an in-depth rating system that allows us to score lawn care providers on a 100-point scale. Here are the factors in our evaluation and their designated scores:
- Plan options (30): As one of the most important factors for homeowners shopping for a lawn care service, this one is weighted heavily based on each company’s lawn coverage. Companies that offer more options, such as irrigation, weed control, seeding, and aeration services in addition to a general plan, score higher than others.
- Trustworthiness (30): Each company’s reputation is another significant factor for homeowners to consider before signing up for a plan. We scored providers based on their BBB score, accreditation, and offered guarantees available with each purchase.
- Additional Benefits (20): We gave extra points to companies that provide a few additional services and benefits with their offered plans, such as organic treatments, pest control services, and a mobile app for digital communication and plan management.
- Customer Service (10): In this rating category, we awarded points to customer-focused lawn care service providers who offer weekend availability and easy communication through phones, online chats, and online resources.
- Availability (10): We also scored companies based on their overall availability, rewarding those that are nationally available over local companies only operating in select cities or ZIP codes.
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