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Best 5 Landscaping Companies in Iowa City, IA

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Written By Callie Marsalisi|Last Updated: May 18, 2024

The right landscaping can transform your ordinary yard into a gorgeous outdoor living space. A professional landscaper can help you improve your home's curb appeal and increase its value. One of the top landscapers in Iowa City, Iowa, can help you start enhancing your yard today.

Top Landscaping Services in Iowa City, IA

Carew Landscaping Logo

Carew Landscaping

Based on 37 customer reviews.

Services Offered

LandscapingSnow RemovalLawn MaintenanceDebris RemovalHardscapes


  • Free quotes
  • Good customer service
  • Transparent pricing
2905 W Penn St, North Liberty, IA 319-338-0866 carew-landscaping.com
Absolute Outdoor Services Logo

Absolute Outdoor Services

Based on 22 customer reviews.

Services Offered

Weed ControlMulchingSnow RemovalTree & Shrub TrimmingLawn MaintenanceLandscapingLawn MowingFertilizingHardscapesLawn Edging


  • Helps educate customers
5276 Oak Crest Hill Rd Se, Riverside, IA 319-679-4276 absoluteoutdoorservicesia.com
Naturescape Lawn and Landscape Care Logo

Naturescape Lawn and Landscape Care

Based on 42 customer reviews.

Services Offered

Lawn MowingSnow RemovalWeed ControlFertilizingLandscaping


  • Free quotes
  • Transparent pricing
  • Good customer service
915 33rd Ave Sw, Cedar Rapids, IA 319-366-0040 naturescapelawncare.com
Grasshopper Lawn Care & Tree Service/All Star Turf Logo

Grasshopper Lawn Care & Tree Service/All Star Turf

Based on 16 customer reviews.

Services Offered

Tree & Shrub TrimmingLandscapingLawn MowingFertilizingSod Installation


  • Free quotes
  • Transparent pricing
  • Helps educate customers
401 W 10th St, Tipton, IA 563-889-2635 glcastlawns.com

More Local Lawn Care Companies

Country Club Lawn Care and Landscaping

User Reviews: 4.5/5 

3535 Industrial Ave
Marion, IA 52302

Creekside Turf Management, LLC

User Reviews: 4.7/5 

5507 Mercury Ave
Marion, IA 52302

Roudabush Lawn Care, LLC

User Reviews: 4.4/5 

103 Valley Rd
Williamsburg, IA 52361

Simply Green Lawn Care

User Reviews: 3.9/5 

823 Eagleview Dr
Fairfax, IA 52228


User Reviews: 4.5/5 

780 Kacena Rd
Hiawatha, IA 52233

S&R Lawncare & Snow Removal & Landscaping

User Reviews: 4.4/5 

2114 Old Hwy 61
Muscatine, IA 52761

Greg's Lawn & Landscaping

User Reviews: 3.8/5 

1200 Continental Pl NE
Cedar Rapids, IA 52402

Eastern Iowa Landscape Services, LLC

User Reviews: 4.0/5 

403 B Cleveland St
Muscatine, IA 52761

Gorilla Landscape

User Reviews: 4.7/5 

207 S Moore St
Blue Grass, IA 52726

To share feedback or ask a question about this article, send a note to our Reviews Team at reviewsteam@thisoldhousereviews.com.

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Facts about Iowa City
Average Max Temp:59°F
Average Min Temp:41°F
Average Daily Sunlight:52%
Average Aeration Cost:$298 / half acre
Average Weed Control Cost:$274
Average Monthly Lawn Care Cost:$237

Expert Tips By

This Old House empowers homeowners with the knowledge and tools they need to tackle various projects and navigate the complexities of homeownership.

DIY Options vs. Professional Services

Most homeowners have some basic lawn maintenance knowledge. However, landscaping requires more advanced skills. A large project might require heavy equipment and intense labor. Complicated projects such as fire pits or irrigation systems need additional machinery and construction expertise.

You can complete some landscaping projects yourself. Smaller projects, such as removing overgrown plants or adding a flower bed, are easier to DIY. However, you should hire a landscaping contractor for things like a complete yard overhaul, or smaller projects for which you don't have the needed expertise.

Hiring a landscape architect or designer helps you avoid expensive mistakes. Professionals have the knowledge and skills to elevate your outdoor space, recommend cost-effective upgrades, and help you develop a plan for long-term maintenance.

Factors To Consider When Choosing an Iowa City Landscaping Company

Selecting the right landscaper involves finding one with good experience that also fits your budget and service needs. Consider the following factors when hiring a landscaping contractor.

Services Offered

You should know what services you need before choosing a company. Some providers offer lawn care services focusing on yard health and maintenance. These services may include controlling weeds, fertilizing, mowing, mulching, and pruning. Many also offer pest management solutions and tree removal services.

You want a full-service landscaper for full-yard revamps or to install elements such as fire pits, retaining walls, or sprinkler or irrigation systems. These providers specialize in outdoor designs and upgrades, including gardening, adding hardscapes, and landscaping rock projects. Some provide lawn maintenance services in addition to design and architectural services.

Licensing and Experience

Landscapers often have advanced training and certification in areas like outdoor design, horticulture, and lawn maintenance. Your provider should have the appropriate licenses from the Iowa City city government. It may also have the following certified staff members:

  • Certified fertilization or pesticide specialists
  • Licensed arborists
  • Licensed horticulture specialists
  • Licensed or certified landscaping designers or architects
It may also have certifications from professional organizations, including the Professional Landcare Network and the National Association of Landscape Professionals. While not mandatory, these certifications show a contractor's commitment to their profession. Ask to see a certificate of insurance or a company's insurance numbers before starting a project. All landscaping companies should be bonded and insured. Contractors usually have liability insurance to protect against bodily injury or property damage.

Reputation and Reviews

We recommend checking third-party review sites such as the Better Business Bureau to gauge a provider's customer experience and overall reputation. Avoid companies with largely negative reviews or frequent mentions of poor project results, unreliable customer service, or delayed projects. Try to find a provider with positive customer ratings.

Work Portfolio

Many landscaping and maintenance companies are happy to share photos of past projects with potential customers. Request to see a portfolio of landscaping designs and projects, preferably ones that are similar to your own ideas. Companies often have before and after photos to illustrate the quality of their work.

Sustainability Practices

Sustainability is an important consideration during and after a landscaping project. Ask your landscaper about its best practices for waste management, water conservation, and eco-friendly material options; you might also ask for maintenance recommendations. Landscaping providers should opt for native plant life (such as swamp milkweed, wild columbine, and cup-plant) when planting new vegetation, and they shouldn't allow their work to affect your existing vegetation.


Request multiple quotes from different to compare services and prices. Most providers offer free consultations during which they'll review your outdoor space, provide recommendations, and go over project ideas. Your detailed quote will outline project costs such as materials and labor. You can use this quote to compare your options and sometimes negotiate a better deal.

Landscaping Costs in Iowa City

Landscaping in Iowa City generally costs between $25 and $38 per hour. These prices depend on factors such as project size and type. Bigger projects like resodding will cost more than simple lawn tasks like mowing or gardening. Pricing can depend on your chosen materials. For a large yard, companies may charge by the acre. Bigger projects necessitate more labor, which will increase the total cost. The table below breaks down the average cost of different landscaping services:

Landscaping ServiceAverage Cost
Deck$12,219 - $16,292
Landscaping Design$1,910 - $2,546
Landscaping LandGrading$413 - $2,479
Landscaping Mulch$25 - $124
Planting FlowerBeds$83 - $1,653
Planting Trees$216 - $361
Sodding$41 - $50
Swimming Pool$31,400 - $82,633

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Frequently Asked Questions About Landscaping in Iowa City

What are warning signs of a bad landscaper?

Warning signs of a bad landscaper include numerous negative reviews, lack of proper licensing, no formal contract, and lack of professionalism. Homeowners should also be wary of companies with poor communication or high-pressure sales tactics. You should avoid companies that request full payment before completing the work.

What are the benefits of landscaping?

Landscaping offers numerous benefits, including increasing your home's value and improving its curb appeal. Landscaping can also add more natural beauty to your home and improve your quality of life with usable outdoor spaces.

Are landscapers the same as gardeners?

No, landscapers are not the same as gardeners. Landscapers focus on designing and building outdoor spaces. They improve your yard’s visual appeal and incorporate various architectural elements, outdoor features, and plant life. Gardeners focus on maintaining your garden or plants only.

What is a landscape designer?

A landscape designer plans, reviews, and designs outdoor living spaces. They offer both functional and aesthetic property enhancements. Their designs could include garden plants, decorative upgrades, or hardscape elements (such as walkways). Landscape designers often collaborate with landscape artists in constructing the final design.

How can I negotiate a price with a landscaping company?

Request quotes from multiple companies before negotiating. Detailed quotes should include breakdowns of cost, including labor, materials, and additional fees. Present your budget up front and be prepared to compromise on certain elements if financially necessary. If you're unable to negotiate a lower rate, ask your company if it offers payment plans to make things more affordable.

To share feedback or ask a question about this article, send a note to our Reviews Team at reviewsteam@thisoldhousereviews.com.