Frequently Asked Questions
Tender Lawn Care
Is your company part of the Better Business Bureau?
Are you licensed and insured?
Yes, we are. All commercial lawn care applicators are required by the Michigan Department of Agriculture to be licensed, bonded, and insured to apply pesticides of any sort. All lawn care application technicians are required to be tested, certified, and recertified every three years. We are also licensed for residential and commercial snowplowing.
What type of payment options do you have?
Pay at our office, using cash, check, or your credit/debit card.
Pay over the phone using a credit/debit card.
Pay online through our customer access website using your credit/debit card.
Pay via mail, by sending a check to our offices.
Pay with ACH online or by calling our office.
What credit cards do you accept?
We accept Discover, Visa, MasterCard, and American Express credit and debit cards.
Do I have to be home at the time of my services?
No. Most of our lawns are serviced during normal working hours. Unless otherwise instructed, your technician will complete their work and leave an invoice at your door.
Watering & Mowing
How often should I water my lawn?
Under normal weather conditions, watering your lawn every 2 or 3 days is usually sufficient. However, during particularly hot periods in the summer, we recommend watering five times a week. However, if temps reach into the 90s we recommend watering daily. Just make sure you do not water on the day you are scheduled for mowing services.
What is the proper mowing height?
The general rule you should follow is to not cut more than one third of the blade of grass off at any one time. If you cut the lawn once each week, that will usually comply with that guideline. One of the most common mistakes people make when cutting their grass is to cut it too low. The kinds of grasses found in Michigan lawns are meant to be cut at heights of 2.5-3.5 inches tall. If they are routinely cut lower than that they will not be as healthy and may begin to thin out and die.
What should I do with the clippings left on the lawn after mowing is completed?
We like to encourage our customers to allow the grass clippings to remain on the lawn. With the restrictions on yard waste disposal and the benefits your lawn will receive, allowing the grass clippings to stay on the lawn makes good sense.
The grass blades will not contribute to thatch because they all decompose within about six weeks, adding about five percent more fertilizer to the soil! (Thatch from grass clippings accounts for less than 1/16 inches per year.) Landscape waste (including grass clippings) makes up 20% of all curbside waste.
When you can, why not be environmentally friendly!
How do I know if I have crabgrass?
If you see something that you think is crabgrass, and it is April… it’s not crabgrass! It is probably a wild grass. Our pre-emergent crabgrass control is applied from late March through early May and will help control the crabgrass for the season. This pre-emergent also controls a variety of wild grasses mentioned above.
What do I do if my lawn has brown spots?
If you notice spots in your lawn please call our office. Our full fertilizing program includes service calls. We can have a technician go look at your lawn to diagnose the issue.
What does it mean if I have mushrooms on my lawn?
The presence of mushrooms means there is often decaying organic matter (possibly old tree roots, wood, etc.) and/or excessive moisture (heavy rainfall, over watering, etc) in the soil. Don’t worry, mushrooms won’t hurt your lawn and unless you are over watering there is nothing you can do to get rid of the mushrooms. Once the soil dries out a little, wait about 3-5 days and the mushrooms will probably go away. In the meantime, you can knock down the mushrooms with your lawn mower if you don’t like to see them.
What does it mean if there is moss on my lawn? Can it be treated?
The main reason moss will grow is that there is not enough sunlight (3-5 hours minimum) and there is too much moisture. Conditions favoring the growth of moss also may include: poorly drained soils, low fertility soils and/or with strong soil acidity, soil compaction, excessively wet soils, and excessive thatch or a combination of these factors that add up to thin or weak turf. Moss is very competitive and may out compete the grass in cool, moist, shaded locations, such as the north side of homes/buildings and wooded areas
How can I help manage the moss on my lawn?
Ultimately, increasing the amount of sunlight to reduce the amount of shade and moisture are the keys to getting rid of moss long term.
Once these two issues are dealt with, planting a shade tolerant grass seed (fescue varieties) will be best. If removing the shade isn’t an option, considering a planting bed with shade tolerant perennials maybe something to seriously consider.
Additionally, the following practices can help you prevent or control moss:
Increase air movement and allow more sun/daylight into the shaded areas by removing unnecessary undergrowth and pruning tree limbs or in some cases removing trees.
Avoid excessive watering and improve irrigation scheduling, if necessary.
Apply copper sulfate, ferrous sulfate and selective fungicides can be applied to help chemically reduce moss; however, physical or chemical removal of the moss will only be temporary unless growing conditions (sunlight & moisture) are improved.
Aerify compacted soil.
In some cases, conducting a soil test to determine proper gypsum/lime and fertilizer needs. Applying gypsum or liming will reduce soil acidity. Proper fertilization will aid turf density.
Fertilizing & Weed Control
How many applications do I need?
The answer to this question has more to do with how you want your lawn to look, than what it needs. We recommend five applications per year to obtain the best results.
Are applications harmful to my family/pets?
The applications are not harmful to your family or pets when they are applied according to the product’s label and when you follow instructions left by Tender Lawn Care. All of the products that we use are mixed and applied according to the stringent requirements of the Environmental Protection Agency. In most every case, the products we use can be purchased by consumers at your local garden store. The treatments applied at your home are the same treatments applied at the homes of many Tender Lawn Care employees. It may be helpful to know that we trust our technicians and the products they use around our own children and pets.
When can I water or mow after an application?
We would recommend waiting at least 3-4 hours before watering and 10-12 hours before mowing. For what it is worth, even our strong commercial lawn mowers are not able to “suck up” the fertilizer after it has been applied.
What if it rains after my application?
Rain is beneficial following a pre-emergent, fertilizer, or grub treatment and will not affect results. If you’ve had a weed control application, please wait 7-10 days. If the weeds do not begin to shrivel and die out, please call to let us know and we will gladly re-treat the weeds at no additional cost to you.
What if it snows after my application?
If it snows after you have already had an application, there is no need to worry — it will not affect the results from your treatment. If anything, the melting snow will actually help the soil absorb the products that were applied to your lawn.
Will hot weather affect my application?
During the summer months, we will continue to fertilize and apply weed control to your lawn, however, when it is above 85 degrees we do not apply weed control to our customers lawns. We like to help keep your lawn looking its best, so we err on the side of caution during especially warm times – since an application of weed control could actually damage your turf. Don’t worry though, once it cools down we will return to your property and apply our weed control.
Do you offer organic fertilizer?
2021 Update: For many years we have used a 100% organic fertilizer with an analysis of 10-0-6 that provided consistently great results. However, over the last three to five years, this product has become harder to source, is less readily available, and this year the formulation changed (and we were not satisfied with the change).
While we are disappointed by this change, it also caused us to dive deep into some of the new organic fertilizer products available. After a fair bit of research and experimentation, we have chosen a new slow-release, organic blend fertilizer that promotes beneficial microbial activity in the soil. This product is all-natural (think chicken manure) and it creates a rich soil environment that produces excellent root growth for strong turf.
We are confident this will help promote a great looking, healthy lawn in a safe and natural way!
Is there a charge for follow-up service calls?
Please allow 7-10 days for the fertilizer and weed control to take full effect. If you still have weeds 7-10 days after the application please call our office and we will be glad to return free of charge. If your call happens to arrive within a week of your next scheduled application, the next application will be made rather than a service call.
Aeration & Seeding
What is core aeration?
The best lawns are those that receive the right balance of water, fertilizer, and oxygen. Lawn aeration is a method of essentially letting your lawn breath by removing some of its “core” – which breaks up compacted soil and allows water, fertilizer, and oxygen to permeate into the root zone.
How do I know if I need to aerate my lawn?
If you think your lawn grass grows poorly because of disease, insects or nematodes, then its soil may be compacted.
Compacted soil can stress lawn grass, causing browning or thinning, by preventing water and fertilizer from reaching its roots. Compacted soil also reduces the level of oxygen needed by earthworms and organisms that decompose thatch. Increasing layers of thatch on your lawn is a sign the soil may be compacted and in need of aeration.
How often should I have my lawn aerated?
It is suggested that a lawn be aerated at least every other year, but preferably every year. There is no bad time to have your lawn aerated. We prefer to perform services in the late summer/fall, because of the high level of activity of the root system.
Will aeration control thatch?
Core Aeration brings cores of soil up from below the lawn’s surface. We recommend that these cores be left on the lawn. By allowing these cores to mix back into lawn surface, these cores add back microbial agents which are needed to control thatch. This is not an immediate fix for a serious thatch problem, but is the best way to manage a thatch condition or help prevent thatch from becoming a problem.
Does my irrigation system need to be marked before service?
Mark any sprinkler heads if you have a sprinkler system or if your neighbor has sprinkler heads on your property line. It is very important that you use “marking flags” to mark the heads, the zone valve covers, drain covers and anything else that you don’t want the aerator to hit! Marking flags can be purchased at Ace Hardware, Lowe’s or almost any hardware store for a few dollars.
How often should I overseed?
Every lawn is different and there is no set amount of time recommended in between seeding services. We would recommend to schedule when you see the lawn is looking thinner.
Is it a good idea to have seeding done at the same time as aeration services?
Yes! Overseeding is the planting of grass seed directly into existing turf, without tearing up the turf, or the soil. It’s an easy way to fill in bare spots, improve the density of turf, establish improved grass varieties and enhance your lawn’s color.
Mosquito Control Services
How does your mosquito control treatment work?
Our trained technicians will use a special blend of EPA approved insecticides designed to target both adult pests as well as their eggs. This insecticide will then be applied to your property with a misting system. The mist will be sprayed throughout your landscaping, and across the entire lawn.
How long does it remain effective?
Our mosquito control treatments will provide you with protection for up to four weeks.
Can I get a one-time treatment for a special event?
Yes. We do require that you call our office a few days in advance to schedule a visit. For maximum effectiveness, we will need to treat the property 48-72 hours prior to your event.
Will all of the mosquitos on my property be killed with treatment?
No service can guarantee 100% insect control on your property. We can, however, guarantee a reduction of 85%-90% of the biting insects on your property within as little as two treatments.
Are other insects controlled with this treatment?
The products we use are labeled for a variey of insects, however, we focus on managing the mosquito population on your property.
Are the products safe for children or pets?
Our products will not harm children or pets. However, we do recommend that you stay off the treated areas for a minimum of 30-60 minutes after treatment. This will ensure our products have had time to dry. Once the treatment has dried, your property can be enjoyed as usual.
Will this treatment harm my plants?
No. This treatment will not harm your landscape plants in any way.
Will your products harm bees or butterflies?
Yes. The insecticides used for this application can be harmful to both bees and butterflies. This is why we train our applicators to not apply to any flowering plants. As long as the bees and butterflies are not landing on treated surfaces, no harm will come to them. If there are particular plants that you do not want treated, please inform the office prior to treatment or let the technician know when they arrive on your property.
Do you shovel sidewalks?
We provide sidewalk shoveling to commercial customers only.
What region do you offer snowplowing services?
We service parts of Grand Rapids and the surrounding area. It is a smaller area than our other services cover so please call the office to see if we are able to provide you with a quote.
Do I need to stake my driveway for you?
Marker stakes will be installed along the edges of the drive as needed.
When do you plow?
Tender Lawn Care will clear snow once a day after accumulations of 1.5 inches or more between the hours of 12:00 midnight and 7:00am from the driveway and in front of the mailbox assuming no additional snow accumulates after plowing has begun.
If additional snow accumulates after 12:00 midnight, plowing may occur after 7:00am. This also applies to snow that begins to accumulate after 12:00 midnight resulting in plowing that begins once the snow has accumulated to 1.5 inches. (Ex. If accumulation reaches 1.5 inches at 2:00am, 3:00am, or 5:00am we will begin plowing and continue service into the daytime hours as needed, but service may be completed after 7:00am.)
If it keeps snowing throughout the day, will you return and plow again?
Daytime snowfalls of up to 3 inches may be considered ‘passable’ accumulations and will be plowed early the next morning between 12:00 midnight and 7:00am. Due to traffic congestion and the hazards involved with plowing during the day, daytime plowing will be done only if heavy snowfall or excessive drifting has occurred. For driveways located in high traffic areas, there will be no daytime plowings.
Will you cover repairs to my property if your equipment damages it during the season?
Tender Lawn Care will return once when the weather allows in the spring to repair any turf damage due to plowing and remove the marker stakes that were installed in the spring.
It is presumed that the client understands that snow plowing by its very nature involves pushing/pulling a steel blade over the surface of the pavement. If pavement is defective, deteriorated, weakened or frost heaved, the results of these previous conditions are more likely to appear after snow plowing.
Tender Lawn Care is not liable for damage to driveways, manhole covers, sprinkler heads, speed bumps, curbs, or sidewalks caused by snow plowing, including rust marks