Envy your neighbor's green lawn but don't have time to seed, weed, and fertilize? Hire a lawn service. These firms are top-rated for quality by Washington Consumers' Checkbook magazine. Ask your neighbor for recommendations, too--maybe he doesn't really have a green thumb.
Before signing a contract, have a few firms visit and give you an estimate. Companies can approach the same lawn differently. Do they offer conflicting advice about aeration, lime, and other treatments your lawn may or may not need?
If in doubt, send your Cooperative Extension office a sample of soil and grass for its opinion. In the District, call 202-274-7115. To find local offices and other information in Virginia, see ext.vt.edu; in Maryland, see agnr.umd.edu/ces.
We've listed where a company is based, although most work in neighboring areas, too. For the complete article on choosing a lawn-care company, see checkbook.org; nonsubscribers to Checkbook can download the article for $10.
Agro-Lawn Systems; Vienna;703-938-8846
Better Lawn Service; Arlington;703-538-5004
Complete Lawn Care; Laytonsville;301-948-5069
Craig's Lawn Care; Fairfax Station;703-385-1641
Davey Tree Expert Co.; Gaithersburg; 301-869-6884
Fairway Lawn Care; Silver Spring; 301-681-3000
Four Feet to the Yard; Silver Spring;301-718-8088
Kart Landscape& Lawns; Rockville; 301-424-0238
Lawn Doctor; Merrifield; 703-698-7474
Lawnmate Quality Lawn Care; Annandale; 703-256-9595
Lawns Unlimited; Poolesville; 301-972-7191
Lawnscapes Etc.; Crofton; 301-261-3998
Maxsell Lawn Service; Silver Spring;301-593-2722
National Turf Service; Rockville; 301-340-1184
Natural Lawns; Fairfax; 703-204-9000
NaturaLawn of America; Damascus; 301-253-0716
NaturaLawn of America; Leesburg; 703-779-0172
Pauls Best Lawn Service; Arlington; 703-204-2826
Seneca Lawns; Gaithersburg;301-963-8996
Steve's Mowing; Alexandria; 703-321-3565
Super Lawns of Chantilly; Centreville; 703-803-9100
Turf Builders; Springfield; 703-455-5296
Turf Center Lawns; Spencerville;301-384-9300
Wheat's Lawn &Landscape; Vienna; 703-641-4790
Yardbird Landscaping; Rockville; 301-603-9700
Yards Are Us; Falls Church;703-280-5357