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View Full Version : Landscaping vs. Lawn Care


Sean Adams
06-13-2008, 12:02 PM
I know there is a real gray area when it comes to the difference between what everyone in this industry considers to be a "landscaper".

Technically, this industry is referred to as a lot of different things....

Lawn Care Industry
Landscaping Industry
Lawn Care & Landscape Industry
Green Industry
etc, etc, etc....

When someone asks you the question.... "So what do you do?", the answers always seem to vary. From experience a lot of people just say...

"I own a landscaping business." - to make it easy. Others will say...

"I own a lawn care business." - depends on the person.


Obviously the work done differs significantly. Everyone here on this site knows there is a big difference between mowing and hardscaping. Just like landscape lighting and irrigation are two different beasts.

It's really not easy to break these things apart. This is primarily because a lot of people/companies offer multiple serivces, so they are not really one or the other.

Right now if you look at LawnSite, there are a lot of different kinds of people on the site offering a lot of different kinds of services. You can see this just from how and where they post on this site.

This is actually one of the reasons we started LandscapeConstructionSite.com - to show that there is in fact a difference between certain services and segments of the industry.

If you look up the formal definitions of "landscaping" and "lawn care" it sorta makes things more clear...

Landscaping - A term that is very comprehensive and sometimes misleading. It is usually used to indicate only planting, instead of planting in conjunction with the installation other landscape features -- walks, walls, patios, decks, etc.

Lawn Care - Improving a lawn by a combination of fertilization, aeration, turf plug planting, and/or seeding without killing or removing all existing turf.

But wait a minute, if you look at the definition of "lawn care" it sounds more like actual care for the turf as opposed to the "maintenance" of the turf or the landscape itself.

So then a third category or option then obviously exists - Lawn Maintenance.

Oh crap - that doesn't do it either. "Lawn Maintenance" would include things like mowing, trimming, edging, etc... but what about the rest of the landscape.

If someone mows, trims, edges, mulches, trims shrubs, prunes treees, etc... then they do a lot more than just "Lawn Maintenance" - they would actually be referred to as a "Landscape Maintenance Contractor", right?


So let's see, what do we have so far....

Landscaping - the people who plant, design, install different or new parts of landscape, which includes things like lighting, irrigation, hardscaping, etc...

Lawn Care - the people who care for the actual turf by fertilization, weed control, pest control, aeration, seeding, etc...

Lawn Maintenance - the people who mow, trim, and edge the turf areas

Landscape Maintenance - the people who maintain the appearance of the landscape such as trimming shrubs, mulching, pruning trees, etc...


I think this makes sense???

But what if your company mows lawns, trims shrubs, fertilizes the lawn and shrubs, and installs patios and lighting....?

Would you then be a Landscaping & Lawn Care & Lawn & Landscape Maintenance Contractor???

Maybe it is just easier to say "I'm a landscaper"....

Not too long ago we created a different forum specifically for "Landscape Construction" - there are sections of that forum similar to the ones we have here at LawnSite and there are also forums that are more involved and more detailed in relation to "landscaping" - if you haven't checked it out, pop in to http://www.landscapeconstructionsite.com and sign up.

It's free just like LawnSite.com and it might just give you the opportunity to have certain more involved discussions.

Baseballer1100
06-14-2008, 08:19 PM
Maybe it should be "Outdoor Services"... Just a thought.

topsites
06-16-2008, 02:53 AM
In my book 'land scaping' refers to re-designing or moving the earth, right along the lines of grading and the like, although I can tolerate say a play set installation to fall under that. But things like a french drain would be land scaping, mulch perhaps but definitely top soil, and so on...

So yeah, it's a never-ending argument.

americanlawn
06-16-2008, 07:02 PM
Landscape maintenance should also include: Pest control -- foliar, injections, soil drench (insects, mites, diseases). Root feeding, foliar feeding, trunk injections, soil drench, granular feeding. Then there's weed control in ornamental beds.

I'm talkin' trees, shrubs, vines, ground covers ....then there's non-woody plants too.

k911lowe
06-16-2008, 09:32 PM
maintenance pays the bills and buys the food,landscaping brings in the big money and the insecurities.

lawnman_scott
06-18-2008, 11:18 PM
I consider my self a lawn & landscape Maintenance provider.

grasswhacker
06-19-2008, 07:06 AM
I consider my self a lawn & landscape Maintenance provider.

Me too, along with doing some small landscaping projects. I believe in the KISS business model.:laugh:

pararest
12-05-2009, 05:35 PM
We started in Lawn Care.....
Then we slowly learned how to do more services....
Then we got our Landscape and Irrigation License......
Now we do it all from Lawn Maintenance, to all phases of Landscaping, Hardscaping, Irrigation,,, and so on.....

Micah Owner
Paradise Restored Landscaping
http://www.paradiserestored.com

XLS
12-05-2009, 05:51 PM
we are a total source provider is how we word it

XLS
12-05-2009, 05:53 PM
some say it as a full service provider.

supercuts
12-08-2009, 08:11 PM
some say it as a full service provider.

if your from TN, shouldnt you simply say we "git r done"?

XLS
12-08-2009, 11:44 PM
, git-ur dun Larry " The Cable Guy" had to make it more civilized it seems ,so to not get laughed at in other parts of the U.S.

93Chevy
12-13-2009, 06:51 PM
What about landscape management?

XLS
12-13-2009, 10:06 PM
93 then you cant mow . lol

KeystoneLawn&Landscaping
12-16-2009, 12:53 PM
My tag line says..."complete property maintenance and repair available"

Mike's LawnCare Landscape
12-16-2009, 04:55 PM
The out door Handy man LOL !!!!!

johnnybravo8802
02-02-2011, 10:10 PM
I say "Landscape management." I also ask potential customers if they are looking for a "Professional landscaper" or a "Grass cutter?" If they want a $20 cut then they need to be calling a grass cutter and not me. In my opinion, 9 out of 10 people in this business are grass cutters.

FinerCutslawnCare
02-08-2011, 11:19 AM
maintenance pays the bills and buys the food,landscaping brings in the big money and the insecurities.

I couldn't agree with you more!

backors
02-09-2011, 09:34 PM
This is an interesting topic. From a marketing perspective only, does the word "CARE" carry a stronger meaning to the customer than the word, "MAINTENANCE"? I think it does.

We just changed all our references to our "maintenance" activities to "LAWN AND GARDEN CARE". We will see how it works.

DoornbosOutdoorServices
02-16-2011, 08:02 PM
Maybe it should be "Outdoor Services"... Just a thought.

I agree with Baseballer1100 "Outdoor Services" is a good term for a company that does more than one thing but maybe im bias :)

johnnybravo8802
02-18-2011, 10:22 PM
This is an interesting topic. From a marketing perspective only, does the word "CARE" carry a stronger meaning to the customer than the word, "MAINTENANCE"? I think it does.

We just changed all our references to our "maintenance" activities to "LAWN AND GARDEN CARE". We will see how it works.
The term, "Lawn care" is good if you do chem apps but if you do lawn maintenance, it's not technically correct. Most lawn services don't know the difference, although they are "Professionals.":rolleyes:

kilgoja
03-09-2011, 09:37 PM
i consider mowing, trimming, blowing to be lawn care or lawn service....fertilizer app and such could be called lawn care but it's like another section of lawn care since it requires a different license to do it...to me landscaping is putting in flower beds, planting shrubs and plants or trees, trimming bushes, putting in mulch, putting in ponds, making walls or putting stone pathways in and such, doing irrigation, and so forth...basically the hard time consuming things are landscaping and the mow go and blow is lawn care or lawn maintenance lol

johnnybravo8802
03-09-2011, 09:57 PM
i consider mowing, trimming, blowing to be lawn care or lawn service....fertilizer app and such could be called lawn care but it's like another section of lawn care since it requires a different license to do it...to me landscaping is putting in flower beds, planting shrubs and plants or trees, trimming bushes, putting in mulch, putting in ponds, making walls or putting stone pathways in and such, doing irrigation, and so forth...basically the hard time consuming things are landscaping and the mow go and blow is lawn care or lawn maintenance lol
Not to be nitpicking but the national definition of lawn care is the app of chemicals. I was told that by Scott's lawn care years ago and that is Sean Adams definition also. Again, not nitpicking, just a veteran educating people who don't know better.

Snyder's Lawn Inc
03-09-2011, 10:02 PM
Well i do it all and in phone book you find me in every part that deals with outdoor service