Landscaping vs. Lawn Care

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Sean Adams, Jun 13, 2008.

  1. Sean Adams

    Sean Adams LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,594

    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 - 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 and sign up.

    It's free just like and it might just give you the opportunity to have certain more involved discussions.
  2. Baseballer1100

    Baseballer1100 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 220

    Maybe it should be "Outdoor Services"... Just a thought.
  3. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,638

    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.
  4. americanlawn

    americanlawn LawnSite Fanatic
    from midwest
    Messages: 6,089

    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.
  5. k911lowe

    k911lowe LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 524

    maintenance pays the bills and buys the food,landscaping brings in the big money and the insecurities.
  6. lawnman_scott

    lawnman_scott LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,542

    I consider my self a lawn & landscape Maintenance provider.
  7. grasswhacker

    grasswhacker LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,873

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

    pararest LawnSite Member
    Messages: 43

    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
  9. XLS

    XLS LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,038

    we are a total source provider is how we word it
  10. XLS

    XLS LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,038

    some say it as a full service provider.

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