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Grilling hotdogs on a beautiful green lawn, surrounded by family and friends, is a vivid and lasting part of Americana imagery. We envision ourselves hanging from a hammock with a cold drink in hand, gently swinging above a lush green lawn, but the reality is that fighting with our yards is the actual American reality. We struggle with bare spots and pesky crabgrass, and we take trip after trip to the local hardware big-box store. Subscription lawn care services are here to ease the pain and bring our dreams closer to reality.
Several newer companies set out to disrupt the way we take care of our yards, and they are forcing changes with some of the older players too. Still, there are significant differences in how natural the ingredients are and how customized the subscription lawn care services are to your specific lawn. Which brand should you choose? Read our detailed reviews below, or check out this table with side-by-side comparisons.
Best DIY Lawn Care Subscriptions
There is no reason to be jealous of neighborhood lawns when improving your yard is as easy as subscribing to one of these services. And depending on which brand you choose, you can avoid all chemicals at the same time. Consider this; if you want a greener lawn, there are basically three options:
- You can pay a local service provider an obscene amount of money to spend 15 minutes spraying a generic (and toxic) substance on your yard.
- You can spend an obscene amount of time at your local lawn and garden store, trying to figure out what you are doing.
- You can utilize a subscription lawn care service that sends everything you need to your front door for a reasonable price, exactly when you need it.
Sunday Lawn Care Review
Sunday Lawn Care realizes that we love our yards for more than just the greenery they provide outside our windows. We love to chase our dogs, play with our kids, and we love to see birds, bees, and butterflies. The problem is that traditional fertilizers aren’t safe for kids and pets, not until dissolved. And we all know the bee population is declining, in part because of controllable factors such as overuse of pesticides and herbicides.
There’s a better way, and Sunday Lawn Care has set out to provide that solution. There are no toxic pesticides in their formula, but there are very natural ingredients that support the entire ecosystem for your lawn. Sunday proudly promotes their formulations are darkly black because they are packed with nutrients found in ingredients such as molasses, seaweed, soy protein, and iron. Honestly, it is a little weird to read an ingredient list and understand what is included, but we like it.
Sunday Lawn Care: How It Works
Sunday Lawn Care is a completely customized experience that enables you to develop a lawn care plan perfect for your yard. They start by using satellite imagery to pull up a picture of your yard. Once you have confirmed the property is yours, they estimate your lawn’s size from the satellite images and determine how much product you will need to manage your lawn’s health effectively.
Is your soil quality the same as your best friend’s soil quality two states away? Probably not. Is it the same consistency as your dad’s yard down in Florida? Doubtful. The Sunday Lawn Care team sends you a soil test, which you return for the company to analyze. With this information in hand, they send you just the right amount of product for your lawn, specially formulated for your lawn’s needs. That’s impressive stuff.
The product comes in a bag, which you can attach to your hose. You don’t have to worry about storing a spreader or adjusting the spreader settings, so they are just right. With Sunday Lawn Care, you simply hook up the bag to the hose and spray the yard. Very simple and convenient.
As far as the subscription process, each subscription is slightly different based on the climate and your soil’s specific needs. Most subscription plans will include three shipments spread throughout the year, based on your climate, and have two to four pouches based on your yard’s needs. Shipments will pause for the winter months. If you are busy dealing with extensive snow removal, a shipment from Sunday won’t do you much good.
Many fertilizer blends also contain weed control, but Sunday Lawn Care believes the best way to control weeds is to promote a thick lawn that chokes out weeds, and that is where they shine their focus. If you need to seed your lawn, Sunday does have several seed blends also customized to your climate. Weed control may become a thing of the past between the personalized seed blends and the customized fertilizers creating thick grass.
The technology is cutting edge, the product is future-focused, and the customer service team is ready to help.
Sunday Lawn Care: The Verdict
Sunday is a fantastic product. It’s like lawn food for the soil’s soul, and in many ways, Sunday Lawn Care revolutionizes the yard care game. With Sunday Lawn Care, you receive customized solutions providing for your yard needs and you don’t have to worry about the nasty chemicals, spreaders, contractors, and other annoyances you dealt with in the past. With Sunday, you can achieve those dreams of swinging from a hammock in the breeze, just above a lush lawn.
Sunday Lawn Care and Rachio Thrive are our favorite products reviewed here, but as we mention below, Rachio Thrive requires the use of Rachio’s smart sprinkler controllers. If you have a sprinkler system installed, you might look there. Of course, there is something to be said for a simple hose hardware store sprinkler. You won’t have to worry about loss in pressure, insufficient pressure over distance, or all of the other headaches commonly associated with installed sprinkler systems. You can simply move the sprinkler around.
And if you do have a sprinkler system, Sunday Lawn Care will work just as well as it would without one. The big takeaway is that Sunday Lawn Care gives you options, where Rachio Thrive is intended to be used with the Rachio ecosystem.SUMMARY PROS
- Customized For Your Lawn
- No Pre-Emergent Weed Control
- Mailed to Your Door
- Natural Ingredients
- Safe Around Pets and Kids
- Delivered in Liquid Form
Lawnbright Lawn Care Review
The Lawnbright solution is one of the newest lawn care solutions on the market, but there are few distinct features that make it one of the most exciting products we have reviewed. The product shares many characteristics with Sunday Lawn Care, which we are big fans of, such as ingredients you can pronounce. Think of ingredients like seaweed and molasses, which both provide proper nutrition to your soil. Like Sunday, Lawnbright does better than simply shooting your grass blades up with nitrogen. Lawnbright improves the health of your yard’s ecosystem.
So how is Lawnbright different? We’re glad you asked because there are a few main reasons Lawnbright should be at the top of your list. First is this: Lawnbright is the only company we have found to offer a natural weed control product, which comes as part of the Lawnbright subscription. Technically, it is a weed pre-emergent, but this is aHUGE deal.
If you already have weeds in your yard, your best course of action is to pull them by hand, but then you can put down some of Lawnbright’s pre-emergent weed control, and it will reduce crabgrass growth by up to 86%! It’s a corn gluten meal product, so it will be safe for your pets and family, just like the rest of Lawnbright’s product portfolio.
Scotts’ portfolio of products also offers weed control, but it is a chemically driven formula you might find best to avoid. This is Lawnbright’s biggest advantage as a new company, but don’t forget I mentioned they have few tricks up their sleeve.
The Lawnbright team also sells spot pet repair. We love our family pets, but the reality is they can wreak havoc on a good lawn. Fortunately, Lawnbright’s Pet Spot Repair product offers a one-of-a-kind organic formula that helps take care of any ugly spots in your yard caused by dog urine. If you use the product regularly across your yard, it will actually help prevent dog spots on the lawn altogether.
And to borrow and adjust from Bugs Bunny, let me just say: “That’s Not All, Folks!” Seriously, Lawnbright is ahead of the game with natural weed pre-emergent and pet spot repair, but they have one more product you need to know about. They also sell a natural insect repellent that will keep the bugs at bay.
The organic mosquito and tick control utilizes cedar to repel mosquitos, fleas, ticks, and other pesky bugs, which is a big deal in certain regions of the country. At the same time, we have a major bee problem. Namely, bees and other pollinators are dying off because of the harmful chemicals we frequently use. You’ll be happy to know that the Lawnbright insect repellant only deters the pesky insects you love to hate, but it won’t repel or harm any bees or beneficial pollinators. Again, this is a huge innovation.
Lawnbright Lawn Care: How It Works?
While Sunday’s technology to measure the size of your yard via satellite is cool, Lawnbright’s method for offering subscriptions for small, medium, and large yards is much more straightforward. They offer comparisons to help you decide. For example, a small yard is about the size of a tennis court.
Once you set up your subscription, the Lawnbright team will send you a few products to help you get started, but they will also send you a soil testing kit. You simply collect soil from around your yard, and return it to the Lawnbright testing labs with a prepaid return envelope. It’s a pretty easy process, and once your soil has been analyzed your subscription will be adjusted so that you provide the perfect mix of Lawnbright products for your yard.
If you want to try out the pet spot repair or the natural insect repellent, simply add those on to your order as extras. Both are worth the investment, but we are particularly excited about the Yard Patrol organic repellent. You can also set-up a subscription to Yard Patrol, which we highly recommend considering.
Lawnbright Lawn Care: The Verdict
It’s honestly hard to find ways to nitpick at Lawnbright. They are a new company, so the track record isn’t as long, but when your product works that doesn’t really matter much. Lawnbright solutions are very similar to Sunday Lawn Care solutions, but Lawnbright has a broader product portfolio. This sets Lawnbright apart from all of the competition. Sure, Scotts has a broad portfolio, but it is all chemically based.
The Lawnbright system includes natural and safe lawn food, organic weed pre-emergent, pet spot repair, and natural insect repellent. When you compare it to the competition, it’s an impressive line-up, but it is doubly impressive when you realize how new the brand is. Customer Service is top-notch, and the products offer an excellent and safe way to provide your lawn with a long-term boost of health.
If you are interested in lawn care subscription services, don’t look much further than Lawnbright. You will start the process with a soil test kit that will help the team create a custom lawn plan, and you can feel confident in the process, knowing you chose a safe and natural product.SUMMARY PROS
- Natural Lawn Care Solution
- Newest Brand
- Tailored For Where You Live
- Delivered To Your Door
- Organic Weed Pre-Emergent
- Pet Spot Remover Available
- Natural Insect Repellent Available
Rachio Thrive Review
If you have a sprinkler system, you may be familiar with Rachio. A few years ago, the company came onto the scene with smart sprinkler systems that provide a customized watering schedule based on local factors such as sunrise and recent rainfall totals. Rachio solutions are both innovative and earth-friendly, optimizing watering schedules to save both money and water.
To become a complete lawn care solution provider, Rachio added the Thrive lawn kit to its line-up. The Rachio Thrive system works based on the same app used for managing Rachio sprinkler controllers, so as you go through the check-out process, they make clear you should add one of the company’s controllers if you don’t already have one.
Naturally, this is a bit of a double-edged sword. If you already have smart sprinkler controllers or are considering installing one, then the Rachio Thrive system is second to none. The app manages not only when to water your lawn daily but also when to apply the Lawn Champion treatment and how much to water your yard after using it.
The system even takes local weather into account so that you apply the perfect amount of water regardless of the weather conditions. Proper watering is the key element of Rachio’s lawn ecosystem, and about the only thing they can’t do for you is drain off excess rain in the event of a torrential downpour.
The other side of the sword is that if you don’t have a sprinkler system or don’t want to buy a Rachio controller, then you need to consider one of the other options in this article.
Rachio believes in cultivating true lawn health by adding rich ingredients through its Lawn Champion treatment while watering your yard precisely as needed. Rachio claims that plants grown with the Rachio Thrive Lawn Champion system have root mass that is twice as thick as the “other natural treatments.” Shots fired.
Rachio Thrive: How It Works
The Rachio Thrive purchase process starts similarly to Sunday. After providing your address, their system shows your home’s satellite imagery and helps you mark out exactly where your yard is. Technology is something, isn’t it? Once your yard is identified, Rachio provides a soil analysis based on local environmental factors. This information will later be used in developing a treatment plan.
Based on your inputs, Rachio determines how many Lawn Champion bottles (lawn food) are needed to cover your lawn. The Lawn Champion treatment nourishes your yard by adding natural microalgae and other nutrients that are safe for both pets and kids. While some fertilizers burn your lawn with excess nitrogen, Lawn Champion focuses on creating a living soil where your grass will flourish.
The expectation is that you will also be using Rachio smart sprinkler controllers and the associated app. The controllers are the best on the market, allowing ultimate personalization when you want to run the show and complete convenience when you would rather Rachio schedule your waterings based on local environmental conditions. The Rachio app tells you precisely when to apply the treatment to your lawn, so after it shows up on your doorstep, the app will guide you through the rest.
Rachio Thrive: The Verdict
The Rachio Thrive system is an eco-friendly approach to lawn care that focuses on cultivating healthy soil where grass can thrive, rather than pumping the grass itself with nitrogen. The goal is that you will have a lawn with healthier roots and better long-term performance by using the system. If you have a sprinkler system or plan to install one, Rachio Thrive is the perfect solution to create a healthy, lush, and beautiful lawn.SUMMARY PROS
- Mailed to Your Door
- Requires Rachio Sprinkler Controllers
- Natural Ingredients
- Safe Around Pets and Kids
- App guides proper application
- Delivered in Liquid Form
Lawn Serv Subscription Review
Lawn Serv provides solutions that are not only tailored specifically for your lawn but also tailored for your preferences and budget, which sets it apart from its competitors. While we are big fans of natural lawn care products, they are a little more expensive than synthetic products. Lawn Serv gives you the option to choose whether going natural is right for you.
Lawn Serv offers three options:
Traditional Plan: Includes synthetic fertilizers, which are cheaper than the natural alternatives but not as safe for kids and pets. The traditional plan isn’t as earth-friendly either.
Mostly Natural: The mostly natural plan is an excellent option if you need to be budget-conscious but would also prefer fewer synthetic products. Most of the products are natural, but the program includes some synthetic products for weed control.
All Natural: While this plan is the most expensive, no synthetic or potentially toxic products are included. It is the safest for the kids and pets and gentle on your lawn.
With this personalization level, it is easy to envision falling in love with your lawn service subscription. They send you what you need when you need it. You apply as directed, and then sit back and enjoy.
Lawn Serv is a unique lawn care company. When you sign up for Lawn Serv, the first thing you need to do is pick which of the three plans is right for you. Once you have decided whether you want to go with the Traditional, Mostly Natural, or All Natural programs, you will complete a quick questionnaire providing more information about your lawn. Also, if you choose to pay in one annual fee rather than through the monthly fee, Lawn Serv will give you a 10% discount.
In the first month of your subscription, Lawn Serv will send you a soil collection kit to return, so they can determine what your lawn needs. They will also provide products to start pre-treating weeds and soil conditions. Then, in the second month of the subscription, Lawn Serv will provide customized products based on your soil test results. If you have dead grass because of your soil conditions, they help determine which products will point you toward the straight and narrow.
Over a year, you will receive products to fertilize your lawn, control the bugs, and balance your soil’s pH levels. Lawn Serv will automatically pause your subscription during certain months, based on your location and climate. The southernmost states, such as Florida, will receive products for ten months out of the year, while the northernmost states will have products delivered for only seven months.
Lawn Serv Subscription: The Verdict
If you are looking for an all-in-one lawn care subscription that is personalized and comprehensive, Lawn Serv may be the best option for you. You can choose what level of synthetic products to use, which impacts both price and other factors, such as weed control, and the service also includes products to manage the bugs in your yard. We also like that the subscription plan is tailored for where you live, as those in Florida have different seasons than those in Minnesota.SUMMARY PROS
- Natural and Synthetic Options
- Relies on Granular Product Application
- Tailored For Where You Live
- No Proprietary, Lawn-Serv-Branded Products
Scotts Lawn Care Program Review
If you’ve spent hours going to and from one of the large lawn and garden stores like I have, then you will be familiar with Scotts. This might be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on your perspective. If you are hesitant to try new brands, this is excellent news because Scotts offers an annual lawn care program accessible from their website.
If you prefer more modern technologies and companies, particularly those with eco-friendly and natural products, you might be frustrated you haven’t heard of Scotts’ newer competitors. Scotts’ Turf Builder is perhaps their most-used product, and it works. I have used it myself in the past. Turf Builder is designed to work during any season, so it is convenient to be sure, but it is not exactly safe and organic like competitor products.
Scotts didn’t get to be such a big player by accident. They offer a variety of useful products to meet your seasonal and climate needs. The annual lawn care program is just the icing on the cake for their loyal customers.
The first thing worth mentioning is that with the Scotts lawn care program, you can use the brand you trust without making an untimely run to the local store. Scotts gives you the option of signing up for the annual program through their website or their phone app, and they make the sign-up process simple. The process starts with a quick quiz regarding your goals and the current state of your lawn. The questionnaire includes sample pictures to help you determine how healthy your lawn currently is.
There are no soil samples involved with Scotts program, but their introductory quiz does ask questions about the type of grass you have and your local climate. Based on your quiz results, Scotts will recommend four applications throughout the year, which can be shipped directly to your door at the appropriate time. If you choose to pay for your subscription up-front, Scotts will give you a 10% discount. Otherwise, you will be charged as Scotts mails you the appropriate seasonal product.
Unlike most of the other options, you will need a spreader to apply Scotts’ product. This may not be a problem if you have used their product in the past, as you probably already have a spreader, but it is a different application process than applying liquid fertilizer with a hose. The big downside here is that Scotts products lean synthetic and less naturally earth-friendly, but we will let you decide the best option for your lawn.
Of course, as with any lawn care plan, adding the right amount of water at the correct times is critical. Most watering is recommended between 6 a.m. and 10 a.m., so the water doesn’t evaporate. And any time you put down lawn food, watering is essential for absorption.
Scotts Lawn Care Program: The Verdict
Scotts is the name you know and trust. Chances are you have used Turf Builder in the past, and their subscription sign-up is easy to use. If you prefer a more natural lawn care solution, you would be best served to choose one of the preceding options. Likewise, if you don’t already have a spreader, you may consider one of the above brands. Nonetheless, Scotts was around before many other brands, so they can be trusted to deliver results. If you really want to boost nitrogen into your yard for a quick shot of green, this certainly will do so, but it is not as natural as the alternatives.SUMMARY PROS
- Proven Products
- Not As Many Natural Options
- Locally Available
- Not As Safe Around Kids And Pets
Should You Plant New Grass Seed?
To state the obvious, if your lawn is entirely barren of any grass, or even if dirt patches, lawn food won’t help. Scotts and Sunday Lawn Care both sell grass seed, which you might need to fill in your lawn. Do you know what type of grasses you currently have? If you are partial to a specific type of grass, you will probably want to use Scotts’ seeds, many of which are drought-resistant.
On the other hand, if you are open to a mix of seeds targeted toward your climate, we recommend Sunday Lawn Care’s seeds. Their warm-season grasses include Bermuda mixes, while their transitional and northern zone grasses include fescue mixes and bluegrass mixes.
And if your pets and kids have turned your backyard into a dirt pit, Scotts and Sunday have you covered. Regardless of what grass type currently fills your lawn, Scotts and Sunday offer any grass seed you might need to create a healthy and lush lawn going forward.
Which DIY Lawn Care Subscription Is Our Favorite?
In many ways, Sunday seems like the future of lawn care. I suppose spreaders are easy enough to push, but they are a pain in the butt to store and get filthy covered in synthetic fertilizers. As Sunday Lawn Care says, “If you can use a hose, you can have a Sunday lawn.” It is that simple. When spring rolls around, Sunday will have your first shipment ready to go. Then regardless of the season, your lawn will be looking great throughout the year.
Really, the only downside to Sunday is they don’t integrate weed control into their regular shipment system. And that is the opening that Lawnbright used to step through the door. The Lawnbright product portfolio includes liquid yard food similar to Sunday’s nutrient pouches, but Lawnbright’s subscription also includes an organic weed pre-emergent. It’s hard to overstate what a huge deal this is since none of the competitors offer anything similar.
And if that’s not enough Lawnbright also sells pet spot repair and a natural insect repellent. If you seem to attract mosquitos as my wife and kids do, I would definitely recommend setting up a subscription for the natural insect repellent, which utilizes cedar to keep the annoying pests away.
- Best Established Lawn Care Subscription - Sunday Lawn Care
- Most Impressive Product Portfolio - Lawnbright
Bonus Content: If you’re still not convinced or have a few more questions, we did detailed reviews of Rachio Thrive and Sunday, and Lawnbright. While Rachio Thrive will work great for some, for most people, we think it will be hard to beat Sunday Lawn Care. Still, Lawnbright punches above its weight and is ready to knock out the more established brands like Sunday. Check out the detailed reviews and get moving on the green lawn of your dreams. Next thing you know, you might be inspiring others with your landscaping ideas.
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