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Backyard & Beyond

Best DIY Lawn Care Subscriptions:
Sunday, Rachio Thrive, Lawn Serv,
Lawnifi and Scotts Annual Program

What is the best DIY lawn care subscription? We reviewed Sunday, Rachio Thrive, Lawn Serv, Lawnifi, and Scotts Annual Program to highlight the best options.

Sunday vs. Rachio Thrive vs. Lawn Serv vs. Lawnifi vs. Scotts - Cover Image

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 lawns, 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.

Sunday vs. Rachio Thrive vs. Lawn Serv vs. Lawnifi vs. Scotts Annual Program
Comparison Table
Best DIY Lawn Care SubscriptionSunday LogoRachio Thrive LogoLawn Serv LogoLawnifi LogoScotts Program Logo
PriceaddSunday💰💰Rachio Thrive💰💰💰Lawn Serv💰💰💰Lawnifi💰💰Scotts Program💰💰
Biggest Selling PointaddSundayCustomized and all-natural lawn health solution in liquid pouchesRachio ThriveThe system focuses on ecosystem health including appropriate wateringLawn ServLawn Serv offers three options ranging from traditional to all-naturalLawnifiCatalyst technology makes the product more efficientScotts ProgramThe most well-known brand
Fun FactsaddSunday1% of all sales go to restoring native tallgrass prairieRachio ThriveRachio app customizes lawn treatments and water applicationLawn ServSubscription automatically paused in winter based on location and climateLawnifiWorks excellent with plants tooScotts ProgramThe app includes lawn inspiration and tips
Natural IngredientsaddSundayRachio ThriveLawn ServOptionalLawnifiScotts Program
Associated AppaddSundayRachio ThriveLawn ServLawnifiScotts Program
Soil Test for Customized ResultsaddSundayRachio ThriveLawn ServLawnifiScotts Program
Liquid or SolidaddSundayLiquidRachio ThriveLiquidLawn ServBothLawnifiLiquidScotts ProgramSolid
Weed Control IncludedaddSundayRachio ThriveLawn ServOptionalLawnifiScotts Program
Kid and Pet FriendlyaddSundayRachio ThriveLawn ServWhen used as directedLawnifiWhen used as directedScotts ProgramWhen used as directed
WebsiteaddSundayRachio ThriveLawn ServLawnifiScotts Program

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.

To us, the best path forward seems relatively clear. Subscription lawn care services are fairly new, but they make a lot of sense. Not only are they often more affordable than the alternatives, but depending on which subscription you choose, you can receive customized solutions tailored to your lawn’s exact needs. We spent hours reviewing the top subscription lawn care solutions, and these are the brands we recommend:

For more detailed information, let’s dive into the specific reviews.

Sunday Lawn Care Review

Sunday Lawn Care realizes that we love our lawns 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 CareSunday 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 Image

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 lawn. 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 CareSunday 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 CareSunday 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 lawns.

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 CareSunday 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 CareSunday 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.

thumb_down CONS
  • checkCustomized For Your Lawn
  • closeNo Pre-Emergent Weed Control
  • checkMailed to Your Door
  • checkNatural Ingredients
  • checkSafe Around Pets and Kids
  • checkDelivered in Liquid Form

Sunday Lawn Care Image 2

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 ThriveRachio 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 ThriveRachio Thrive Lawn Champion system have root mass that is twice as thick as the “other natural treatments.” Shots fired.

Rachio Thrive Image

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.

Rachio Thrive Analysis Image

Based on your inputs, Rachio determines how many Lawn Champion bottles (lawn food) are needed to cover your lawn. The Lawn ChampionLawn 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 ThriveRachio Thrive is the perfect solution to create a healthy, lush, and beautiful lawn.

thumb_down CONS
  • checkMailed to Your Door
  • closeRequires Rachio Sprinkler Controllers
  • checkNatural Ingredients
  • checkSafe Around Pets and Kids
  • checkApp guides proper application
  • checkDelivered 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 Image

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.

thumb_down CONS
  • checkNatural and Synthetic Options
  • closeRelies on Granular Product Application
  • checkTailored For Where You Live
  • closeNo Proprietary, Lawn-Serv-Branded Products

Lawnifi Fertilizer Review

In the world of DIY lawn care solutions, Lawnifi is about as simple as it gets. Their product mix is customized more for the season than for your particular lawn, so the results may not be as personalized as some other solutions. Nonetheless, Lawnifi is available through Amazon, so if you are hesitant to set up yet another online account, Lawnifi is an excellent option to consider.

Lawnifi products include their “Catalyst Technology,” which enables yard owners to apply 80% less product than traditional fertilizers require while still achieving better results. The technology reduces the fertilizer’s particle size, allowing the grass and any plants to absorb the nutrients more efficiently.

The Lawnifi system is easy to use and doesn’t require any soil tests or apps. Sometimes simplicity is king, and if you prefer simplicity, Lawnifi has you covered. The nano-sized nutrients are easy for grass to drink, and because of the system’s efficiency, it only requires 1 or 2 quarts of product per acre.

Lawnifi Image

The Lawnifi system includes three primary products, which are applied monthly based on a seasonal schedule, maximizing effectiveness. The three direct products include Boost, Maintain, and Recover. As you might imagine, Boost is a nitrogen-based product intended to provide rapid greening to your lawn early in the season. Maintain provides regular nutrient feedings during the primary growing months, and Recover provides a nutrient-dense formula to help your lawn recover from stressful conditions.

The subscription boxes are curated to provide the best mix of the above three products, based on typical conditions for the three main growing seasons. You can take a break from lawn applications during the winter months. There is no need to put down lawn food when there are a few inches of snow on the ground. 😏 The three seasonal boxes are curated as follows:

  • Spring Box: Maintain (month 1), Boost (month 2), and Maintain (month 3)
  • Summer Box: Maintain (month 1), Recover (month 2), and Recover (month 3)
  • Fall Box: Boost (month 1), Maintain (month 2), and Recover (month 3)

Lawnifi also sells herbicides, insecticides, and even plugs if you need to get your lawn under control but primarily relies on the three product rotations to build a thick lawn that chokes out any weeds. With consistent yet varied applications throughout the year, Lawnifi provides everything your grass might need.

Lawnifi: The Verdict

Suppose you have an aversion to setting up another online profile and subscription and would prefer to stick with platforms you already use. In that case, Lawnifi is probably the best option because it can be purchased easily through Amazon. When you do purchase from Amazon, just ensure you are purchasing the correct season, since spring, summer, and fall boxes are all available. You then have the latitude in deciding whether you want just to try one season or if you’re going to load up for the entire year.

thumb_down CONS
  • checkNatural and Synthetic Options
  • closeRelies on Granular Product Application
  • checkTailored For Where You Live
  • closeNo 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.

Scotts Image

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.

thumb_down CONS
  • checkProven Products
  • closeNot As Many Natural Options
  • checkLocally Available
  • closeNot 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 CareSunday 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. Still, with proper lawn food application and water application, the intent is that your lawn will be so full that it will choke out any weeds. And if there are any stubborn weeds left over, they do have spot weed killer available.

We also love that Sunday is fully customized to your lawn’s needs. The company uses satellite imagery to determine how much you need, but they use a soil test to provide the exact nutrients required. And how many products these days use ingredients you understand and recognize, like seaweed and molasses? The bottom line is that Sunday Lawn CareSunday Lawn Care offers new-age solutions to age-old problems, and we like what they are offering.

Sunday Lawn Care Image 3

Bonus Content: If you’re still not convinced or have a few more questions, we did detailed reviews of Rachio Thrive and Sunday. While Rachio Thrive will work great for some, for most people, we think it will be hard to beat Sunday Lawn CareSunday Lawn Care. 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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