A Guide To Specialty Landscaping Services

Though we mainly deal with lawn maintenance at LawnStarter, we occasionally get requests for specialty services. This makes sense – while good lawn maintenance will make your lawn look great, the right specialty services will make your lawn look immaculate. Today, I wanted to outline some of the most impactful choices you can make regarding specialty landscaping services. Also, I’ll talk about whether you should trust your maintenance company to do these or whether you should call a specialty contractor.

And if you’re in the Northern Virginia, Orlando, or Austin areas and want lawn care done, please reach out and we’ll get you a quote!

Tree Trimming

Photo credit: Flickr user Chris Goldberg</a<
Photo credit: Flickr user Chris Goldberg

Trees are awesome. They’re great for the environment, can save you energy costs, and can even add to your property value. However, they grow fast and can get unruly. So tree trimming is a service that can quickly beautify your lawn. Essentially, it is the process of pruning and trimming any type of trees and bushes at the proper standards, for both horticultural and aesthetic purposes.

Can my maintenance company do this?

Most likely, yes. We offer tree trimming in most of our service areas, and we’ve seen some pretty transformative jobs done. Of course, check with your lawn care company to see if they’re confident they can take on the job, and if they are, see if you can view some of their past work.

Deck Installation

Deck installation is another common request we get from homeowners, mainly because it is another very effective way to add value to your home. It is what it sounds like: the installation of a deck feature to your existing home. Outside of adding to your property value, a deck can also do wonders for your barbecue parties or your social gatherings in the summer time. Life is good when you’re sitting on a deck chair watching the sun go down.

Can my maintenance company do this? 

Probably not. Very rarely will a lawn care and maintenance company be able to take no a job of this magnitude, and you’ll likely want to go with a specialist. What you’ll really want to look for here is a landscaping company that specializes in hardscapes.


Sometimes your lawn is need of drastic repair, for any number of reasons. When this happens, we often get the question, “Should I sod or re-seed?” Most often, the answer is sodding. Sodding is basically transplanting a mature turf that has been cared for professionally, whereas re-seeding is pretty much what it sounds like. Of course, sodding is more expensive but it is the one way to ensure that your turf takes root and flourishes into an amazing lawn.

Can my maintenance company do this? 

Most often, yes. Sodding doesn’t require an additional professional license, and most lawn care companies are trained and do very well at sodding jobs. One of our lawn care partners in Orlando recently did an amazing renovation job on a property, which included both tree trimming and re-sodding.


Fertilization is one of the most important things you can do in the pursuit of a majestic lawn. It is basically the process of feeding your lawn the extra nutrients it needs in order to improve its texture and water-retention properties. Depending on your grass type and location, you could fertilize your lawn anywhere from 2-8 times per year. It’s recommend, however, that you fertilize more than once, or you might just be wasting money on a one-time job.

Can my maintenance company do this?

Many lawn care companies can do fertilization, but not all lawn care companies should do fertilization. Simply put, fertilization specialists will do a much better job than a lawn care generalist in most occasions. They will be buying better fertilizer and will have the experience and know-how to apply it correctly and at the right times and intervals. Go with an experienced fertilization company in most cases.


Photo credit: Flickr user epSos.de
Photo credit: Flickr user epSos.de

Landscaping is somewhat of an ambiguous term, but generally means to “improve the aesthetic appearance of (a piece of land) by changing its contours, adding ornamental features, or planting trees and shrubs.” So this could include living elements like flora (gardening), natural elements like hills and bodies of water, hard structures like fences and material objects, or abstract elements like weather and lighting conditions. Good landscaping has been shown to increase property value and curb appeal in homes.

Can my maintenance company do this?

It depends. For some things like transplanting trees, removing shrubs, or adding small features, most lawn care companies have a certain amount of capacity to do the job. However, complicated xeriscaping and water body installations will have to be done by experienced landscape professionals. In any case, for smaller jobs it doesn’t hurt to ask your lawn care company if they can take them on.

Retaining wall

Retaining walls are designed to resist the lateral pressure of soil on unnatural slopes. They bound soil between two different elevations. Here’s a great image explaining different types of retaining walls from Wikipedia:

Retaining_Wall_Type_FunctionCan my maintenance company do this?

Rarely. There are a few lawn care companies who have the capacity to do these jobs, but most cities require them to be designed and constructed by a professional engineer with a license to do so. Many lawn care maintenance providers don’t have this license (though some do). Your best bet is to find a professional licensed and experienced in building and designing retaining walls. This is an expensive piece of landscaping, so you’ll want to make sure it’s done right anyway.




Alex Birkett

Alex Birkett is marketer and writer. Aside from mowing lawns, he loves snowboarding, eating sushi, and lifting heavy weights. He moved to Austin, TX after graduating from the University of Wisconsin.