Tree Services

How to Find a Reputable Tree Service

Tree Service Balitmore is a way to maintain the beauty of your property while minimizing the risk of damage to your home or power lines. Professionals can spot dangerous branches that need to be removed and can prevent injuries from falling trees.

Tree Service

Look for insurance, licenses, and certification before hiring a tree service. Also, ask if they use spikes to climb trees while pruning and if this causes unhealthy wounds.

Trees are essential to any landscape and can enhance a home’s curb appeal. However, they can also pose a safety risk and need to be properly maintained. A professional tree service company will know how to safely and efficiently trim and prune trees and shrubs, as well as remove any dead or hazardous trees. This will ensure the health and beauty of your trees for years to come. It is important to choose a reputable tree service that has an excellent reputation. You can do this by checking online reviews and looking for a local trade association membership. You should also ask about insurance coverage and whether they have a worker’s compensation policy in case a worker gets hurt on the job site.

A reliable tree service company should offer competitive pricing for their expertise. They should also be able to accommodate your special needs and budget. They should also be able to perform a complete assessment of your property and advise you on the best course of action for your trees.

When choosing a tree service, be sure to choose one that has the right equipment for the job. They should use a crane and bucket truck to perform heavy work, such as tree removals. They should also have a 36-inch-wide and 83-foot-tall spider lift, which allows them to work on high trees without the need for a ladder. Ticos Tree Service is a Brooklyn-based company that offers a variety of tree services, including pruning, trimming, and stump grinding. The company is staffed by trained and experienced arborists, and its technicians can provide services for residential and commercial properties.

Look for signs of illness in your tree, such as fungus and flaking bark. You should also check for rot and brittle roots. These are warnings that your tree is in danger of falling. Search BBB’s list of Accredited Tree Service Companies to find an affordable and trustworthy provider.

It is a good idea to avoid hiring door-to-door contractors for projects such as tree removal. They are often scam artists that travel from town to town, preying on unsuspecting homeowners. They may also try to cut corners by using improper pruning methods. For example, they might prune your tree using climbing spikes, which are not in compliance with industry standards. If you are suspicious of a contractor’s practices, ask them to provide references from previous clients.

Insurance

There are many different types of insurance that a Tree Service should have, including general liability, workers’ compensation, commercial auto insurance and commercial property insurance. Some of these policies can be bundled together for savings in a business owner’s policy (BOP).

General liability insurance helps pay for third-party accidents that occur on the job site or when the arborist is driving to and from work sites. For example, if a client trips over an extension cord your employee left behind or a neighbor’s car is damaged by your equipment, a general liability policy would help cover any legal fees and possible settlements.

Workers’ compensation is required in most states for Tree Service companies with employees, and it covers medical expenses, rehabilitation costs and a portion of any lost wages when an employee gets injured on the job. This type of coverage is important because it ensures that a Tree Service can continue operating even if one of its employees is seriously hurt or killed while performing their job duties.

Errors and omissions insurance (E&O) is another important insurance for Tree Services, as it protects the company if a client sues the company for professional mistakes. For instance, if the company fails to properly prune or remove a tree that later falls and damages the customer’s home, E&O will pay for any legal fees and settlements.

Other insurance policies that a Tree Service should have include commercial umbrella or excess liability insurance, which adds an extra layer of protection in the event that a court decision or settlement exceeds the limits of a general liability or other insurance policy. Additionally, if you rent or borrow vehicles for your business, you should also have commercial auto insurance. This type of insurance pays to repair or replace any vehicles that are damaged or stolen.

Finally, if you have any tools or equipment that are in transit to a client’s location, you should have inland marine insurance. This type of insurance covers any damage or loss that occurs while the equipment is being transported to and from a job site.

Experience

Whether you have a large tree that needs to be removed, or you need a few shrubs pruned, you need an experienced and knowledgeable arborist. The right professional can make the difference between a job well done and one that results in damage to your property or even death. The best way to find the right tree service is to ask for references and reviews. You should also check out the company’s insurance. A legitimate company should carry personal and property damage liability as well as workers’ compensation.

A good tree service will perform pruning and trimming using the proper methods for the type of trees and their age. They will also know when to use specialized equipment. A reputable tree service will not use improper practices, such as topping or lion’s-tailing, which can kill a tree and require expensive restoration work later.

In addition to offering tree removal and pruning services, a reputable tree service will provide other important tree care services. These include stump grinding, fertilization, and tree storm repairs. Moreover, they should have experience in dealing with various kinds of trees and can help their customers choose the right trees for their needs.

When starting a tree service business, it is crucial to prepare a business plan. This should include realistic goals and first-year projections. It should also specify what your business will offer and how much it will cost. It is also a good idea to set up a separate bank account for your business so that you don’t mix your personal and business funds.

It is also a good idea to choose a name that reflects your business and is easy for potential clients to remember. This will appear on your trucks, uniforms, and documents. It should also be a word that is easily searchable online. Finally, you should consider establishing an online presence and promoting your business through social media. This will help your business grow and attract more customers.

Safety

Tree service is dangerous work, and it takes a lot of knowledge to do the job well. It’s important to hire a company that has a safety policy and follows it. Companies that invest in training and take safety seriously have fewer incidents.

One of the biggest hazards for tree workers is being struck by a falling branch. The other is getting caught in equipment or electrocuting themselves. Other dangers include slipping and falling, suffocation, and being thrown by climbing ropes or harnesses.

It’s also common for workers to get poison oak and ivy from touching the ground while trimming or pruning trees. This is why it’s important to always wear gloves and to thoroughly inspect a tree before starting any work. It’s also important to use the right safety gear, such as a hard hat and chainsaw protective clothing.

In addition to these general safety measures, it’s important to follow the specific standards set by OSHA for tree trimming. These standards are not just for compliance with federal law, but they help reduce the risk of injuries and mishaps on every job site.

For example, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration recommends that you follow a two-tree rule when felling a tree. That means you must stay a certain distance from the tree being felled to avoid being hit by limbs as they fall.

Another simple but effective safety measure is to maintain sound footing when working on slopes. You also need to ensure that all safety lines are connected and secure.

Lastly, you should read the Specification of Work report to understand exactly what you’re supposed to do. It will provide you with vital information on how to assess the tree and plan your work. This helps to eliminate mistakes and improves efficiency.

There are many different safety hazards associated with tree service, but some of them are more serious than others. In fact, some of them can be life-threatening. For example, an employee was killed when he disconnected his lanyard to move around some limbs, and then he fell off the tree.

Business Services

Landscape Lighting for Beauty, Function, and Safety

Illuminate your outdoor space for beauty, function, or both. Whether you want to set the mood for entertaining or illuminate a path for safety, there’s a landscape light for every purpose.

Unlike DIY lighting at big box stores, these lamp-ready fixtures allow you to customize brightness (lumens), color temperature, and beam spread. The recessed design eliminates glare, and they’re easy to install. Contact Miami Landscape Lighting today!

  1. Uplighting

A great landscape lighting design illuminates natural and artificial features to create a soft, warm glow that enhances the appearance of your home and yard. These effects are created by combining different types of illumination, including uplighting and downlighting. Uplighting is the simplest way to highlight a tree or feature at night and works well in most situations. Uplighting can showcase unique tree bark or branch patterns, accentuate your favorite plant or tree, or draw attention to hardscape elements such as fountains and statues.

Uplighting is also great for showing off your architectural features at night. For example, uplighting on a wall can show off the texture and color of stucco or brick and bring out shadows that create a dramatic look. The same effect can be achieved with permanent and semi-permanent installations, such as retaining walls or flagpoles.

When choosing uplighting for your property, it’s important to consider the color temperature of the light you use. For the most attractive uplighting experience, you’ll want to use low-wattage bulbs close in color to the natural hue of your landscape. Warmer colors, such as softer yellows and reds, work best with oak trees, brown landscaping stones, and other wooded areas, while cool whites, such as the brightest LEDs, are better suited for more modern landscape designs.

A professional landscape lighting designer can help you choose the right type of uplight for your property. Whether you want to uplight the branches of a large tree, accent a particular plant, or showcase an architectural element, your landscape designer will consider the placement and height of the light fixture. You’ll also want to decide on your uplights’ brightness level or lumens.

While uplighting provides a dramatic effect, it can be even more beautiful when combined with other landscape lighting techniques. A well-designed lighting scheme will utilize uplighting and other lighting techniques to illuminate the entire space, creating a cohesive, welcoming ambiance and making your home safer at night.

While most homeowners know that uplighting will emphasize a portion of their yard or home, they may need to realize that it also creates shadows. This can add a subtle, attractive drama to the landscape at night and is especially striking on the bark of trees and leaves of plants.

  1. Accent Lighting

Accent lighting draws attention to your favorite features of the landscape. It’s often achieved with spotlights, though many fixtures can highlight different features. For instance, a lighted trellis or other structure can draw focus to your garden, while an LED floodlight can illuminate steps or walkways. When positioned high in a tree, these lights can also create a moonlight effect to highlight the shadows of branches and leaves, much like natural moonlight.

Pathway lighting accentuates the texture and height differences of a yard’s paths, stairs, and garden beds, making them safe for walking at night. It can even draw focus to your landscape by highlighting retaining walls, boulders, and other stone features. It’s also a great way to show off water features and add a hint of intrigue.

This technique is especially beautiful for highlighting a shrub or other plant with a distinctive shape. It can also work to highlight the silhouette of a dark object against the background of an illuminated wall or fence. A lighted sculpture or other feature can help draw attention to your home and increase its curb appeal.

Lighted urns, lanterns, or hanging baskets can create a romantic atmosphere and help set the mood for your outdoor space. They can also serve as an eye-catching decoration for your patio or deck.

Color-changing lights can add a new dimension to your landscape and are easy to install, especially in existing fixtures. These lights are often LED-based, so they’re instant-on and don’t need to warm up or turn off. They can be operated off a remote or an app and come in various shapes, sizes, and colors.

Accent lighting is a great way to showcase your home, especially during holidays and special events. It’s also a useful tool to deter crime. Studies have shown that well-placed outdoor lights can cut crime by 39%. It’s important to choose a functional and aesthetically pleasing design, and JellyFish Lighting can help you find the right lights to fit your property.

  1. Flood Lighting

A landscape lighting system should include a mix of different fixture types to illuminate your home, highlight specific features, and create a well-lit outdoor living space. A combination of up-lights, spotlights, and floodlights will help create the right effect for your outdoor area and provide the safety you desire and need after dark.

Uplighting draws attention to dramatic architectural elements, such as tree trunks or sculptures in the garden. Using a light angled towards the object illuminates the form and creates beautiful shadow patterns. This is also a great way to highlight the underside of the canopy on a tall tree and make it stand out.

Spotlights, with their narrower beam width, are better suited to uplighting. However, they can also provide general illumination when a landscape lighting design uses light and shadow to create visual impact and contrast. Spotlights can be positioned along paths, driveways, and decks to provide illumination where needed.

Floodlighting, which typically has a wider beam angle, is ideal for illuminating large garden areas. This light can be placed between uplights to provide a background wash over your landscaping and help create a seamless finish to the whole design.

This lighting style is also good for larger hardscape elements such as fountains and gazebos to provide a more natural moon-lit effect. Large fixtures with full glare guards can be positioned high up in trees and angled down to wash the wall underneath with light. This technique is often used for ‘wall washing’ or grazing wall techniques and can create a striking look.

Path lights, which are the opposite of spotlights in that they aim downwards, can be used to light pathways and walkways. They are also commonly used to illuminate steps on a deck or patio for safety purposes. These can be placed either overhead or around the perimeter of a seating area to provide the required lighting.

Feature lighting brings a stunning piece of furniture, such as a bench or table, to life at night. It can be a fantastic finishing touch to a garden and can make an impact and create a real talking point. Often, this is achieved by embedding the lights within timber paneling or even the seats themselves to achieve a truly stylish finish.

  1. Ambient Lighting

Landscape lighting is a great way to show off your yard and home at night. It highlights architectural features, creates dramatic shadows, and draws the eye to the most appealing elements of a property. It also adds security, safety, and nighttime enchantment to your home. Studies have shown that it can even increase the value of your property.

Using multiple lighting techniques, your landscape designer can create a well-lit environment with the right feel. Ambient lighting, which illuminates the general area of space, can be done by flood lights, well lights, and low-voltage landscape lights.

Aiming multiple light sources at the same object creates an effect known as grazing, which illuminates the texture of a wall or other surface and gives it dimension. This technique can be used with hardscape walls, fences, decks, and other outdoor structures. Well, lights and spotlights are typically used to achieve this. A technique called “wall washing” uses wide-beam light to wash a building facade or long row of plants, eliminating the harsh shadows created by a single light source.

Accent lighting, which draws the eye to a particular feature, is another common landscape lighting method. You can use recessed spotlights, track lights, and low-voltage lighting to highlight your garden’s statues, artwork, water features, plants, or other objects. Another great option for accent lighting is to place a fixture high in a tree and illuminate the branches and leaves, mimicking moonlight.

Pathway lighting outlines walkways, making them safe and visually appealing. Illuminated pathways can also create a sense of intrigue and mystery, drawing the eye through the yard.

Deck lighting, which includes stair lights and railing lights, can be used to highlight the details of a deck or patio. A well-lit deck can make a wonderful dining, drinking, and entertaining social space.

Some landscape lighting fixtures are integrated, meaning the LED board is built into the fixture. This is more expensive than installing a separate bulb, but it’s convenient if the fixture is damaged. Most landscape lighting comes in both line voltage and low voltage options, and you can choose a fixture based on its lumen output (brightness), color temperature, beam spread, and other factors.

Tree Services

What You Should Know About a Tree Service

Georgetown Texas Tree Service help keep trees healthy and looking their best by pruning or fertilizing. They can also remove dead or dangerous trees and stumps. They can also remove wood debris after a storm.

Look for a tree service with accreditation from a respected industry association. A company with this certification will follow regulatory practices and be responsible for their work.

A tree service should take precautions to ensure the safety of its workers. This includes performing a hazard analysis before beginning work and choosing equipment and procedures to minimize risk. It should also establish a method of communication between employees in the tree and those on the ground to prevent accidents caused by miscommunication or unheard messages. This may include using hand signals or headsets and walkie-talkies. In addition, the company should identify a drop zone and ensure other people keep a safe distance from the area while the work is being performed.

Injury and electrocution are the most common hazards associated with operating a tree service. These hazards are more likely to occur when the job involves climbing or working near power lines. NIOSH and state-based FACE Programs have investigated five incidents resulting in the fatal electrocution of tree trimmers who came into contact with downed or energized power lines or worked near them with conductive tools or equipment.

To help reduce the risk of these injuries, a reputable tree service will use various tools and equipment for pruning and removal. These can range from wood chippers to chainsaws. A trained technician knows how to handle these machines correctly and will take the necessary safety measures. Moreover, the service will follow established tree pruning standards and carry appropriate liability insurance.

In addition to ensuring that its employees are properly trained, a tree service should also take the time to inspect all equipment and tools before each use. This will allow the crew to detect any issues that may have occurred during the previous use of the tool and take corrective action. Additionally, the company should provide workers with hard hats, protective eyewear, hearing protection, and steel-toe boots. If any of this equipment is missing, it is a sign that the tree service is taking shortcuts and needs to follow proper protocols.

A professional tree service will also protect the property of its customers by clearing away debris, such as fallen limbs, from their work sites. They will also check for pests, such as spruce budworm and pine beetle, and use the right product solutions to exterminate them without harming the trees.

Tree service companies operate near residential properties, commercial property owners, and local communities. They strive to protect the natural beauty of these landscapes while securing the safety of people and belongings. They also provide pest control services for evergreens to prevent infestation from common nuisance pests, such as spruce budworm and pine beetle. They use specialized product solutions that effectively exterminate these pests without damaging the trees.

The health of a tree depends on several factors, including soil quality and site conditions. Healthy trees reduce soil erosion, help with water retention, and provide valuable shade from summer heat. They also offer energy savings by insulating the ground and protecting roots from winter cold. Moreover, they increase property values and beautify the environment. Trees need regular maintenance and pruning to maintain health and promote growth.

A good tree service company is a professional accredited by a recognized industry association such as the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) or the Tree Care Industry Association (TCIA). These professionals are experienced professionals and understand the importance of safety measures when operating their equipment. They also know the best practices for assessing tree health and addressing issues like tree defects or structural failures.

Whether a tree is healthy or not, it can be affected by environmental stress factors, such as pollution, excessive wind, soil compaction, and drought. These factors may cause damage to the trunk, roots, or crown of the tree, which can lead to rot and decay. To reduce these stressors, a tree service company can apply mulch and other soil amendments, prune and remove dead branches, and perform cabling or bracing.

Proper diagnosis and treatment of tree diseases are essential to preserving tree health. Tree disease symptoms are often hard to identify, but early detection and timely treatment can improve the survival of a sick or dying tree. Some preventative tree health measures include pruning, proper planting techniques, and adequately irrigating trees. It is important to consult an experienced tree expert for appropriate diagnosis and treatment.

Tree services are arboriculture that provides various types of tree care, including planting, trimming, pruning, and health maintenance. They also offer consultation services and can help with landscaping and lawn maintenance. They can be hired for aesthetic or practical reasons, such as removing an unsightly tree or improving the landscape’s appearance. They can also help with landscape tasks like stump removal and debris cleanup.

Reputation is among the most important factors in choosing a tree service company. Poor customer satisfaction can leave a negative mark on a business, while positive reviews and referrals can drive new clients and improve profits. Reputation is particularly important for smaller tree services companies, which must balance the needs of both their customers and employees. The best way to ensure that a tree service company is reputable is to ask for recommendations from friends and neighbors.

Whether you are looking for tree service, tree cutting, or tree mulching, finding a local company with a good reputation is essential. This will ensure that the job is done well and costs you only what is necessary. Look for licensed and insured companies, and check with your municipality and homeowners’ association to see if any permits are required for work on your property.

A reputable tree service company will have a knowledgeable staff and qualified arborists to perform the work. They will also have experience navigating insurance claims. They will follow ANSI Z133 safety standards and provide 24-hour emergency services. They also keep a clean work environment and remove any remaining branches after each visit.

The reputation of a tree service company is determined by how quickly and efficiently it completes its work. A company with a good reputation will complete the work within its quoted time and will not exceed its budget. In addition, it will have a trained crew capable of handling any job, from pruning to trimming trees.

Choosing a tree service certified by the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) is essential to ensure your trees are in safe hands. A reputable company will have ISA Certified Arborists on staff who can assess your trees’ health and recommend the right services. They can also help with other landscape-related issues, such as water conservation and soil health.

If you need to trim, remove, or prune a tree on your property, it is important to hire a professional. It is not a job for the do-it-yourselfer, as it can be dangerous. The most common hazards associated with this type of work include falling or being electrocuted by power lines and getting hurt from climbing or using a ladder. It is also important to have the proper equipment, including chainsaws and stump grinders. If you will use a tree service, get an estimate before the work begins.

The cost of tree service varies widely depending on the type of work and the project size. For example, it is pruning a small tree that is 30 feet tall costs between $75 and $400. Trimming a large tree that is 60 feet or more can cost up to $2,400. The price of removing a large tree from your property is much higher, as it can take several crew members and may require using a crane or bucket truck.

In addition to the labor cost, other charges can add up quickly. For instance, if your tree is in a location that makes it difficult to reach by climbing, this will increase the cost. Trees close to buildings or power lines also add to the price, as they will be more difficult to cut down and remove safely.

Another important factor is the health of the tree. If the tree is unhealthy or dead, removing it will be more expensive. This is because sick trees are often more hazardous than healthy ones and must be removed carefully to prevent damage to other properties and structures.

Finally, the amount of debris left behind will also impact the final cost of a tree service. Many companies will haul away the resulting wood waste at an additional cost. If you are interested in retaining the limbs and trunk of the tree, you can choose to have them chipped or mulched on-site for an extra charge.

Lawn Care
Uncategorized

High-Quality Lawn Care Ideas

As crocuses bloom and lilacs flower, the onset of spring signals that it’s time to start your lawn care. Follow these High Quality Lawn Care Ideas to get your clients’ lawns looking their best.

Promote your lawn care services by using branded sandwich boards and leave behind postcards. You can also create a lawn care flyer with Jobber’s Local Services Ad feature.

1. Keep Your Grass Trimmed

When it comes to a beautiful lawn, maintenance is key. Regular mowing, mulching, edging and spot treating of problem areas are all essential. In addition to keeping the turf healthy, these practices help to prevent weeds and insects from overtaking your yard.

It’s important to keep in mind that the frequency of mowing depends on the season and weather conditions. Typically, the lawn grows faster in spring and summer and will require more frequent mowing than other seasons. For this reason, hiring a lawn care service during these times is often best. Some companies also allow customers to manage their account and schedule online, which is a convenience for busy homeowners.

The One-Third Rule

It is important to never cut off more than one-third of the grass height in any given cutting. Cutting off too much at one time can stress your lawn and make it vulnerable to fungus, disease and other problems.

The ideal mowing height for your lawn will depend on the type of grass you have and the growing conditions. For example, in hot weather it is best to mow your lawn higher, as this helps the turf retain moisture and avoid heat stress. On the other hand, in shady areas of your yard, you may want to mow lower to encourage strong root growth and a thick, dense lawn that can better compete with weeds.

When you do mow, remember to always remove the entire clippings, not just a bare strip or two. If you have a bagging mower, use it to collect the clippings for composting or other uses, and don’t throw them away in the trash. Grass clippings promote healthy soil, retain moisture and reduce thatch, and also help to reduce the need for fertilizer.

Keeping your lawn free of debris is also important for a healthy turf. Fallen leaves can block out sunlight and create a hospitable environment for weeds and insects, while twigs and other yard debris can damage or even kill your grass. Regular debris removal will ensure that your lawn is able to receive adequate sunlight and grow strong, healthy roots.

3. Apply a Layer of Compost

Whether you’re seeding a new lawn, trying to revive patchy turf or simply keep an existing lawn in tip top condition, the addition of a layer of compost will help. Compost reintroduces essential minerals and nutrients to the soil foundation of your yard, boosting your lawn’s health and helping it stay lush without the need for synthetic fertilizers.

A good quality compost will contain a balance of macro-nutrients (such as nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium) and an array of micro-nutrients that are released over time to naturally feed the lawn. It also helps improve soil structure, encouraging healthy root growth and improving drainage. If you use a peat-based compost, it will also add organic matter to the soil, which will help improve its pH level and discourage worms.

When using compost as a top dressing, only spread a thin layer to avoid over-saturating the grass and risking smothering it. Ideally, it should be spread in the spring or fall before the lawn begins to grow so that it has time to settle into the grass and soil before the summer heat.

The best compost to use as a top dressing is finely screened, meaning that it is free of large chunks and has an earthy smell when you squeeze a handful in your hand. It should also be moist and not overly dry, to help it adhere to the soil and prevent wind blowing it away.

If you’re buying a bagged or bulk form of compost, try to make a few small piles throughout the lawn, evenly spaced. This will help you rake it out more easily, when you need to, during the following steps.

After spreading the compost, rake it gently to ensure that it is distributed as evenly as possible. This will help to avoid green spots where more of the compost fell and dead spots where too much smothered the lawn. Water in the compost using a sprinkler to help it settle in and start working its way down into the soil. This will help to reduce the risk of nutrient leaching, which can pollute ground and surface waters.

4. Keep Your Soil Healthy

Keeping the soil healthy is the most important thing you can do to ensure your lawn grows and stays healthy. Many homes come with less-than-ideal soil, but it is often possible to improve it. Ideally, your soil should be loamy, meaning it contains a balanced amount of sand, silt and clay. This type of soil is ideal for garden and lawn care because it retains water, allows oxygen to reach the roots and drains well.

Organic materials can help improve soil quality, too. You can add compost, rotted manure or peat to the soil to improve its texture and water-holding capacity. Another organic option is DPW (dried plant waste), which can be added to sandy soils to help them absorb more water.

You should also consider incorporating some weeds into your yard, as not all of them are bad. Clover, for example, is a common broadleaf weed that works as a natural fertilizer factory by transforming nitrogen in the air into a form that the grass can absorb. Some organic-lawn-care experts recommend adding a pound of clover seed for every 1000 square feet of your lawn.

Another way to keep your lawn healthy is to aerate it regularly, and by raking dead grass in autumn. This helps promote root growth and reduce the chance of fungal diseases. Finally, it’s best to water your lawn in the early morning, as this will allow the sun to quickly dry the turf and prevent prolonged wetness that can encourage disease.

High-quality lawn care isn’t difficult to achieve, but it does take a bit of time and dedication. Regularly mowing your lawn, weeding bare spots and scattering grass seed will help maintain lush, green grass. You should also consider using stored rainwater or grey water for irrigation to reduce your reliance on chemicals and pollutants. And of course, you should always test your soil before applying any kind of fertilizer. An at-home soil test can reveal whether your soil has deficient or adequate levels of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. It can also tell you your soil’s pH level, which is crucial for proper lawn nutrition.