How Much Does Spring or Fall Yard Cleanup Cost?
$240 – $765
Most homeowners pay between $240 to $765 for seasonal yard cleanup of a ¼ acre to ½ acre lawn and garden depending on the services provided. DIY costs are primarily for the yard tools and equipment you need to rent or purchase to do the job right.
Average Cost of Yard Cleanup in the Spring or Fall Season
The average cost to have a landscaper come in and complete a seasonal cleanup is around $480. This includes all leaf cleanup and removal, weeding out your flower beds, clearing any broken limbs and branches that may have fallen onto your yard, cutting and trimming the grass and edges, as well as blowing of your driveway, sidewalks and deck or patio areas. In some cases, they will also trim shrubs, aerate the lawn and clean your gutters – so have a plan on what yard maintenance work you want done, and negotiate the cleanup cost with the landscaper.
Average Do It Yourself cost
Overview of Yard Cleanup in Springtime
Our 8 Things you Must Do for Yard and Lawn Spring Clean Up has got readers wondering about prices for the tasks discussed there. This Costimate delivers lawn cleanup costs for a checklist of projects that will produce a healthy, beautiful landscape you’ll enjoy all season.
Here’s the checklist:
- Clean up dead leaves and branches
- Trim trees and shrubs
- Mow, edge and aerate the lawn
- Spread grass fertilizer and pre-emergent herbicide
- Overseed lawn
- Clean rain gutters
- Prep planters and plant bulbs or annuals
- Clean patio
Some of these tasks fall into the “basic labor” category that a responsible neighborhood kid could handle. Others require more expertise plus equipment costs and liability costs that push the price higher.
If you forgot to do fall yard cleanup, you don’t want to spend time divvying out the tasks to a range of kids and pros, most landscape companies cover all these spring cleanup jobs and more. Costs here are those you can expect from local landscape contractors.
Service and Supplies Cost Details
Spring Yard Cleanup Price Factors
This is one of the exterior home projects that brings good return on the money spent. You’ll enjoy your yard when it is professionally maintained – and if you sell, then your home’s curb appeal will get a big boost.
We can make some general points about basic landscaping costs that apply to most jobs. Your landscape clean up price will be determined by:
- The Size of your Lawn – This factor especially applies to raking up leaves and twigs, grass cutting, over-seeding and spreading fertilizer and other jobs where sheer square footage matters.
- The Size of the Beds – Prepping flower beds, adding mulch and amending the soil for greater productivity – the bigger the beds, the higher the cost.
- The Volume of Debris Removed – The more leaves to rake, weeds to pull and twigs to pick up, the higher the yard cleanup cost will be.
- Disposal Costs – If you compost all the debris removed or if your city takes it as part of weekly pickup, cost will be lower than if the landscaper hauls it away for disposal.
- Job Time and Difficulty – Pruning a few small shrubs that have been well cared-for goes a lot quicker than trimming back large, overgrown shrubs that haven’t seen a set of shears in years. Ditto for seasonally dirty gutters vs. those filled with debris, moss and emerging weeds from years of neglect.
- Equipment Required – Micaiah Bussey of White Shovel Landscapes in Alabama says this about the equipment cost factor, “Machines cost an enormous amount. The cost of having new or well-maintained equipment and liability insurance is folded into the project cost.” Any time commercial machines and powered equipment are used instead of cheap push mowers and hand tools, cost will be higher.
- Whether the Company is Licensed – Being licensed and insured is expensive, so contractors have to pass on some of the cost to customers. The upside to paying more for a licensed company is the protection you as a homeowner have should the crew damage your property or if one of them is injured on your land.
- Who Supplies the Materials – If you buy the plants, flowers, weed-n-feed, etc., you might save money vs. the contractor taking the time to run around gathering them. On the other hand, landscapers can often buy wholesale, reducing cost. When you get estimates, discuss options and costs for both approaches.
- Who your Landscaper Hires – Many homeowners are conscientious about hiring a contractor known to pay fair wages. These contractors typically charge more for the work.
- Where you Live – Landscape cleanup prices are highest in upscale metropolitan areas where having a perfectly manicured lawn with bountiful flower beds is a “must.”
Cost of Yard Cleanup Supplies
If you plan to DIY, saving money and working off the winter lethargy, here are the cost of yard cleanup supplies broken down by task.
We’ve also included what a contractor would charge.
1). Cost to Clean Up Dead Leaves and Branches
- $12 – $30 | Good-quality Rake
- $100 – $250 | Barrel or Tumbler-Style Composter, 50-100 gallons
- $1-$2 per bag | Paper Landscape Debris Bags
- Pro Cost – Contractors charge the equivalent of $3-$5 per bag to rake up and dispose of leaves and twigs. Typically, they load them in bulk into a truck for hauling away. Expect total cost to be $125 to $300 for most yards.
2). Cost to Trim Trees & Shrubs
This job involves trimming and pruning small trees and shrubs – jobs that are done from the ground or a 6-foot ladder by most landscape companies. This isn’t about trimming trees more than 20 feet high – the work of a tree specialist.
- $15 – $30 | Quality Pruning and Trimming Shears – non-powered
- $45 – $115 per tool | Electric Trimmers, Shears and Chainsaws, corded or cordless
- $30 – $60 | 12-16 Amp Extension Cord – While cordless tools are convenient, a corded tool never loses power
- $60 – $100 | 6-foot fiberglass ladder
- Pro Cost – $15 to $75 per bush or tree depending on their size and condition.
Cost to Mow, Edge and Aerate the Lawn
If you DIY, you’ll pay for the equipment in 1-3 years depending on how long the mowing season is and how often it is mowed.
- $175 – $400+ | Quality Gas or Electric Push Mower
- $65 – $150 | Quality Electric Edger/Trimmer
- $50 – $200 | Push Aerators and Pull-behind Aerators for Garden Tractors
- Pro Cost – $25 to $40 per quarter acre to mow and edge the lawn. Cost is lowest if you schedule weekly visits vs. bi-weekly or longer. Aerating is typically a separate job with about the same cost. It is done once or twice per season. A minimum fee will apply if it is the only task scheduled.
Cost to Spread Grass Fertilizer and Pre-emergent Herbicide
- $50 – $65 per bag | Weed and Feed products like Scotts Turf Builder with 15000 square feet coverage – about 1/3 acre.
- $25 – $35 per 10lb bag | Pre-emergent Herbicide like Preen for flower beds – about 1,600 square feet of coverage.
- $15 – $100 each | Spreaders, starting with a hand-spreader with about 1,000 square foot capacity to a rolling broadcast spreader that holds a full bag of weed and feed.
- Pro Cost – $15 to $30 per quarter acre for the material and labor. If this is the only service provided, then a minimum fee of up to $125 will apply.
Cost to Overseed the Lawn
- $50 – $70 per 40lb bag | Coverage for seeding bare ground is 4,000 square feet and up to 16,000 square feet for over-seeding depending on how heavily you spread it. The grass seed label should provide directions for overseeding. Here’s a thorough and useful guide how to do it, too.
- $45 – $100 each | Broadcast seed and fertilizer spreader
- Pro Cost – $16 to $24 per quarter acre for the material and labor, depending on the type of grass seed and how thick it is spread. A minimum fee might apply.
Cost to Clean Rain Gutters
- $70 – $125 | 8-foot fiberglass ladder
- $3 – $6 | Garden trowel or gutter scoop for scooping out debris
- $18 – $35 | Quality 50-foot garden hose for rinsing out gutters and downspouts after cleaning
- $30 – $75 | Gutter cleaning attachments for power sprayers, garden hoses and vacuum blowers – These tools allow you to clean gutters safely from the ground, though they don’t allow a visual inspection of the gutters to make sure they are free of debris.
- Pro Cost – As noted in our Gutter Cleaning and Minor Repair Guide, this project usually costs $125 – $245 for most homes. If the landscape crew is already on site, then cost might be toward the lower end of the spectrum. If your gutters are overhung by trees and they fill up quickly, gutter guards are a potential solution.
Cost to Prep Planters and Plant Bulbs or Annuals
- $100 – $150 | Corded Electric Garden Tiller and Cultivator – If you have large beds or a lot of total square feet of garden space, you’ll appreciate having a tiller rather than turning the soil by hand with a spade.
- $3 – $4 per 40lb bag | Composted Manure. Coverage varies from 200 – 500 square feet per bag depending on how thick you spread it.
- $12 – $18 per 40lb bag | Garden-blend Fertilizer for flowers and vegetables. Coverage is about 8,000 square feet. Smaller bags are available but are not as economical.
- $8 – $20 per bag | Perennial Bulbs with 12 – 30 bulbs per bag. The cost of perennial plants varies widely.
- $5 – $15 per flat of 8 | Most Annual Flowers fall into this price range for a flat with 8 small containers.
- Pro Cost – $50 – $125 per bed | Cost is based an average bed size of 100 square feet and depends on what is used to improve the soil and the types of bulbs and plants used.
- $5 – $12 each | Stiff Nylon Brush
- $8 – $10 per gallon | Patio Cleaning Solution for concrete, concrete block, patio stones, etc.
- $18 – $35 each | Garden Hose
- $26 – $44 for Electric / $50 – $80 for Gas | Power Washer Rental per Half-day and Full-day, ideal for heavily soiled patios
- Pro Cost – According to our Driveway Pressure Washing Cost guide, typical prices are 27 to 33 cents per square foot. Since patios are usually smaller, cost will be a bit higher – up to 50 cents per square foot. A minimum fee of $75+ will apply if this is the only service performed.
Permits, Inspection, Related Costs and Installation Time
Permits and Inspection Cost
- $0 | Landscaping doesn’t require a permit.
Related Costs and Installation Time
- $30 – $60 per Hour per Crew Member | Landscaping work is usually charged by the job. It breaks down to $30 – $60 per hour based on the cost factors listed above.
- 4-8 Hours | Time it takes for a 2-4 person crew to give a 1/4-acre yard “the works” listed above.
DIY or Hire a Pro?
Most of these tasks involve hard work and fresh air but don’t require expertise. Homeowners that hire pro landscapers are usually short on time and/or short on space for storing the many tools used for spring lawn cleanup and maintenance throughout the year, or their health doesn’t allow it.
If you don’t like working on a ladder, then large tree trimming and gutter cleaning are good tasks for a pro.
Otherwise, sure, these are definitely DIY jobs I enjoy doing – especially the part when the work is done and I’m sitting on the patio with a cold beverage enjoying how great the landscape looks.