We all feel like we know a healthy lawn when we see it — it's green and lush, the perfect spot for backyard BBQs and impromptu kickball.

But the truth is, maintaining a healthy lawn is harder than it looks and requires a customized approach that considers soil quality and history. Most lots are stripped of their fertile top soil when the homes are built, so building that quality soil for a healthy lawn can take up to 20 years.

"Our process is to pay attention to what we already know," said Kevin Tompkins of Tompkins Lawn Care. "We know how plants benefit from organic material. We know that most home lawns contain sterile soil. We know that certified organic programs fail to provide enough nitrogen. We know that synthesized products are also needed to remedy soil that is so deficient."

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Tompkins Lawn Care, whose crew has more than 20 years of experience improving and maintaining Iowa lawns, takes pride in offering customized plans based on each lawn. Over the years, they have adjusted their five-step program to include more organic fertilizer and reduce the use of unnecessary pesticides and weed control.

Other lawn care companies try to sell homeowners annual contracts with a set number of services that don't take into account each specific lawn's needs.

"In addition, the increased pressure to produce more, faster and cheaper has most service providers reaching for more chemical quick fixes," Tompkins said. "Without patience and with disregard to common sense, even short term gains are seldom realized and the proverbial race to the bottom continues."

But not at Tompkins Lawn Care. Tompkins Lawn Care operates without contracts, because they guarantee their results and believe satisfied customers will keep returning — and they have.

So, this winter, why not prepare for spring by scheduling a free consultation and estimate with Tompkins Lawn Care? Just call (319) 331-9357 or visit tompkinslawncare.com.