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If you’ve been considering one of the DIY subscription box lawn care services, you have plenty of them to choose from.
Each one promises to make caring for your lawn easier and less of a hassle than researching it on your own. They also generally cost less than a traditional local service that comes to your home.
But what’s the difference between all these DIY services?
In this article, we’ll look at three of the most popular services: Sunday, Lawnifi, and Gnome. These DIY subscriptions each offer something different and each can serve a different type of lawn and customer.
First up is Sunday Lawn Care. We’ve used Sunday before and it’s a relatively basic service, but that’s also its main selling point.
Sunday is aimed at homeowners who simply want the right products sent to their homes and don’t want to bother with the details or intricacies of choosing fertilizers or other products.
Sunday products are also fully organic, so this is another selling point for them. All products they use are child and pet-safe immediately after application.
One drawback of this means that Sunday has fewer options to treat lawn problems, such as pests or pervasive weeds.
As for ease of use, Sundary provides a free soil test and uses satellite imagery to determine your lawn size. So there isn’t much at all to do for the homeowner other than to apply the products when they arrive.
Lawnifi is a bit different from Sunday in the way they go about treating your lawn.
They don’t use a soil test and instead ask for the homeowner to identify their type of grass. Lawnifi then picks products based on the grass type and what conditions may affect those grasses.
In our opinion, this is a more custom option and yields better results, especially for lawns suffering from problems.
Speaking of problems, Lawnifi does offer more options as well for problem lawns. They use conventional products and offer extensive pest control options and weed control.
But being conventional, these products are not organic and certain precautions need to be taken regarding how soon the lawn can be used after product application.
This is no different than if you used a local service so many homeowners may have no issue with this.
Lawnifi is also a subsidiary of a larger company that holds patents for various agricultural products. So they know their stuff when it comes to fertilizers and soil treatments.
Gnome is most similar to Sunday in this comparison. Their all-liquid fertilizers and treatments are even packaged very similarly to Sunday.
Gnome also uses a soil test to help determine the formulation that will be sent via their subscription box. During the short sign-up process they also ask for your grass type, which can further customize the options being sent.
All of the products we tested from Gnome were labeled as organic and safe for pets. During the questionnaire that was used to customize the package, they asked if we prefer organic or not. So presumably they offer some non-organic items, but we couldn’t find any.
For example, their pest control spray for mosquitos was made from lemongrass and cedar oil, which makes it totally organic and safe for kids and pets.
As for effectiveness, that’s going to come down to the nature of the mosquito problem in your area. The product does work, but heavy mosquito infestations may be too much to handle for this product.
Overall, Gnome boasts simplicity and an organic product lineup as its main selling point. Homeowners can quickly get set up with Gnome and not have to worry about harsh chemicals that can harm pets or kids.
Sunday has pretty straightforward pricing and offers 3 main types of subscriptions. You can also add individual products to any of the 3 plans you choose for an additional fee.
For a roughly 6,000-square-foot lawn, the prices are as follows.
Basic Plan: $211 – Includes fertilizers and basic treatments for the whole year sent in 2 separate shipments.
Keep and Protect Plan: $291 – Includes everything in the basic plan plus weed control and an herbicide product.
Grow and Renew Plan: $331 – Includes everything in the Keep and Protect plan plus a Lawn Kickstarter product.
They also offer a “Lawn and Paws” plan which is essentially the Grow and Renew plan but with an additional pet patch treatment included.
Lawnifi comes in at a higher price than Sunday’s offering. But they also offer more products for that price. We also do feel the products are of a higher quality and with Lawnifi, the source of the products is known.
Pricing is also pretty simple with Lawnifi. All plans are $699 for the full season. The price can vary a bit depending on what grass type you choose and when in the year you sign up.
All products included in the Lawnifi bundles:
- Insect Control: Imidacloprid 2F Select T/I
- Weed Prevention: Hi-Yield Turf & Ornamental Weed & Grass Stopper
- Disease Prevention: Azoxy 2SC Select
- Nutrient Enrichment: Lawnifi Spring Fertilizer Box
- Natural Guard Spinosad RTS
- Hi-Yield Bug Blaster Bifenthrin
- Lawnifi Summer Fertilizer Box
- Crabgrass Control Plus 0-0-7 with 0.37% Prodiamine
- Natural Guard Spinosad RTS
- Lawnifi Fall Fertilizer Box
These products are sent according to the season they are meant to be applied and some products are sent for every season. Lawnifi sends these in 3 separate shipments.
Gnome is priced annually and for our test site of 6,000 square feet, the price was $234 for their full fertilizer treatment. These 4 products are shipped all at once and have to be stored in between applications which they suggest to be 2-5 times per year.
Their website can be a little confusing as some add-ons are priced individually, like their pet patch formula ($49). While others like the mosquito treatment are priced per month ($49). This can make it difficult to build up a custom bundle and know exactly what the final cost will be. We would like to see them simply this as the rest of the service is very straightforward.
Gnome does also offer lower-cost plans which contain single products, but we wanted to keep the comparison as similar as possible to the other three services we have listed. Also, Gnome often offers coupons that let you save 20% off the cost.
Sunday vs Gnome vs Lawnifi: Pest Shoot Out
A big difference between these services can be found when it comes to dealing with pests. Each offers different levels of protection, so if pests are something you want to deal with, this will be an important part of your decision-making.
To begin, Sunday recently added new pest control options including those for fire ants, ticks, and mosquitos. These three separate products use organic ingredients like their other products and also use organic bait for the ant product.
Gnome offers one pest control option, their total organic mosquito control liquid. It’s made from lemongrass and cedar oil and will work for mild to moderate mosquito control.
Lawnifi offers the strongest solution for pests, but they are conventional and not organic. This includes their two products Hi-Yield Bug Blaster Bifenthrin and Imidacloprid 2F Select T/I.
So although the Lawnifi options are not organic, they do offer the most complete pest solution of the three services being compared here. They also cover a wider range of pests and issues.
Lawnifi is the pick in this category but you’ll have to settle for non-organic. As for organic options, Sunday beats out Gnome as far as the number of pests that can be treated.
Which Products Worked Best Overall?
The real test of any of these services is whether or not the products work well.
A lot of how effective these products are will come down to the nature of your lawn and what it needs. We found that the Lawnifi products cover the widest range of lawns and possible issues that can threaten a great lawn.
Sunday and Gnome were both on equal footing as far as quality goes. The all-liquid products were easy to apply and because they were organic, there was no need to keep anyone off the lawn after the application.
For pests and weed control though, Sunday and Gnome were behind the Lawnifi options when it comes to effectiveness. But this doesn’t mean the Sunday or Gnome products were bad.
For weed control, the Sunday and Gnome products only worked well for preemergent weeds. Once weeds are showing, it’s too late and you’ll need to remove those by hand or use another product.
Lawnifi’s treatments were effective for both preemergent weeds and for weeds already showing.
So the difference maker will be what condition your lawn is in. If you want to maintain your lawn and green it up a bit, both Sunday and Gnome will do the trick and require minimal research to get the job done.
If you have pest or weed problems, or problems with a severely patchy lawn, Lawnifi will be your best bet for those situations. Of course, Lawnifi works great on non-problem lawns as well.
Sunday vs Lawnifi vs Gnome: Conclusion
We’ve tested all of these services over the past year and our advice is that they work well when paired with the proper lawn type.
Of course, if you want all-organic, you’ll have to go with Sunday or Gnome among these three. We found both Sunday and Gnome to be extremely similar, with the edge going to Sunday for their included products. Gnome wins out on pricing by offering the most competitive package for the money. But adding weed and pest options to Gnome will bring up the price.
For problem lawns or deep weed and pest problems, Lawnifi is our choice as their products work with a huge array of issues and deliver great results.
All three services delivered their products on schedule and we found them all to be packaged well with easy-to-follow instructions included. Lawnifi is the only subscription service that had one product that required a spreader or hand application. Sunday and Gnome were all liquid products and came with the required hose attachment for application.
Overall, when paired with the right lawn and conditions, each one of these services can make lawn care much easier for the average homeowner. Just make sure to pick the right option for your needs and lawn condition.