You want your garden to be a tidy oasis but all that takes a lot of effort. If you have the means, hiring a gardener may be the way to go.
Cost of hiring a gardener: You can expect to pay a gardener between $20 and $30 an hour, depending on where you live and what sort of services you require. You can book a gardener in for weekly maintenance or a few times a year for larger clean-ups.
How to hire a gardener?
The first steps in your search for a gardener will be dependent on your needs and comfort level. There are two main categories of gardeners: independent people who offer their services and reputable companies.
Finding a gardener can be a simple process, as you can simply type in the keywords in an internet search. However, this may not be the best option as you won’t know their quality of service and reputation.
If you have a small garden that doesn’t need a lot of maintenance, you can save yourself some money and hire an independent gardener. This should be someone who has experience with the type of gardening you want, but who doesn’t work for a larger company.
The main advantage if you go this route is that you will save money. You pay directly to the person, so there are no extra service fees, and you may even be able to pay in cash.
For smaller tasks, you can even hire local teenagers. There are plenty of high school kids who are looking to earn extra money and can perform small tasks such as mowing the lawn and weeding.
The disadvantage to hiring an independent gardener is that it won’t work if you have a larger yard and need regular, weekly tasks completed. Furthermore, if you have plants with specific needs, then you are better off going with a company that has skilled gardeners.
Go through a company
There are many local gardening companies that offer a range of services. You can communicate your needs to them and they will offer you a plan.
Typically, a gardening company will send someone out for an assessment. They will walk around your property and after you tell them what you want to be done, they will tell you the hours needed for completion and the type of schedule to stick to.
A company will work well, whether you want ongoing maintenance or whether you want seasonal clean-up.
If you go through an established company, you will likely pay more, as the company will add on a service fee in addition to what they pay the gardener. You also might have different people taking care of your yard if you stick to a weekly schedule, which can be a concern if you value consistency.
The best way to find a reputable gardener, whether they work independently or through a company, is to ask around. Word of mouth is still the best way to hire someone as your friends and family won’t want to suggest someone who doesn’t deliver.
Don’t be afraid to knock on a neighbor’s door if you see that they have a landscape company working. You can politely inquire about the services they provide and any hidden fees so you have a fuller picture.
The same goes if you are looking for an independent gardener. Anyone looking for a high school or college school can ask their neighbors. Kids normally work hard, but if you know their parents, they might be better incentivized to put in that extra effort.
There are many neighborhood groups on social media and this is a great way to cast a wider net to see what people recommend. Post a short note saying what you are looking for and you will have dozens of responses about people’s experiences.
Many businesses will have online profiles and you can see if there are any reviews. Just look for a broad picture with reviews as there will always be a disgruntled customer or two, no matter how great a company is.
How much is the average cost of gardeners?
It is hard to know the average cost of a gardener because every state has a different cost of living, which is how most jobs determine their fees. You can expect to pay between $20 and $30 for basic services, such as weeding and lawn mowing, and perhaps a bit more for the specific care of higher-need plants.
Local gardeners that work independently will often be on the lower end as they don’t have any overhead fees. Plus, if you hire an independent gardener, you know that all the money goes to their salary. Some companies offer competitive pricing but don’t pay their gardeners very much, so the quality of work can end up being a disappointment.
Cost Depending on the services of a gardener
You have two options with weeding, and it all depends on your personal physical abilities. Weeding needs to be done on a continuous basis, so keep this in mind when booking this service.
If you know you don’t have the time or capability to weed your garden, then you will want a gardener to come in at least once a week to keep everything from getting too wild. It’s better to act preventively when it comes to weeding.
Another scenario with weeding is if you have a new home or have been away for a while and the weeds have taken over. In this case, book an extra-long weeding session with a gardener, and then you can decide if you will be able to keep on top of it on an ongoing basis.
Hedge trimming can quickly go wrong, so you want a reputable gardener to engage in this task and as a result, you can expect to pay a bit more. If a gardener doesn’t trim enough, it won’t be worth your money but if they trim too much, it can lead to bald spots and even permanent damage.
Mulching only happens once or twice a year, so this will either be a one-off booking for a gardener or something you can add to your scheduled maintenance. While mulching does require some heavy lifting to move the mulch around, it does not take a lot of skill, so it shouldn’t cost too much.
One of the most-requested tasks of a gardener is lawnmowing. Especially during the summer, this is a weekly task so it’s best to book someone in for regular maintenance.
If you have a simple rectangle of a yard, lawn mowing won’t cost as much but if you have a lot of corners and garden beds to navigate, then it will result in more time and more money.
Lawn mowing is usually accompanied by edging, which gives you a tidier look on your lawn. However, edging will mean an increase in cost.
Things to consider when hiring a gardener
Any large-scale gardening company will bring its own tools with them. This will include lawnmowers, edgers, and any cutting tools.
However, if you are hiring an independent gardener, they might not have all their tools, especially if it is a local teenager. Be sure to talk about expectations ahead of time so your gardener can get right to work when they arrive.
Some gardening companies are very busy and you might not get to choose the time of your visits, especially if you are opting for weekly maintenance. While companies will be aware of neighborhood noise levels, if you work late and like to sleep in, you might still be woken up by the sound of a lawnmower at 8 am.
If you have a preferred time, be sure to tell the gardener this. Even if they can’t accommodate the time right away, their schedules are always shifting, so they might be able to change their weekly time commitment to suit you better.
If you want a gardener to perform seasonal maintenance, such as fall clean-up, it is best to book this as soon as possible. Anything seasonal means everyone will have the same thought as you, and if you don’t book early, you might miss the window.
It’s a good idea to schedule yearly maintenance as a recurring event. If you love the work a gardener does, book them in for the same services the following year. You’ll be at the front of the line and also won’t have to panic and worry about scheduling the following year.
You aren’t hurting anyone’s feelings by inspecting the work done by a gardener. After all, this is your home and your money.
While you don’t want to be critical and micromanage, it’s okay to do a walkthrough at the end of the first gardening session. This way you can ask questions and make sure you are both on the same page when it comes to expectations.
Your garden takes a lot of work and it’s okay if you realize you can’t do it all. Use the services of a gardener, whether it is with an established company or someone doing independent work, so you can enjoy your yard and garden without all the effort.