General Gardening Rates
How much should you expect to pay a gardener?
Gardening is a skilled trade, a service provided by dedicated professionals who can accumulate years of invaluable experience and qualifications. It is also a start up career for the entrepeneur with a hand fork and a budget mower from b&q (mine was from an old fella down the road). Often a combination of both. It is an industry with a huge range of abilities and, actually to a much lesser extent, a range of rates of pay.
What do gardeners charge?
The Gardeners Guild trade network for qualified gardeners is one of the best resources for this question, with a large national network of self-employed gardeners, frequently polled, and frequently discussing the issue! The Guilds guidance on how much you should expect to pay a gardener can be found here, if you follow the link.
The ‘other’ trade network for professional gardeners is the Professional Gardeners Guild. The PGG is coming to recognise the role the self-employed play in the horticultural industry, reflected in their 2016 census, finding the rates for self-employed gardeners to be:
London rates – £22 to £32 per hour
SE, including East Anglia – £19 to £27 per hour.
Scotland, Wales and UK Regions – £17 to £27 per hour.
What value in an hourly rate?
I was once asked if I could carry out some extra weeding tasks at a lower hourly rate than my regular gardening rates. This raised a number of questions (and responses that I quickly bit my tongue on).
The maths is fairly simple – an experienced gardener working efficiently is going to acheive twice, three times, an exponential amount more work than an inexperienced one. £12.50/hr soon becomes £40/hr in actual work acheived. A Stihl BR700 and Etesia PRO46 PKCTM, or a rake and a flymo do not make for a level playing field (for that you need a rotovator and landscape rake). Effectively and efficiently weeding a bed of Enchanters Nightshade, Cleavers, Willowherb and Bindweed, leaving seedlings of Foxglove, Columbine, Evening Primrose or Lychnis. The level of skill for just his routine task is sadly underestimted. I am absolutely not criticizing starting out in a gardening career with a realistic budget and knowledge, but drawing attention to the very different levels of service a gardener can provide.
Its not the hourly rate – its your budget and what you want to achieve that matters
Its simple enough (!?) to fix a price for one-off, stand alone jobs – how much for that hedge-cut, how much to mow that lawn? The real skill is working out a garden maintenance programme that acheives the goals you want in the long term. The boom and bust of garden clearance followed by ‘letting things go’ isn’t always the most cost-effective way of looking after your garden!
What you need is a cost effective plan!
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