How much should you expect to pay a gardener for regular
or one-off garden maintenance?
The simple answer is 'the same as any other
tradesman'. Although you may not uses a plumber or electrician
every week, a gardeners expenses are very high and the work is
very labour intensive.
Compare gardeners fairly - ask about insurance, tools, experience,
licenses and qualifications.
What needs to be done?
Think about what you really need - maintenance or
'manicure'. A 'manicured' garden will need regular
visits so a gardener will likely charge by the hour and involve
detailed work. Standard regular maintenance (mowing lawns,
trimming hedges) will normally be charged at a
fixed price. A fixed price helps you budget and is an efficient way to
keep your garden under control.
Doing the right job at the right time of the year will help you
spread the cost and keep your garden healthy - see our
Beware of false economy
The less a gardener charges the longer he is likely to take - after all,
what incentive does he have to hurry? Are they insured? Are they
qualified? Do they have their own tools? If they use your tools are you
insured if they hurt themselves? If the gardener offers you nothing
but labour then the minimum wage in the UK is around £6.31 phr. Cheap
labourers soon give up self-employment and return to employed work -
especially during the winter months.
Many non-qualified gardeners try to charge the same as a
qualified gardener - so why not just look for a qualified
gardener and get what you are already paying for!
spent thousands of pounds on tools, insurance and training a
professional gardener will be proud to tell you why he is worth his
fees and you will benefit as they work efficiently, safely and
Most tradesmen aim to earn a minimum of £150 a day - that's £15
- £30 per hour. However, this
rate will be effected by:
Minimum call out charge - because a gardener may charge by the hour rather than by the day, much of
the day will include unpaid travel from job to job. For this reason, a
gardener will likely have a minimum charge of 2 hours labour or similar.
don’t need 2 hours work i.e. you just want the grass cut, then your
gardener will likely offer a fixed price for a specific job. A fixed
price will vary according to the circumstances. As a result, the fixed price will have no relation to the
gardener’s standard hourly rates. To illustrate, a window cleaner does
not work for an hourly rate – it just wouldn’t be practical. Neither
could a gardener cut a small lawn for an hourly rate.
- Rates may increase for regional variations.
- Will increase as the level of danger does.
Generally excludes removal of cuttings, chemicals etc
gardener may also have one hourly rate for manual tools and another for
petrol tools. This is because of the higher cost of maintaining petrol
tools and because they work faster with petrol tools – shooting yourself
in the foot when you charge by the hour!
Although he may charge more and work faster - being experienced and
familiar with his own professional tools will result in a superior
finish. His insurance will put things right in an accident and you are
not responsible if he hurts himself on his own tools. He has an
incentive to do a good job - his reputation as a professional and the
prospect of repeat business and recommendations. His professional tools
have achieved much more in the time - giving you value for money.
money with a professional gardener
money (and help your gardener) by doing the right job at the right time!
Garden maintenance is required all year around. Spread the cost by :
Asking your gardener for help when work is really required at the right
time of the year.
* Talk to him about how to simplify your garden i.e. mulching borders so
you don't have to weed so often.
* Stay in contact with your gardener by asking him to cut your lawn
regularly - often a fixed price service.
* Plan ahead and call your gardener before the garden gets desperate as
he may be busy.
do this he will likely give you priority over any ad-hoc or new
customers when you need hedges pruned, planting, soft landscaping etc -
especially during the colder months.
These suggestions are for maintenance gardening only and not
landscaping or tree surgery as these are different disciplines
with higher costs involved.