How much should you expect to pay a gardener per hour for garden maintenance in 2023?
Based on our research of qualified, self-employed gardeners, gardeners charge a national average hourly rate of between £28 and £35 per hour in 2023. This is not their wage but reflects the cost of running their business.
How do we know what the average hourly rate of a gardener will be in 2023?
According to our most recent nationwide research, the average daily target income for a qualified gardener with 4 to 10 years experience was £206 per day in 2022. This increases to £246 per day for gardeners with over 10 years experience.
Gardeners expect to work an average of 8 chargeable hours per day. This suggests an hourly rate of between £26 and £31 per hour respectively. However, this research is based on responses received during 2022 and is approximately 9% higher than the national average for 2021.
Given the high rate of inflation, business costs and risk associated with self employment, a further increase of 9% in 2023 is reasonable to expect, resulting in an average hourly rate of between £28 and £35 per hour in 2023.
A gardeners hourly rate reflects the cost of running their business
Professional gardeners often specialise in maintenance so that they can offer a regular and reliable maintenance schedule.
The running costs of a professional gardening business are just as high as any other professional trade - accountant, training, insurance, transport and vehicle maintenance, tools and tool maintenance, protective clothing, plus many consumables. For example, it can cost as much to service a mower as it does to service a car. A gardener may have more than one mower plus many other powered tools that all need servicing, oil, fuel, lubricants, replacement parts and sundries.
RESEARCH: On average around 26% of a gardeners annual turnover is spent on business costs.
Good gardeners are currently in high demand. Gardens take years to mature and plants are expensive. A qualified gardener can not just maintain but improve floral displays and plant health. They can give you valuable advice and recommendations. Qualified gardeners can work independently and efficiently.
Compare gardeners hourly rates fairly in 2023
- Ask about insurance, tools, experience, licenses and qualifications.
Every gardening business is different and these average 2023 hourly rates will vary between gardeners
- Some gardeners may charge more because they have higher qualifications, more experience, specialist knowledge (e.g. Garden Consultants) or additional equipment.
- Some gardeners may initially charge less as they grow their business.
- Regional cost of living variations will affect prices.
- Fees may increase as the level of danger/height increases.
- Hourly rates generally exclude removal of cuttings, chemical treatments etc
- Some gardeners may have specialist tools, longer ladders, require a bigger vehicle or have additional practical licenses (Chainsaw, Pesticides etc) or pay for the Upper Tier waste carriers license.
- Gardeners may have a minimum charge higher than their hourly rate to compensate for additional travel time to and from small jobs.
A gardeners charges will vary depending on how often you need them
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. A gardeners lowest rate may be reserved for regular customers who give the gardener work 12 months a year.
Standard garden maintenance (mowing lawns, trimming hedges, weeding etc) may be offered to you at a fixed price. A fixed price helps you budget and is an efficient way to keep your garden under control.
Whether you need standard maintenance or more time consuming work will also depend on the plants you have chosen to have in your garden.
RESEARCH: A gardeners income drops by up to 37% on average during the winter months due to shorter days and unsettled weather. During the growing season, gardeners are in high demand.
Beware of false economy
Having spent thousands of pounds on tools, insurance and training, a professional gardener will be proud to tell you why they are worth their fees, and you will benefit as they work efficiently and effectively.
Judge the quality of a gardeners work by asking them to do a small task and invite them back only if you are happy. Every gardener is different and will focus on certain types of work. Some gardeners specialise in border maintenance and pruning while others specialise in work that requires powered tools - so even a good gardener may not be the best gardener for your garden.
Saving money with a professional gardener in 2023
Save 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 doing the right job at the right time.
* Ask your gardener for help when work is really required at the right time of the year. A good gardener can tell you when each plant needs attention.
* Talk to your gardener 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 them to cut your lawn regularly - often a fixed price service.
* Plan ahead and call your gardener before your garden becomes overgrown as they may be busy.
If you do this they will likely give you priority over irregular customers.
Please note: These suggestions are for maintenance gardening only and not landscaping or tree surgery as these are different disciplines with higher costs involved.