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How much should you expect to pay a gardener for regular or one-off garden maintenance?

Updated: June 2022


According to the results of our most recent member survey, published in 2022, qualified gardeners with at least 10 years experience have an average daily income target of £222 or apx £30 per hour. This is not their wage but reflects the cost of running their business.

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. 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 petrol tools that all need servicing, oil, fuel, lubricants, replacement parts and sundries.

Research: According to our member surveys, professional gardeners who have been trading for 10 years or more spend apx 26% of their income on business overheads and expenses!

Compare gardeners fairly - ask about insurance, tools, experience, licenses and qualifications.

Every gardening business is different and this national average will vary between gardeners:

- Some members may have higher qualifications and the length of experience varies.

- 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. Some gardeners may specify a minimum of half a day or a full day.

- Rates may increase for regional variations.

- Will increase as the level of danger/height does.

- Generally excludes removal of cuttings, chemicals etc

- Some may have specialist tools, require a bigger vehicle or have additional practical licenses such as the professional use of pesticides.

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. An hourly rate may be reserved for regular customers who give the gardener work 12 months a year.

Standard regular maintenance (mowing lawns, trimming hedges) or irregular work may be charged at a fixed price. A fixed price helps you budget and is an efficient way to keep your garden under control.

Beware of false economy

The less a gardener charges the longer they are likely to take - after all, what incentive do they 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 £9 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?

Having spent thousands of pounds on tools, insurance and training, a professional gardener will be proud to tell you why he/she are worth their fees and you will benefit as they work efficiently, safely and intelligently.

Saving money with a professional gardener

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.
* 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 him/her to cut your lawn regularly - often a fixed price service.
* Plan ahead and call your gardener before the garden gets desperate as he/she may be busy.

If you do this they 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.

Why not judge the quality of a gardeners work by asking them to do a small task and invite them back only if you are happy.

Please note: These suggestions are for maintenance gardening only and not landscaping or tree surgery as these are different disciplines with higher costs involved.

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