How much do gardeners charge?

(51 Posts)
spod Sun 13-Mar-05 20:44:45

I am just starting my own gardening business and am finding it difficult deciding how much to charge.... am trying to offer fixed rate rather than hourly charges... for general mainenance and mowing etc... what do you think?

lavenderrr Sun 13-Mar-05 20:47:48

oh are you spod, what sort of services are you offering...£10 an hour minimum I would say up to about £20 if you are very experienced.....would you mind if I chatted to you about this a bit as have been thinking about it too for a while?

lavenderrr Sun 13-Mar-05 20:59:04

would say hourly is good, you don't have to answer last one (sorry to go on)., or say do 4 hours a week at someones and charge £60 minimum...if you're doing more than mowing and it involves some specialist knowledge such as pruning, knowing the plants in your clients garden and knowing exactly what to do then £60 to £80 is reasonable...it is hard work and people with gardens will pay if they haven't the time to do it....£300 a month for nice looking garden isn't much...

AuntyQuated Sun 13-Mar-05 21:01:06

where are you?
we are in the nw and pay £15 an hour

Steppy1 Sun 13-Mar-05 21:02:54

Hi Spod, our's charges £9 per hour, for what I call general maintenance gardening. We use her fortnightly through the winter then weekly in the summer. We also then contract a "heavyweight" at the beginning and the end of the season to do an serious prune and clear up (costs a fortune !!) Bu that's because I don't have the time to do probably what needs to be done....hope this helps

bluesky Tue 15-Mar-05 17:20:08

We pay £12 an hour, for whatever, mowing, beds, jobs etc.

spod Wed 16-Mar-05 21:13:54

blimey, thats more than i expected... I just gave someone a qhote for 55 per month... which includes 2 grass cuts and general mantenance/further garden development of 1.5 hours per month... is that reasonable? I thought i shol charge nearer 70, but need to build up a client list so willing to do a few cheapies while i get going... quite a lot of grass to cut....
lavenderr... feel free to chat away... be good to talk to someone about it all! I'm not ding any heavy landscaping.... i'll do mowing, hedges, pruning, tidying, weeding, planting, plant buying, design, and also want to grow and sell my own plants as a sideline. can recommend you a great book on how to get started if you like.

spod Thu 24-Mar-05 20:59:55

i now have three clients! yipee!

bluesky Thu 24-Mar-05 21:35:09

well done spod!

gardengirl Fri 25-Mar-05 20:08:23

Please move to London spod! I do nearly all my own gardening- only problem is the lawn in the summer because I get bad hayfever. The prices round here are enough to make me want to invest in a full face mask. Well done on the clients though

KatieMac Fri 25-Mar-05 20:12:06

Congratulations

It feels so good doesn't it?

lavenderrr Fri 25-Mar-05 20:27:28

spod you are me, that is so what I am planning to do but not sure, can I give you me yahoo, hotmail address?

noma Sun 03-Apr-05 14:42:12

spod where do you live? I could do with a gardener to help me out while i have to young children to look after.

Gobbledigook Sun 03-Apr-05 16:22:23

Spod,

We pay £20 per visit to ours - it's just garden maintenance and they come once a month a winter and twice a month from around now.

HTH and good luck!

spod Sun 03-Apr-05 22:13:32

i live in norfolk... is that any use to you?

spod Sun 03-Apr-05 22:13:58

£20 per visit, for how long?

spod Mon 04-Apr-05 22:14:41

I went to give an estimate for a potential client today, quoted him £13 per hour.... since what he wants is fairly physical... i use all my own tools, dont charge extra for travel etc etc etc... he said something along the lines of 'it seems to me that 13 ounds an hour for a bit of hoeing and pruning is quite high'.. to which i politely replied that he could indeed find someone to do it cheaper , but I charge that amount because I know what I'm doing. Then he told me some tale, the point to which was that if he wasnt saitisfied he would fire me. I replied that if at the end of the job he didnt want to reemploy me I would take no offence. Standing back, looking at his MASSIVE house and garden, set in a very beautiful and EXPENSIVE village, I wondered when was the last time he earned less that £13/hour. Wish I hadnt said I would work for him now... given me the hump.

noma Wed 06-Apr-05 15:37:06

sounds ideal but i live to far bath area, i wish you great success in your venture!

NoPearls Wed 06-Apr-05 16:09:59

Spod, my DH is a self employed gardener and charges £10/hour minimum for basic grass-cutting. He also does tree work and pond cleaning which he tends to price by the job - this can go up to £15 per hour and he also has to charge extra for getting rid of the rubbish (which he finds is the worst problem). His top tip was that you need to try to get jobs that are close to each other, or that last for a decent amount of time. The first time he was self emp he had plenty of work but it was 2 hours here then 3 hours down the road etc. Now he aims for a minimum of half a day in one place or perhaps a full day a fortnight rather than half a day a week (not possible for grass cutting etc!).

Generally I think you will find that the grander the house and the posher the car in the drive the more the people moan about the money - and the less likely you are to get a cup of tea and slice of cake !!

pepsi Wed 06-Apr-05 16:11:43

I pay some rather useless gardeners £50.00 per month to mow, weed, keep tidy, I only have grass and shrub borders. They havent been for 4 weeks so my garden looks a right mess as the grass has really grown. Two of them come and they stay an hour maximum.

spod Thu 07-Apr-05 21:51:52

well i now have six cutomers, so am pretty booked as i only do part time at the moment... and nopearls... absolutely right! the richer they are the less the wanna pay... and as for being given a cuppa tea... only one client has so far! two clients (who have both hired me) have said that they think gardeners should only charge 6-7 quid an hour!

Gobbledigook Thu 07-Apr-05 21:52:53

Spod - they are here about 20-30 mins but there are 3 or 4 of them working at the same time. They don't do anything flash!

barracuda Mon 23-Mar-09 21:34:50

spod.. I started up 2 years ago... Spent quite a bit tho on machinery... You have to buy Professional tools tho.. Don't waste your money on the B&Q Crap, cos it won't last 5 minutes....

my business picked up almost straight away and progressed thru-out the year.. I mainly focused on the commerical side which took a little time... you have to advertise tho. advertising in shops can be expencive so it may be of interest looking into the internet and get a FREE listing on Google etc!

As 4 charging, I have broken away from an hourly rate. I offer a fixed price on everything.
I use 2 charge per hour, but wanted to break away from that.. There's so many gardeners out there that charge hourly and they poodle about the garden in order to get more money out of the client.. So it's to your interest and your client to have a fixed price. You have to take into considerion the tools your using, petrol etc... Remember, the quicker u finish, the quicker u move on to the next job...

Oh Yeah, be careful of the people with money... There the worse.. They hate parting with any money.. I had lots of bounce cheques and struggled to get the money.. But i DID get it back eventually tho (after I re-aranged the garden for them at no exter charge)That's how these people get the money in the first place... Some of these jobs are best past on to older person (OAP)as they potter around!

it mote be a good idea 4 u to stay with small lawns first. But remember liability Insurance is a must..

To give you an idea, for an acre, i would charge £45.00 and that would take me max 30 minutes... YOU GOT TO HAVE THE RIGHT TOOLS FOR THE JOB!!

All I do now is cut grass and cut back.

I usually have a starting price of £25.00 for domestic (pending on wot the job is and the size and i'm there for about an hour.

Hope this helps.

Pannacotta Mon 23-Mar-09 21:46:04

spod we live in Norwich and pay £12 an hour though the woman who helps me doesnt do mowing, sadly...
I always make her several cups of tea!!

Wizzska Fri 27-Mar-09 17:02:15

Spod, in London it is between £15 and £25 an hour.

franch Fri 27-Mar-09 20:12:36

London: £150 a day for a decent professionally trained gardener

mooseloose Sun 29-Mar-09 20:55:12

Hi, I charge £12 an hour. But I work really hard, and get through a lot - no lawn work, just weeding, hoeing, cutting back etc.

RustyBunny Sun 29-Mar-09 21:02:18

I pay my gardener £60 a month + any materials like lawn feed & any plants she puts in. I'm not really sure how much time she puts in, as I'm usually at work, but I think it's normally about 1.5 hours a week, which would work out at £10 an hour, but basically she does what is needed to keep it looking nice - which is what matters to me.

MollieO Tue 31-Mar-09 22:26:30

Home counties - £12 an hour and I am always amazed at how much he gets done.

budbud Thu 06-May-10 09:20:41

Are all you guys who are doing gardening as a career females?
also what do you do when its raining heavily just wear waterproofs? also how can you make a living when its winter months?

RainbowGardening Sat 03-Jul-10 19:15:29

Message deleted

Deux Sun 04-Jul-10 17:39:28

I am in North Surrey and am paying £18 per hour plus VAT. Gardeners are all horticulturally trained. I think this makes a big difference and I'm prepared to pay more for someone who has invested in their knowledge.

I've had maintenance before where the gardeners were really just maintainers. Quite clueless when it came to knowing what to put where etc.

If you are horticulturally trained then publicise this and your continuing education etc, keeping up with what's new. You can charge more.

I do think that people who are self-employed have a tendency to undercharge and undervalue their skills. My DH is self-employed and put his prices up considereably and nobody blanched.

gabz Thu 17-Feb-11 22:14:05

I'm a gardener in South west London and I'm RHS trained, I also work at a plant nursery (Petersham Nurseries) and have worked for 3 years for my sister garden design and maintenance company before starting on my own. I charge £15 per hour for my gardening and this includes all duties... pruning, planting to power washing and i also have a lovely address book with tree surgeons and hard landscapers to hand!!

PaulinaS Mon 12-Sep-11 16:20:01

I am living in Chigwell NE London and we are paying £25 per hour for two gardeners. For a regular garden maintenance basis price is very good.

HarrietJones Sun 18-Sep-11 21:31:47

Dh is looking at setting up. He was talking in the region of £10 ph so looks like it's about right from you lot.

Bagnally Tue 11-Oct-11 22:45:53

What I would like to know is what do people do with the garden waste they create? Does everyone that has a gardening business have carrier registration or do they leave it behind or do they simple take it to the local dump without worrying about registration?

confused

goshawk Sun 16-Oct-11 15:17:26

i myself am hoping to start on my own,i have been doing this for over 25yrs now,i am fully trained up in my levels nvq 1,2,3, i am a deputy head greenkeeper,have all my spaying levels etc,yes winter is a hard time,how to people when the income is not there,are we intitled to claim for anything,any help on this would be great,many thanks goshawk

reallytired Wed 09-Nov-11 14:24:12

The gardener we hired charged £120 for an eight hour day or £65 for four hours. He has a diploma in horticuture and worked really hard. We gave him two cups of coffee as well during the eight hours he was with us.

We had to get rid of the garden waste as our gardener was not licenced. We used him as a one off to remove a really horrible hedge.

AngusBearn Mon 20-Aug-12 19:45:05

I run a gardening business in London, and charge rates are between £20 & £45ph, plus VAT, and we are always busy and expanding. A beautiful garden that oozes design and care will add heaps to your property value, and give you real profound pleasure for years. Why would you pay £90 an hour for a plumber to swear and grunt over pipes you never see, and £10 an hour for someone to transform your environment. Don't make sense...

zlist Sat 01-Sep-12 09:41:53

Our gardener takes all waste away with him. He also had a really good mower and all the tools.

We pay £25/fortnight for cutting lawn (two small lawns) and weeding - sometimes it takes less than an hour, sometimes he is there for two hours.

We then pay him for a full or half day every do often to do pruning/moving plants/cleaning patio. I think £130/day.

NoMoreNotNever Sat 01-Sep-12 10:00:15

Hi, Spod. I charge £12.50 per hour. People mostly want maintenance (mowing, weeding, pruning) but with the occasional replanting as well. Waterproofs are a must, as are waterproof and thornproof gloves - as an extended spell of wet weather (hah!) means you just have to get out there regardless of the rain.

I've actually found the people in the larger, older houses the nicest - keen to offer coffee and cake. The plant sideline is also a good idea - I've found that 'chunkier' plants such as lupins, delphiniums, oriental poppies, crocosmia and nepetas are the most requested. You could do annuals as well, but that takes up quite some resources in terms of space, time and compost.

CuttedUpPear Mon 03-Sep-12 00:07:23

OP I've been doing this professionally for 12 years and I would say it's always worth taking cuttings and divisions of all of the good plants you work with. I have been able to replace plants which have died with clones of themselves but more importantly you can grow things on and sell them to other clients the next year - you will know what the original plant looks like too, which is a plus.

The poster who asked what we do in the winter - we wait hopefully for the spring.
It's a tough time. Usually my last client needs me for the last time in November. I make holly wreaths to sell in December and do willow structure maintenance in the dormant season. January is rubbish (especially if you have lots of friends who take off for SE Asia, as I do) but the end of Feb I'm needed again and by March back into the swing of things.

The poster who asked what we do in the rain - wait hopefully for it to stop. You can't walk on wet soil, mow wet grass and it's horrible pruning because the water goes up your sleeves.

As for disposal of plant material - I encourage every client to compost or they have to have green bins. I wouldn't dream of taking away unwanted material myself unless it was a one off clearing job. It would take too much time.

I would also say that the client who you don't feel good about is not worth continuing with. Your gut feelings on these things always turn out to be right.
I had a really weird one once who told me that he had hidden cameras which he could view the garden remotely with when he was away.
This was a mite disconcerting as myself and my female colleague had been weeing in his compost as we were there when he was out and they house was locked.
Turned out to be bullshit and he was a right old creep.

Oh and buy Felco secateurs. Worth every penny.

Bintang Mon 03-Sep-12 00:15:58

<cough> zombie thread folks!

CuttedUpPear Mon 03-Sep-12 09:04:38

Oh yes...doh.
Oh well it may be useful as reference material for someone.
It's a perennial question after all grin

TillyTrundle Sat 19-Jan-13 17:44:43

Hi, actually yes this is still useful! :-) Cheers for leaving the thread. I'm currently doing a business plan for my college work (horticulture) and was looking for ideas on charges.

Thanks

Tilly

hortuscura1 Fri 02-May-14 06:49:37

hi spod. I read through this thread well some of it. im a self employed gardener in cambridge. set up my business two years ago and faced the same problems as you especially the incedents where people ecpect you to work for free somehow. anyway. I started off charging £15 but now all my customers are up to 20. allcustomers agreed . and most have told me its the fact we get on. im friendly snd they can trust me to turn up when ive said I will. do things without being told. being trustworthy snd honest. so really I think ifvyour a guy with a car and trailer you wont earn much. but you sound like a good bloke so please stick to these values and you can earn whatever you want. hope its all going well for you bud

Mrben1230 Sat 24-May-14 05:09:44

I have to say I feel your all to cheap , my tools cost a fortune to buy, maintain and run . If you have professional kit you must charge pro prices! I'm based in Surrey and charge £46 per visit up to 2 hours and do not remove waste I'm fully booked 6 days a week and have been for 15 years march to December . The cost of fuel is going to stop you in your tracks it will be your main outgoing . Make sure you raise your price every April in line with your main outgoing (fuel) or you will end up working for free every time you use your 2 stroke leaf blower and hedge cutters ! . Blades alone for mine were £297 mower was £940 blower£600 you can't charge peanuts or you will never be able to replace tools and fix vans ect .... Also weeds spray licence is important unless you know that vinegar works as well as roundup and you don't need a licence google it ! ... Good luck it's not easy to make a living these days but never sell yourself short of your overheads . Ben

Mrben1230 Sat 24-May-14 05:23:16

I have to say I feel your all to cheap , my tools cost a fortune to buy, maintain and run . If you have professional kit you must charge pro prices! I'm based in Surrey and charge £46 per visit up to 2 hours and do not remove waste I'm fully booked 6 days a week and have been for 15 years march to December . The cost of fuel is going to stop you in your tracks it will be your main outgoing . Make sure you raise your price every April in line with your main outgoing (fuel) or you will end up working for free every time you use your 2 stroke leaf blower and hedge cutters ! . Blades alone for mine were £297 mower was £940 blower£600 you can't charge peanuts or you will never be able to replace tools and fix vans ect .... Also weeds spray licence is important unless you know that vinegar works as well as roundup and you don't need a licence google it ! ... Good luck it's not easy to make a living these days but never sell yourself short of your overheads . Ben

greenwoodlad Tue 22-Jul-14 13:48:52

I live in a village in the Yorkshire Dales, quite an affluent village & started gardening to earn extra cash 5 years ago - I have a full time job but work nights, the gardening is part time . The season starts March and I stop for the Winter in mid November. Customer base has spiralled mostly elderly people that want lawns cut, edges trimming, cutting back etc I am working up to 25 hours a week in the summer months and always getting more - in a village, word travels fast . I charge £12.00 an hours cash and i have been told this is nowhere near enough ..customers want different things - if they just want you to potter.... and some do - £12.00 and hour is fine ..I have just done a big garden - it is massively overgrown but the customer just wants it mown and edged etc 2 and a half hours in searing heat and £30.00 , friends say i should be charging £50.00 a visit minimum also i have one old lady, tiny garden - only takes me 1/2 hour so i come away with £6.00 !

tiggerkid Thu 24-Jul-14 12:06:37

Am in Bucks: my gardener charges between £15 to £21 per hour depending on the kind of work he is expected to do. General tidy up £15. Hedge trimming and similar £21. But he does also offer regular maintenance packages with monthly or 2-monthly visits which would be cheaper than one-off work based on hourly rates.

Rosey59 Thu 23-Oct-14 12:50:42

I'm a garden designer and maintenance lady just returned from Somerset where I had a variety of garden projects and maintenance care which normally followed on from the development of the initial work
My focus is on therapietuc gardening so this relates to both the
Design and the connection with the clients needs to help them either recover or support themselves through helping them connect to their gardens either physically or through the scensory qualities.
It's a new direction being influenced
through horticulture and the one of the main reasons I studied gardening as a profession.
Are there any more of you out there

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