How much do gardeners charge?

(57 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?

Kr1stina Wed 08-Jun-16 14:04:42

The thread was started 11 years ago, which might explain why prices have changed

Mugwumps36 Wed 08-Jun-16 10:20:10

Hi we are a gardening couple and have been gardening for about 3 or 4 years. We are in a nice part of the Cotswolds Oxfordshire and charge £18 an hour each. We have more than enough demand at this level. I would not want to charge any less. If you start to think what has to come out of that rate ie. Travel costs, tool purchase and maintenance, winter downtime, wet weather, sickness, holiday, tax, accountancy time and charges, gloves and protective gear, sun protection, training and membership of the rhs, gardeners guild etc etc. plus all the hassle of emails, phone calls, texts outside working hours, moving your place of work every couple of hours and planning your time... I could go on! It's not easy hence why there aren't too many gardeners around. So you don't get rich and you have to love it which fortunately we do most of the time. I work far harder than I did in an office job and earn far less and the winter is terrible. I would recommend more as a sideline than a full time occupation however you do experience more life and become stronger than staring at four walls in an office longing for 5pm! As time goes by you definitely get more selective over what you do and want to focus on larger varied gardens which make better use of your time as there is such a lot of wasted time going from job to job, having a chat with the owners and putting your tools away. Would not go back though I would say go for it if considering giving gardening a go just be honest with your level of skill and experience. It does build confidence if you do an rhs course or work with someone experienced. A stint in a garden centre is also worthwhile to learn your plants. wink

CER1945 Thu 31-Mar-16 17:33:42

Hi

I am looking for someone to help clear my garden - mostly pruning and moving dead wood to clear end of garden of branches. I cannt do this myself.

I am in the Camberley area.

RichardT Sat 03-Oct-15 20:43:26

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

keluma Thu 26-Mar-15 23:42:46

Chap has done a few hours for me. Charged £7 an hour. Now put it up to £10. Doesn't have his own tools and doesn't remove rubbish from the job as he cycles everywhere. Am I being ripped off?

hindesbass12 Mon 17-Nov-14 09:35:29

Hi Spod,

Are you still following this link?
I'm in a similar position to you, looking to start up my own business in the new season.
Any advice based on your experience over the years. I've read your charging questions. How does your pricing structure work now?

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

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.

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 !

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

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

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

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

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

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

<cough> zombie thread folks!

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.

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.

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.

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...

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.

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

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

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.

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.

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!!

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