How to become a professional gardener

Practice your gardening skills and start earning extra money.

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Have you picked up a fondness for gardening? Are you exploring more ways to earn money aside from your regular job? Becoming a professional gardener is an excellent option – and there are many ways to work towards this career path.

Gardening has blossomed into one of the biggest trending hobbies in recent years. Many have also turned this newfound interest into another helpful source of income. Not only does the labour involved result in beautiful flora, but it can also help you stay connected with nature and bring a sense of calmness.

Read on to learn how you can make a living as a professional gardener.

What do gardeners do?

a gardener trimming a hedge with pruning shears

A gardener sows, plants, cultivates, and grooms the quiet residents of green spaces. For this reason, being a gardener requires a good balance of knowledge, physical fitness, and creativity. You can certainly have all the basic experience of home gardening, but building that incomparable wealth of knowledge with continuous practice will set you apart and make you an appealing choice to the average person.

A gardener’s tasks can include:

  • Trimming shrubs, trees, and grass
  • Pulling unsightly and harmful weeds
  • Pruning hedges, shrubs, and trees
  • Maintaining and monitoring plant health
  • Propagating foliage
  • Working outdoor machinery
  • Conducting pest control
  • Soft and hard landscaping

How do you become a professional gardener?

There are a variety of ways you can become a gardener. No single method is set in stone, so long as you’ve got the drive to learn and make it happen. Here are the different options you may want to try.

1. Take a course in horticulture.

While it’s not always a requirement to have a degree under your belt, it’s strongly recommended since the added knowledge on horticulture will make a world of a difference when it comes down to the labour involved. You may opt to take horticulture courses online to build your industry know-how. Specialised subjects and practical classes will equip you with the training you’ll need for specific services.

2. Find a gardening apprenticeship.

When you’re confident in the knowledge you already have and would like to start formal training, a gardening apprenticeship will definitely help get you a nationally recognised qualification. Most courses should offer apprenticeships for students, but you can also opt to do this while you’re still in school.

Related: Gardening skills you can quickly learn

3. Start your own gardening business.

Hands of gardening business owner writing down her plans and ideas in notebook

You don’t need a full team right off the bat to start a gardening business. Simply offering basic gardening services to clients on your own.

This list of gardening business ideas provides lots of inspiration!

You can also become a garden contractor to manage landscaping or become a garden consultant to help guide communities in planning, designing, and installing garden spaces.

4. Work with a gardening company.

The company could be a large scale corporation that needs regular gardening for commercial properties. You can also partner with private sector companies that require regular services.

What skills do you need to be a professional gardener?

woman gardener hands putting seedling flowers into the soil

Before diving into the work, there are gardening skills you’ll need as you start out gardening.

Creativity and attention to detail

You’ll need to be able to build a landscape. Sometimes you’ll be asked to help plan out a space. How best might you be able to put together a selection of plants your clients want? It’s all about putting your knowledge to practice.

Patience to nurture every kind of garden plant

You’ll sow, plant, cultivate, and care for a variety of plants. There’s not always going to be a shortcut to doing things as gardening certainly will always take time.

Physical fitness and willingness to work outdoors

Often, you’ll need to be either standing or kneeling for long periods at a time. You may also need the physical strength to lift and operate machinery. This does require you’re well-conditioned with physical capability and endurance to perform these tasks.

Technical knowledge in gardening techniques and equipment

Beyond just handling the tools, you’ll also need to know the techniques for proper gardening and how to correctly operate machinery.

Strong interpersonal skills

Collaboration plays a big role for gardeners. There will often be a need to work with a team or other professionals the longer you are in the industry.

Licenses to use horticultural equipment

Depending on the service needed, there will be legal requirements for you to use pesticides and equipment.

How much does a gardener earn?

Gardeners earn from $40 to $60 per hour, but their income can vary depending on the location and size and complexity of the project. More complicated gardening jobs can go as high as $100 to $500.

It is also worth noting that there will be added costs to compute against your earnings, such as equipment, standard gardening materials, and additional labour. It all boils down to how much you’re also willing to invest into the career – counting time, resources, and effort.

Ready to earn money from your gardening skills?

Whether you’re new to the industry or a seasoned professional, you can find gardening work with ease on Airtasker. Become a Tasker now to connect with clients near you in need of your level of expertise. From hedge trimming to pruning, or even a full garden redesign, you’re sure to find a task you’ll enjoy.

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