7 profitable gardening skills you can quickly learn
Check out these gardening skills that you can instantly turn into a profitable side hustle.Explore gardener jobs
There’s more to gardening than sowing seeds and watering plants. If you want to become a successful gardener, you need to know plant care techniques and develop other basic gardening skills to do the task well.
Explore these practical skills learned from gardening to enhance your gardening know-how. Once you master one or more of these skills, you can make it a profitable full-time or part-time gig.
What skills do I need to be a gardener?
This list of gardening basics will help you learn how to become a reputable gardener and make money from these skills.
1. Watering plants
You don’t want to let the plants out too long without a drink, as they can get really thirsty. Likewise, you wouldn’t want to give them too much water.
Watering depends on factors such as the type of plant, its soil, the weather, and the season. Checking the soil should tell you when to water plants. And the best way to water them is to ensure the water reaches the plant’s root system.
You can check if your plants are watered properly by:
Doing a lift test. If the pot feels heavy, that means the plant still has adequate moisture. If it’s light, it’s time to water it thoroughly until you see water flow through the pot’s bottom.
Using a soil moisture sensor to see the volumetric water content of the soil.
Simply checking what the soil looks like by doing the finger test to check if the soil is dank or bone dry.
Examples of watering tasks you can do
Offer to water plants for someone going out of town or the country.
Help water an elderly’s huge garden to keep all their plants alive.
2. Soil analysis
Soil analysis lets you know the texture, nutrients, material content and type of plants that will flourish in that soil. It’s ideal to check the soil pH before garden designing or planting. The pH scale ranges from 0 to 14 or from acid to alkaline, which means soils with a pH within 6.5 to 7.5 carries the optimal amount of essential nutrients.
A convenient way to determine if the soil has enough essential nutrients is by testing its pH level. You can use a soil pH kit to measure the pH level of your home garden (or your future customers!).
You’ll need a soil pH test kit, a tablespoon, distilled water, and a mixing container. You can follow the instructions on the kit and determine the result through its pH test strips colour chart.
Soil analysis tasks you can do
Help beginner gardeners check if their soil is acidic, alkaline, or neutral using a soil testing kit.
Offer soil mix recommendations and improvements to clients who want to create an optimal growing environment for their home garden.
Do you need formal certification to offer soil analysis services?
Formal certification is not required to perform a simple DIY soil analysis test kit at garden centres for home testing. However, it’s best to get a certification in practical horticulture to gain above-average knowledge of soil assessment.
3. Planting seeds
While beginner gardeners can raise plants from seeds, those who truly know how to garden have a high growth success rate with starting seeds.
Planting seeds or seed germination is a process where you grow a plant from a single seed, developing from a sprout to a complete plant when well taken care of. To get seed germination right, you need to consider the seed quality, temperature and depth when sowing. Here’s how you can start a herb garden from seeds.
Research about your seeds for the best way to encourage germination. Once you see tiny shoots coming out of the tray, that’s when you can sell them. Young seedlings 5 to 8 centimetres high and developed three to four new leaves can be transplanted into a small pot for selling.
Profitable plants to grow and sell
Herbs like basil, mint, lavender, and sage
Vegetables such as sweet peas, parsnips, onions, and beans
Trailing vines like string of hearts (a common houseplant)
Examples of growing seeds tasks you can do
Offer starting seeds for beginner gardeners.
Transplanting or repotting seedlings outdoors or in containers for indoor home gardening.
How long does seed germination take?
Each plant has its own germination rates. For beans and peas, it can take 7 to 10 days, while other plants like mini tomato and rosemary may take roughly 3 weeks to grow a sprout.
Do you need a licence to do seed germination?
Plants, seeds, or bulbs brought in the UK and which are intended for planting will need a customs check and should meet the import requirements. If you plan to sell plants online, you must provide the customer with a plant passport.
4. Garden planning
Garden planning is another skill that will be valuable when you start a gardening business. This entails choosing the most optimal location for growing plants, and determining the size of the garden and types of plants to grow.
Considerations for garden planning
Location: Consider the garden’s size, layout, drainage and sunlight. Foot traffic is another important element, as you don’t want instances of people stepping or tripping on the greens.
Types of plants: You can plant shrubs, herbs, vegetables, and flowers. The key is to find the right balance between the chosen plants (e.g. height, compatibility, and size) and their needs.
Purpose: What is the space for and how do you want it to look? For instance, a cottage garden may not be ideal if the lawn serves as a play area for the kids.
Type of garden: Does the customer prefer growing plants in hydroponics? Do you think a garden bed would work best for their space? Think about the space, lifestyle, and preferences of the customer to carefully design something suitable for their home.
Specific garden planning tasks you can do for customers:
Offer consultation and garden presentation plan recommendations.
Provide assessment and drafting of planting plans for various soil types, conditions, species and cultivars.
Recommend planting arrangements for beginner gardeners or rearrangement and improvement for customers who want a garden makeover.
Do you need formal certification to offer garden planning services?
It’s not mandatory, but a certificate in garden planning can be helpful for those who want to start or become professional landscapers or garden planners.
Mulching is a gardening technique where you cover the soil with mulches like leaves, organic materials, garden compost, processed bark, pebbles, chipped stone and wood chips. This helps repress weeds, retain soil moisture, protect plant roots and improve the soil around the plants.
Mulches provide other benefits like regulating soil temperature during summer or winter. This process is also a fantastic way to level up your garden’s appearance – a win-win for aesthetics and benefits!
Mulching tasks you can do for customers:
Help beginner gardeners or busy customers mulch their garden.
Buy mulching supplies for customers who don’t have time to do so.
Remove old mulch and put a new layer down for clients.
Composting is an environmentally-friendly process of recycling organic materials such as garden waste and fruit peels or any other kitchen waste. The result gives you a dark and crumbly product you can use to add to your soil or in a potting mix.
With composting, all you need to do is gather the materials and let nature do its job. Here are the basic steps of composting:
Ready your containers for your composting bin.
Gather your composting materials. Alternate between green (e.g. grass clippings, fruits and vegetables) and brown (e.g. prunings, woodchips, leaves, and plant stems) for a more balanced compost.
Water the compost regularly – don’t put too much and don’t let it sit dry.
Stir the pile periodically for proper aeration.
You can feed the compost to the soil once it turns into a dark, soil-like texture.
Composting tasks you can do for customers:
Help customers clean and/or build their own compost bin
Provide pick-up services for those with extra waste to be donated to local community gardens.
Offer composting services in areas that might not have it for customers that don’t do home composting.
|See also: How to make your own compost bin for a more efficient home compost!|
7. Garden maintenance
Proper garden maintenance ensures the plants are in good health and the area is clean at all times. Otherwise, the area may end up looking rundown and damaged, which is a huge waste of the outdoor space and resources in creating that beautiful garden.
Aside from the garden’s look, regular maintenance also prevents plant diseases from spreading, gets the weed problem contained, and keeps the garden a safe place. Gardens need care and attention to look their best all year round.
Garden maintenance tasks you can do for others
Pruning plants and bushes
Garden waste removal
Related article: How much does a gardener cost?
Hone your gardening skills and start earning money
Get your tools ready and prep yourself to become an excellent gardener. You can improve and build up your skill set by offering basic services to your local community. Give a hand to those who need to hire a gardener to help with garden-related tasks like lawn maintenance and planting.
When you think you’re well-equipped and knowledgeable enough to assist others with their plants, become a Tasker and start earning money from gardening.
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FAQs about gardening skills
You can improve your skills by paying close attention to your plants, understanding their needs, and tending to them regularly to keep them alive and healthy. Invest in your garden to master valuable skills. Another thing you can do is learn from other expert gardeners in your community and get useful tips and advice.
Gardening is an excellent job you can do full-time or part-time. It provides a lot of flexibility since there are various tasks you can do and offer as services. If you don’t mind getting your hands dirty and you want something that gives a good work-life balance, starting a career in gardening is a good choice. You can begin with the skills above to build your foundation and expertise.
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