When clients come to me for help they often express they just want to enjoy their garden and landscape and not have to work on it all the time. I completely understand, it’s hard to enjoy your garden when the only time spent in it is pulling weeds or stressing over what to exactly do. A garden will be much more enjoyable when it’s regularly maintained.
Hiring a knowledgable professional to maintain the garden can be helpful to you in many ways. First, it takes the stress away of keeping up on weeds. There is a saying, weeds left to seed will create 7 years of future work. Unless you enjoy lots of garden work, who wants to spend their weekend pulling weeds?
Below are 5 ways hiring a gardener can help you.
#1. Frees up Time
Even the smallest of gardens need to be maintained regularly during the growing season. Depending on the size of your landscape, a garden could take anywhere from an hour to several hours a week to maintain on average. Many of my clients find their time very valuable and they much rather enjoy their free time relaxing, taking care of other things, or having fun.
#2. Reduces Worry
Certain garden tasks should be done at specific times of the year, like mulching, pruning, fertilizing, planting, etc. Keeping up on what to do, when to do it, and how to do it can be a lot to think about. A professional gardener will keep up on all of this for you.
#3. Saves Your Back
Many of my clients need help simply because gardening is too hard on the body for them. Gardening is very laborious work and a lot of it is pretty hard on the body. Someone not used to the work can easily strain muscles or cause other issues. While getting out and doing a little garden work can be great exercise, bent over pulling weeds for any amount of time can put too much strain on the body.
#4. Saves Money
A skilled gardener will likely be able to point out issues in the landscape that would cause problems. As an example, the gardener may notice a plant has a disease and can be treated before that plant dies. A landscape full of boxwoods could be saved if one boxwood was treated before boxwood blight spread. An ash tree could be saved if it was treated before the damage became too great. A knowledgable gardener will likely be aware of issues such as these and be able to take action.
A gardener will also probably notice other things around the home, like rotting siding, clogged gutters, pest issues, or plants causing damage on a fence. Fixing any issues like these could save money by not allowing the issue to become worse.
#5. Keeps the Garden Looking Good
A well maintained garden will make your house look good and make you feel good. A garden left on its own will quickly look shabby and make the house look unkept. Keeping up the garden and curb appeal will increase the appeal of your home. Taking care of the landscape is all part of being a homeowner.
Keeping up on weeds is the biggest task. Some weeds are more obnoxious than others, and if they’re left to spread a garden can quickly become run down. Depending on the plants in the landscape, pruning is also an important task. Pruning is a technical skill and often best left to a knowledgeable professional.
A professional gardener can also provide suggestions to keep the garden looking good. A garden is a living and breathing organism. The concept of a maintenance free garden is a myth. Plants will die and need replacing, they’ll need to be divided or transplanted. There is a lot to consider when it comes to having a nice well maintained garden and routine maintenance ensures this. Hiring a professional can make a really big difference in the look of your landscape.
Hiring a Professional
Finding a gardener who is the right fit for you and your garden is important. There are gardeners and landscapers on every skill level. It’s important to evaluate what your garden needs and what you’re comfortable with.
Larger companies may have a team of laborers. Some of those companies may have a dedicated team and are trained well. Other companies may have a high turn over rate or don’t train employees well, thus producing unreliable results. It’s important to do research because even well recognized companies may not have skilled laborers.
Some laborers may do gardening on the side and can do basic tasks like pulling weeds.
Small businesses may have a small team or single person who are professionals and highly knowledgable in their field. This can provide a more personal and reliable experience since you will be talking to the gardeners directly.
The skill and knowledge of these types of gardeners and companies will vary, therefore the cost will too respectively. It’s important to realize hiring someone who is unknowledgeable could end up doing more harm than good. Even a simple task like mulching is easily and often done incorrectly.
Hiring a professional gardener can be worth the cost especially over time. Have you ever experienced ‘stingy man pays the most’? All of us at some point has probably had the experience of taking a shortcut. It may have ended up costing us later whether it was time, money, or stress.
What to Look For
It is important to hire a gardener who has credentials. In any service there is a wide variety of skilled and unskilled laborers. There are a lot of unskilled laborers who believe they know how to take care of a landscape. I often witness landscapers considered professional in my area improperly mulching, pruning and planting, causing damage to plants.
In speaking with a gardener, you should be able to pick up if they are knowledgeable. Here are a few questions to ask yourself before hiring.
- What is their education and background?
- Do they have examples of their work?
- Do they show their knowledge on their website or social media?
- Do they have testimonials or references?
- Are they responsive, on time, tidy?
- Are they eco-conscious?
- Do they have a mission with their business?
- Is the business insured?
- Can they identify most plants?
Rates will vary depending on the cost of the living in your area. Rates will also vary depending on what the business has to offer. As a general guideline, someone who gardens on the side with no or little training may charge $15 to $25 an hour. The rate for a skilled professional may fall $35 to $50+ per man-hour. Larger companies may charge $50-$70 per man-hour.
If someone had an electrical problem in their house they would likely call a licensed electrician. The same applies for any other service for your home and personal needs. Gardening is a seasonal job, so professionals depend on this work to live throughout the year.
What EARTHeim Offers
When you hire EARTHeim, you’ll be working with me directly to take care of your garden. I am a highly skilled and knowledgable professional and clients rely on me to take care of their garden in the best possible way. I remain communicative with my clients through the whole season about their garden. I offer a fine gardening service as an on-call service or through regularly scheduled maintenance plans.
You can learn more about my credentials here
Or learn about the fine gardening service I offer here
These are a just couple of experiences out of many I’ve had where my professional gardening service saved the homeowner expense.
I suggested some invasive trees and shrubs be removed that would eventually damage the wood fence. The owners were unaware this could happen. I removed the invasive shrubs and and trimmed lower branches of a tree that was growing against the fence. The tree will eventually need to be removed, but I prevented damage to the wood fence. Replacing the fence would be very costly. The tree, which grew voluntarily, could have been easily removed when it was small, but will now require an arborist to remove it.
Several clients have ash trees, which I recommended being treated for a pest. Without the treatment, the clients would have lost these valuable trees in their landscape.
The shrub in the image below was invasive and producing thousands of seedlings which were spreading into nearby garden beds. The shrub had also not been maintained correctly and I suggested its removal. I planted a dogwood tree in its place which will be prettier and a better quality plant. It was staked and mulched correctly, which will create a healthy tree.