Do you like being outside and getting your hands dirty? A small business as a self-employed gardener might be your dream job! This guide will teach you how to be a landscape gardener, what is the average self-employed gardener hourly rate, where to find self-employed gardener jobs, what insurance a self-employed gardener needs, and more. Grab your hoe, and let’s go!
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How to Become a Self-Employed Gardener
Interested in how to make money gardening? If you already have killer gardening skills or training, great! If you want to learn more about landscaping or gardening, here is a quick and useful course called the Beginner’s Guide to Garden Design.
Here are the 6 steps you need to become a self-employed gardener.
1. Know the Self-Employed Gardener Hourly Rate
It’s a good idea to know the average self-employed gardener rate.
You can take a look at what the average hourly gardener rate is so you have a ballpark number when you are pricing your gardening and landscape services.
You can bundle your services and charge a monthly rate for garden or landscape care over the summer (or the whole year if you live somewhere with a year-long summer).
According to Payscale.com, the average hourly pay for a self-employed gardener is $18.50; and the range is from $15/hour to $25/hour.
2. Figure Out Your Services and Prices
As a self-employed gardener, you’ll need to figure out the types of services you offer. Think about what you are good at, what gardening skills you already have, and what people are looking for help with near you.
There are different ways to figure out your gardener prices. You can charge an hourly rate, a daily rate, monthly rate, or rate per project.
Clients might need help with:
- lawn mowing
- garden design
- dealing with garden pests
For larger projects, a project rate probably makes more sense than an hourly rate. And packages bundled together, or offered monthly, can often bring you higher income than offering an hourly rate.
Related reading: Get Paid to Lose Weight – How to Make Your Wallet Grow As You Shrink
3. Essential Gardening Tools for a Self-Employed Gardener
The exact gardening or landscaping tool kit you will need depends on the services you offer and specialize in. A self-employed gardener who specializes in cutting grass/lawn care will need different tools than a freelance gardener that tends a backyard produce garden.
For a guideline, these tools are essential for most freelance gardeners:
- Gardening gloves
- Hand Trowel
- Pruning shears
- Weed puller
- Hand saw
- Garden tool organizer
- Knee pads and/or kneeling mat
I am not a self-employed gardener and don’t make money gardening, but my backyard gardening days got 1000x better when I bought myself a pair of knee pads and a kneeling mat. I truly don’t know how I gardened without them.
Especially if your job is as a gardener, you want to protect your body and keep it pain-free. Crouching and kneeling on hard grass and dirt for hours at a time is hard on your knees and back. Invest in the best knee pads and kneeling mat as you can – it’s well worth it.
Related reading: The Best Gifts for Gardeners
4. Get Self-Employed Gardener Insurance
What insurance does a self-employed gardener need?
It would be a good idea to get basic small business insurance for your gardening business.
I am neither an insurance agent nor a lawyer, but if I was a self-employed gardener, I would get public liability insurance. This protects you from claims made from accidental property damage (or litigious clients claiming property damage). For more information on landscaping insurance, go here.
If you can swing it, tool insurance would be a smart investment. Tools are literally the tools of your gardening business, and if something happened to them, you would be stuck replacing the cost yourself. A full set of gardening and landscape tools is not cheap, so you may want to think about protecting them.
Related reading: How to Get Cheap Life Insurance
5. Self-Employed Gardener Jobs
Gardening is just like in any type of self-employment: your first few customers will usually take the most effort to get.
After that, if you do a great job gardening and landscaping, you should be able to get referrals and word-of-mouth customers.
To start out, here are ideas on where to find clients as a landscape gardener:
- Post an ad for your gardening services in community centers near you
- Flyer ad posted in your neighborhood libraries
- Facebook Marketplace
- Facebook community pages for your neighborhood
- Your Facebook personal profile
- Instagram stories and reels
- Create a website to highlight your gardening business with services, prices, and gorgeous pics
- Local gardening groups on social media
- Post or search postings on Upwork
Related reading: 8 Unique Ways To Make An Extra $1000 a Month
6. Organize Your Self-Employed Finances
You need a way to organize your finances if you are going to be a self-employed anything, including a self-employed gardener.
Being organized means you are on top of what money is owed to you, how much money you are actually making as a self-employed gardener, and what expenses are creeping up that you could trim.
You can use a basic Excel spreadsheet to organize your self-employment finances, but this isn’t always the most user-friendly way, and you’ll probably outgrow it.
Another option is to use accounting software that is made for self-employed folks like FreshBooks or QuickBooks.
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