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What Should I Consider When Hiring a Gardener?

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  • Written By: Tricia Ellis-Christensen
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 24 September 2016
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Many of us have very little free time and need workers who can perform certain duties for us to give us more spare time. Hiring a gardener is just one way to escape some of the chores that keep your spare moments occupied. Exactly what a gardener will do for your garden largely depends on the skills of the gardener, the price you can pay, and the services upon which you agree.

Before hiring a gardener, you might want to make a garden checklist of the services you’d like performed. Perhaps you only need a gardener to mow the lawn once a week and blow the leaves. These services should be least expensive, but it still makes sense to take a look at the gardener’s work and get some references prior to hire.

You might require many more things from a gardener. These could include having the gardener weed, plant, trim hedges or trees, compost, grow vegetables, or tend to sick and diseased plants. It is a standard rule that the more service you would like the gardener to perform, the more money you will pay.

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If you are paying more money, it’s important to write a contract stating the services which are to be performed. A gardener who fails to perform the duties you have set may not need to be paid. Establishing a work contract with the gardener at the onset of employment can mean fewer problems down the line if the work is not performed to your satisfaction.

You also may want to hire a gardener who specializes in different types of gardening. If you want an organic garden, you don’t want to hire a gardener who is only experienced in using pesticides. If you are preserving special species of plants or have a greenhouse, the gardener should really be a plant expert.

You should also consider only hiring a gardener who has worker’s compensation. If he or she becomes injured on your property, you might be required to pay for time off or be subject to lawsuits. It will generally cost a little more to employ gardeners who are insured and contribute to worker’s compensation, but it can save you a lot of money down the road.

When you are hiring a gardener for big jobs or small, you should choose someone with whom you can communicate well. Lack of communication can mean jobs don’t get performed as you would wish. Also, you need to verify that the person you hire is licensed to work in the country in which you live. Normally, a driver’s license, birth certificate, and social security or business identification number can assure you that the gardener is not illegally working in your country.

You may also want to base your decision on quality references, business licenses, and special training or certification. Also, look for someone who is able to speak up when a garden plan you have is not workable. If a person lets you know something can’t be done for one reason or another, it’s wise to listen. A person who blindly follows your orders without consideration for workability is probably not going to make your garden beautiful.

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