Hiring a gardener who knows what they are doing can be challenging if you don’t know what to look for when choosing one. Regardless of the scope and size of your gardening job, it would be best if you found a gardener that has adequate knowledge and skills to deliver an excellent job. Here, we explore the four main criteria that you can use to determine if a gardener in Northern Beaches is the right fit for you. You must ensure you’ve got the right person or company for the job to protect your property and avoid unnecessary financial loss.
So, What Should You Look For When Hiring a Gardener in the Northern Beaches?
There are four main questions you can ask yourself that will help you to choose a qualified gardener to ensure that you get the best results you deserve. These include:
What Are Your Gardener’s Professional Qualifications?
Professional gardeners with a Certificate or a Diploma in Horticulture have the knowledge and expertise that an untrained gardener cannot match. They spend approximately 2000 hours gaining in-depth horticultural knowledge and practising their craft studying, which sets them apart from lay gardeners.
Your potential gardener should also be fit enough to carry out the job. There’s no point in hiring a gardener who won’t be able to be on-site to either carry out the job themselves or supervise their juniors.
Your gardener must also come with all the tools required for the job, and not rely on you to provide any project tools.
Do They Meet the Specialty Licensing and State-Specific Legal Requirements?
Australian gardening licensing requirements vary by state and municipality.
In most cases, a qualified gardener must be over 18 years old, have the minimum certifications, and 3 – 4 years of experience working in gardening and landscaping.
You may also want to check if your gardener has the following:
- Business license
- Public liability insurance
- Surety bond
- Two references
For more specialised tasks, your gardener may require more certifications. Some essential ones include:
- Contractor’s License – for gardeners who install anything needing a building permit
- Low Voltage Electrician’s License – for gardeners who install irrigation systems
- Nursery Dealing License – for gardeners who distribute live plants
- Pesticide Applicator License – for all contractors who apply pesticides
Your potential gardener may also have to meet specific state licensing requirements. Some main ones include:
New South Wales:
- Structural landscaping license for work requiring any construction
- Home improvement license depending on the type of work
- Queensland landscaping license for all work over $3,300
- Domestic Builder – Limited (DB-L) Registration Card
- Registration with the Building Practitioners Board for all projects over $10,000
- Builders license
- Supervisor’s license
- No requirements for gardening projects valued below $12,000
- A licensed building contractor’s supervision is needed for all projects valued above $12,000.
What Are Their Costs and Payment Methods?
As a rule of thumb, always source three separate estimates for your project to get a good idea of the likely cost.
Gardener rates vary between $60 to $70 per hour, depending on the project’s complexity, size, and scope. However, most gardeners can quote a one-off per-project figure for simple jobs, like hedge trimming and lawn mowing.
For significant landscaping and gardening work such as brand new projects, or complete overhauls, it is best to get a written quote for reference, encompassing:
- All tools and equipment required for the job
- List of products and plants needed
- Total labour costs
Most individual gardeners prefer to invoice clients and will accept PayPal, larger companies, may accept payment plans as the project progresses.
However, costs may vary depending on the size and scope of the project and whether any construction is needed. Ideally, you should provide your potential gardener with enough information to help them make an accurate cost determination. Useful pointers include:
- Are there any parking restrictions outside the property?
- Are there are any access restrictions?
- Is the lawn or hedge overgrown?
- Is your gardening project brand new or existing?
- Will there be any construction, e.g. decks and garden sheds, or irrigation systems installed?
Photos go a long way to giving the gardener an idea of the scope of work needed. Attach them with your request for quotation as much as possible.
What Do Others Say About Them? Do They Have Good Customer Reviews and Past References?
What do past customers say about your gardener’s services? This question alone may save you hundreds and even thousands of dollars and prevent you from hiring an inexperienced gardener or quack.
Ask for personal references from the gardener’s previous clients, and look out for customer reviews on online review sites. You may also contact family and friends who’ve had gardening work done to see if they can recommend a reliable and qualified gardener.
Once you’ve settled on a specific gardener, meet and interview them before any works begin.
By doing all of the above, you’ll have the peace of mind that comes with knowing you’ve done your due diligence and hired someone qualified for the job.
Final Thoughts When Looking For a Gardener in the Northern Beaches
We hope these pointers will help you get the gardening service you need.
If you need a qualified and experienced gardener in the Northern Beaches, Greenedge Turf is your go-to contractor. We have helped thousands of customers in the Northern Beaches, North Shore, and Eastern Suburbs of Sydney install and maintain their gardens.
Join the Greenedge Turf family of satisfied customers to get a taste of the excellent gardening and lawn services we offer. Call 0478 790 855 or contact us online to learn more.