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Home-Based Business Idea - Gardener

What It Takes to Start a Gardening Home Business

By Ron Dicker

(LifeWire) - Overview of the Gardening Business

Although little or no experience is necessary, gardening can be developed into a full-time occupation when you start your own home-based gardener business.

A gardener performs many tasks -- including watering, trimming, raking, digging, planting, hoeing and leaf-blowing -- to keep their customers' homes and yards looking beautiful. You can earn an average of $17.93 an hour on your own, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Occupational Outlook Handbook, which note that the demand for gardeners will grow by 18% through 2016.

Landscape architects can earn even more than a gardener. You'll need a college degree in landscape architecture to build fountains, ponds, rock formations and certain irrigation systems. There is still plenty of opportunity in performing the basics for homeowners.

In a field of such high turnover, reliable performance at a fair rate will put you ahead of most of your competition. Your customer base will take root with word of mouth. Monthly maintenance schedules with clients keep the bookkeeping relatively simple in a home-based gardening business. The National Gardening Association and American Horticultural Society offer solid online resources for gardeners.

Pros of a Home Based Gardener Business

  • The manual labor of gardening is excellent exercise.
  • Many homeowners are too busy to do their own gardening, creating demand for your services.
  • The job or gardener or landscaper is a natural for anyone with a love of the outdoors and horticulture.
  • One-time cleanups of unkempt properties can supplement your income.
Cons of a Home Based Gardener Business
  • Constant sun exposure can be a health hazard without proper protection.
  • Repetitive bending, reaching and squatting can create back and joint problems if you don't keep yourself in good physical shape.
  • You work schedule is largely at the mercy of the weather.
  • Gas, vehicle maintenance and expensive tools can affect the bottom line.
What You Need to Get Started in a Home Based Gardener Business
  • Good physical health. Efficient landscaping requires energy.
  • Business cards and flyers to pass out to homeowners in your area. These sources will likely help you land your first customers. Signage on your vehicle and placed on properties will help you attract additional customers.
  • Basic lawn and garden equipment, including a shovel, rake, hoe, lawn mower, weed eater and trowel. Note that a commercial mower can cost around $2,000 but you can start smaller.
  • A truck or car with trailer to transport your equipment
  • A license and insurance
Gardener: Real-Life Example

Samuel Lunt, the owner of Gardensong landscape maintenance in Santa Fe, N.M., charges $65 for a two-hour minimum, he tells Sustainable-gardening.com.

Handy Link for a Gardening Business

Naming a Gardening Company

Related Home-Based Business Ideas

More on Starting a Work from Home Business

LifeWire, a part of The New York Times Company, provides original and syndicated online lifestyle content. Ron Dicker is a New York-based freelance writer who covered sports for the New York Times from 1996 to 2005.
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