Career Development

What Does a Gardener Do?

Find out what a gardener does, how to get this job, and what it takes to succeed as a gardener.

Gardeners are responsible for the upkeep of public and private gardens, parks, lawns, and other green spaces. They work hard to ensure that these areas look their best at all times—they prune plants, plant new ones, remove debris, mow grass, etc.

Gardeners may also be responsible for maintaining larger outdoor features such as water features or playground equipment.

Gardener Job Duties

Gardeners have a wide range of responsibilities, which can include:

  • Planting new trees, shrubs, flowers, or vegetables
  • Weeding and pruning existing plants to promote growth
  • Transplanting plants, trees, shrubs, or flowers using hand tools such as shovels and hoes
  • Pruning trees and shrubs to control shape and size of plant structures
  • Maintaining the grounds surrounding homes or businesses by mowing grass, trimming hedges, and performing other landscaping tasks
  • Installing new plant life or maintaining existing plant life in greenhouses or indoor settings
  • Fertilizing plants or applying other chemicals as needed to promote growth
  • Planting seeds in pots or directly in the ground
  • Collecting data about soil composition and plant growth rates to help maintain healthy plants

Gardener Salary & Outlook

The salary of a gardener can vary depending on their level of experience, the type of plants they are growing, and the size of the property. Some gardeners may also receive additional compensation in the form of overtime or bonuses.

  • Median Annual Salary: $36,000 ($17.31/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $67,500 ($32.45/hour)

The employment of gardeners is expected to grow faster than average over the next decade.

Gardeners will be needed to maintain and repair the large number of gardens in parks, schools, and other public areas. In addition, many new commercial developments will include outdoor spaces, such as restaurants with outdoor seating areas, hotels with rooftop gardens, and retail establishments with green walls or planters.

Gardener Job Requirements

A gardener typically needs to have the following qualifications:

Education: A gardener typically needs a high school diploma or GED certificate. Some employers may prefer to hire candidates who have completed a two-year associate degree in horticulture or landscape management. These programs teach students about plant biology, landscape design, irrigation, soil science and landscape installation.

Training & Experience: Most employers will require you to complete a training program before you begin working on their property. These programs will teach you the basics of gardening, including how to plant, prune and maintain a variety of plants. They will also teach you how to use the machinery and tools you will need to complete your tasks.

Some employers may also require you to complete a safety training program. These programs will teach you how to handle dangerous chemicals and how to safely use any machinery you will need to complete your tasks.

Certifications & Licenses: Some employers may require employees to pass an industry-specific certification to show their general field understanding.

Gardener Skills

Gardeners need the following skills in order to be successful:

Physical stamina: Physical stamina is the ability to sustain physical activity for long periods of time. Gardening can be physically demanding, so it’s important for gardeners to have a high level of physical stamina. This allows them to work for extended periods of time without needing a break.

Communication skills: Communicating with others is an important skill for a gardener to have. They often work with other people, such as the homeowner, to understand what the homeowner wants and needs. They also need to communicate with other professionals, such as landscapers, to ensure the homeowner’s needs are met.

Problem-solving skills: Problem-solving skills are important for gardeners, as they may encounter challenges while working in a garden. For example, a gardener may notice a plant is not growing as well as the other plants in the garden. They may use their problem-solving skills to identify the cause of the issue and find a solution to help the plant grow.

Attention to detail: Attention to detail is the ability to notice small changes in the environment and make adjustments accordingly. This skill is important for gardeners because it allows them to notice when plants need watering or when pests are present. Attention to detail can also help gardeners maintain the health of their plants by noticing when they need to make adjustments to their watering or fertilizing schedule.

Ability to work independently: While some employers may prefer to assign a team of gardeners to a project, most gardeners work independently. This allows them to work on several projects at once and move from one job to the next as needed. It’s important for gardeners to be able to work independently so they can complete their work efficiently and effectively.

Gardener Work Environment

Gardeners work outdoors in all types of weather, so they must be able to tolerate hot sun, cold wind, and rain. They use a variety of tools, including shovels, rakes, hoes, and lawn mowers. Some gardeners operate power equipment, such as tillers and rototillers. They also use chemicals, such as herbicides and pesticides, to treat plants. Gardeners typically work a five-day, 40-hour week, although they may work longer hours during the peak growing season. They may work early mornings, evenings, and weekends to take care of their gardens and lawns. Some gardeners work for landscape contractors and are responsible for maintaining the grounds of businesses, parks, and other public areas.

Gardener Trends

Here are three trends influencing how gardeners work. Gardeners will need to stay up-to-date on these developments to keep their skills relevant and maintain a competitive advantage in the workplace.

More Focus on Sustainability

As the world becomes more aware of the importance of sustainability, gardeners will need to focus on creating gardens that are environmentally friendly. This means using organic materials and plants that require little or no maintenance.

Gardeners can capitalize on this trend by becoming certified in sustainable gardening techniques. They can also create gardens that showcase the benefits of living sustainably, such as reduced water use and fewer pesticides.

More Use of Technology

Technology is increasingly being used in the gardening industry, from automated irrigation systems to smart sensors that monitor soil conditions. As technology becomes more prevalent, gardener professionals will need to learn how to use it effectively in order to keep up with the competition.

This trend means that those who want to be successful in the gardening industry will need to be familiar with the latest technologies and how to use them to their advantage. In addition, they will need to be able to troubleshoot any problems that may arise with these systems.

A Growing Interest in Organic Gardening

The popularity of organic gardening is growing rapidly, as more and more people become interested in eating healthy food that was grown without chemicals.

As a gardener, you can capitalize on this trend by becoming an expert in organic gardening methods. You can do this by attending seminars and workshops, reading books, and networking with other professionals in the field. By doing so, you will be able to provide your clients with the best possible organic gardening experience.

How to Become a Gardener

A gardener career can be a great choice for anyone who loves nature and wants to be outdoors. There are many different types of gardens, so you can find one that suits your interests and lifestyle. You could specialize in growing flowers, trees, or vegetables; designing outdoor spaces; or landscaping with rocks, stones, and plants.

No matter what type of garden you want to work in, it’s important to have a strong knowledge of plant science. This includes how plants grow, how they respond to different environments, and which plants are best suited for certain conditions. You should also have a good understanding of horticultural techniques such as pruning, propagation, and irrigation.

Related: How to Write a Gardener Resume

Advancement Prospects

Gardeners can advance in their careers by becoming head gardeners, managing a team of gardeners, or starting their own gardening business. Head gardeners are responsible for the overall care of the gardens they manage, including planning and budgeting, while managing a team of gardeners involves supervising and coordinating the work of other gardeners. Starting a gardening business requires business acumen and marketing skills in addition to horticultural knowledge.

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