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CostHelper > Home and Garden  > Landscaping & Gardening > Gardener

Gardener Cost

How Much Does a Gardener Cost?

low costHourly Rate: $10-$50average costLaying Sod Averages: $6,000-$11,000 an Acrehigh costLandscape Design Averages: $25,000-$57,500+
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  Typical costs:
  • Rates charged for gardening or landscaping work can vary from $10-$25 an hour for a day laborer to $20-$50 an hour or more for more skilled work by a gardener or landscaping company, and $50-$150 or more an hour for professional landscape design -- and there can be significant variations in price depending on location, the qualifications and experience of the gardener or landscaper, and the type of work done. In many cases, a flat fee may be charged for specific projects or ongoing maintenance. For example, mowing an average-sized residential lawn typically costs $20-$40, while a weekly garden service can cost $65-$90 for mowing, leaf blowing, hedging and shrub trimming as needed.
  • Professionally installed sod typically costs 14 cents - 60 cents a square foot, or $280-$1,000 for front and back lawns of 2,000 square feet. A professionally installed underground sprinkler system typically costs $1,500-$2,500 for 2,500 square feet (a 50'x50' yard), depending on location and climate. A professionally installed drip irrigation system for landscaping and garden beds can cost $1,000-$3,000 for an average home depending on location and system complexity.
  • Gardening and landscaping companies perform a variety of miscellaneous tasks. Lawn aeration -- removing plugs of soil to loosen compacted ground and creating holes that allow water, air and nutrients to reach the root of the lawn grass -- by a landscaping company typically costs about $35-$65 for a small lawn, or $75-$125 or more depending on the size of the lawn, slope and ease of access. Fire ant control typically costs $100-$300 a year.
  • Tree trimming or pruning can cost $75-$437 for a small (up to 30' tall) tree like a black mulberry, dogwood or Russian olive in an open area with no nearby buildings or utilities; a medium (30'-60' tall) tree like a black alder, black gum or crabapple in an open area typically costs $150-$874; and a large tree just over 60' high like a red oak, pine or black locust in an open area typically costs $200-$1,000 or more. Costs can be higher if the tree is close to a building or utility line.
  • Tree removal typically costs $125-$437 for a small tree (up to 30'), $175-$900 for a medium-sized tree (30'-60'), $400-$1,000 for a large tree (60'-80') and $962-$1,400 or more for a 80'-100' tree like a red oak, pine or black locust. Costs for stump removal depend on the size of the stump, at a typical cost of $2-$3 per inch of diameter, or an average of $75-$150 per stump. The cost per stump will be less if multiple stumps are removed at the same time and costs may be higher if the stump is not easily accessible by a trailer holding stump grinding equipment.
  • Expect to pay $300-$2,500, depending on the size and location of the project, to have a landscape designer create a detailed plan for a property, or $27,500-$57,500 for both creating and implementing the plan, including installing all plants, stones, pavers, fencing and other landscaping feature. (Note: A landscape designer is not required to have any specific academic training; a landscape architect must graduate from an accredited program, pass an exam and be registered with the state. Landscape architects typically cost more.)
Related articles: Garden Service, Tree Service, Landscape Design, Sprinkler System, Sod, Tree Removal

What should be included:
  • Gardeners or landscapers typically supply their own tools and equipment, and usually clean up and remove any lawn or garden debris -- although in some areas it might cost more if debris removal is included, or the customer may have to pay any dump/disposal fees.
Additional costs:
  • With a year-round gardening or landscaping service, there may be additional seasonal charges for extra tasks required in spring and fall, typically about $200-$500 for a half acre with some trees -- although costs will vary depending on local rates, the size of the property and the type of landscaping.
  • Some gardeners or landscaping companies offer discounts for providing the same services to multiple homes in one neighborhood.
Shopping for a gardener:
  • Ask family, friends, neighbors, co-workers or the staff at local plant nurseries for recommendations for local gardeners or landscapers. Better Homes & Gardens offers tips[1] for choosing a lawn care service and King County in Washington provides a worksheet[2] for finding a landscape company that minimizes the use of toxic chemicals.
  • Get at least three estimates for medium or large projects. Ask for and check references, and look for any complaints filed with the Better Business Bureau[3] .
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