Setting Up A Gardening Business

Summer’s here! Setting up a gardening business can seem overwhelming but we hope to illustrate ten steps to make the process more straight-forward.

Gardeners work for domestic, commercial and public sector clients with gardens and grounds to maintain services can range from planting, pruning, mulching, mowing, fence construction to basic landscaping.

1. Getting Qualified

Although there are no formal qualifications required to set up a gardening business since most gardeners may have developed their personal gardening experiences, getting some qualifications will help you to understand best practice, new trends and how to operate as a business.

The following courses may be beneficial:

  • The Horticultural Correspondence College- runs a course for those with no experience on gardening, costs £199 and takes roughly 18 months to complete.
  • My Gardening School- online gardening course ranges from beginner to pro. Covers topics such as recycling, garden design, pond construction. Prices are around £120
  • The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) for more details please visit:- – Britain’s premier horticultural brand provides a Level 2 Certificate on Principals of Garden Planning, Establishment and Maintenance. The qualification is recognised in the industry and covers garden planning, choosing plants, growing veg. It is studied over 9 months through (ICS) and costs £275.

2. Understanding The Industry

To help gardeners keep up with industry events and news its useful to keep up to date with industry trends and increase your product knowledge. A few events and publications to keep in mind are:

‘Horticulture Week’ Magazine

‘WHICH? Gardening’ Magazine


3. Key Market Issues & Trends

Some of the current issues affecting the industry are:

The garden sector grow by 1.7% – Datamonitor

The IPOS MORI poll stated that 71% of the UK population believe spending time in the garden is crucial to their quality of life.

UK gardeners spend on average £20,000 over their lifetime on garden services

Figures from the Horticultural Trade Association body suggests increasing confidence in the sector with 92% of their member implementing growth plans.

Government spending cuts will affect those looking to win contracts from local authorities.

According to the Skills Funding Agency there are 16,500 businesses operating in the horticulture, landscape and sports turfing industries. Eight of ten of the business have fewer than ten employees

4. Equipment

The following list is not exhaustive but it will provide you with an idea of the equipment that is required to provide a full service:

Petrol-powered lawnmower


Hedge trimmer




Pruning saw


Hand fork

Hand shears


Bulb planter

Kneelng Mat

Safety Equipment should also include:



Ear Defenders

Safety Visor

For more equipment, check out the prices at or mowdirect

5. Running The Business From Home

Its a good idea to inform your mortgage company and landlord (if applicable) to ensure that you’re allowed to operate from home. It may be an idea to contact your local authority or the Valuation Office Agency to see if part of your premises is eligible for business rates.

6. Domestic Gardening Work

The best source of domestic work may be within your local area/district offering mowing, hedge cutting and trimming. This could lead to additional work to tidying, pruning and weeding. Much of this likely to be regular work, so customer service is paramount when you get you first gig. Lawn maintenance for example requires treatment programmes, aeration and scarification maybe required 4 times a year.

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