If you have a passion for gardens and don’t mind working outdoors in all weather conditions then maintaining other people’s gardens, or transforming them, can be an incredibly rewarding field of work. Starting a gardening business is hard work, but the rewards of happy customers and well-kept gardens will certainly provide plenty of motivation to keep you going.

With around 87% of houses in the UK having their own outdoor space, there are plenty of gardens out there that could be looking for someone to keep them tidy, which means that even allowing for those who take care of their own gardens, there is still plenty of garden work out there for those who are willing to put the effort into looking for it.

Whilst being good at all the day-to-day tasks a gardening business might provide like weeding, grass cutting and leaf clearance is one thing, being able to run your own business can be a complex undertaking. We have put together our ultimate guide to help steer you through all of those important first steps that you will need to take in order to get your business off to the best start.

Start with a business plan

Those businesses that have greater success are those that take the time to plan carefully , and this means starting out with a detailed business plan. Before you can begin to start work with your gardening business it is important to have a plan in place to guide you through every step you need to take to set up your gardening business and then run it. Your business plan should help you launch and then grow your gardening business. It will also assist you in securing any necessary funding.

Take your time over your business plan because this is the document that will guide you through every step that you need to follow when starting a gardening business.

Once you have written your business plan, you will be able to see how your new gardening business will fit into the market. For example, it will give you knowledge on how many other gardening businesses you may be competing for business with and what you can do that might make you stand out. You will even begin to understand how you can advertise your business. As part of your business plan, don’t forget to pick a name for your gardening business (make sure it isn’t already taken) and register as a business. Your Company Formations can help you with this.

Market research

The first step of starting any new business is to see if there is a need, and that you have the potential to be successful. In order to do this you will need to do your research; this will help you to identify your ideal customer base and the types of services that they might be interested in. Check local groups on social media and you will find a whole range of people asking for recommendations for people to do garden work. This will give you a very good idea of the types of jobs you should be offering as your basics.

Whilst there are certainly people out there who do want regular garden servicing, including things like lawn mowing and general maintenance, a recent National Gardening Week survey found that only 7% of UK householders engage the services of a gardener to carry out garden work. The majority prefer to do their own gardening work. If there is a higher proportion of individuals in your areas who fall into the latter category, you may need to widen your working area. Or, consider work that many people don’t do themselves, such as tree maintenance.

Initial outlay

Starting out with a gardening business isn’t cheap. You will need to invest in the right equipment. However, if you have a good business plan, and some experience you may be able to access some funding that will help you get set up. Remember not only will you need the equipment to do a range of garden jobs, but you will also need a vehicle to transport your tools, and the appropriate insurance both for the vehicle and the business.


One thing you will find whilst you are doing your research is that prices can vary significantly for gardening services. This is dependent to a great extent on your experiences, the location and the services that you offer. Your prices need to cover your expenses but also give you a profit.

To some extent, gardening is a seasonal role with many customers only wanting to use the services of a gardener during the summer months. Consider adding some services to those you offer that can be done during the colder months, such as cutting back.

Things all gardening businesses should be aware of

As a gardener, there may be times when you will need to use pesticides, for example, slug pellets or weedkillers. The use of these pesticides in residential gardens is referred to as amateur use. These pesticides are different to the professional strength products that are utilised on farms and public areas and require the individual using them to hold a professional qualification. It will however still be necessary to conduct a risk assessment before any pesticides are used.


There are several types of insurance that anyone starting a gardening business will need.

  • Equipment and tool cover – this should cover you against theft and accidental damage
  • Public liability insurance – covers you against claims for accidental damage and injury to any members of the public
  • Vehicle insurance – covers you for any vehicles you use for the purposes of business
  • Employer liability insurance – whilst you may not have any employees to start with you will need this if you employ anyone to work for you

Trade bodies

There are a number of business benefits to be had from joining a trade body. As a gardener, you may be able to join the following:

The Gardeners Guild – a national network for gardeners with professional qualifications. Members are self-employed and offer grounds or garden maintenance services. A Level 2 Certificate in Horticulture, or the equivalent must be held. Members can access legal advice, and discounted business insurance and are listed in the “Find a Gardener” section.

The Horticultural Trades Association (HTA) – representing manufacturers and distributors in the horticultural industry as well as gardeners, there are discounts available upon joining.


In today’s technology-dependent society, you will need a website. It’s the first place people turn to when looking for a professional. Your website should be professional in order to create the right kind of impression and you need to include all of the important information such as:

  • What services you offer
  • What locations you are prepared to travel to
  • Your prices
  • Contact details

It is also a good idea to have a social media presence. There is a good chance that this is somewhere you may find a lot of clients.

Social media posts tend to be shorter in order to catch people’s attention so share examples of work you have done, gardening tips for between visits and of course any reviews that you get. Engage with your audience, and hopefully, you will turn some of them into customers.

Hopefully, you now have the confidence to plan starting a gardening business yourself. If so, why not speak to the experts at Your Company Formation to ensure you’re on a solid legal footing, and your business is set up for success?

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