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Gardeners in Vereeniging

Vereeniging, one of the Gauteng province’s cities, is located where South Africa’s Klip River empties into the northern loop of the Vaal River. The city, which was formerly situated in the Transvaal province, is also one of the constituent parts of the Vaal Triangle region.

Its name is derived from the Afrikaans and Dutch words for association or union.

Currently, Vereeniging is one of the country’s most influential industrial manufacturing centres, with its chief products being iron, steel, pipes, bricks, tiles and processed lime.

There are 29 residential suburbs in Vereeniging, seven of which form part of Three Rivers. The average estimated value of a house in Vereeniging in April 2019 was R820 000 (and R620 000 for an apartment) according to property24.

What is a professional Gardener?

A professional Gardener is trained to balance the art and science of managing various plants in residential and commercial environments. Therefore, a Gardener must be quite clued up on landscaping, soil, chemicals, climate and the different types of plants.

On a day-to-day basis, a gardener's job could entail mowing or edging, trimming shrubbery, planting, or weeding and mulching beds. The work takes place outdoors, and often in all weather conditions. Anyone considering a career as a gardener should therefore be ready for a fairly physically-strenuous job. The work is often seasonal as well, with the most work available in spring, summer, and autumn.

Professional Gardeners can work in public, residential, and/or botanical gardens.

What are the job duties of a professional Gardener?

Gardeners are generally expected to work with a variety of tools like lawn mowers, electric clippers, leaf blowers, etc. Their duties can vary, depending on which type of outdoor space they work on, the scope / size of project they are involved with, or who they are employed by. For example, when working on athletic fields, the Gardener will be expected to aerate, mow, and water lawns and gardens while also possibly painting sports team names / logos onto the turf.

Gardeners working in outdoor parks / recreational facilities (where they may also be known as ‘Groundskeepers’) may be asked to maintain public picnic areas, including sidewalks and fences, and even swimming pools. Their duties can stretch to laying sod, installing sprinklers, and removing litter.

What to look for before hiring a Gardener

1.    Focus on their skills

Whether you contact an independent Gardener or one working for a large gardening / landscaping firm, you must ensure you employ someone with the right skills and expertise for your outdoor space’s requirements. For instance, some Gardeners may specialise in hard- or soft landscaping or both. Others may only work on tree surgery and hedge trimming, while others take care of general maintenance tasks like weeding and lawn mowing.

2.    Know their qualifications

Whether they have a degree in horticulture or studied as an apprentice under a qualified and experienced Gardener, know fully what your Gardener’s qualifications are by asking for proof.

3.    Check up on insurance

An accident can occur in any industry but for Gardeners, hard Landscapers and Tree Surgeons, the risk of injury is greater, especially when working with tools or operating machinery. Always check that your Gardener has a public liability insurance certificate, which will protect you in case of property damage.

4.    Compare quotes and costs

After searching for Gardeners, narrow your list down to at least three or four. Each one should pay a visit to your property to see what is required of them, what the ongoing maintenance work will involve, etc. This will enable the professional to quote more accurately, which must be presented to you in writing. You must make clear what is expected of the Gardener on a regular basis (i.e. mowing the lawn and sweeping pathways). Other things, like tools and paying for additional items like plants, must be clarified and agreed on. When both parties are happy with the agreement, it needs to be signed to signal the start of a fruitful working relationship.

How does it work with a professional Gardener and pay?

It makes sense to always know what you are paying for a job before the actual work starts, which is why this should be noted on the quote. If you pay your Gardener on an hourly basis, it can leave the costs very open-ended, seeing as professionals (which include Architects, Interior Designers, Roofers, Floorers, etc.) work at different paces. You could also be asked to pay for the cost of any material used like fertiliser, sprays, etc. Always make sure these costs are stated upfront and in writing so that you don’t get an unpleasant (and costly) surprise.

Like everything else in life, you usually get what you pay for. A competent student or recent graduate from a horticulture university may do a fine job at managing your garden while only charging a low hourly rate. Should they be good at what they do, the demand for their services will grow, which could lead to an increase in price.

Sometimes it could end up being a choice between paying more per hour for two hours to get the job done, compared with paying less per hour for four hours to get the same amount of work done, although of lower quality. Always be prepared to shop around and to ask plenty of questions – and compare different Gardeners’ quotes before making a final decision.

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