A gardener is the one who tends to the plants and is accountable for their preservation and magnificence. They work in personal estates, zoos, office compounds, memorial parks, or private lawns. Some gardeners work for government institutions, private manors, landscaping services, and business associations, while others work on a contractual basis. Essentially, a gardener is engaged in grounds maintenance or landscaping.
There are no precise educational requirements for gardeners. However, most employers choose to employ high school graduates. Some educational institutions offer vocational curriculums in botany and horticulture which gives an edge over other applicants for the job.
Duties and Responsibilities
A gardener has to make sure that the soil he is working with is of the right quality and in good condition. He precisely picks the right seeds of plants which are perfect for the conditions and plants them. A gardener trims shrubs and trees, removes weeds, and waters and feeds the plants. He must also know which chemical and fertilizers to utilize in order to maintain the plants’ health and keep them well nourished. He may also have to water and cut lawns, take away lifeless leaves, and paint fences.
Gardeners who take care of the lawns and gardens are called ground custodians or landscape gardeners. These kinds of gardeners are basically responsible for lawns. Landscape gardeners usually have undergone technical training. They are in-charge of providing professional care to garden flowers, trees, and shrubs.
Also, gardeners are responsible for keeping the grounds of resort hotels, highways, apartment complexes, shopping centers, housing developments, and factories. Gardeners utilize tools such as spades, rakes, hoes, and power tools like electric edgers, clippers and gas-powered mowers. At times, gardeners are also responsible for taking care of the underground water systems.
A gardener should take pleasure in physical and outdoor work. He should have good health and have the ability to work long hours. Due to the demanding job, a gardener should be flexible and fit to work irregular hours whether early mornings or during holidays. A gardener who specializes in various kinds of gardening has an advantage. Some employers would need someone to take care of an organic garden, so a gardener should be a plant specialist.
A gardener should also know how to propagate softwood cuttings, germinate vegetable seeds, make a compost, prune roses and shrubs, handle pests, improve and cultivate soil, repair a lawn, and water and fertilize the plants.
Sometimes employers would want a gardener to hold a certificate of competence in the safe use of pesticides, like Pesticide Application 1 (PA1) and Pesticide Application 6 (PA6), and some other related certificates.
Salary and Compensation
Gardeners working in the United States are taking home around $25,000 to $29,000 per year. According to the a report published in April 2011, the salary of an average gardener for job postings all over the United States are sixty-five percent lower compared to the average pay for all job postings all over the country. Reports from the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicate that the gardening industry in general will have an increase of 18% between the years 2009 to 2016.*
*According to the BLS, http://www.bls.gov/oco/