I was on a job recently where I was laying a new patio when I met the customer’s new gardener. He was young, maybe in his early 20s and had just started his own gardening business. It was a funny conversation as I use to provide my garden maintenance services for this same customer, at the same property a few years before. He owns a large garden with 2-3 acres of land but as my hard landscaping side of the business grew, I had to let the contract go. On good terms ofcourse – Hence why I was there laying a new patio. I explained this to the new gardener and proceeded to give advice on the order of maintenance that helped me keep on top of the garden in a timely manner.
It’s when I started talking about the hedge cutting that he interrupted me and said “Oh no, I’m only here to cut the grass”. Apparently he isn’t actually a gardener at all and had started a lawnmowing business. That’s right! No hedge cutting. No pulling weeds. Edging. Lawn treatment. He didn’t even have a van. Just a car to carry his lawnmower and strimmer. The owner of the property owns his own ride on lawnmower as it’s a large garden so it’s a good contract to have.
I had never met a (for lack of a better word) gardener before that solely cuts grass for a living but hey, if you can get the customer’s then it sounds like an easy life! After politely declining my advice on maintaining the garden, he proceeded to ask me just 2 very important questions. How many lawns can a gardener mow in a day? And how much can you charge per garden? Assuming to see how much money he could earn per day cutting grass. Well he asked. I answered. And I’m going to share my answers here with you all for anyone else that may be wondering!
How many lawns can you cut in a day?
Before I get into the numbers that I would hit when it came to the number of lawns that I could mow in a day, I’d better start by saying that the answer is a little more complex than the question itself.
If you want high numbers then your going to want to be maintaining smaller gardens where you charge by the job and not by the hour, allowing you to be in and out quickly and onto the next job. As well as this, the more customers you get, the more lawns you can mow in a day. This is because you will be able to group all of your geographically closer customers together and squeeze them into a single day, keeping set days for different groups of customers. Let’s say for example that your customer’s gardens take 30 minutes to cut the grass but there is also a 30 minute travel time between each garden, you will only be maintaining 8 small lawns in an 8 hour day with only 4 working hours!
At my height I had a diary absolutely full of regular customers. My favourite days were what I called my ‘in and out days’. This was where we would maintain very small gardens (primarily mowing the lawns) on gardens that would take 30 minutes or less. The biggest travel time between jobs was 15 minutes (most were actually much shorter). With these numbers, this meant that we (2 of us) could easily mow 15 lawns in a 9 hour day. In actual fact, we often had days where we would mow 20 lawns since many customers could be next door neighbours (no travel time) with some gardens taking no more than 10 minutes.
So in answer to the question, how many lawns can a gardener mow in a day? Under the right circumstances a team of 2 could maintain 15-20 small lawns in a day, or 10 if your working alone.
How much money can you make cutting grass?
When it comes to garden maintenance or in this case, grass cutting, I would always have a minimum charge for smaller gardens instead of an hourly rate. I always explained that this was to cover fuel and the time taken between jobs. My minimum charge is/was £30 which compared to alot of other gardeners can be relatively cheap. At least in the South East of England anyway.
Let’s say that you charge a minimum of £30 to mow a lawn and you mow 10 lawns in a day by yourself, that’s a whopping £300 for a days work. Who said there’s no money in cutting grass?
If there is a team of 2 of you mowing 20 small lawns in a day then that’s a huge £600 and if your team member is working for you and not a business partner then you could make £500 in a day after paying out £100 for their day’s wage.
It’s not all rainbows and sunshine though! To find regular customers all with small gardens and all local to eachother could take a long time. Even if you are planning to work alone and mow 10 lawns per day that’s still 50 customers per 5 day week and if it’s fortnightly visits then you will need a total of 100 customers to avoid any empty days.
What I’m really saying is that there is potential to make good money by simply cutting grass but it will take alot of hard work and patience to get that full diary. As well as this, you need to account for rainy days where lawnmowing just isn’t an option as well as the fact that work can be hard to find in the Winter months as the grass lay dormant. Suddenly a £300 day doesn’t sound so great when you take into account the nunber of days lost throughout the year but then this is the case for all us gardeners!
So there you have it! A team of 2 gardeners could mow 20 gardens in a single day and take £600 between them (potentially £300 each) but you need to take into account the days where mowing the lawn just isn’t an option due to bad weather or the Winter months makes it harder to find work. That £300 per day could easily turn into an average day rate of £200 or even £100 once spread across a 52 week year on and off work.