What Does A Landscaper Do?
Landscaping is one of the best ways anyone can enhance the beauty of their property, whether private or public. Landscaping can be quite time-consuming and strenuous. This is why hiring a landscaper is a wise decision. They make things painless and hassle-free.
Who Is A Landscaper?
A landscaper is someone who has the training and skills to turn a piece of land or a garden into a beautiful part of your property. This is someone who specializes in turning gardens or parks into outdoor sceneries.
Landscaper Job Description
A landscaper performs a wide range of tasks. Their responsibilities include the following:
1. Fertilizer Application
Applying fertilizer to plants to speed up their growth. A landscaper applies the right type and quantity of fertilizer when necessary. This is to prevent stunted development.
An unkempt garden is an eyesore. A landscaper prevents this by keeping limbs, hedges, and leaves under control through regular trimming.
3. Planting Grass and Plants
There is a need to plant flowers from time to time. They can plant new flowers or replacing dying ones,.
Landscapers also plant trees and other plants. They not only dig the ground to plant these but know the best land for a specific plant.
4. Improving Drainage
A well-designed and maintained drainage system contributes to the beauty of a garden. It prevents it from becoming waterlogged. This is important to ensure that too much water doesn’t destroy the garden or lawn.
5. Laying New Turf
When a garden needs new turf, a landscaper can handle the job. The professional landscaper lays new grass in bald areas of a garden. When a client wants to create a garden in their home, a professional in the landscaping business is the best for the job.
6. Work With Landscape Architects
Sometimes, a landscaper may have to work with a landscape designer or architect. Together, they handle some manual work. This can include things such as digging, mowing, and more when necessary.
7. Lawn Mowing
Bushy lawns make a home or garden look messy and untidy. It is the responsibility of a landscaper to mow it with hand tools or a lawnmower to keep it clean and neat.
8. Applying Pesticides
Pests can destroy a garden if adequate measures aren’t taken. To prevent this, a professional landscaper must know the best pesticides and how to apply them.
9. Creating a Relaxation Place
If you wish to create a small relaxing place in your garden, a landscaper is the right person to call. The furniture, rock, lighting, water, and anything else you need will be well taken care of.
Plants and grass won’t thrive in the absence of water. A professional landscaper ensures the garden is watered, and at the right time.
11. Adding Mulch
Their job description makes it important that they understand when shrubs and flower beds need mulching. They should also know when such mulch needs replenishing or replacement. Landscapers know the right turf management techniques that will make mulching easier for them.
Important Landscaping Skills
The many responsibilities of landscapers make it important that they have some basic qualities. Those who have the skills below will have better chances at succeeding in the field than others:
Pest Management Skills
Pests can damage a garden or lawn in no time. A landscaper must understand the most effective ways to get rid of ticks, mites, and moles. They must also be able to differentiate between beneficial and harmful insects.
Landscapers must be able to arrange their affairs and get things done promptly. Their responsibilities make it important that they find faster ways to finish their tasks.
Lawn Maintenance Skills
Landscaping goes beyond planting trees, grass, and the likes. It involves proper maintenance of the lawn as well. They must know the best way to keep a lawn clean and beautiful.
Shrub and Tree Maintenance Skills
Landscapers need shrub and tree maintenance skills to do well in this profession. They must be good at pruning, grafting, and trimming. These skills will support healthy plant or grass growth.
Attention to Details
Landscapers understand the importance of paying attention to details. They understand that a little mistake can destroy everything they have done. So, they are very observant and pay attention to every little detail about the garden.
Be a Team Member
A landscaper must be versatile enough to work independently or as a team member. Such a professional should integrate well with other professionals effortlessly.
Zero Allergy to Dust
Landscapers are always exposed to dust, grease, and other pollutants while doing their jobs. This may endanger the life of any professional that is allergic to them. So, someone who wants to pursue a career in landscaping shouldn’t be allergic to dust.
Equipment Handling Skills
Landscapers use several tools, some are small and others are big. A landscaper’s ability to use these tools will help them get things done faster and better.
No formal education is required to become a landscaper. Most of the professionals learn the key skills on the job. But, some landscapers have formal education in relevant fields.
Some aspects of the job need professional training. Landscapers will handle agricultural chemicals such as fertilizers or pesticides. It is important for such professionals to have extra safety training.
But, a landscaper will learn other skills such as handling equipment on the job. At least 2 years of experience in the field is an added advantage.
A landscaper must have a degree in horticulture to boost their chances of getting better offers within the industry. Some are trained in landscape design, arboriculture, or ecology. Such qualifications may be useful when applying for work in some areas such as heritage areas or state parks.
A landscaper who wishes to become A Landscape Manager or Crew Leader has more responsibilities. Additionally, they need formal education.
Aside from the skills expected from everyone else, other requirements for a Landscape Crew Leader or Manager are:
- A diploma in landscaping. In the absence of this, the individual must have been in the business for years. They should also have the necessary experience.
- Serve in a supervisory role for a crew of landscapers.
- Provide necessary help and direction for the crew.
- Design plans for clients.
- Must be an excellent communicator that can present designs and budgets.
- Must be knowledgeable in a wide range of landscape concepts and techniques.
- Ability to oversee projects and ensure timely completion of such projects.
- Prepare the budget for a landscaping project.
Landscapers use some tools to simplify their work and get things done on time. Without these tools, landscaping can be quite difficult.
These are some of the essential landscaping tools:
This is a handy garden tool. It is ideal for removing bothersome weeds under a plant’s root.
Uprooting weeds and old stack is best done with a trowel. It helps a landscaper do light digging for easy weed removal.
A pruning tool or a pair of shears is ideal for trimming a plant. These tools are more effective for trimming than a limb cutter or a pair of scissors.
While a trowel is ideal for light digging, they carry out big jobs with a shovel. It is also useful for clean up. They can use this tool to spread a load of sand or gravel in the garden.
A hoe can be used for different purposes. Landscapers can use it to break tough soil while preparing for flower planting. It is also useful for mixing cement.
A great tool for moving a reasonably large material from one part of the garden to the other. It can carry a large amount of tools or items. Because of this, landscapers don’t have to make repeated trips when transporting things from one area to another.
Keeping the edges of a lawn tidy and attractive is best done with this tool. But, they can use a spade to trim overgrown grass on the sidewalk as well.
This is a multipurpose tool. It is great for moving small or medium-sized rocks. Landscapers also use the tool to smooth out dirt.
Landscapers trim flowers with a pair of shears. But, They need a limb cutter to prune overgrown twigs and old branches.
Transplant spades look like a shovel. They are used for moving plants for transplanting across a garden. They have thinner blades that prevent damage to the root system of the plant to be transplanted. They also make it easier to move a plant from one place to another in crowded borders and other tight spaces.
A landscaper is expected to have two different types of rakes. They level and spread compost, soil, and gravel with the first time, level-headed rake. The second is a leaf rake. This is more flexible than the first type. It is longer and the better option for gathering twigs, leaves, and other debris.
If an area of the garden has been overgrown with grass or weeds that a regular mower can’t handle, a grass trimmer can do the job. It is also a good tool for cutting grass up to trees or edges of steps.
Landscapers can’t do a good job removing a large quantity of fallen leaves without a rake. A leaf blower makes it easier and faster for them to clear these.
They also use a lawn aerator to prepare the ground in advance for planting. The aeration allows oxygen, water, and other nutrients to flow through the soil. As the soil becomes less compacted, grass will be able to grow better and make the lawn attractive.
Landscapers use this power tool to cut off the branches of trees and bushes they can’t do with other tools.
Leaving waste in the garden or lawn will ruin its appearance. To prevent this, landscapers use a garden shredder to turn the waste into useful material.
A lawn edger is the right tool for keeping the edges of lawns neat and tidy. The efficient tool helps them to do this faster and is less strenuous than trimming with bare hands.
A pair of gloves is also important for landscaping. Landscapers can handle weeding, deadheading, and seed handling better with a pair of gloves than with bare hands.
Watering is an important work of a landscaper. A garden hose enables a professional to wet the grass and other things that need watering. It is easier to use than a watering can and gets the job done faster as well.
Buckets serve many functions in landscaping. They are not used for fetching only water. Landscapers also use them for waste disposal, to carry items, and to tidy things up generally.
A landscaper has different ways of getting into the landscaping industry. Most of them have taken up careers as:
1. Landscape Architect
A landscape architect analyzes a landscaping project, designs, and oversees it. The project may include corporate property, parks, or historic areas. They work with biologists and engineers to create a landscaping design. The design should allow them to add walkways, roads, plantings, and structures.
2. Landscape Designer
The designer decides the best plants that can flourish in any part of the garden or the given area. Some of these designers work for landscape architects. You can also find them in design firms and landscape service companies.
They usually have good design skills and know a lot about plants too. A Landscape Designer needs a degree in horticulture, botany, or soil science.
Landscaping job demand is expected to grow in the near future. This is because residential, commercial, or public gardens will always need maintenance.
There are job opportunities for landscapers in both the private and public sectors. Some of them are self-employed. Others work with developers or are hired by governments.
Some landscapers who work with the state work in parks, hospitals, and educational facilities. You can also find them in the leisure, tourism, and recreation department.
The education sector employs landscapers too. They work in schools and colleges where they make green spaces beautiful.
Landscapers earn a decent income. The income depends on several factors, such as years of experience and certification.
In the first year of practice, a landscaper may earn between $5,000 and $50,000. As the individual gains more experience in the field, the income may go up to $250,000 annually.
Self-employed landscapers and those employed by landscaping companies earn differently. An average landscaping business owner earned about $30,000 in 2005. These were landscapers whose businesses earned them below $200,000. Owners of landscaping businesses with higher income earn as much as over $60,000 that year.
According to the National Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for professional landscapers may rise up to 10% between now and 2026. They claim the average income is $12.90 per hour. But the income is more within the $9.26 and $20.71 per hour range.
Some factors such as specialist skills and region determine the average income of a landscaper. Landscapers who handle tree pruning and trimming earn more than those who handle other landscaping jobs.
It is also important to note that income also differs from state to state. The average income in Indiana is different from that of New Jersey, and other states in the U.S.
A landscaper may register with several organizations or professional bodies with shared interests. Some of these include:
1. International Society of Arboriculture
This body is for professionals that specialize in trees. The body campaigns for tree growth and how to maintain them. This may be in urban and green spaces such as water features and gardens.
2. Professional Grounds Management Society
This body offers certificates to professionals in grounds maintenance. It campaigns for improved education for people in this field.
3. National Association of Landscape Professionals
This is the association for landscapers. The body provides professional help to over 100,000 members.
4. Association of Professional Landscape Designers
This is an international association for professional landscapers. Its mission is to make landscaping a well respected profession.
5. The Association of Professional Landscapers
This association was formed in 1995. It offers research, advice, PR services, and training to its over one hundred members.
Table Of Contents
Chapter 1 – What Does A Landscaper Do?
Chapter 2 – Who Is A Landscaper?
Chapter 3 – Landscaper Job Description
Chapter 4 – Important Landscaping Skills
Chapter 5 – Educational Requirement
Chapter 6 – Landscaping Tools
Chapter 7 – Career Paths
Chapter 8 – Income
Chapter 9 – Professional Bodies