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Hiring Garden Help

by Alex Russel, All About Lawns Columnist

Today, homeowners see their outdoor spaces as another "room" of the house, and they're spending good money to hire yard, garden, and lawn care specialists to help them design and maintain it.
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Who Hires Gardening Help?

As reported in Seattle Times, consumers spent $37.9 billion on landscape, lawn, and tree-care services in 2003, up 30 percent from 2002, according to the American Nursery & Landscape Association. Much of this increase is due to the aging baby-boomer population. Busy working couples and families are hiring help, too, finding they have more money than time for gardening.

Finding Garden Help

How do you decide if you want to hire help or not? First, take some time to look at what you have. Walk around your garden and take note of the features in your yard. Ask yourself how much you want to do yourself, and how much are you willing to turn over to a professional. Then start thinking about your budget and prioritizing the tasks.

Hands-On Gardening Help

One option is to hire a lawn or yard service with many employees who move quickly through the yard, then head off for the next job. This may be more economical, but the employees may have little or no training in horticulture, according to Jeanne McNeil, executive director of the Washington State Nursery & Landscape Association.

However, experts agree that if you want your garden helpers to be more hands-on regarding your garden, it is best to hire an experienced gardener and not the more anonymous service. A gardener will have experience and professional affiliations or certification. Many work in gardening exclusively--pruning, weeding, mulching, and planting.

While it may take some effort, a little bit of research can help you get ahead on finding the right lawn and garden professional for your yard.

About the Author
Alex Russel is a freelance writer living in Brooklyn, NY. Since graduating from Syracuse University he has worked at many different media companies in fields as diverse as film, TV, advertising, and journalism. He holds a dual bachelor's degree in English and History.

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