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New gardening maintenance company set up

Hello,

I've decided to set up a gardening company just aimed at helping people out with their gardens that aren't able to do the jobs like weeding, planting, mowing etc.

Is anyone able to give me advice on what insurance I need? Public liability and anything else ?

Also I've been looking at risk assessments, I assume I will need to do these for each garden ? Any advice on where I get a basic risk assessment or do they have to be the long documents I've seen that much of won't apply to me ?

If there is anyone else on here that does this kind of work, do you have any advice for me?  I basically just want to garden for people and make their gardens look nice, who knew the company set up would feel so complicated and scary.

I'm not sure I want to turn up in steel toes boots with the full safety gear on for some weeding and mowing, but will that have to be the case ? 

PS I've passionately gardened my various garden for the last 12 years and have looked after the wildlife and sensory garden at my daughters school for the last 3 years.

Any advice gratefully receieved, its all feeling a bit daunting today.

Thank you x

Posts

  • StevedaylillyStevedaylilly Posts: 1,080

    Hi

    You are basically becoming self employed and will need to contact the inland revenue as they will hopefully give you quite a bit of information. You will need PL insurance but that is something that will be assessed by contacting any insurance company and for you to discuss and agree with .

    As for risk assessment, you should be able to use what is called a generic assessment because most of your work will be of a repetitive nature. It should include for working at height, electrical equipment, keeping the site free from trip hazards , hazardous substances, noise pollution. I would contact your HSE (Heath and Safety Excutive or go online)

    PPE . Wearing PPE i(personal protective equipment) ie: protective footwear, goggles, ear protection , hi vis vest, knee pads. It make perfect sense to have PPE for your work but it is the last resort in health and safety at work 

    Hope all this helps and your career in gardening goes well 

  • StevedaylillyStevedaylilly Posts: 1,080

    I should add that the completed risk assessment should be displayed on site and the customer made aware of its content 

    Also, remember when it comes to working safe on site, it covers a lot of possible eventualities

    Always consider your safety and the customers safety.

    For example, you may have to remove a large area of ivy from the rear elevation of a 2 storey property. This will mean you will be working at heights for a period time where you would need to assess for a safe working platform to carry out the removal. If you decided to remove the ivy using a ladder access only, then you are contravening the working safely at heights ruling (ie: carrying out only short durations of work with 3 points of contact on a ladder) if you did carry out this work and you fell off the ladder, then you would be possibly fined by the Health and Safety Executve. There is also the possibility that you would effect the safety of the customer and other members of the public .

    Obviously, you may not want to do that type of work due to implication on working safety at heights and cost implication

    Please understand that I do not want to put you off this career move but be aware of all aspects of safety on site, for you own benefit and your customers.

    PS: I was a Building Surveyor for a period of 10 years so I am still very aware of accessing a common sense approach to carrying out any type of work 

  • Allotment BoyAllotment Boy North London Posts: 3,239

    I don't know where you are based but it might be worth considering a short course at a local college. In this area of North London Capel Manor college run short courses (6-8 weeks) on many aspects including one called  the "maintenance gardener" it not only covers practical aspects of gardening but also other aspects setting up as a business, insurance etc. I think a number of the colleges round the country do a similar thing. They run a whole range of courses at all levels some more formal than others. Worth a look in any case.

    I did the RHS level 2 diploma there (just for my own interest) but approx half the class I was in were either working in or started to work in Horticulture. 

    http://www.capel.ac.uk/horticulture-and-landscaping.html

    AB Still learning

  • StevedaylillyStevedaylilly Posts: 1,080

    Iann 

    That why I never mentioned what qualifications they have as I would expect them to have at least some form of  RHS qualification before venturing on such a career 

  • Peanuts3Peanuts3 Posts: 759

    Thank you some great advice for me to think about.

    my focus is more on helping the elderly plant up pots and do some gentle weeding / sweeping / raking.  This was inspired by a friends mum who struggled to bend due to age to get down on the ground to do the weeding.

    I will be making it clear in my marketing what my focus is and would turn down any jobs I deemed too big or risky.  There are properly trained people for those jobs.

    Fortunately for me this is being done for love of gardening and wanting to help people to have nice gardens rather than for financial gain, so I'll be picking customers carefully.

    What a great course that sounds like, will have a look at that.  In time I might do the RHS level two, but the design aspect and hard landscaping isn't of any interest so I have been trying to find a more suitable course, which I will do in time. 

    It all also has to work around kids and husband travelling. 

  • Allotment BoyAllotment Boy North London Posts: 3,239

    It not essential to have qualifications, in fact Monty Don is very open about the fact he has no formal qualifications but he is quick to point out that he has studied a great deal just not on formal courses & never taken an exam.

    I was thinking even if you just looked at the syllabuses to see what they covered it might give you some ideas about what you need to think about.

    P.S. Capel is unusual in that the RHS courses come under the department of design, but there is very little about design or hard landscaping until you get to level 3.

    AB Still learning

  • StevedaylillyStevedaylilly Posts: 1,080

    Probably not essential but it greatly helps when you are doing commercial gardening for a living. You are there been asked numerous questions on site and it doesn't instil a lot of confidence if you do not have the answer on when that Buddelia need pruning, natural pest control science or why a plant is not performing 

     

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