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Determining hours per week needed by a gardener


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I'm looking to hire a gardener and received estimates from three. One said 1x per week for 4 hrs. total, another 2x per week for 3 hrs. each day (6 hrs. total per week) and the third said 2x per week for 4 hrs. each day (8 hrs. total per week). I understand estimate can vary due to many factors, but was wondering if there's some way to determine the amount of work based on garden size, number/type of plants, etc. The garden is about 200 SQM in size.

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Your question reminds me of the old quote:

"It's not the hours you put in at work, it's what you put in the hours."

Ask for quotes based on doing the job once a week. If unhappy with the results, next...

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 First of all unless you have automatic watering you need them more in dry season,, Second I hired various gardeners, at the end I wanted one for 5 hours 3 times a week so they showed up 2 father and son  for 2.30 hour ... .. I watched them closely and they were goofing off and left befor etheir time so I fired the father and told the son to work for 5 hours 3 times a week. The kid is dong way more work than the two were doing and also has more time watering when we need it as I have srinklers he can put on. while working on other things.  Whatever you choose do not make it permanent tell them you will review with them what will really be necessary after they start...

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There are so-called gardeners who do little more than walk around and hold a hose and rake up debris, and there are some who are quite knowledgeable and efficient.  I won't keep a gardener who thinks his job consists of walking around holding the hose. The hose can be left in one area, turned down to a small dribble, while the gardener attends to cutting dead leaves and trimming things, then go back and move the hose to another area. Ideally, you would have sprinklers to water most of the plants and the gardener watering would take a very small amount of time.

So you really just have to try people out and see if they are being efficient and attending to things well, or think their job description consists of something you could easily do yourself while walking around with your morning coffee.

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The reason I hire people is that  I want to enjoy my morning coffee without walking around and doing things someone else can do and  want to be free to dosa´´ear a few month at a time without have to worry about the garden...Right now I am training a young guy, we will see how he will be doing...

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1 hour ago, bmh said:

The reason I hire people is that  I want to enjoy my morning coffee without walking around and doing things someone else can do and  want to be free to dosa´´ear a few month at a time without have to worry about the garden...Right now I am training a young guy, we will see how he will be doing...

Well, we are all different. I don't even have a gardener, just hire one for a day when I need tall things cut or piles of debris moved because taking care of my garden is something I really enjoy, it's not work to me at all.  But I sure would love to have a full time cook because cooking bores the heck out of me and I can think of a hundred things I'd rather do. 

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Maybe you could do my garden and I would cook for you  He He   I do Thai, Vietnamese, Arabic , Persian and French food so you would not get bored..

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We have a big garden and have had our "gardener" for 35 years. I Feb I put him on paid leave (due to Covoid) and did the work myself. I found he had been doing a superficial job for many years and the shrubs and perennials were full of dead branches and stalks that had never been cleaned out. After two months, he asked to come back to work. I told him things had to change. This met immediate resistance. He had never signed on to work for any specific times but just as HE saw necessary. In fact, he had never "signed on" for anything. I have now laid out the basic ground rules and he is contemplating the implications. My message is to make a firm arrangement so there an be no dispute about what you want. for your garden I would suggest twice a week and probably 3 hours per would suffice. Keep aneye on what he does. If you can train him yourself you should be satisfied.

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12 hours ago, bmh said:

Maybe you could do my garden and I would cook for you  He He   I do Thai, Vietnamese, Arabic , Persian and French food so you would not get bored..

Now that would be a perfect trade. Not familiar with Persian food, but I love all the others. (I'm almost out of my stash of zatar I bought in Canada last summer) Too bad I live in Sayulita.

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11 hours ago, Alfa said:

I would suggest twice a week and probably 3 hours per would suffice.

That's exactly how often and long my neighbor has her gardener come. He's very good, and very efficient and her place looks great. And I've never seen him holding the hose 😜 In fact, he suggested she get soaker hoses and laid them out for her,  so only a few things now need hand watering.

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Just now, bmh said:

You can find zatar in Guadaljara and Ajijic.. and anywhere  where there are Libanese Mexicans

Good to know, except I haven't had any reason to go to Guad or lakeside for several years. Here's something quite funny- I saw a jar of Mexican-made zatar at La Comer. I looked at the ingredients, and it wasn't really the zatar I know, which is just ground thyme, sumac berries and sesame. They had substituted jamaica for the sumac, which seemed like a decent substitute, they have similar flavors and I've never seen a sumac tree in Mexico, although that doesn't mean there aren't any. 

On the label, they had the ingredients listed in Spanish, then supposedly in English. They had translated "jamaica" as "charity ball".

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On 7/21/2020 at 11:12 AM, InChapala1 said:

I'm looking to hire a gardener and received estimates from three. One said 1x per week for 4 hrs. total, another 2x per week for 3 hrs. each day (6 hrs. total per week) and the third said 2x per week for 4 hrs. each day (8 hrs. total per week). I understand estimate can vary due to many factors, but was wondering if there's some way to determine the amount of work based on garden size, number/type of plants, etc. The garden is about 200 SQM in size.

 

I would never hire anyone based on working hours.  Angus hit the nail on the head.   I would ask for references from those you’ve felt comfortable with and check them out.

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My Mexican family all hires gardeners and maids by the job. Never by the hour.  Here is what I expect..This is what I am willing to pay...  Possible negotiation on pay, but not on the work expected.    

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That is the way it is done in Chiapas.. I do not seet done that way in Ajijic  A Mexican friend of mine helps me finding people and gardeners demand to be paid by the hour.now and good luck on finding a good one.

 

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7 hours ago, Mostlylost said:

My Mexican family all hires gardeners and maids by the job. Never by the hour.  Here is what I expect..This is what I am willing to pay...

That could work fine as long as the employer has a realistic idea of how long something would take to do well. Someone who has never done a bit of gardening might think that it should only take 2 hours to accomplish what would actually take 4. Most people don't bring their car to the mechanic and start off by telling him how long you think fixing your car should take and what you are willing to pay.

To have a realistic idea of how long work you aren't familiar with ever doing yourself would take, rather than say "I'm willing to pay this much for that job", it would be more informative to get quotes from 3 different workers for doing XX, which is basically what people do when they are doing a building project and talk to a few different contractors.

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Your first statement is obvious. If the employer has unrealistic ideas of the job then no one will take the offer and the employer will have to adjust his numbers, or negotiate. 

When you take your car to  a mechanic he gives you an estimate.  You decide if it is worth it.  Just like you give the maid an offer and they decide if it is worth it.    

When does a mechanic say I don't know how many labor hours it will take and my charge is x per hour until I am done I can't give you an estimate so when your car is done I'll tell you how much you owe me. 

 

 

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there is way too

2 hours ago, Mostlylost said:

Your first statement is obvious. If the employer has unrealistic ideas of the job then no one will take the offer and the employer will have to adjust his numbers, or negotiate. 

When you take your car to  a mechanic he gives you an estimate.  You decide if it is worth it.  Just like you give the maid an offer and they decide if it is worth it.    

When does a mechanic say I don't know how many labor hours it will take and my charge is x per hour until I am done I can't give you an estimate so when your car is done I'll tell you how much you owe me.

u are rite. way too much obvious stuff on this bored

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