become a nursery worker

What does a Gardener do?

A gardener is an expert in how to design a garden so that the plants in that garden thrive. A major part of a gardener’s job is also knowing when to plant, as certain temperatures and conditions are more favorable for a plant to survive. Gardeners must maintain the health of a garden and harvest the plants when the time is right. Gardeners may also hold various job titles such as nursery or greenhouse worker.

Watch a video to learn what a gardener does:

How to Become a Gardener

A college degree may not be necessary to gain employment as a gardener. You could start a home garden, volunteer at a local botanical garden, or work in a community garden to gain experience. You could also gain an entry-level position at a greenhouse or nursery. Taking courses in horticulture however, could give you a competitive edge.

You can also become a Master Gardener. These gardeners have taken formal horticulture training courses that are generally offered through universities. They then help foster gardening in their community through public outreach, such as helping at community gardens or educating the public during lectures.

Job Description of a Gardener

A gardener is experienced in keeping a garden healthy and productive. They are often planting and maintaining a good environment by watering, fertilizing, and even weeding the area. They would prune back some plants and may remove dead plants from the area. These dead plants could even end up in a compost with other material and used as fertilizer at a later time.

Resources for Students and Teachers

If you are a teacher and would like to start a garden in your school, the U.S. Botanic Garden (link opens in a new tab) has a online resource and additional educational materials related to gardening. The National Gardener’s Association (link opens in a new tab) has a plant database as well as useful tools and apps for you to use, such as their planting calculator. Their planting calendar provides the opportunity to add your zip code to customize your calendar based on your climate. Garden.org also has a Learning library of online courses as well.

Article Citations

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Farmworkers and Laborers, Crop, Nursery, and Greenhouse.

National Center for O*NET Development. 45-2092.01. O*NET OnLine.

The career video is in the Public Domain and originally hosted on Kids.gov which is now USA.gov, an interagency product administered by USAGov, a division of the U.S. General Services Administration’s Technology Transformation Service.