Should You Tip Your Landscaper?

You may have heard different opinions on whether or not you should tip your landscaper.

While there is no right or wrong answer, it is important to consider all of the factors involved before making a decision.

Today, let’s look at the pros and cons of tipping your landscaper and see what actual landscapers think of tipping.

The Gist: Here’s What 3 Landscapers We Talked To Said About Tipping

  • Landscaper #1: “It is definitely not expected. I’ve had my business for 3 years and I’d say 1 in 10 repeat customers tip sometimes. Very rare for a one-time job to tip. In terms of amount it is not like a restaurant where you tip 15% or whatever more like just $10 in the hand.”
  • Landscaper #2: “The only times I’ve got a cash tip is when we did more than what was included in the scope of work. For example, we quoted a job to do a mow, shrub/hedge trim and clean up and ended up also removing a stump and 3 small trees from the roots with our truck. We received a significant tip. But I mean was that even tip or just paying for extra work? All good. Honestly, it is not expected and coming out with a beer or lemonade or something near the end of the day is the best way to show appreciation.”
  • Landscaper #3: “When I lived in Australia and worked as a landscaper for a year the only tip we ever got was beer at the end of the job. It was great. But I guess tipping in Australia is much different. In the US if you’re gunna tip less than $5 or less instead just use the money to buy the boys/girls a soft drink or something.”

So basically: Not expected but appreciated and a beer or drink in the middle of the day is just as good if not better than a tip to show appreciation.

The Pros of Tipping Your Landscaper

  • Shows your appreciation for their hard work and that you are happy with the results of their work.
  • Helps to build a good relationship if you plan on hiring them again.
  • If they know that you are willing to give them a tip, they may be more likely to go above and beyond to please you in the future.

The Cons of Tipping Your Landscaper

  • It is not required and if you really need the cash for something more important you shouldn’t tip.
  • You may be double tipping, essentially. Some landscapers may already include a gratuity in their price.
  • If you tip once then maybe the landscaper will expect it in the future.

Situations To Tip 

They did extra landscape work:

When you and a lawn care company agree on a scope of work and price for your job the price is the price for the work discussed.

If you need your landscaper to do more work and instruct them to do so. You should get a new quote/price variation for the new works added.

If they do work you didn’t ask them to do but are really happy they did it then you could show them appreciation with a tip. This is especially true if they do significant work and never ask for more money.

They fix something not related to landscaping:

An example of this is when they fix up your fence gate, leaky water tap, broken fence post or something similar.

Points to Consider When Tipping Landscapers

  1. How much to tip. First off how much did you pay them for the job intended? If it was a huge job and you are paying them $1,000 for their efforts – consider a $50 – $100 tip. If it was a $50 one-off mow then consider giving them a beer or soft drink instead.
  2. How often to tip. If you keep your lawn care company on retainer and they come and mow bi-weekly during spring and summer then you definitely don’t need to tip them every time. Maybe monthly or ever second time you see them.
  3. Tipping with food or drink. All the landscapers we talked to said since money tipping is not expected it is awesome when they receive food or drink at lunch or the end of the day/job. For example, when they finish a 2-day big job you could tip them a 12-pack of beer instead of money. They love it.

How Do You Tip Landscapers?

If you have decided that you would like to tip your landscaper, there are a few different ways that you can do it.

  • Hand them the cash
  • Hand them cash in an envelope
  • Write them a cheque.
  • Transfer via an app like Square.
  • Add the tip to your bill
  • Give them a gift card or voucher for a local business
  • Hand them a 6-pack of beer at the end of the job

Further Reading

  1. If you don’t want to worry about tipping then do the lawn care yourself. You’ll need the best mower. Check our list of the best at that link.
  2. You could consider renting a lawn mower instead of buying the best. Renting one means no maintenance and only $40 or so for the day.
  3. Another benefit if you don’t want to think about tipping and doing the work yourself is you burn calories mowing. Quite a few calories.

About your guide: Jamey Krames is a NALP certified Lawn Care Manager and a Mechanical Engineer by trade. He has been writing about power equipment for 12 years and has been quoted in NYTimes, Popular Mechanics, Wirecutter, HowStuffWorks, iFixit, MSN, Realtor.com, and more. He owns 194 acres in the country (and mows 50 acres of it) but lives on 1/4 acres in the suburbs. He currently owns and uses 6 different lawn mowers and has hands-on tested nearly 30.