Horticulture Foundations (Horticulture I)

Course CodeBHT101
Fee CodeS3
Duration (approx)100 hours
QualificationStatement of Attainment


  • Learn how to grow plants and identify plants
  • Develop your practical skills so you can apply horticultural principles
  • Indulge your passion, start a business, find a job in gardening
  • Study at home, when and where you want for a foundation in horticultural science and practice



Lesson Structure

There are 12 lessons in this course:

  1. Plant Identification: Naming plants; distinguishing the taxonomic divisions of plants including family, genus, species and variety or hybrid; identifying the different parts of a flower; distinguishing the morphological characteristics of leaves.
  2. Planting: Planting methods used for different types of plants including annuals, perennials, evergreen and deciduous plants; influence of environmental factors on planting techniques.
  3. Soils: Classifying soils; sampling and testing soils; chemical and physical properties of soils; soil improvement techniques; composting; potting mixes.
  4. Nutrition: Major and micro elements necessary for plant growth; nutrient deficiencies and toxicities; fertilisers.
  5. Water Management: Irrigation systems ... characteristics, advantages and disadvantages; drainage systems; waterwise gardening.
  6. Pruning: Pruning techniques; importance of pruning to growth, flowering and fruiting; pruning tools.
  7. Weeds: Identifying common weeds; characteristics of weeds; control techniques; herbicides.
  8. Pests and Diseases: Identifying common insect and disease problems; control methods; Integrated Pest Management; pesticides; hygiene procedures; chemical safety.
  9. Landscaping: Stages of landscaping; design procedures; collating pre-planning information; preparing plans; selecting plants for specified sites.
  10. Propagation: Asexual and sexual propagation; taking cuttings; sowing seeds; aftercare of propagated plants.
  11. Lawns: Turf grass varieties; laying a new lawn; cultural techniques including watering, fertilizing, topdressing, aerating, pest and disease control.
  12. Arboriculture: Tree management techniques including pruning, removal and tree surgery; identifying tree problems.


  • Distinguish between different plants, to enable identification of the plant species.
    • Explain appropriate procedures for establishing a range of plants in different conditions.
    • Describe the characteristics of plant growing media necessary for healthy plant growth.
    • Explain the characteristics of plant nutrition necessary for healthy plant growth.
    • Determine appropriate water management procedures for healthy plant growth.
    • Understand appropriate procedures for pruning plants on a horticultural site.
    • Determine solutions for the management of a range of common weeds.
    • Determine solutions for the management of a range of common pests and diseases.
    • Prepare a concept plan for the development of a garden.
    • Understand commonly used plant propagation techniques.
    • Develop guidelines for general lawn care.
    • Develop guidelines for general tree care in a horticultural situation.

What You Will Do

  • Distinguish between plants in order to identify at least 120 plants on plant review sheets.
    • Plant out a container plant following a recommended procedure.
    • Sample and carry out simple tests on different soils.
    • Identify a range of nutrient problems in plants.
    • Identify a range of pest and disease problems in plants.
    • Demonstrate the correct procedure for pruning a plant.
    • Identify a range of different plants, based on their flower and leaf structures.
    • Determine appropriate procedures for planting according to type of plant and site.
    • Demonstrate knowledge of how to care for plants in the garden.
    • Demonstrate knowledge of appropriate plant selection for a range of different sites.
    • Identify a range of plant health problems and describe appropriate chemical and non-chemical control methods to control those problems.
    • Identify characteristics of plant growing media necessary for healthy plant growth.
    • Explain the importance of organic matter in soil management.
    • Describe the principles and techniques of composting.
    • Determine nutrient problems and describe chemical and non-methods for overcoming these problems.
    • Identify management solutions to a range of plant problems including weeds, pests and diseases.
    • Explain the principles of Integrated Pest Management.
    • Determine appropriate water management practices applicable to plant growth.
    • Describe the characteristics of irrigation and drainage systems.
    • Describe the importance of pruning to plant growth, flowering and fruiting.
    • Describe safe use of chemicals.
    • Develop criteria for selecting suitable plants for a landscape project.
    • Prepare concept plans for landscape redevelopment.
    • Draw a concept plan for a garden redevelopment.
    • Demonstrate the correct procedure for taking cuttings from a range of plants.
    • Distinguish between different pre-germination seed requirements and techniques, for different plant species.
    • Determine appropriate turf species for different purposes and chosen climatic conditions.
    • Explain the composition of lawn seed mixes and fertilizers.
    • Observe and report on lawn management techniques.
    • Determine solutions to lawn problems.
    • Explain the cause and effect of common tree problems.
    • Determine appropriate methods for treating tree problems.

Where Can this Course Lead?

Thousands of people have studied this course. Many now run their own successful garden, landscaping or nursery businesses or farms. Others work on golf courses, for parks departments, on orchards, vineyards, or for garden supply or service companies. Some have gone on to be successful in the media, and others have used this course to lay a foundation for further studies.

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