Qualification - Certificate in Horticulture (Grounds Management)

Course CodeVHT002
Fee CodeCT
Duration (approx)700 hours

Gain Skills for a Career in Grounds Management

This is a comprehensive course for people wanting to develop a sound understanding of maintaining garden and turf areas. You'll learn about fundamental horticulture principles and practices before studying more specialised areas like tree care, turf care and irrigation systems. 

This Certificate in Horticulture involves the following areas of study:

This involves around 350 hours, divided into 15 lessons, approx. half of the course.

This involves a further 350 hours of study specific to irrigation, soils, plant care, pest, disease and weed control and turf care.


1. Introduction to Plants
Nomenclature and taxonomy, the plant kingdom, genus, species, hybrids.

2. Parts of the Plant
How plants grow, plant structure, parts of the flower and leaf, modification of stems and roots.

3. Plant Culture - Planting
How to plant and protect newly planted specimens, terms like: annuals, biennials, perennials, deciduous, evergreen and herbaceous plants.

4. Plant Culture - Pruning
Purpose for pruning, rules for pruning, how to prune.

5. Plant Culture - Irrigation and Machinery
Different irrigation systems, components of an irrigation system, designing an irrigation system, maintenance in the garden and for tools.

6. Soils & Media
Soil classifications, testing soil, potting mixes, the U.C. System, ingredients of potting mixes.

7. Soils & Nutrition
Fertilisers - deficiencies and toxicities, N:P:K ratios, salting, fertiliser programming, compost.

8. Propagation - Seeds & Cuttings
How to propagate plants by seed or cuttings, propagating mixes, cold frame construction, after care for young plants.

9. Propagation - Other Techniques
Other methods to increase plant numbers - budding, grafting, layering, division and tissue culture.

10. Identification and Use of Plants
How are plants used in the landscape, how to choose and purchase plants, selecting plants suitable for the climate and site.

11. Identification and Use of Plants
Problems with plants and choosing plants for problem sites.

12. Identification and Use of Plants
Indoor and tropical plants, flowers, herbs, bulbs, ferns.

13. Pests
Identifying and controlling pests, chemical and natural methods for control, chemical safety precautions.

14. Diseases
Identifying and controlling diseases, plant pathology, fungi, viruses, non-pathogenic problems, interactions with the host and the environment.

15. Weeds
Identifying and controlling weeds, chemical terminology.

Through these specialised stream studies, the student will attempt to achieve the following objectives:

*Design a plant assessment sheet to be used in the field to record information about plant health problems.

*Diagnose nutrient, pest, disease and environmental problems of plants.

*Dissect, draw and label a range of pest/disease problems.

*Explain ten alternative weed control methods including chemical and non chemical treatments.

*Collect, press, label and mount a weed collection and a pest/disease collection.

*Explain aeration, spiking, coring, dethatching and topdressing.

*Describe selective weed control in turf.

*Select turf species suitable for a range of different situations (eg: for shade, wet and windy sites).

*Describe the steps in preparing an area for turf.

*Demonstrate the ability to prepare for, and sow a new lawn.

*Explain how to establish turf on a steep slope.

*Prepare labelled sketches of three gardens created using different growing methods.

*Review and select plants suitable for use in each situation.

*Describe the importance of trees to humans.

*Describe the correct procedures for the proper and safe removal of a limb from a tree.

*Describe simply the processes of photosynthesis, respiration & transpiration.

*List the environmental factors which affect photosynthesis, respiration and transpiration.

*Explain compartmentalisation, and it's effect on the spread of diseases in trees.

*Develop contact with local people involved in garden maintenance.

*Describe maintenance procedures for a variety of different ornamental garden situations.

*Explain soil (seedbed) preparation treatments for a range of soil types.

*Explain soil degradation problems in terms of soil chemistry and structure, and how to deal with them.

*Explain different ways of preparing virgin or farmland soil for treeplanting.

*Explain different ways of treating a soil using soil ameliorants.

*Collect samples of or literature describing products which can be used to assist with the improvement of soils.

*Explain situations where cultivation can be used to improve a soil.

*Explain a situation where cultivation can be detrimental to a soil.

*Classify different soils using simple hand feel tests.

*Explain pH and conductivity (EC) and their affect on plant growth.

*List the comparative advantages and disadvantages of different types of irrigation systems.

*Explain the operation of different sprinkler heads, different microjets and different drippers.

*Explain the way water moves through soil and the mechanisms which affect the soils water holding capacity.

*Select an appropriate irrigation system for a selected garden, and explain the reasons why it is preferred.

*Explain the operation of a timer used in irrigation systems.

*Design a microirrigation system.

NOTE: The Stream Studies for this course will undergo a major revision and restructuring in the near future. The new structure will cover the same content, but be upgraded to incorporate three standard ACS modules. In doing this; we will improve many aspects of this course; amongst other things:  students will be able to better articulate into higher level courses. 

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$1,653.00Payment plans available.

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