Qualification - Certificate in Horticulture (Turf)

Course CodeVHT002
Fee CodeCT
Duration (approx)700 hours
Learn about horticulture, turf care, sports turf care, turf repair and renovation, irrigation and machinery with this turf certificate course.
"Thanks for the videos, they are great! I got a lot of information from them. The Turf Management video is practical and easy to understand. Plant Propagation is a video every student should watch because out here in the real world no-one would give out such information. The Rose Growing Tape was very beneficial to me as I have about 60 odd roses. I thought I knew a little about them but this tape is a real eye-opener."
- Kelvin


Core ModulesThese modules provide foundation knowledge for the Qualification - Certificate in Horticulture (Turf).
 Horticulture I BHT101
 Machinery and Equipment (Engineering I) BSC105
 Turf Care BHT104
 Irrigation (Gardens) BHT210
 Sports Turf Management BHT202
 Turf Repair And Renovation BHT303

Note that each module in the Qualification - Certificate in Horticulture (Turf) is a short course in its own right, and may be studied separately.

Learning Facilities

ACS follows the old fashioned idea that “the student comes first”. Our staff are told to treat every student as an individual and respond promptly to their enquiries; and the facilities we have developed and continue to develop, are all focused on that goal. Facilities include:

  • Offices in two time zones (UK and Australia) –which means an international team of academics are responding to students 5 days a week and 16 hours a day.
  • An online student room with unique resources that are only available to students studying our courses, including online library.
  • Bookshop offering quality downloadable e books
  • A data base of 20 million words of unique information written by our staff over 3 decades that can be drawn upon if needed by academics for use in supporting our students.
  • Systems that ensure assignments are tracked, marked and returned to students, fast -commonly within a round 1 week & rarely more than 2 weeks (note: many other colleges take longer).
  • The school is active in social networking and encourages students to connect with us and each other.
  • No automated handling of student phone enquiries. When you call you get a real person; or leave a message and a real person will call you back within a day, but more commonly within an hour or two.
  • No additional charges for extra tutor support over the phone or email.
  • Free careers advice for graduates –It is our policy to provide support and advice to our students even after they graduate. If a graduate needs help with getting a CV together, or advice on setting up a business or looking for work; they only need ask.
  • The quality of academic staff is higher than many other colleges.


 How our Courses Differ

  • Courses are continually improved –we invite feedback from all graduates and change courses immediately the need is detected.
  • Courses are relevant to the whole world –we try hard to teach make the learning transferable to any region or country because the world is increasingly a global economy
  • Courses written by our staff, teach different skills to standard courses; giving a unique mix of skills and knowledge to provide a career advantage. Do you want an accredited certificate and the same skills as 100 other job applicants; or one of our courses with skills that no other applicants have?
  • Certificates and diplomas are longer. They teach you more, and our qualifications have built a reputation amongst academics and industry as being a very high standard for this reason.
  • We are focused on helping you learn in a way that improves your capacity to understand your discipline, apply knowledge, and continue learning and developing your capabilities beyond your course.

These things cannot be always said of other colleges.

How Can You Identify the Plants in a Turf?

Turf surfaces are commonly made up of a number of different types of plants. A high quality turf is dominated by plants you want to be there; but sometimes there are other plants in a turf as well. To manage turf, you need to be able to identify what is growing in the turf. This course will help you to learn that; but these are not skills that are learned overnight.

There are a range of different ways to identify turf species:

1. Take it to an expert.
a) Herbariums at universities and botanic gardens often employ experts who can assist with identification.
b) Turf seed companies and turf farms are usually able to identify a range of grass varieties.
c) Greenkeepers, parks managers etc may also be able to help.
d) Keen botanical enthusiasts may also be able to help you identify particular grass species.

2. Look through books with photographs or drawings of grasses and compare your grass specimen with the photos and drawings. When you find something you think is close to your specimen, then read about it to cross check that your identification is correct.

There are three types of books that can be useful:
    Weed books.
    Books on grasses (often botany or field naturalist titles).
    Turf or grasses books.

3. Use a botanical key.
To be completely certain that you have found the correct species from the method below a botanical key will help you with this. A key provides a series of well-defined pathways, where at each step you are presented with two or more alternatives to lead you on to the next step. The choice is based on characteristics of the grasses you are trying to identify.

If you follow a key step by step to the end, you will come to the name of the grass you are looking at. Botanists and academics use keys such as this as a clear and accurate way of verifying the name of a grass. There are many and varied plant keys for different genera and grass types. Many interactive keys can be found on the web, others are found in books from simple field guides to comprehensive guides on grasses around the world. It is important to be familiar with the terminology in the glossary at the end of this leaflet in order to be able to follow they keys carefully. Keys will include pictures and diagrams of the distinguishing features. It is best to have a piece of the grass species you are trying to identify, a magnifying glass, a hand lens, and some notepaper. You may even need a scalpel in case you are require to dissect part of the grass.

Briefly reviewing the characteristics of your specimen before you start will make it easier as you proceed through the identification. Some plants possess unusual or distinctive features – using these may enable the specimen to be keyed out in very few steps. As you become increasingly familiar with the grasses you will come to know many of the characters.

Remember that there is a tremendous amount of variation within a species and the pictures shown will not always look like the plant you have found. Make your decision based on the written descriptions and use the pictures as a guide. Most plants have 2 names: a common name and a scientific name. The common name has developed over centuries and can vary from place to place. Common names are not always the best name to use as it can create some confusion. For example Wiregrass is the common name for a selection of different species and genus’s. Scientific names, on the other hand, are derived from Latin and are given to the plant according to an internationally accepted system. Scientific names are generally the same throughout the world for a particular species (with some exceptions). The genus (is given first (always capitalized. For example Hordeum – barley). The species name is given second (in small letters vulgare – common). The full name of the species is Hordeum vulgare – Common Barley. If you mention Common Barley to a Russian botanist they may not know what you are talking about. But if you say Hordeum vulgare they will understand you.

Although a scientific name may be the same all over the world, names do change over time. This is because some plants are named incorrectly from the beginning or the original designation of a species to a certain group of plants is wrong. Some scientific names may be out of date as new species are discovered, new technology for testing DNA is developed and the classification systems change (therefore plants may be moved into different groups).

Career Opportunities

Study alone can never guarantee career success; but a good education is an important starting point.

Success in a career depends upon many things. A course like this is an excellent starting point because it provides a foundation for continued learning, and the means of understanding and dealing with issues you encounter in the workplace.

When you have completed an ACS course, you will have not only learnt about the subject, but you will have been prompted to start networking with experts in the discipline and shown how to approach problems that confront you in this field.

This and every other industry in today’s world is developing in unforeseen ways; and while that is unsettling for anyone who wants to be guaranteed a particular job at the end of a particular course; for others, this rapidly changing career environment is offering new and exciting opportunities almost every month.

If you want to do the best that you can in this industry, you need to recognise that the opportunities that confront you at the end of a course, are probably different to anything that has even been thought of when you commence a course.

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