Short Course Starting a Backyard Nursery

Course CodeSGH12
Fee CodeSG
Duration (approx)20 hours
QualificationCertificate of Completion

Sneak Peek


Short Course Starting a Backyard Nursery

This short course is a guide for the person attempting to start or run a small nursery, herb or flower growing enterprise as a backyard operation on their larger property. It endeavours covers the most important topics you need to get you started. 
Use this course as a starting point: 

Study the nursery industry and its sectors in your region – see what is and isn’t feasible. Look at what plants and related products are currently in demand. 
Consider opportunities open to you - for example:

  • You may start small, propagating, growing potted plants and selling at a local market
  • You may start by propagating herbs for sale, but also growing some, harvesting and producing some herbal products
  • You may propagate flowers, selling potted flowering plants; or growing in the ground, then harvesting and selling bunches of flowers to a florist or at a market stall.

Nurseries, herb or flower farms that have humble beginnings on just a few dozen square metres of land; can eventually develop into a large, full time business.

Lesson Structure

There are 8 lessons in this course:

  1. Introduction and possibilities
    • Introduction
    • Form of product
    • Growth stage
    • Quantity
    • Selling
  2. Management and organisation
    • Management and organisation
    • Selecting the site
    • Choosing what to grow
    • Layout
    • Managing manpower, equipment and materials
    • Developing a nursery stock list – an example
    • Nursery stocklist worksheet
  3. Propagating techniques and equipment
    • An overview
    • Sexual propagation
    • Treatments
    • Asexual propagation
    • Propagating structures and equipment
    • Nursery irrigation techniques
    • Propagating beds
    • Shade houses
  4. Propagating materials
    • Containers
    • Containers
    • Potting mixtures
    • Labels
  5. Plant health problems
    • Diagnosing problems
    • Minimising the likelihood of problems
    • Treating a problem
    • Chemical controls
    • Minimising chemical use
    • Biological controls
  6. Propagation - seeds and cuttings
    • Where to plant
    • Pre-germination treatments
    • Handling seedlings
    • Pricking out seedlings
    • Propagating ferns
    • Cuttings
    • Practical exercise
    • Budding and grafting
    • Layering
    • Propagation of specific plants
    • Ornamentals
    • Annuals, bulbs and perennials
    • Fruit and nut plants
    • Herbs
    • Growing on
    • Potting up plants
  7. Starting a small herb or flower farm
    • Herb growing
    • Herbal products
    • Growing flowers for profit in your backyard
  8. Management
    • Starting a nursery
    • Market research
    • Planning
    • Work scheduling
    • Operational flow charts
    • Nursery profile
    • Costing your production
    • Practical exercise
    • Hypothetical case study
    • Final Assessment

Who is this Course For?

  • Anyone with a passion for propagating and growing plants
  • Anyone wanting to explore a relatively easy, tried and proven pathway into self employment as a nursery owner
  • People looking for supplementary income from a home based business
  • School leavers or job seekers wanting a pathway into a career in horticulture

Why this course?

By doing this course you will develop your skills to propagate plants and grow them on to produce a saleable product. 

You don't need a lot of investment to get started in this type of enterprise, Often by starting small at home, and in your spare time, you can learn from experiences of both success and failure, all the time improving your knowledge and skill. Over months or even years, that which begins as little more than a hobby can grow into something quite substantial before you ever need to consider needing extra manpower, investment or land. In this respect, a home based backyard nursery can be a relatively low risk path to self employment.

For some, this path may lead to moving onto a bigger site and a full blown commercial nursery. For others, the experience and learning that comes from this type of venture may be a pathway to getting a really good job with a larger, more established plant nursery.




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