Qualification - Core - Certificate in Horticulture

Course CodeVHT002A
Fee CodeCT
Duration (approx)350 hours
QualificationStatement of Attainment

Start Your Career in Horticulture Here or Gain a Qualification if you Already Work in the Industry

If you don't yet know what sector of horticulture you would like to work in, or progress towards, this course will give you all those basic fundamentals that you need to gain a qualification or to get started or find work in this industry. Once you have completed this foundation certificata you can go on to specialise in an area that either interests you most or that you are currently working within. See below for more details. 

Lesson Structure

There are 15 lessons in this course:

  1. Plant Identification (Unit 1 Introduction to Plants)
    • Botanical/Horticultural Nomenclature
    • Common Names
    • Scientific Names
    • Binomial System
    • Plant Family and Species Names
    • Hybrid, variety and cultivar names
    • Plant Name Pronunciation
    • Flowering Plants (Dicots and Monocots)
    • Lower Plants
    • Meanings behind plant names
    • Understanding Scientific Language
    • Collecting and Preserving Plant Samples
  2. Parts of the Plant (Init 1 Introduction to Plants)
    • How to Increase Plant Identification Skills
    • Leaf Types -terminology
    • Structure and Arrangement of Leaves and leaflets
    • Flower Structure and floral parts
    • Types of Inflorescence (eg. spike, raceme, panicle)
    • Bisexual, Unisexual, Monoecious, Dioecious Flowers
    • How Seeds Form
    • Understanding Stems, Leaves and Roots
    • Fruits
    • Morphological Change in Maturing Plants
    • Plant Cell structure and components
    • Cell Types
    • Photosynthesis
    • Understanding Respiration and Transpiration
    • The Nitrogen Cycle
  3. Planting (Unit 2 Plant Culture)
    • Environmental influences on newly planted plants
    • Potting up
    • Common Plant Establishment Mistakes
    • Terminology
    • Criteria for Plant Selection
    • Ongoing Costs after Planting
    • Planting Procedure
    • Fertiliser on newly planted plants
    • Staking young plants
    • Bare Rooted Planting
    • Time of Planting
    • Mulching
    • No Dig Garden Planting
    • Planting a lawn
    • Grass varieties
  4. Pruning (Unit 2 Plant Culture)
    • Difference between fruit and vegetative growth buds
    • Reasons for Pruning
    • Control of growth type
    • Control; of plant size and shape
    • Rejuvenation
    • Removing dead and diseased tissues
    • Pruning Rules
    • Pruning and Training Fruit Trees
  5. Irrigation and Machinery (Unit 2 Plant Culture)
    • Irrigation Objectives
    • Irrigation Feasibility
    • Soil, Water and Plants
    • Understanding the movement and retention of water in soil
    • Water infiltration and drainage
    • Flood Irrigation
    • Sprinkler Irrigation
    • Trickle Irrigation
    • Estimating water needs
    • Determining water deficiency or excess
    • Types of Power Tools
    • Power Tool Care and Maintenance
    • Buying Power Tools
    • Chain Saws
    • Mowers
    • Mulching Machines
    • Hedge Trimming
  6. Soils and Media (Unit 3 Soils and Plant Nutrition)
    • Soil Composition and structure
    • Peds, texture, colloids, etc
    • Soil Sampling
    • Potting mixes
    • Chemical Properties of Soil
    • Improving Fertility
  7. Soils and Nutrition (Unit 3 Soils and Plant Nutrition)
    • The Nutrient Elements
    • The Macronutrients
    • Nitrogen
    • Phosphorus
    • Potassium
    • Calcium, Magnesium and Sulphur
    • Micronutrients
    • Soil Ameliorants
    • Total Salts
    • Salinity sources and Control
    • Sodicity
    • Water and Air in Soil
    • Soil Temperature
    • Diagnosis of Plant Nutrition Problems
    • Composting
  8. 8. Seeds and Cuttings (Unit 4 Propagation)
    • Seed Propagation
    • Propagation and Hygiene
    • Seed Germination
    • Seed Sources
    • Seed Storage
    • Dormancy and Breaking Seed Dormancy
    • Cutting Propagation
    • Types of Cuttings
    • Plant Breeding: Genotype vs Phenotype
    • Producing Hybrid Seeds
    • Maintenance of Genetic Identity
  9. Other Propagation Techniques ((Unit 4 Propagation)
    • Plant Division
    • Budding
    • Grafting
    • Types of Layering
    • Natural Layering -runners, suckers, offsets, crowns
    • Propagation from specialised stems and roots
  10. Landscape Application (Unit 5 Identification and Use of Plants)
    • Plants in the landscape
    • Plant selection for landscaping
    • Trees
    • Shrubs
    • Groundcovers
    • Plants for Different Situations
    • Review of Many Common Plant Genera
  11. Problem Situations (Unit 5 Identification and Use of Plants)
    • Size and Age of Tree
    • Container Type of tree being planted
    • Physical Protection Methods for Trees being Planted
    • Review of a large number of genera
    • Growing Plants in Containers Outside
    • Street Trees
  12. Indoor and Tropical Plants (Unit 5 Identification and Use of Plants)
    • Plants for Different Light and Temperature Conditions
    • Why Indoor Plants Dies
    • Transplanting between pots
    • Stopping roots growing into soil
    • Perched Water Tables
    • Ferns
  13. Pests (Unit 6 Plant Health)
    • Preventing or minimising Pest problems
    • Review of Common Pests
    • Non Chemical Pest Control
    • Integrated Pest Management
    • Understanding Chemical Pesticides
  14. Diseases (Unit 6 Plant Health)
    • Review of Common Plant Diseases
    • Diagnosing Disease Problems
    • Understanding Fungal Infections
    • Tree Problems
  15. Weeds (Unit 6 Plant Health)
    • What is a Weed
    • Weed Control Methods
    • Non Chemical Weed Control Options
    • Understanding Weedicides
    • Types of Weed Problems
    • Common Weeds

Who Will Benefit From Doing This Course?

If you need broad knowledge and good basic horticultural skills, but are not sure which sector to concentrate on - then this is  great starting point: You gain a qualification with which you can start work in the industry (e.g. in a nursery) and then decide later if you want to specialise.