Become an Expert Grower
Learn all the skills of the trade to successfully grow a broad range of plants or develop new cultivars.
Use what you learn here to set up your own nursery or market garden, or to stand you in good stead for working in key roles in the nursery industry.
This course provides all the essential propagation studies plus you can choose some modules to suit your specific goals
and learning needs.
Learn all aspects of nursery management from industry experts
This is an extremely comprehensive course which will help you develop a career in the retail or production nursery industry. Work as a Nursery Manager, Technical Officer, Marketing Manager, Consultant, Vocational Trainer.
This course allows you to focus on plants and horticultural skills that most interest you and match your needs.
Learn from experienced horticulturalists. Grow your awareness of industry and opportunities; and develop your networking skills.
“The nursery trade is crying out for well educated managers able to apply their knowledge and skills without constant supervision. This course covers all aspects of nursery management; it is structured to develop students with sound management skills.” - Adriana Fraser Cert.Hort., Cert.Child Care, Adv.Cert.App.Mgt., Cert IV Assessment and Training, Adv.Dip.Hort, ACS Tutor.
Note that each module in the Advanced Certificate in Horticulture (Propagation) is a short course in its own right, and may be studied separately.
BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES IN THE NURSERY INDUSTRY
Today there is an unprecedented interest in gardening and in the use of plants (for purposes both culinary and ornamental), and a nursery or garden centre can represent a viable small business proposition.
Nurseries today are different to what they once were.
- Retail garden centres can be destinations for social and leisure activities; and places to buy far more than just plants -from homewares and food to pet and craft supplies.
- Production nurseries are also often more than they once were. Some make significant income by selling over the internet. Others breed plants or acquire plant variety rights, and derive as much income from royalties as from selling actual plants.
It is very important for you to realise that there are tremendous variations in the way plants are treated from place to place.
There are a number of very basic decisions which need to be made before commencing a nursery operation. These alternatives should be reconsidered every year' or two through an operation, and perhaps changes made accordingly. These first decisions are discussed in turn below.
FORM OF PRODUCT
Many nurseries specialise in a limited range of products, for example:
Plants in Pots
This is the way the major part of the herb farm and nursery industries operates. The scale at which this sector of the industry operates makes growing in containers a low-risk operation compared with some other alternatives. Plants in containers do, however, become pot bound and need to be sold or else potted up within a certain time.
Plants in the Open Ground
Plants are grown in cultivated paddocks until ready for sale, at which time they are dug up and prepared for sale in various ways:
- they are put into containers
- soil is removed from the roots (deciduous plants only) and they are stored over winter with roots in moistened shavings or straw
- the soil ball is held together by tying hessian around it
- in some heavier soils, plants are sold with whatever soil clings to the roots left as such, not contained in any way by cloth or any other container.
After container growing this is the next most common practice.
Open-ground growing is economical in that it doesn't require the same expense for containers and usually it caIls for less watering.
Bare Rooted Cuttings
Some nurseries specialise in propagation, that is producing roots on cuttings. They leave the job of growing the plants up to a salable size to Herbal products such as cosmetics, herb vinegar, pomanders, and dried herbs for cooking are becoming ever more popular, but do not rely on them heavily at first - business may take time to build up another nursery. This type of operation requires less area but more expertise and a greater initial outlay on expensive propagating structures and equipment.
Specialised Container Products
Hanging baskets, terrariums, bonsai, mini-gardens and plants in decorative
tubs are all products in which a nursery can specialise. Before commencing
this type of operation however, study carefully the demands of the market
and know what competition exists. You also need to be sure you know
how to produce your product and how to produce it well. Anyone can
make a bonsai but it takes skill to make a good one which will survive.
At what stages of the plants development will you be handling the plant?
The answer could be bay be to concentrate on one of the following.
The beginning of the plants life: seed is sown, a cutting is struck, bulbs are divided or a fruit tree is budded etc. This stage requires greater technical skill and, in some cases, more expensive equipment than other stages.
Plants Ready for Planting Out
The small propagated plants are put into pots, planted into the open ground or into some other situation in which they can be grown to a larger size. There is more difficulty at the beginning of this operation when the plants are moved from a pampered propagating environment to a harsher growing-on environment As they become older, they harden and become more resistant to disease and environmental problems.
Advanced Grown Plants
This involves growing plants to a large size either in containers or the open ground. Though these plants might be hardy, this type of work is heavy and usually requires at least some machinery to handle the plants.
Many nurseries supplement their sales of plants with ancillary products - pots, window boxes, watering cans, potting mixes and various sprays and treatments.
WHAT WILL THIS COURSE DO FOR YOU?
You will develop the skills and knowledge required to work in the retail or production nursery industry at management level.
This course is different to many others. It is an "experiential based" learning program; designed to get you involved with the horticulture industry as you study. The industry is changing faster than ever; and will continue to change; and for ongoing success you need to become "connected" and remain "connected", so that you see and adapt to recent changes, and ongoing changes as your career moves forward.
Let us help you toward a successful future in nursery management!
We've always found it is better to communicate with someone before they enrol. If we understand your passions, capabilities and ambitions, we can help you map out a course of action to give you the best chance of achieving your goals.