Certificate in Horticulture (Ornamental Horticulture)

Learn practical garden & horticulture skills.. Propagate & cultivate hundreds of different ornamental plants -science & plant knowledge beyond most other courses. Improve your long term career & employment prospects.

Course Code: VHT002
Fee Code: CT
Duration (approx) Duration (approx) 700 hours
Qualification Certificate
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Learn to Manage Public or Private Gardens.

The Certificate in Horticulture (Ornamental Horticulture) is a vocationally oriented course comprising core studies (general horticulture) and stream studies specific to ornamental horticulture.
  • develop general and broad based skills in horticultural practices and plant identification.
  • build more specific knowledge in areas of ornamental horticulture including garden maintenance,
    turf care, arboriculture, landscaping and nursery work.
  • connect with the industry as you study, building contacts and networking skills 
Quote from our principal:
"This is beyond what you would learn in a Trade Certificate in Horticulture. It teaches you everything a tradesman would learn about plant culture; and more science, plus more plant identification than what an average trades person would" - John Mason Dip.Hort.Sc., Cert.Supn, FIOH, FPLA, Garden Author and educator.

 

The Certificate in Horticulture involves the areas of work:

  • CORE STUDIES - this involves at least 300 hours, divided into 15 lessons, approx. half of the course.
  • ELECTIVE STUDIES - this involves a further 300 hrs of study going into greater depth in the areas of garden maintenance, nursery practices and landscaping.

CORE STUDIES

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, selection, use and maintenance of machinery and 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 and 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.


STREAM STUDIES - ORNAMENTAL HORTICULTURE

This part of the course involves four main areas of study, as follows:

1.    Landscaping

    • Lesson 1  Introduction to Landscaping
    • Lesson 2  Landscape Design Procedure
    • Lesson 3  Landscape Construction A
    • Lesson 4  Landscape Construction B

2.    Plant knowledge  

    • Lesson 5  Plants for Problem Areas
    • Lesson 6  Flowers, Indoor and Tropical Plants
    • Lesson 7  Herbs

3.    Plant Care

    • Lesson 8  Different Growing Techniques
    • Lesson 9  Arboriculture
    • Lesson 10 Planning Garden Maintenance
    • Lesson 11 Turf Care

4.    Nursery Practices

    • Lesson 12 Introduction to Nursery Management
    • Lesson 13 Nursery Stock Production and Quality Control
    • Lesson 14 Operating a Garden Centre
    • Lesson 15 Marketing and Management in Ornamental Horticulture

Scope of stream studies:

  • Landscape design (including pre-planning and drawing plans).
  • Principles and styles of landscape designs.
  • Analysis of garden designs.
  • Graphic skills, materials and techniques.
  • Estimating costs for landscape jobs.
  • Surfacing materials and their effects.
  • Quality and cost of different landscape materials.
  • Plant knowledge, both native and exotic, suitable for local conditions.
  • Plant selection for difficult sites and conditions (including treating degraded sites and interior plantscaping).
  • Tropical and indoor plants.
  • Environmental factors important for indoor plant culture.
  • Bulbs, perennials and annuals.
  • Planting design for flower beds (annuals and bulbs) suitable for your locality.
  • Herb culture and garden design.
  • Miscellaneous growing techniques including; bonsai, terrariums, pot culture, baskets and hydroponics.
  • Describe the importance of trees to humans.
  • Procedures for the proper and safe removal of a limb from a tree.
  • Tree problems and their treatment.
  • Compartmentalisation, and its effect on the spread of disease in trees.
  • Preparing a detailed maintenance program for a garden.
  • Seed selection, storage, preparation and spreading (sowing).
  • Preparation, planting and establishment of a lawn.
  • Establishing turf on a steep slope.
  • Turf maintenance techniques.
  • Analysis of nursery production systems.
  • Preparing a flow chart for the production of a particular plant, from propagation to marketing.
  • Preparing a maintenance program for green life in a garden centre.
  • Preparing guidelines for the disposal of surplus or below standard stock in a nursery.
  • Write an advertisement for a nursery or garden maintenance business.
  • Basic management procedures for a single person nursery or garden maintenance business.
  • Basic communication skills.
  • Health and safety requirements for a nursery or garden maintenance workplace.


THE TUTORS

 
  • Learn from an international team or renowned horticultural experts led by John Mason, Fellow Institute of Horticulture (UK), Fellow Australian Institute of Horticulture, Fellow Parks and Leisure Australia.  John is also a former nurseryman, parks director, and is one of the most prolific gardening authors from Australia -many of his books being used by other schools and universities to teach horticulture across Australia and beyond.
  • A unique opportunity to connect and learn from our international faculty that includes Rosemary Davies (formerly Garden Advisory Service, and Age Garden Writer, Melbourne),  Maggi Brown (former Education officer for Garden Organic, UK), Gavin Cole (former Operations Manager for the Chelsea Gardener, London), and Dr Lyn Morgan (renowned Hydroponic expert from New Zealand); and a host of other equally qualified professionals. 
  • See profiles of our faculty at https://www.acs.edu.au/about-us/staff/default.aspx

Exams:   There are two exams for the core and 2 for the stream (4 in total for this certificate

Rationale of this Certificate

The Certificate in Horticulture is a vocationally oriented course comprising a common core of studies and a specialized stream of studies in one of several elective areas.

The ability to choose a major stream of study allows the student to develop both skills which are in demand in a chosen sector of industry as well as providing participants with general horticultural knowledge and skills

Original Curriculum Documentation

The following documentation was developed initially in 1992 as a basis for developing this certificate. Since then, the certificate has been continually revised and added to, in order to keep in step with changes in industry

 

RESOURCES NEEDED TO STUDY THIS COURSE

We provide most of what you need, and if required advise where you can find the odd things that we cannot supply. If you are motivated, and persist, there is no reason why most people cannot complete this course.

Upon enrolment the student will be provided with:

  • all necessary course materials (in printed or electronic form

In addition to these reference materials, the student will also require:

  • access to work places (assistance is available to students who have difficulty);

  • small quantities of horticultural materials such as soil or potting mix, garden tools, etc;

  • access to a variety of different plants either through nurseries, farms or gardens.

  

How Can This Course Help You?

The crucial learning for anyone who works in horticulture is a solid foundation in horticultural principles and practices. It involves understanding soils, plant nutrition, where to position different species of plants, how to prune and maintain them, and how to detect and deal with pests and diseases. You learn all this in the core part of this course but then get to focus on different areas of ornamental horticulture. The outcome is you have a very well-rounded understanding of applied horticulture.

This course is targeted towards people who want to make a start in horticulture. It can serve as a solid foundation for moving on to specialised studies in other areas of interest but will also provide students with sufficient knowledge to seek employment in various fields including:   

  • General horticulture

  • Parks & gardens

  • Botanic gardens

  • Garden maintenance

  • Landscaping

  • Garden design

  • Nursery hand

     

Since 1999 ACS has been a recognised member of IARC (International Approval and Registration Centre). A non-profit quality management organisation servicing education.

Principal of ACS Distance Education, John Mason, is fellow of the CIH.

Member of Study Gold Coast Education Network.

ACS Global Partner - Affiliated with colleges in seven countries around the world.

Member Nursery and Garden Industry Association.

ACS is a Preferred Member Training Provider with the Australian Institute of Horticulture. ACS students meeting AIH criteria can join AIH as a Category 2 student member.


How can I start this course?

You can enrol at anytime and start the course when you are ready. Enrolments are accepted all year - students can commence study at any time. All study is self paced and ACS does not set assignment deadlines.

Please note that if a student is being assisted by someone else (e.g. an employer or government subsidy), the body offering the assistance may set deadlines. Students in such situations are advised to check with their sponsor prior to enrolling. The nominal duration of a course is approximately how long a course takes to complete. A course with a nominal duration of 100 hours is expected to take roughly 100 hours of study time to complete. However, this will vary from student to student. Short courses (eg. 100 hrs duration) should be completed within 12 months of enrolment. Certificates, Advanced Certificates and Awards (eg. over 500 hours duration) would normally be completed within 3 -5 years of enrolment. Additional fees may apply if a student requires an extended period to complete.
If a student cannot submit their assignments for 6 months to ACS, they should advise the school to avoid cancellation of their student
registration. Recommencement fees may apply.

Simply click on the ENROL OPTIONS button at the top of this screen and follow the prompts.

You can see the course price at the top of this page. Click 'enrolment options' to see any payment options available.

You can pay by Credit Card, PayPal, Afterpay or bank transfer.

Yes! We have payment plans for most courses. Click 'enrolment options' to see the available payment plans.
We also have Afterpay that will allow you to pay for your course or payment plans in four instalments (if you are in Australia).


What do I need to know before I enrol?

There are no entry requirements that you need to meet to enrol in our courses, our courses are for everyone.
If you are under 18, we need written permission from your parent/ guardian for your enrolment to continue, we can arrange that after you have enrolled.

You don’t need to purchase any additional resources to complete our courses.

We aim to teach you the essentials without you having to purchase any specific computer program.
We recommend that you have access to a word processing program, such as Microsoft Word or Google Docs, so that you can easily complete and submit your assignments.

You sure can. We are here to help you learn whatever your abilities.

Yes, if you are enrolling in a Certificate or Advanced Certificate, you might be eligible for credits if you have evidence of your previous studies or relevant experience. More information is here.

We recommend that you are able to browse websites, send emails and conduct online research. You will need to be able to type and submit your assignments.
If you have limited computer skills, we can make special arrangements for you.

This is possible, it depends on the institution. We recommend that if you would like to use our courses that you contact the institution first. Our Course Handbook is a good resource for this.

Our courses are written in English and we only have English speaking academic staff. If you can read and complete your assignments in English, our courses are ideal for you.

Our courses are designed to build knowledge, hands on skills and industry connections to help prepare you to work in the area, running your own business, professional development or as a base for further study.

This course is aimed at providing you with a solid understanding of the subject. It has been designed to take 600 hours, which includes your course reading, assignment work, research, practical tasks, watching videos and more. When you complete the course, will have a good understanding of the area/ industry you want to work in.

It’s up to you. The study hours listed in the course are a rough guide, however if you were to study a short course (100 hours) at 10 hours per week, you could finish the course in 10 weeks (just an example). Our courses are self-paced, so you can work through the courses in your own time. We recommend that you wait for your tutor to mark and return your assignment before your start your next one, so you get the benefits of their feedback.

The course consists of course notes, videos, set tasks for your practical work, online quizzes, an assignment for each lesson (that you receive feedback from your tutor from) and ends in an exam (which is optional, if would like to receive the formal award at the end), using our custom built Learning Management System - Login.Training.

Our courses are designed for adults to gain professional development and skills to further their careers and start businesses.

Our custom online learning portal allows you to conduct your learning online. There may be practical tasks that you can do offline. You have the option of downloading your course notes or print them to read later.

There is also the option to pay an additional fee for printed course notes and or USB (availability limited to location and deliverability).

Yes, if you don’t have access to the internet, you can receive the course as paper notes or on a USB stick for an additional fee. We can also make alternative arrangements for you to send your assignments to us.

We offer printed notes for an additional fee. Also, you can request your course notes on a USB stick for an additional fee.

Yes, your tutor is here to help you. Simply post any questions you have in your login.training portal or contact the office and we can pass on a message to your tutor.

We are more learning focussed, rather than assessment focussed. You have online quizzes to test your learning, written assignments and can complete an exam at the end of the course (if you want to receive your certificate). You will not receive a pass/ fail on your course work. If you need to add more details on your assignment, we will ask you to resubmit and direct you where you need to focus. If you need help, you can ask your tutor for advice in the student room.

Each module (short course) is completed with one exam.

Exams are optional, however you must sit an exam if you would like to receive a formal award. You will need to find someone who can supervise that you are sitting the exams under exams conditions. There is an additional cost of $55 (AUS) $50 (O/S) for each exam.
More information is here

There are practical components built into the course that have been designed to be achieved by anyone, anywhere. If you are unable to complete a task for any reason, you can ask your tutor for an alternative.

When you complete the course work and the exams (8-9 exams) and you will be able receive your course certificate- an Advanced Certificate. Otherwise, you can receive a Letter of Completion.

You can bundle the short courses to create your own customised learning bundle, Certificates or Advanced Certificates. More information is on this page.

Yes, our courses are built to be applicable for people living anywhere in any situation. We provide the fundamentals, and each student can apply their own unique flair for their own interests, region and circumstances with the one-on-one guidance of a tutor. There is also a bit of student directed research involved.

Employers value candidates with industry skills, knowledge, practical skills and formal learning. Our courses arm you with all of these things to help prepare you for a job or start your own business. The longer you study the more you will learn.

ACS has an arrangement with OAMPS (formerly AMP) who can arrange Professional Indemnity from Australian and New Zealand graduates across all disciplines. Ph: 1800 222 012 or email acs@oamps.com.au.


Who are ACS Distance Education?

ACS Distance Education have been educating people for over 40 years.

We are established and safe- we have been in education for over 40 years.
We are focused on developing innovative courses that are relevant to you now and what you will need to know in the future.
We are focused on helping you learn and make the most of your experience.
You can enrol at any time, you can work on your course when it suits you and at your own pace.
We are connected to many industry bodies and our staff participate in continuous improvement and learning activities to ensure that we are ahead of what learning is needed for the future.

Our courses are not accredited by the Australian Government. However many of our courses are recognised and held in high regard by many industry bodies.

Our courses are written by our staff, who all have many years experience and have qualifications in their speciality area. We have lots of academic staff who write and update our courses regularly.


How do I enrol my staff/ sponsored students?

Yes, you can do a request for a bulk enrolment and request an invoice on our Invoice Request Form

We can prepare an invoice, quote or proforma invoice. Simply complete your details on our Invoice Request form

We can arrange bulk discounts for your course enrolment, please get in touch with us to discuss your needs.

Yes, we have many students who are in locked facilities, such as prisons or hospitals. We can cater by also offering paper notes at an additional cost.


What if I have any more questions or need more information?

We can assist you to find the right course for your needs. Get in touch with us via email (admin@acs.edu.au) call on +61 7 5562 1088 or complete our course advice form.


What if I change my mind?

Please get in touch with studentservices@acs.edu.au if you would like to be removed from our mail list.

If you would like ACS Distance Education to delete your information at any time (whether you are a customer or a prospective customer), please contact our privacy officer and we will process this ( admin@acs.edu.au ).




Course Contributors

The following academics were involved in the development and/or updating of this course.

John Mason (Horticulturist)

Parks Manager, Nurseryman, Landscape Designer, Garden Writer and Consultant.
Over 40 years experience; working in Victoria, Queensland and the UK.
He is one of the most widely published garden writers in the world.

Rosemary Davies (Horticulturist)

Leading horticultural expert in Australia.
Rosemary trained in Horticultural Applied Science at Melbourne University. Initially she worked with Agriculture Victoria as an extension officer, taught horticulture students, worked on radio with ABC radio (c

Adriana Fraser (Horticulturist)

Over 30 years working in horticulture, as a gardener, propagator, landscape designer
, teacher and consultant. Adriana has spent much of her life living on large properties, developing and maintaining her own gardens, and living a semi self sufficient li





Tutors

Meet some of the tutors that guide the students through this course.

Rosemary Davies

B Ed, BSc Hort, Dip Advertising & Marketing

Originally from Melbourne, Rosemary trained in Horticultural Applied Science at Burnley, a campus of Melbourne University. Initially she worked with Agriculture Victoria as an extension officer, taught horticulture students, worked on radio with ABC radio (clocking up over 24 years as a presenter of garden talkback programs, initially the only woman presenter on gardening in Victoria) and she simultaneously developed a career as a writer.

She then studied Education and Training, teaching TAFE apprentices and developing curriculum for TAFE, before taking up an offer as a full time columnist with the Herald and Weekly Times and its magazine department after a number of years as columnist with the Age. She has worked for a number of companies in writing and publications, PR community education and management and has led several tours to Europe.

Mitchell Skiller

Assoc. Dip. In Horticulture, Cert IV in Training and Assessment.

Mitchell has had over 25 year’s experience in the Horticultural Industry. He has held positions as a supervising horticulturist, landscaper, consultant, and a business owner growing cut flowers, specialising in tropicals.

Lyn Quirk

M.Prof.Ed.; Adv.Dip.Compl.Med (Naturopathy); Adv.Dip.Sports Therapy

Lyn has 35 years of experience in the Fitness, Health and Leisure Industries. She has a string of qualifications that are far too long to list here; being qualified and registered to teach, coach or instruct a wide range of different sports and other skills.

Lyn established and managed Health clubs at three major five star resorts on Australia's Gold Coast, including The Marriott. She was a department head for a large government vocational college (TAFE), and has conducted her own aquafitness business for many years. Lyn has among her other commitments worked as a tutor for ACS for almost 10 years, and over that time, participated in the development or upgrading of most courses in her fields of expertise.

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