Certificate in Horticulture (Turf)

A solid foundation in turf management. Learn about turf care, maintenance techniques and turf preparation for sports. An ideal course to develop skills needed to be a green keeper or turf professional. Start your own lawn care business.

Course Code: VHT002
Fee Code: CT
Duration (approx) Duration (approx) 600 hours
Qualification Certificate
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START YOUR TURF CAREER NOW

A 600 hour course designed principally for turf workers at golf courses, bowling greens, sports fields, councils and more.

  • A first step towards a career in Turf
  • Suitable for people who haven't worked in turf before
  • Also suited to people with some experience, but no formal training in this industry
  • Access to highly regarded Horticulture and Turf experts in both Australia and the UK, to tutor you and provide mentoring as you work through the course, building both an understanding of turf management and networking within the industry.

Turf Professionals work in all sorts of places, including:

  • Golf Courses, Bowling Clubs, Horse Racing Tracks
  • Sporting Complexes and Playing Fields: Football Grounds, Cricket Grounds, Athletics, etc
  • Schools, Colleges, universities
  • Turf Suppliers: seed companies, machinery suppliers, instant turf or sod suppliers
  • Small Businesses -Mowing contractors, pest control contractors, turf renovators, landscapers, nurseries
  • Government Parks Departments
  • Turf Research
  • Turf Education and Media   .... and more

 

 

"Over almost 20 years, I've seen lots of people come through our Turf courses and move on to wonderful careers in everything from golf courses to parks management and profitable small businesses"    John Mason  DipHortSc, FPLA, FIOH, Principal ACS Distance Education

How the Course is Structured

The Certificate in Horticulture (Turf) is a vocationally oriented course comprising both studies in both general horticulture and in turf care and management.

The course involves completing all assignments and passing an exam in each of six modules listed below.  Exam fees apply. 

Modules

Core ModulesThese modules provide foundation knowledge for the Certificate in Horticulture (Turf).
 Horticulture I BHT101
 Turf Care BHT104
 Irrigation (Gardens) BHT210
 Sports Turf Management BHT202
 Turf Repair And Renovation BHT303
 
Elective ModulesIn addition to the core modules, students study any 1 of the following 6 modules.
 Engineering I - Machinery & Equipment BSC105
 Soil Management (Horticulture) BHT105
 Weed Control BHT209
 Irrigation Management (Horticultural) BHT305
 Soil and Water Chemistry BSC307
 Turf Grasses BHT342
 

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

Aims

  • Learn the skills and knowledge essential to the industry sector chosen (ie the selected stream)
  • Understand the growth of turf species and the principles and practices used in establishment and maintenance of turf species in a range of situations
  • Develop the ability to identify, describe and control a range of common turf pests, diseases and weeds
  • Understand and operate machinery and equipment used in turf culture
  • Develop basic landscape design and construction skills as needed by a greenkeeper
  • Be able to manage day to day operations in any type of turf facility, both sports surfaces and amenity surfaces.
  • Plan and manage the installation and operation of irrigation for turf and broader amenity horticulture
  • Identify a wide variety of different plants, including turf species, ornamental trees and shrubs and weeds.
  • Propagate turf grasses and other plants.

Module Outlines


Horticulture I

  1. Plant Identification
  2. Planting
  3. Introduction to Soils
  4. Introduction to Nutrition
  5. Introduction to Water Management
  6. Pruning
  7. Weeds
  8. Foundations of Pests and Diseases
  9. Landscaping
  10. Plant Propagation
  11. Introduction to Lawns
  12. Arboriculture

Turf Care

  1. Introduction - Turf Varieties
  2. Turf Grass Physiology
  3. Turf Establishment
  4. Soils
  5. Turf Weed Problems
  6. Turf Pests and Diseases
  7. Turf Maintenance Techniques
  8. Irrigation - An Overview
  9. Playing Fields & Bowling Greens
  10. Managing Established Turf
  11. Establishing Ornamental Turf

Machinery and Equipment

  1. Engine Operation
  2. Hydraulics
  3. Machinery Components
  4. Hand Tools
  5. Power Tools
  6. Tractors
  7. Equipment Maintenance
  8. Specific Workplace Requirements

Sports Turf Management

  1. Turf Variety Selection
  2. Mowing - selection, use and maintenance of equipment.
  3. Cultivation Techniques -spiking, coring, thatch removal and other techniques.
  4. Preparing for Play on Sports grounds - rolling, marking, etc.
  5. Preparing for Play of Greens - rolling, marking, etc.
  6. Turf Protection & Preservation
  7. Irrigation & Drainage
  8. Soil Treatment & Sprays - pesticides, fertilisers, etc.
  9. Evaluate Maintenance Facilities
  10. Develop a Management Plan.

Turf Repair and Renovation

  1. Understanding Turf Deterioration - physiological and biological responses.
  2. Repair & Renovation Equipment - use and repair of applicable equipment.
  3. Turf Cultivation Techniques
  4. Health Improvement Techniques -pest control, feeding, watering, etc.
  5. Optimising Turf Usage
  6. Replacing Damaged Turf - techniques for replacement.
  7. Renovation of Degraded Turf - techniques to repair and renovated turf.
  8. Eradicating Turf Weeds
  9. Treating Aeration and Drainage Problems - compaction, etc.
  10. Managing a Turf Nursery.

Irrigation

  1. Introduction to Irrigation
  2. Soil Characteristics & Problems
  3. Estimating Plant Needs & Irrigation Scheduling
  4. Drainage
  5. Types of Irrigation Systems
  6. Trickle Systems
  7. Design Specifications
  8. Pumps & Filters
  9. Selecting the Right System for a Plant
  10. Design & Operation of Systems.
 
 

OPPORTUNITIES IN TURF

Turf tradesmen and professionals are employed by:
  • golf courses,
  • bowling clubs,
  • race courses,
  • sports grounds,
  • municipal parks and gardens,
  • commercial and private gardens.
Career Pathways
  • Knowledge and experience are just as important as a qualification
  • Don't make the mistake of assuming an apprenticeship will guarantee long term career success
  • Some start out volunteering, helping the groundsman at a sporting club.
  • Others start with a course like this or even a more general horticultural course
  • If you can identify plants, understand horticultural science and have some experience caring for grass; you will be able to compete for job opportunities when they arise. The trick is to be in the right place at the right time, so you get noticed; and that involves persistence and networking.
  • People who learn and have solid knowledge and skills, are the people who advance through the ranks, getting promoted to eventually become a Turf Manager.

We provide advice and support to all of our students; and are happy to talk to you about planning a pathway that gives you the best chance of reaching the career goals you have set yourself.


What Turf Professionals Do

Day to day work can vary, depending upon where you work, the seasons, and your role in the work place. Turf management may involve planning, construction and/or maintenance work. It can involve mowing, fertilising, spraying for weeds, dealing with pests and diseases, hand weeding, topdressing, repairing damaged areas, irrigation, and using tools or machinery for edging, aerating, raking, vacuuming, renovating or other jobs.  

Certain types of turf surfaces may require preparation before they are used (e.g. sporting surfaces often require the grass to be line marked, a turf wicket may need rolling, and covers used to keep water off the playing surface). Irrigation and water management can include hand watering, laying drainage systems, sand slitting during a playing season, using machines to sweep or soak up excess surface water, cleaning and maintaining drainage and irrigation systems.



 


WHY CHOOSE US?

  • Support:  communicate directly with staff who are experts and experienced with turf and horticultural management. Helping you learn is our top priority
  • Different:  if your training is different, you stand out. Knowing a fact isn't the same as having the capacity to be innovative and solve problems in the turf industry. A shorter course elsewhere might teach you some facts: but what's the point, if it doesn't increase your capacity to perform on the job.
  • Deeper Learning: If you learn properly, your learning sticks and can be recalled years later, whenever needed. We understand what it takes to learn for life and career success. Some colleges offer shorter courses that get you through exams, but it is important to understand, that isn't the same as learning for life.
  • Resources:  unique collection of people and intellectual property. Our team include many experts with over 30 years individual experience; and a collection of resources we started building in the early 1970's.
  • Flexibility:  more options for how, where, when and what you study
  • Learning is top priority: what you learn changes you for life. Everything else is secondary
  • Better value:   Compare our cost per study hour.
  • Reliability:  Established since 1979, and being independent means we have avoided the stresses suffered by many other institutions
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.

Principal John Mason has been honoured to be awarded a Fellow of Parks and Leisure Australia, having been an active member since 1974.

Our Principal John Mason, was awarded a fellowship by the Australian Institute of Horticulture in 2010

UK Register of Learning Providers, UK PRN10000112


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 in your selected discipline. 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 (6 exams) and you will be able receive your course certificate- a 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.

Jacinda Cole (Horticulturist)

B.Sc., Cert.Garden Design. Landscape Designer, Operations Manager, Consultant, Garden Writer.
She was operations manager for a highly reputable British Landscape firm (The Chelsea Gardener) before starting up her own landscaping firm. She spent three ye

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

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