Certificate In Horticulture (Viticulture)

Training for a job, business or career development in Viticulture - comprehensive 600 hour foundation course; developed and taught by an international team of expert horticulturists.

Course Code: VHT002
Fee Code: CT
Duration (approx) Duration (approx) 700 hours
Qualification Certificate
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CORE UNITS
The core units comprise fifteen modules that are divided into the following sections:

  • Introduction to Plants
  • Plant Culture
  • Soils and Nutrition
  • Plant Identification and Use
  • Pests, Diseases and Weeds

Students must complete and pass all of these core units.

1. Introduction to plants (40 hours)
The purpose of this study area is to explain the binomial system of plant classification and demonstrate identification of plant species through the ability of using botanical descriptions for leaf shapes and flowers.

Aims

  • Describe the relevant identifying physical features of flowering ornamental plants.
  • Demonstrate how to use prescribed reference books and other resources to gain relevant information.
  • Dissect, draw and label two different flowers.
  • Collect and identify the shapes of different leaves.
  • Demonstrate how to identify between family, genus, species, variety and cultivar.

2. Plant culture (60 hours)
The purpose of this study area is to demonstrate the ability to care for plants so as to maintain optimum growth and health while considering pruning, planting, and irrigation.

Aims

  • Describe how to prune different plants.
  • Demonstrate how to cut wood correctly, on the correct angle and section of the stem.
  • Describe how to plant a plant.
  • Demonstrate an awareness of different irrigation equipment, sprinklers, pumps and turf systems available by listing their comparative advantages and disadvantages.
  • Demonstrate competence in selecting an appropriate irrigation system for a garden, explaining why that system would be preferred.
  • Define water pressure and flow rate and how to calculate each.
  • Explain the need for regular maintenance of garden tools and equipment.
  • List factors that should be considered when comparing types of machinery for use in garden maintenance.

3. Soils and plant nutrition (50 hours)
The purpose of this study area is to provide students with the skills and knowledge to identify, work with, and improve the soil condition and potting mixes, and to evaluate fertilisers for use in landscape jobs to maximize plant growth.


Aims

  • Describe the soil types commonly found in plant culture in terms of texture, structure and water-holding and nutrient holding capacity.
  • Describe methods of improving soil structure, infiltration rate, water holding capacity, drainage and aeration.
  • List the elements essential for plant growth.
  • Diagnose the major nutrient deficiencies that occur in ornamental plants and prescribe treatment practices.
  • Describe soil pH and its importance in plant nutrition.
  • Describe the process by which salting occurs and how to minimise its effect.
  • Conduct simple inexpensive tests on three different potting mixes and report accordingly.
  • Describe suitable soil mixes for container growing of five different types of plants.
  • List a range of both natural and artificial fertilizers.
  • Describe fertilizer programs to be used in five different situations with ornamental plants.

4. Introductory propagation (40 hours duration)
The purpose of this study area is to improve the student's understanding of propagation techniques with particular emphasis on cuttings and seeds. Other industry techniques such as grafting and budding are also explained.

Aims

  • Demonstrate propagation of six (6) different plants by cuttings and three from seed.
  • Construct a simple inexpensive cold frame.
  • Mix and use a propagation media suited to propagating both seed and cuttings.
  • Describe the method and time of year used to propagate different plant varieties.
  • Describe and demonstrate the steps in preparing and executing a variety of grafts and one budding technique.
  • Explain the reasons why budding or grafting are sometimes preferred propagation methods.

5. Identification and use of plants (60 hours)
The purpose of this study area is to improve the student's range of plant knowledge and the plant use in landscaping and the ornamental garden, and the appreciation of the different optimum and preferred growing conditions for different plants.

Aims

  • Select plants appropriate for growing in different climates.
  • Select plants appropriate to use for shade, windbreaks, as a feature, and for various aesthetic effects.
  • Categorise priorities which effect selection of plants for an ornamental garden.
  • Explain the differences in the way plants perform in different microclimates within the same area.
  • List and analyze the situations where plants are used.

6. Pests, diseases and weeds (50 hours)
The purpose of this study area is develop the student’s ability to identify, describe and control a variety of pests, diseases and weeds in ornamental situation, and to describe safety procedures when using agricultural chemicals.

Aims

  • Explain in general terms the principles of pest, disease and weed control and the ecological (biological) approach to such control.
  • Explain the host pathogen environment concept.
  • Describe a variety of pesticides for control of pests, diseases and weeds of ornamental plants in terms of their active constituents, application methods, timing and rates, and safety procedures.
  • Photograph or prepare specimens, identify and recommend control practices for at least five insect pests of ornamental plants.
  • Photograph, sketch or prepare samples, identify and recommend control practices for three non insect ornamental plant health problems (e.g. fungal, viral, bacterial).
  • Describe the major ways in which diseases (fungal, viral, bacterial and nematode) affect turf, the life cycle features that cause them to become a serious problem to turf culture and the methods available for their control.
  • Identify, describe and recommend treatment for three different weed problems.
  • Collect, press, mount and identify a collection of ten different weeds, and recommend chemical and non-chemical treatments which may be used to control each.
  • List and compare the relative advantages and disadvantages of different weed control methods


 
STREAM STUDIES
The Viticulture stream is divided into the following:

1. Introduction To Viticulture 2. Introduction To Grapevines
3. Propagation Of Grapevines 4. Improving Grape Quality
5. Climate & Other Factors In Siting Vineyards 6. Grape Varieties & Selection
7. Establishing A Vineyard 8. Harvest & Post-harvest Handling
9. Managing A Vineyard 10. Machinery & Equipment
11. Irrigation 12. Plant Nutrition
13. Agricultural Chemicals 14. Supervision
15. Increasing Efficiency

 

Fees do not include exam fees

There are two exams for the core and 2 for the stream


Aims

  • Stream Unit Aims:
    • Describe the nature and scope of the Viticulture industry throughout the world.
    • Explain the physiology of the grape and the physiological processes of the plant.
    • Outline propagation techniques used for grapevines.
    • Describe the processes behind the improvement of grape quality (including pest and disease problems).
    • Outline the climatic and other factors that should be considered in selecting a site for a vineyard.
    • Describe commonly grown grape varieties that would and would not be suitable for growing in your area.
    • Develop a procedure to establish a vineyard.
    • Outline the harvesting and post handling procedures for grapes.
    • Outline the management procedures and work program for a vineyard.
    • Describe the type of equipment you will need to set and manage a vineyard.
    • Outline irrigation equipment and procedures required in a vineyard.
    • Explain plant nutritional requirements and outline a fertiliser program for a vineyard.
    • Outline the characteristics of pesticides and herbicides and health and safety procedures for their use.
    • Outline the supervisory structure in a vine yard.
    • Outline methods of how to increase efficiency in a vineyard.

THE GRAPE

Grapes belong to the Vitaceae family. Within this family, only the genus Vitis is of any great interest to viticulture, although four of the nine genera in this family yield grapes. The Vitis genus includes some 60 to 80 evergreen and deciduous shrubs, mainly of a climbing habit, supporting themselves by tendrils.

Almost all commonly cultivated grapevines belong to the species Vitis vinifera, although other species have some use in viticulture: for rootstocks, materials for hybridisation and, in some circumstances, for actual grape production. The commonly grown grape vine (Vitus vinifera – also known as the European Grape) originated from Asia Minor and has been carried with civilisation for thousands of years throughout history. V. vinifera was taken to Mexico by the Spaniards. English settlers took Old World grapes with them and planted them along the Atlantic seaboard.

These however failed due to the presence of the insect phylloxera, and fungus diseases like Black Rot, Downy Mildew and Powdery Mildew, as well as deleterious effect of low winter temperatures and hot humid summers.

 

V. vinifera requires a warm temperate climate, with minimum temperatures of -2°C while dormant,
-1
°C at bud burst and -0.5°C when in full flower. The root system is deep, and as such can draw water from lower levels of the soil; hence the need for high rainfall or irrigation is only moderate. Effective irrigation methods in suitable climates can, however, improve quality and quantity of yields.

The vine does not tolerate wet soils in summer but will tolerate some wetness in winter.
 
When on a trellis it will tolerate wind reasonably well, but not strong gale force winds. Though sandy soils are preferred, grapes will tolerate most soils provided they are deep and well drained.
 
Some other grape species that are of significance to viticulture include:
 
Vitis amurensis
Vitis labrusca
Vitis riparia
Vitis rupestris
Vitis berlandeieri
Vitis aestivalis
Vitis cinerea
Vitis rotundifolia
 
 


The Genera Vitis and Muscadinia

Plants from both of these genera are called “grapes”. The world viticulture industry concentrates on growing cultivars of Vitis vinifera. Cultivars of other species from both genera are however grown for edible fruit in various parts of the world.
 

Vitis has forked tendrils, sheds its bark, has a diaphragm (continuous pith) at the nodes, and elongated clusters with berries that stick to the pedicels at maturity.

Muscadinia has tight bark that does not shed, simple tendrils that do not fork, nodes without a diaphragm, and small clusterlets with berries that detach as they mature.
V. vinifera also have intermittent tendrils, thin, smooth shiny leaves with 3, 5, or 7 lobes. The berry size varies.
 
Species used for grape production
 

V. vinifera cultivars produce over 90% of the world's grapes, whether as pure vinifera or hybridised. The most important grape species used in North America are:

V. labrusca ‑ Concord, Niagara
 

V. aestivalis ‑ Norton, Delaware

V. vulpina ‑ Elvira, Clinton
 

V. rotundifolia ‑ Scuppernong, Eden, Muscadine

V. rupestris ‑ Rupestris St. George
 
The Concord variety makes about 80% of the total American production. Many grape varieties have been crossbred between species and even other hybrids to produce improved characteristics of the fruit, growth habit or even disease resistance. 
 
Root stocks
 
Root stocks that exhibit resistance to phylloxera have become invaluable in the industry. Some of the American species used as root stock that have resistance are Vitus riparia, V. berlandieri, V. rupestris, V. aestivalis, V. cordifolia, and V. monticola.
 

Rootstocks that exhibit resistance to nematodes are also important. These include from America: Vitus rotundifolia, V. champini, V. candicans, and V. longii.

HOW MIGHT THIS COURSE HELP YOU?

This certificate does two things:
a/ In the first half, you learn about general, broad based horticulture. You learn more about soils, pest control, propagation and growing plants - beyond just viticulture (and that keeps your options for work in the future a bit broader).
BUT
b/ In the second half of the course you learn about viticulture; and having the foundation you developed earlier, your specialised study of viticulture will be understood and retained more easily.

In the grand scheme of things the final outcome is a far more solid understanding of viticulture, more embedded in your long term memory, and providing an extremely solid foundation to build a career or business on.

Your direction and level of success after you complete either course will depend more upon your motivation and enthusiasm and the experience you strive for after graduation.

 

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.

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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.

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Who are ACS Distance Education?

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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.
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Course Contributors

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

Marie Beermann

Marie has more than 10 years experience in horticulture and education in both Australia and Germany. Marie's qualifications include B. Sc., M. Sc. Hort., Dip. Bus., Cert. Ldscp.

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

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.





Tutors

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

Jacinda Cole

Jacinda has expertise in psychology and horticulture. She holds a BSc (hons) in Psychology and a Masters in Psychology (Clinical) and also trained in psychoanalytic psychotherapy at the London Centre for Psychotherapy. In horticulture she has a Certificate in Garden Design and ran her own landscaping and garden design business for a number of years. Jacinda also has many years experience in course development and educational writing.

Yvonne Sharpe

Over 30 years of experience in horticulture, education and management, Yvonne has travelled widely within and beyond Europe, and has worked in many areas of horticulture from garden centres to horticultural therapy. She has served on industry committees and been actively involved with amateur garden clubs for decades.

Diana Cole

Diana Cole B.A. (Hons), RHS Diploma in Horticulture, BTEC Higher Diploma in Garden Design, Diploma Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development, PTLLS (Preparing to Teach in the Life Long Learning Sector), P.D.C.

In addition to the qualifications listed above, Diana holds City & Guild construction qualifications and an NPTC pesticide spraying licence (PA1/PA6). Diana runs her own landscape gardening business (Arbella Gardens). She also has skills gained through leading a group of volunteers renovating a local park on behalf of a local council and has been a volunteer leader with the British Trust for Conservation Volunteers. She continues to teach the Royal Horticultural Society qualifications (Levels 2 and 3) at her local college. She is a member of The National Society of Allotment and Leisure Gardeners Ltd.

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