Home Garden Expert Course

Extensive 100 hour home study course. Become a more knowledgeable gardener or gardening expert. Covers the essentials of gardening to take your home garden to the next level.

Course CodeAHT101
Fee CodeS1
Duration (approx)100 hours
QualificationStatement of Attainment

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    Gardening is a life-long passion


    Once the gardening bug bites you soon discover that there is so much more to learn.

    Gardeners want to know more and that is why we wrote this great course - so you can:

    • Learn practical gardening skills
    • Beautify your garden
    • Express your creativity
    • Grow your own food
    • Choose the right plant for the right place
    • Identify plants
    • Identify pests and diseases
    • Understand design concepts
    Let us help you discover a whole new world of gardening and to create the stunning garden of your dreams.

    Lesson Structure

    There are 8 lessons in this course:

    1. Basic Plant Identification & Culture
      • Plant names, planting, transplanting, tools & equipment.
    2. Soils & Nutrition
      • Soil structure, nutrition, composting, soil building, drainage, fertilizers.
    3. Pests & Weeds
      • Identifying problems, sprays, biological control, weed identification & control.
    4. Landscaping
      • How to design a garden, rockeries, native gardens, traditional (European style) home gardens.
    5. Propagation
      • Propagating materials, seed, cuttings.
    6. Lawns
      • Turf varieties, laying a lawn, lawn care.
    7. Indoor Gardening
      • Hardy indoor plants, container growing.
    8. The Kitchen Garden
      • Vegetable gardening, fruit trees, herbs.

    Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.


    • Identify plant health problems and know treatments.
    • Know the plant naming system and how plants are classified.
    • Understand the effect of soil structure and texture on plant growth.
    • Understand plant terminology and planting methods.
    • Understand plant pruning requirements and methods
    • Know plant nutrition requirements
    • Understand soil conditions and when they require improvement.
    • Recognise a range of pests and diseases and the methods of control.
    • Recognise a range of weeds and know various control methods.
    • Know a range of garden styles and the history behind them.
    • Have knowledge of landscape construction techniques.
    • Understand the elements and processes of landscape design.
    • Understand various propagating techniques
    • Propagate plants by various methods
    • Understand the soil preparation and requirements to establish or renovate a lawn
    • Know lawn maintenance requirements.
    • Understand requirements, including environmental and nutritional aspects of growing plants indoors (including hydroponics and greenhouses).
    • Know how to select plants suited to growth indoors
    • Develop knowledge of vegetable growing procedures and requirements.
    • Have knowledge of a range of fruits and berries suited to the home garden
    • Have knowledge of a range of commonly grown herbs and flowers

    What You Will Do

    • Read notes written and supplied by staff of this school
    • Watch instructional video
    • Test and name different soils
    • Mix inexpensive potting mixes
    • Make compost and explain how you made it.
    • Learn how to identify plants effectively.
    • Explain step by step how you would go about planting shrubs in your own locality.
    • Explain how to transplant and transport plants from one propertyu to another.
    • Determine the tools required to do gardening for a property, using a limited supply of money.
    • Explain characteristics of soil, including: Soil Structure, pH and Nutrient Deficiency
    • Describe how to fertilize a lawn
    • Explain how to improve drainage in a soil that is too wet for plants to do well in.
    • Explain how you would improve a specified soil
    • Identify a nutrient deficiency
    • Observe and identify different categories of pest and disease problems in growing plants.
    • Compile a weed collection with pressings or illustrations of different weeds
    • Compile a plant collection with pressings or illustrations of different weeds
    • Describe how environmental problems affect plants
    • Recommend ways of controlling different types opf problems in plants, using both natural and chemical.
    • Observe and evaluate different types of gardens.
    • Survey a garden in order to prepare a garden design.
    • Apply a systematic procedure to landscape design, in order to produce a concept plan for a garden.
    • Explain mistakes have you observe in the design and construction of different rockeries
    • Build a simple cold frame and us it to propagate plants.
    • Prepare propagating mix which would be suitable for striking most types of cuttings.
    • Propagate different plants from cuttings.
    • Prepare a plan for sowing annual flower seedlings over a 12 month period.
    • Evaluate and explain a lawn seed mix from the packaging of that mix
    • Observe different lawns and recommend their treatment
    • Explain how to establish a lawn
    • Observe and evaluate the condition of different indoor plants.
    • Recommend the treatment of different indoor plants.
    • Prepare lists of indoor plants for different applications.
    • Find an indoor plant which needs potting up & pot it up.
    • Plant a vegetable patch.
    • List fruit, nuts & berries most suited for growing in your locality
    • Observe the way in which herbs are used commercially (eg. in medicine, cooking etc)
    • Explain why crop rotation is used in growing vegetables?

    Be Smarter about Gardening and also Save Money

    Learning about gardening saves you money and helps you create the garden of your dreams.

    Did you know that:

    • It can costs thousands of dollars to set up a new garden and tens of thousands over a lifetime to maintain it.
    • It's common for half of the plants planted in a new garden to die, or perform poorly.

    BUT -  there are lots of benefits to understanding gardening better:

    • If you choose the right plants for the right place, they will thrive and cost will be greatly reduced.
    • If you develop your garden properly, using the right materials in the right way - the cost reduces drastically.
    • When you know what you are doing, your garden will function well and look beautiful too.  

    New Gardens

    It is easier to create a low maintenance garden when you are starting from scratch. The main rule to follow is "think things over carefully" before doing anything. This is far easier if you have learned the fundamental basics - as you will throughout this course.
    • Reduce maintenance by planning your garden on paper first (before construction).
    • Make a list of maintenance tasks you will need to perform routinely.
    • Study the list and see if there are ways that you can reduce tasks by redesigning or modifying your initial plan; even small changes to your design can have a major effect on how much maintenance you will have to do.

    Good preparation of your site prior to planting out the garden is also a must. A little work at this stage will save a lot of work in the long term, in particular you should:

    • Provide for good drainage.
    • Improve your soil structure and fertility.
    • install an irrigation systems.
    • Prepare a proper base for paving and other constructed designed surfaces.


    Old Gardens

    Established gardens are sometimes quite difficult to maintain, particularly if they have been developed bit by bit with no set plan. Those who have purchased a house with an already established garden are often confronted with a legacy of poor design, or a style of garden that isn't quite what you want. The existing layout and features may be a maintenance headache, and the cost of changing or removing them may be very expensive, for example, a large old tree which drops lots of leaves, suffers from wood rot, and creates shade which makes growing other plants difficult. It can sometimes cost thousands of dollars to remove such trees if they are in difficult places.
    Before attempting to change anything, look carefully at which aspects of the garden require the majority of the maintenance workload, then consider the changes which you might be able to make to reduce that maintenance requirement. For the best long term result you might need to be ruthless. Just remember, it is better to have a garden which has a little less of what you like but is well maintained than a garden which has everything you like, but is rapidly deteriorating, or is hard to maintain in good condition.
    There are many ways to easily reduce the maintenance of a garden. The type of design you choose will also create or reduce the amount of maintenance and so too will choosing the right position for all sort of things like paths, clothesline compost bins garden tools, to make maintenance and jobs around the garden easier.


    What will this course do for you?

    Any home gardener who does this course will learn to better understand many different aspects of gardening.

    If you haven't studied a broad horticulture course before; there will no doubt be gaps in your knowledge and skills that will be holding you back from your full potential.
     This course will expand your awareness of what is possible, and help you to make better judgements about what are appropriate goals for you to achieve in your home garden.

    We all have limited time and money to invest in gardening, and it can be so easy to waste the time and money you have if you don't make proper choices about what to do, when to do it and how to do it.

    Sometimes we miss opportunities to do things because we simply don't realize those things are an option.

    Once this course is over gardening can be more efficient, more exciting and full of more possibilities than you might of ever previously considered.

    • Develop effective gardening skills
    • Encourage your creative skills
    • Save you money and time
    • Lets you be your own expert

    Let us help YOU to become an expert gardener and  have the dream garden you always wanted.

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    John Mason

    Writer, Manager, Teacher and Businessman with over 40 years interenational experience covering Education, Publishing, Leisure Management, Education, and Horticulture. He has extensive experience both as a public servant, and as a small business owner. J
    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.
    Maggi Brown

    Maggi is regarded as an expert in organic growing throughout the UK, having worked for two decades as Education Officer at the world renowned Henry Doubleday Research Association. She has been active in education, environmental management and horticulture
    Adriana Fraser

    Freelance writer, businesswoman, educator and consultant for over 30 years. Adriana has written extensively for magazines including free living publications -Grass Roots and Home Grown; and has authored or co authored many books ranging from a biography
    Fruit, Vegetables and Herbs
    Home grown produce somehow has a special quality. Some say it tastes better, others believe it is just healthier. And there is no doubt it is cheaper! Watching plants grow from seed to harvest and knowing that the armful of vegies and herbs you have just
    Plant Pests & Diseases
    Are you one of those people that kill every plant you touch? Perhaps it's not you. Perhaps it's a pest or disease. A little bit of reading might just turn your garden into an oasis. Learn how to identify pests and diseases and bring the spring back into y
    Trees and Shrubs
    Useful for students, tradespeople already working in the field, or the home gardener who needs a quick reference when choosing plants for a garden.