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Some people learn best studying theory and other learn best when the focus is more on hand-on skills and less on theory.
This course skill covers theory but it concentrates on practical learning
- in fact you learn the theory through doing lots of practical exercises.
How will this course help you
If you are a practical person then you will learn the "practical tasks" that every horticulturist (or gardener) should know.
- Managing Soils
- Propagating different types of plants with different techniques
- Protecting plants from ill health
- Controlling weeds
- Lots more
What can you do after you have done this course?
- Work in a nursery
- Work as gardener
- Use it to complement further study
There are 10 lessons in this course:
Seed Propagation (including seed identification)
Potting up and After Care of young plants
Maintenance of Established Plants
Practical Plant Identification
Pest and Disease Identification
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.
What You Will Do
Test soils to determine characteristics which would be valuable to management of any given soil in a horticultural situation
Identify sandy loam, silty loam, and clay loam soils by feel; and pH testing by soil indicator; and relate to plant selection
Identify and sow a range of different types of seeds, in different situations, in a way that will optimise successful propagation.
Propagate a range of plants using different vegetative propagation techniques
Pot up and provide after care for a range of propagated seedlings and cuttings.
Plant a range of (different types) plant material.
Maintain the desired growth type and habit for a range of plants.
Identify significant woody plants including: Trees; Shrubs; Groundcover; & Conifers
Identify a range of significant plant problems including pests, diseases and others.
Identify a range of non woody and indoor plants of horticultural significance.
Conduct a risk assessment of a horticultural workplace to determine safe working practices and select appropriate personal safety clothing and equipment.
How Can You Learn Practical Tasks by Distance Learning?
It seems difficult, but it really works. Here is an example of the types of things you will learn in this course:
GROWING PLANTS FROM SEED
Propagating plants from seeds is called sexual propagation. Seeds can
be variable, in other words they may not always be a replica of the
parent plant – there could be variations, sometimes only slight. The
growth habit and colour may vary between plants grown from the same
batch of seeds. This is brought about by a random combination of genetic
material from the parents. The genetic make-up of each seed is unique.
Plant breeders deliberately cross-pollinate plants that are genetically
different in order to find interesting features. This produces new
varieties or cultivars.
In order for seeds to germinate they require
- Water and oxygen
- An appropriate temperature
- Sometimes light (depending on the species)
- Viable seed
- Given the above, a seed will germinate readily and the plant will grow.
If a seed is not given these requirements or when one is lacking or insufficient the seed will not germinate.
Some seeds require special treatment such as a period of cold
(stratification) before it is ready to germinate. Others may require
soaking in hot water or abrasion (scarification) of the outer coating
(testa) to assist germination.
The reasons some seeds do not germinate are:
The seed may not be viable; either through a lack of formation or through death after trying to germinate once before
The environmental conditions i.e. water, temperature and light are not right
The seed may be dormant (some seeds have chemical inhibitors that
prevent germination during dry seasons or other climatic conditions)
The seed (depending on species) may need the hard outer coating (testa)
to be breached i.e. by either soaking in hot water or by chilling
(stratification) or have the outer coating broken through mechanical or
chemical abrasion (scarification)
Measuring Organic Matter in Soil
The presence of organic matter in soils helps to hold soil moisture as well as improving soil texture and soil fertility.
The following experiment can be used to determine the amount of
relatively fresh soil organic matter and is useful in comparing the
organic matter content of various soils. Carry out several experiments
on various soils to determine the difference.
- Weigh out a sample of soil in a glass container. The reading is represented as w1 (weight without container
- Mix 6% (30 volume) hydrogen peroxide at the rate of 9ml hydrogen peroxide to 1gram of soil
- Shake and then stand for 24 hours until the bubbling almost ceases
- Add water to stop the reaction. Evaporate to dryness either in
an oven at 40 degrees Celsius or in the open air. Weigh. Continue to
dray until the weight remains constant. The final weight reading is
represented as w2.
- Calculate organic matter percent as (w1- w2/w1) x 100
Calculating Soil Quantities
Area (length by width) x Depth = Volume (cubic metres) eg: You
require soil for a back lawn 10metres long and 6metres wide at a depth
10m x 6m x 0.075m = 4.5m3
USE THIS COURSE TO START YOUR CAREER IN HORTICULTURE - LEARNING
PRACTICAL SKILLS CANNOT BE UNDERESTIMATED: EMPLOYERS IN THE HORTICULTURE
INDUSTRY LIKE EMPLOYEES THAT HAVE GOOD PRACTICAL SKILLS.
|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 recognised by the International Accreditation and Recognition Council|
|ACS is a Member of the Permaculture Association (membership number 14088)|
|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. http://www.aih.org.au/|
|Member since 1986|