Practical Horticulture 2

Learn practical horticulture -100 hour online course to. enhance your skills, business and work prospects.

Course Code: BHT323
Fee Code: S3
Duration (approx) Duration (approx) 100 hours
Qualification Statement of Attainment
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A course to develop all the practical skills that you learn when working under the supervision of an horticultural expert. The course contains all the tips to develop excellent practical skills in the management of a variety of horticultural situations.

Learn Practical Skills by Home Study:

Distance education can be VERY practical -more than most people think!

Lesson Structure

There are 11 lessons in this course:

  1. Materials and Equipment
    • Introduction
    • Power Tools
    • Hand Tools
    • Nursery Tools and Equipment
    • Weed Bags
    • Materials
    • Hard Landscaping Material
    • Fences
    • Statues, Sundials & Figurines
    • Soft Landscaping Materials
    • Horticultural Planning
    • PBL Project: Horticultural Equipment, Materials and Sundries
  2. Horticultural Calculations
    • Horticultural Mensuration
    • Calculating Areas and Volumes
    • Measuring And Calculating Soil Properties
    • Understanding Soil Analysis
    • Soil Sampling
    • Soil Colour
    • Soil Fertility
    • Tissue Analysis
    • Calculating Fertiliser Requirements
    • What Does a Plant Need?
    • Irrigation Requirements
    • When To Irrigate
    • Types Of Soil Moisture
    • Measuring Water Available to Plants
    • Available Moisture Range
    • Rooting Depths of Selected Plants
    • Estimating Water
    • The Water Needs of Turf Grasses
    • Deciding When, What and How to Test
    • Temperature Control in A Greenhouse
  3. Practical Risk Management
    • Work Safety
    • Conducting A Safety Audit
    • Audit Forms/Checklists
    • Using Tools
    • Safe Use of Chemicals
    • Safety Procedures When Using Agricultural Chemicals
  4. Machinery and Equipment Assessment and Maintenance
    • General Maintenance of Tools And Equipment
    • Power Tool Maintenance
    • 2-Stroke And 4-Stroke Engines
    • Common Problems with Petrol Engines
    • Oil
    • Chainsaws
    • Mowers
    • Hedge Trimmers
    • Manual Sprayers
    • Maintenance Of Watering Systems
  5. Propagation Management
    • Propagation: Media, Facilities and Locations
    • Ph
    • Conductivity
    • Salinity Build Up
    • Types Of Media
    • Propagation Facilities and Locations
    • Containers For Propagation
    • Nursery Irrigation
    • Sexual Propagation
    • Asexual Propagation (Vegetative Propagation)
    • Budding
    • Whip & Tongue Graft
    • Leaf Petiole Cuttings
    • Growth Control: Chemical and Cultural
    • Efficiencies In Cutting Production
    • Practical Exercise
    • Propagation Aftercare
    • Operational Flow Charts
    • PBL Project: Propagation Management
  6. Hard Landscape Maintenance
    • Protecting Outdoor Furniture
    • What Can Go Wrong with Outdoor Furniture?
    • Better Furniture Lasts Longer
    • What is UV Stabilised?
    • Painting Outdoor Surfaces
    • What is the Difference between Paint, Stain and Sealer?
    • Oxygenating Plants
    • Troubleshooting
    • Problems
    • Re-Pointing
    • Pond Management
    • Maintenance Of Play Areas
    • Maintaining Stone and Brick Walls
  7. Soft Landscape Maintenance
    • Pruning
    • Mulch
    • How To Aerate, Scarify, Top Dress and Fertilise a Lawn
    • Fertilisers
    • Minor Elements
    • Fertilising
    • Diagnosis of Nutritional Problems
    • Irrigation
    • Herbaceous Borders
    • Wildflower Meadows
    • Determine Harvesting, Grading and Packing Procedures of Crops
    • Environmental Control of a Protected Plant Production System
    • Environmental Factors
    • Problems With Greenhouses
    • Heating & Ventilation Systems
    • Thermal Screens
    • Insulation
    • Lighting Equipment
    • Day-Length Manipulation
    • Irrigation & Nutrition Control
    • Terminology
  8. Practical Plant Identification Techniques
    • Flower Structure
    • Different Types of Flowers
    • The Flower
    • The Inflorescence
    • Fruits
    • Seed Diagrams
    • Botanical Keys
    • Floral Keys
    • Leaf Structure and Arrangement
    • Terminology
  9. Pest, Disease and Weed Control
    • Weeds
    • Pesticides
    • Types Of Herbicide Chemicals
    • The Main Ways of Controlling Pests or Diseases
    • IPM (Integrated Pest Management)
    • Non-Chemical Pest Control Methods
    • Pests And Diseases
    • Law In Relation to Chemical Use
    • Diseases
    • Plant Viruses: Their Detection and Diagnosis
    • Virus Control
    • Pests
    • Birds
    • Bugs
    • Caterpillars
    • Leafhoppers
    • Leaf Miner
    • Mealy Bug
    • Millipedes
    • Mites Including Red Spider Mite
    • Nematodes
    • Scale Insects
    • Slugs & Snails
    • Thrips
    • Whitefly
    • Environmental Problems
    • Definitions Of Pesticide Terms
  10. Identifying Plant Tissues
    • Plant Cells
    • The Cell Wall
    • The Nucleus
    • Types Of Plant Cells
    • Plant Tissues
    • Plant Parts
    • Stems
    • Root Systems
    • Roots
    • Leaves
  11. Planning - Identifying Needs for Management of Horticultural Sites
    • Pre-Planning
    • Managing Risk
    • Quality Management Systems
    • Work Scheduling
    • Planning A Nursery Operation
    • Nursery Standards
    • Production Systems
    • Production Plan
    • Production Methods
    • Efficiencies In Cutting Production
    • Practical Exercise
    • Developing A Nursery Stocklist
    • Criteria For Selecting Plants
    • Quarantine Issues When Selecting Stock
    • PBL Project: Horticultural Planning

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.


Every garden is different, so every garden has different irrigation requirements.  Here we show you how to choose and install a watering system that is right for you.


The type of irrigation fitting you use depends upon the type of plant you wish to irrigate.

For example, if you have a plant that is likely to develop fungal problems if the leaves get wet, you need to water at ground level using drippers or a soaker hose. Sprays and sprinklers are not suitable. Alternatively, if you have a large lawn to irrigate, you will need sprinklers that can cover a wide area; a micro-spray is not adequate.


It is advisable to get help with the design, so that you can compile a list of parts.

The type of irrigation system you need will help you to decide whether or not to install it yourself or call in an expert.

Sometimes you can do a combination of both. Many irrigation supply shops are happy to help with the design of your irrigation system. They will show you how to collect the information you need, as well as how to calculate the equipment you require.

If you have a large job, with many different garden areas, you may have to call upon an irrigation designer.


The following table is a guide for selecting suitable irrigation fittings.

TYPE OF GARDEN                                 


 Hanging baskets


 Small planter boxes

 Drippers or micro-sprays

 Vegie garden

 Sprinklers, micro sprays, soaker hoses or drippers


Misting sprays or drippers

Large trees

Sprays or sprinklers

Rose garden


Small lawn


Large lawn

 Pop up sprinklers


Sprinklers, sprays, or soaker hoses


Once you know what type of fitting you need, you then have to calculate how many you need and how much pipe and other parts are required.

Then make up a list of parts needed.


  • PVC, is very strong, but inflexible - To install pipes, dig a trench where they are to go. If they have to pass over paving or up walls, you can secure the pipe with electrical cable ties. Always make it as discreet as possible.

  • HDPE (High Density Polyethylene) is more flexible- With HDPE pipe, uncoil it and let it lie in the sun. Once soft, place it in the trench, connect the pipe to the tap and run water through. This takes any twists out of the pipe before you install the fittings.


This will depend upon the type of pipe you use. PVC has to be joined with a special adhesive. You should wear rubber gloves when using this material. HDPE pipe is joined with plastic inserts that are secured with clamps.

These methods are also used to install bends and T junctions.


Should be installed where they can be easily accessed and regularly replaced. This is normally at the beginning of the system so as to avoid a build-up of impurities in the sprinklers, drip-ends and so on.


If you need to run more than one irrigation pipe from a tap, you will need to install a manifold. This allows you to run more. A two-way tap connector will allow you to have a hose or fill a watering can without interfering with your system.

You should never put more than one type of fitting on the same pipe. If you need more than one type of fitting to do the job, add another pipe from the manifold.


The choices are:

  • Manual

  • Computer operated - ensure you choose one with a battery back-up

  • Solenoids (these will need to be installed by an electrician, and are the type used for pop-up sprinklers).


This course adds to knowledge gained through studying Practical Horticulture I. But it also has an emphasis on assessment, planning, and management of horticulture operations. It is therefore geared more towards people working in supervisory roles and positions of greater responsibility. Graduates of this course will make themselves highly desirable to employers seeking staff who are ready to take on responsibility and show initiative on the job.
This course will suit people looking to work in:  

Site foreman roles
Horticulture management
General horticulture
Garden maintenance
Parks & gardens
Nursery & propagation    

Principal of ACS Distance Education, John Mason, is fellow of the CIH.
Principal of ACS Distance Education, John Mason, is fellow of the CIH.
Member of Study Gold Coast Education Network.
Member of Study Gold Coast Education Network.
ACS Global Partner - Affiliated with colleges in seven countries around the world.
ACS Global Partner - Affiliated with colleges in seven countries around the world.
Member Nursery and Garden Industry Association.
Member Nursery and Garden Industry Association.
Since 1999 ACS has been a recognised member of IARC (International Approval and Registration Centre). A non-profit quality management organisation servicing education.
Since 1999 ACS has been a recognised member of IARC (International Approval and Registration Centre). A non-profit quality management organisation servicing education.

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.

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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 has been designed to cover the fundamentals of the topic. It will take around 100 hours to complete, which includes your course reading, assignment work, research, practical tasks, watching videos and anything else that is contained in the course. Our short courses are a great way to do some professional development or to learn a new skill.

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 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 $60 incl. GST 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 exam and you will be able receive your course certificate- a Statement of Attainment. 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

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.

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

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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 years working in our Gold Coast office, as a tutor and writer for Your Backyard (gardening magazine) which we produced monthly for a Sydney punlisher between 1999 and 2003. Since then, Jacinda has contributed regularly to many magazines, co authored several gardening books and is currently one of the "garden experts" writing regularly for the "green living" magazine "Home Grown".

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.

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 across the UK for more than three decades.
Some of Maggi's qualifications include RHS Cert. Hort. Cert. Ed. Member RHS Life Member Garden Organic (HDRA) .

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