Turf Care

Extend your business or career opportunities in the turf industry. Learn to establish and manage lawns: A great starting point to become knowlegeable and apply it to small, large, private, public or commercial lawns.

Course CodeBHT104
Fee CodeS3
Duration (approx)100 hours
QualificationStatement of Attainment

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Understand the Fundamentals of Lawn Care an Be a Professional in This Field 

This is the ideal course for anyone wishing to undertake employment in a turf or lawn business, or as a landscape gardener. You will learn the basics in terms of turf grass varieties, soil management, cultivation techniques, irrigation and feeding of turfs used for different purposes.

  • Gain confidence with turf
  • Learn to plant, establish, mow and repair lawns
  • Save money, increase profitability - make the right decisions
  • Increase your employability or start your own turf business
  • Seek work on a golf course, sports ground, bowls club, or in a turf supply company
  • Learn to grow turf you can be proud of

11 Lessons with Set Task, 11 assignments . Home study course.

Taking approximately 100 hours to complete it is suitable as a basic course for people working with turf, such as on a golf course or bowling green, or for keen amateurs who wish to make the most of their home lawns.

“This is the ideal course for anyone wishing to undertake employment in a turf or lawn business, or as a landscape gardener. You will learn the basics in terms of turf grass varieties, soil management, cultivation techniques, irrigation and feeding of turfs used for different purposes. You will also acquire more specialised knowledge of weed, pest, and disease control to complete a well rounded foundation in this popular area of study.” - Gavin Cole B.Sc., Psych.Cert., Cert.Garden Design, MACA, ACS Tutor.

Lesson Structure

There are 11 lessons in this course:

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

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 the range of grasses and other species available for turf culture.
  • Explain the management of soils for growing turf.
  • Identify methods for the establishment of turf.
  • Explain the management of problems in turf including weeds, pests and diseases.
  • Explain maintenance practices used in turf management.
  • Plan the development of different turfs used for sport.
  • Develop plans to establish a turfed area.
  • Develop management strategies for the care of established turf.

What You Will Do

  • Turf is unlike any other area of horticulture in one major respect: the plants are subjected to traffic!
  • Traffic can take numerous forms when we are talking about the wear and tear of turf. The most obvious examples might be vehicular and human movement. This should be extended to include all activity in which the turf surface is subjected to some sort of foreign physical contact.
  • Examples of traffic then, include:
  • Golf course -golf carts and buggy wheels which compact soils
    • human shoes, often with sprigs that rip and tear turf
  • golf clubs and ball which cause divots and ball marks or plugs.
  • animal grazing (which tends to be more of a rural problem).
  • Parkland -human use including walking, laying down, might include erecting temporary structures such as a marquee, tent.
    • ball games of all varieties.
  • irresponsible vehicle use.
  • animal use
  • The amount of damage caused by traffic is relative to the amount and type of traffic, but other factors such as environment and turf species are also important factors. The resultant damage that does occur is called turfgrass wear.

Take the Uncertainty out of Managing Turf

Lawns can be difficult to maintain, requiring more frequent attention and greater resources than other parts of a garden. Some people avoid having lawns so as to avoid the costs and challenges they bring; but a mown surface of grass is a necessary component of some landscapes, if they are to be used in the way we frequently want to use them.


  • Without a mown grass, how would we play a game of football, golf or many other sports?
  • What other surface is as good resilient and natural, for children to run and play on?
  • Would we sit or lay on the ground (eg. For a picnic) if we were unable to sit on mown grass?
  • A good strong covering of ground help prevents soil erosion and wind erosion on bare earth.
  • A lawn mown grass surface helps mitigate the effects of greenhouse pollution as it such in the carbon dioxide and cools the surrounding ground surfaces reducing heat( this is where the concepts of ‘green roofs’ come in)
  • Back in the 15th and 16th Century England a lawn was actually a mix of grasses and flowers such as clover, thymes, chamomile providing a green low growing surface and also a place for bees to happily collect their pollen and move to other areas of gardens and orchards for pollination.

Apart from the regular mowing watering is probably the largest expense for a lawn especially in dry rainfall and windy areas or during drought. Some turf or lawn varieties are much more drought tolerant and hardy than others. There are also types that suit sandy soils better than clays and also grow well in salty areas. 

What Varieties

Some varieties of turf will tolerate dry conditions far better than others. Often these are not the high quality grasses which we are most used to, but you should consider whether it is better to have a green lawn looks a little different, or a dead lawn made from your preferred grass varieties. There are lots of choices. Here are just a few.

  • Creeping Grasses such as Buffalo and Kikuyu are relatively drought tolerant
  • Couch –most couch grasses are relatively drought tolerant, but some more so than others. Conquest Couch   Native couch in some areas is more drought resistant
  • Some native grasses can produce a lawn that is hardier and more drought tolerant than couch; but it is slower to establish (It is also non-invasive)
  • Seashore Paspalum (Paspalum vaginatum) –very salt tolerant, and can be watered with salt contaminated water. A variety sold under the name “Velvetene TM” is even tolerant of occasional watering with sea water

In Unexpected Drought Conditions

Drought can create big problems for our lawns. At least most grasses are easy to re-establish and often instant rolls of lawn are available in a range of varieties, so these can be rolled out and a new lawn established fairly quickly in the original site. If it seems droughts may be increasing in your area, replanting after drought with more hardy species would be a sensible solution. 
There are things you can do though; often more than most people ever think about!

Why Do Need To Study Turf Care?

This course can be an extremely valuable learning experience for anyone wanting a better lawn at home, or hope to build a successful career or business in the turf industry.

Better, more appropriate lawns will take more wear and tear without deteriorating. Children can play on them. Sports can be played. Even cars can drive over and park on a surface, and the lawn doesn't deteriorate so badly that it needs costly repairs.

Some of our students may be operating a lawn mowing or turf care business; others may find employment on a golf course or with a sporting club; and others may simply use this course to improve the quality and efficiency of lawn care in their own garden.

Lawns and sports turf surfaces can be costly both in terms of time and money; but when you know what you're doing, those costs can be greatly reduced. At the same time, the quality of your turf can be greatly improved.

Use this course to:

  • Expand the scope of your existing business as a gardener or mowing contractor
  • Fill in a gap in your horticultural knowledge
  • Give employers an additional reason to employ (or promote) you
  • Gain a credit toward a certificate
  • Become more effective at planting, establishing and maintaining a quality lawn or sports turf.

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Diana Cole

B.A. (Hons), Dip. Horticulture, BTEC Dip. 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
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
John Mason

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.
Jacinda Cole

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