Learn to propagate plants conveniently and easily from qualified and experience plant propagators. This tape has three sections to it:
1. An overview of propagation; sexual vs asexual techniques,
selecting quality propagation material, practicing hygiene to reduce disease etc.
2. Demonstrations of "how to do" several propagation techniques including sowing seed, budding, grafting, stem cuttings, leaf bud cuttings, aerial layering and division.
3. An explanation of how to care for plants after the act of propagation. This includes a mini guided tour of a commercial propagation nursery (Larkman Nurseries in Lilydale, Victoria).


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Starting from the basics, this course covers all aspects of propagating plants and shows you what's involved in starting and running your own propagation nursery. Ten lessons cover:
1. Methods of propagation - overview
2. Propagating Structures & Equipment
3. Propagating Materials
4. Seed Propagation
5. Propagation by Cuttings
6. Miscellaneous Propagating Techniques - Division, layering, tissue culture.
7. Budding & Grafting
8. Propagation of Specific Plants
9. Nursery Management - Types of plant production (container, bare-rooted, etc.), nursery hygiene,
10. Propagating Area: Layout & Organization

Fee Code: S2
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A ten lesson course for those working in the horticultural industry or the enthusiastic and experienced hobbyist. This course assumes a general, but basic knowledge of propagation, and builds on existing experience, helping improve propagation skills and efficiency. It overlaps the "Propagation" course, but is more intense and in-depth. It is an accredited module in the Advanced Diploma in Horticulture. Topics covered include:
* Introduction: Review of techniques, nursery hygiene, flow charting a plant.
* Seed Propagation: Techniques, seed sources, storage, pre germination treatments, & more.
* Cuttings: Techniques, hormones, misting and fogging, heat, wounding, types, & more.
* Potting Media: Components, mixes, characteristics, comparisons, & more
* Budding and Grafting
* Hydroponic Techniques and Tissue Culture
* Layering and other Techniques: Separation, division, bulb cuttings, back bulbs, etc.
* Structures and Materials: Greenhouses, shadehouses, frames, containers, labels.
* Modifying plant growth, Natural pest control, setting policies.
* Propagation: Area/nursery layout, selecting a good site, controlling costs.

Fee Code: S3
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An introductory course which shows the beginner how to get started in the nursery business. You learn how to propagate plants, decide what to propagate, how to start a small inexpensive operation, and to go about selling what you grow. Part of every lesson is devoted to the important area of building up your knowledge of plants. Through six lessons you will learn how many established nurseries have started out slowly as a small part time operation, and how you can follow the same path. (If you intend studying propagation and wholesale nursery management, don't do this course!).

Fee Code: S2
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The nursery industry currently has a real need for people with skills and knowledge in managing wholesale plant nurseries! This course provides a solid grounding for those interested in running a wholesale nursery. This is an accredited module of the Advanced Diploma in Horticulture.
There are eight lessons as follows:
1. Nursery Site Organization - Establishing or reorganising.
2. Management - Work programming, staffing, management structures, etc.
3. Nutrition Management - Fertilizer application, deficiency problems.
4. Growing Media - Soil vs. soilless, growool, soil tests.
5. Irrigation - Methods and equipment.
6. Modifying Plant Growth - Flower forcing, hormones, quality, etc.
7. Marketing - Advertising, promotions, pricing, finding opportunities.
8. What to Grow - Alternatives, profitability and marketability, etc.

Fee Code: S3
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Designed in 1986, in conjunction with the state garden department manager of a major retail chain store; this course has been very successful in training both staff and managers of retail nurseries and garden centres across Australia. It continues to be updated at least annually, and continues to be used by small nurseries through to major chain stores across the country. It is an accredited module of the Advanced Diploma in Horticulture. There are twelve lessons as follows:
1. Plant Classification - Identifying plants, plant requirements.
2. Plant Health - Diagnosis & treatment
3. Stock Maintenance - Quality control, caring for plants in the nursery.
4. Display & Display Techniques - Sales area layout, product location, etc.
5. Garden Product Knowledge I - Containers, labels, soil mixes, garden tools, etc.
6. Garden Product Knowledge II - Chemicals, fertilizers, cut flowers, etc.
7. Indoor Plants - Identification & care.
8. Container Stock - Trees & shrubs
9. Seedlings, Bulbs, Herbs & Perennials
10. Deciduous Trees, Fruit & Nuts, Seed
11. Marketing - Pricing, advertising, promotions, transport etc.
12. Management - Work programming, staff control, nursery layout, etc.

Fee Code: S3
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This is a course designed in collaboration with nursery hands at the Greening Australia Hamel Nursery, south of Perth. It teaches the skills for day to day work in a production nursery. There are eleven lessons involving: The Nursery Industry - operational flow charts, nursery standards, plant variety rights, transport regulations;plant identification, nursery structures, buildings, heating & cooling systems; potting mixes, seed propagation, cutting propagation, other propagation techniques, plant nutrition, pest & disease control, other nursery tasks and marketing and sales
Fee Code: S2
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Tissue culture involves growing plants from very small sections (sometimes microscopic) in a laboratory. It is a propagation method which is being increasingly used. Tissue culture is not appropriate for many plants, but for others such as orchids, some indoor plants and in particular, many new plant varieties, it is a very popular propagation method.
There are nine lessons as follows:
1. Introduction - Basic plant nutrition, definitions, applications & uses.
2. Methods of Tissue Culture - Techniques.
3. The Laboratory & Equipment - Costs and equipment that is needed.
4. Micropropagation Methods - More details on the techniques.
5. Plant Hormones - IBA, IAA, etc.
6. Culture Environments -Light, heat etc.
7. Commercial Applications - Breeding, biotechnology, pollination technology.
8. Taking Plants out of Culture
9. Culture of Selected Species - Ferns, Orchids, Gloxinia, Daphne, Begonia, Anigozanthus, etc.

Fee Code: S3
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A 600 hour accredited course designed principally for plant propagators. This course is similar to other C12CN002 horticulture certificates in it's introductory (core) units, but devotes 50% of the course to topics specifically related to plant propagation, dealing with hundreds of different types of plants, and methods used to propagate them.

The Propagation Stream is divided into the following:
1. Methods Of Propagation

2. Seed Propagation A
3. Seed Physiology & Germination

4. Seed Propagation B
5. Propagation By Cuttings A

6. Propagation By Cuttings B
7. Efficiencies In Cutting Propagation

8. Miscellaneous Propagation Techniques
9. Budding & Grafting

10. Tissue Culture
11. Layering

12. Propagating Structures & Equipment
13. Propagating Materials

14. Nursery Management A
15. Nursery Management B

Fee Code: CT plus exam fees
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A 700 hr accredited course develops both skills required to manage a retail business, and knowledge in identification, care and handling of plants and other products sold through retail nurseries. The course trains managers or supervisors rather than workers. There are eight units plus a 200 hr workplace project in this course. These are the five core units common to all streams of this Advanced Certificate (ie. Communications, Management, Office Practices, Business Operations and Marketing, plus three specialist units of study relating to the management and operation of a retail nursery (as shown below):
* RETAIL NURSERY Stage 1 (Living Products)
1. Plant Identification & Culture

2. Plant Health
3. Plant Stock Maintenance

4. Propagation & Plant Establishment
5. Indoor Plants, Seedlings, Bulbs, Herbs & Perennials
6. Container Stock

7A.Deciduous Trees, Fruits, Nuts, Berries
7B.Seed 8. Selection Of Plant Stock
* RETAIL NURSERY Stage 2 (Non-living Products)
1. Display & Display Techniques

2. Garden Product Knowledge A
3. Garden Product Knowledge B

4. Structures: Greenhouses, Shade, etc.
5. Tools & Machinery

6. Irrigation
7. Landscape Materials

8. Chemicals
* RETAIL NURSERY Stage 3 (Garden Centre Marketing)
1. Marketing

2. Management
3. Selling

4. The Sales Opening
5. Closing A Sale

6. Safety & Legal
7. Nursery Analysis & Business Planning

8. Mechanization

Fee Code: AC plus exam fees
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For people who work, or hope to work, as a supervisor, manager or owner operator of a wholesale or production nursery. This is a 700 hr accredited covering both management and horticultural studies relating to running a wholesale nursery. There are eight units plus a workplace project in this course. These include the five core units common to all streams of the Advanced Certificate (C12CN001), and three specialist units of study relating to the operation and management of wholesale nurseries. The core units are Communications, Management, Business Operations Office Practices and Marketing .
The stream studies are as follows:
1. Nursery Site Organisation

2. Nutrition Management
3. Growing Media

4. Irrigation
5. Modifying Plant Growth

6. Pest Control
7. Production Systems

8. Special Project

There are eight lessons as follows:
1. Nursery Structures & Greenhouse/Shadehouse Management
2. Propagation Equipment

3. Propagation Techniques: Seed & Cuttings
4. Propagation Techniques: Grafting

5. Planting & Potting Techniques
6. Stock Plant Management & Open ground Production
7. Tools & Equipment

8. Selection Of Nursery Crops
1. Management Structures

2. Layout & Operation
3. I.D. of Pest & Disease Problems

4. Safety & Legal Matters
5. Nursery Analysis & Business Planning

6. Mechanization
7. Marketing

8. Special Project

Fee Code: AC plus exam fees
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This course provides training for people wishing to work in nurseries at a technician or management level; in positions such as nursery managers, technical representatives or consultants. Internationally accredited through I.A.R.C. (International Accreditation and Recognition Council).

Normally 3 years full time or 5-7 years part time; but may be completed in 1-2 years with extra effort.

1. There are 21 modules/subjects to be studied. These are all available by correspondence study.
a/ Core Modules (13)
Biochemistry (Plants), Computer Studies, Business Studies, Instructional Skills, Workplace Health
& Safety, Plant Science I, Horticulture I, Advanced Propagation, Soil Management, Plant Protection,
Horticultural Marketing, Horticultural Management, and either Garden Centre Management or
Wholesale Nursery Management.
b/ Electives (8)
Choices include
: Wholesale Nursery or Garden Centre Management, Horticulture II, Irrigation, Landscaping I, Fruit Production, Commercial Vegetable Production, Advanced Hydroponics, Australian
Natives I, Herb Culture, Orchid Culture, Roses, and more! (NB: Other options will be added in 1996).
Outlines of these modules are found throughout this handbook.
2. Workshops
3 X 50 hrs (One week workshops are held periodically in Qld & Vic).
3. Industry Conference/Seminars
Attendance at conferences, seminars etc totalling 100 hrs
4. Research Projects
Three projects (3 X 100 hrs), dealing with different aspects of the workplace.

The 21 modules are divided into six stages. In stage 1, you study Biochemistry, Computer Studies,
Business Studies, Instructional Skills, and Workplace Health & Safety. This stage is completed
before workshops, research projects or other modules.
Remaining core modules are then completed before commencing electives.

Fee Code: AD plus exam fees and workshop fees.
(Note: Fees cover all tuition and "essential" texts. They do not include fees for any Industry
conferences or seminars which are attended).
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Cuttings can be classified in two different ways:

A. According to the time of year the cutting is taken (or the stage of growth the plant is at when it is taken). Example: A softwood cutting is one taken in spring when the young growth on the plant is soft tissue.

B. According to the part of the plant which is used.
Example: A leaf cutting is a cutting made from just a leaf, or part of a leaf)


These are stem cuttings taken from new growth which is soft. This commonly occurs during spring, but may occur at other times of the year if suitable material is available. Common softwood cuttings include many common temperate climate shrubs including Myrtus, Veronica (Hebe), Oleander, Magnolia, Weigelia, Spirea, Oleander, and Maples.

Stem cuttings taken in winter from old growth which is hard.
Common hardwood cuttings include tip growth from conifers (eg: Juniperus or Chamaecyparis), or sections of stem from deciduous plants (eg: Rosa, Tamarix, Cydonia or Punica, Grape, Fig, and many deciduous plants).

Stem cuttings usually taken in late summer or early autumn, when recent spring growth is in the process of hardening. Many shrubs are propagated this way, including; Azalea, Camellia, Pittosporum, Grevillea, Euonymus, Prostanthera, Boronia, Holly, and many Australian native shrubs.

A leafy stem cutting taken from a soft wooded (succulent growing) plant such as a Chrysanthemum, Aster, Coleus, Carnation or Geranium, and many perennials & herbs.

These can be taken virtually at any time of the year.

A section of stem, usually (but not always) with some leaves left on the top but low leaves removed. There should be a node (this is a point at which a bud emerges) at the bottom of the cutting and another node at the top of the cutting. There may be one, or several nodes in between.

Stem cutting taken from the growing tip of a plant. Softwood cuttings are often tip cuttings.

A stem cutting of 1 year old wood which has attached to the base, a small section of two year old wood. This section of older wood is called a heel. Normally prepared by tearing side shoots from a small branch or stem. The torn section is then trimmed neatly with a pair of secateurs or a knife.

A stem cutting without a heel, where the base of the cutting is made as a right angle cut, just below a node.

Stem cutting where the base of the cutting is made at the point where the young shoot joins the older branch. At this point there is often some swelling in the stem. The basal cutting does not necessarily contain any older wood, as does the heel cutting.

A full leaf (leaf blade and stalk) with a small piece of the stem the leaf was attached to. At the junction of the stem, there is a bud (which is retained). Plants which can be grown this way include Ivy, Camellia, Raspberry, Lemon, Rhododendron, and Boysenberry.

Either a section of a leaf or a full leaf including the leaf stalk (ie. petiole). In the case of a section of a leaf being used (eg. Begonia, Gloxinia or Peperomia), the cutting must include part of a major leaf vein).
New growth (a shoot and root) will normally grow from the base of the cutting (ie. the base of the leaf stalk, or the base of the leaf vein). African violets are commonly grown from full leaves.
Some bulbs (eg. Lachenalia & Muscari-Grape Hyacinth) can be grown by leaves chopped into sections along their length.

A small section of cane from the plant, containing only one or two nodes, and no leaves is inserted horizontally (instead of vertically -like cuttings are normally done); with a bud showing just above the surface of the media. This is used with plants such as Dracaena and Diffenbachia where it is difficult to obtain large quantities of cutting material. Heating & misting are usually essential for commercial success.

Sections of relatively young (1-3 yrs old) root, 2-10cm long, taken preferably from young plants. Cuttings are planted horizontally at 2-4cm deep in the propagation media. Small delicate roots should be shorter and planted shallower (maybe a 1 cm layer of sand over the top). Larger roots can be longer, and planted deeper. Root cuttings are taken from such plants as Albizzia julibrissin, Cydonia, Apples, some Poplars, Rhus, Liquidambar, and Wisteria.

A mature bulb is cut vertically into 8 or 10 sections; each having part of the basal plate. Each of these sections can be further divided by cutting down between the scales...forming cuttings which compose 3 or 4 parts of scales attached at the bottom to a small section of basal plate. Plant vertically with just the tips showing. Plants which can be grown this way include; Hippeastrum, Narcissus (Daffodil), Nerine, Scilla & Sprekelia.


Australian Standards have been established for potting mixes (No. 3743 1989). It is now possible to buy packaged potting mixes that bear the Australian Standards Mark. This indicates that the mix is of excellent quality. This quality is guaranteed by regular testing both at the manufacturing plant and by independent laboratories under the supervision of Standards Australia.

There are two Australian Standard potting mix grades: Regular and Premium.
Both mixes must be freely draining, while capable of holding a good supply of water. Both must be easy to rewet if they dry out. They must be free of toxins and have a pH in the range 5.3 6.5.
Both mixes should contain a full range of trace elements in sufficient quantities to last for at least one year of plant growth, as well as ample initial amounts of phosphorus, calcium, magnesium and sulphur.
Regular mixes are not required to contain any soluble nitrogen, however, the worst of their ability to 'draw down' fertiliser nitrogen will have been removed. Premium mixes must contain soluble nitrogen and be able to continue providing enough soluble nitrogen for at least one month of good plant growth. Premium mixes generally contain slow release fertiliser and will have been made from high quality materials such as thoroughly composted pine bark and peat.
Within both the regular and premium gradings the Australian Standards lists properties for a range of specialist mixes for use with such plants as seedlings, orchids (cymbidium), acid loving plants, and plants that prefer low phosphorus.
Potting mixes formulated to Australian standards may appear to be initially more expensive than other mixes, however, their reliability and quality make them less expensive in the long run. There are also available on the market some potting mixes that state that they conform to Australian Standards, but which do not carry the Standards Mark. These products have not been tested by Standards Australia so there is no guarantee of the quality of the mix. For this reason potting mixes that carry the Standard Mark should be preferred. The names of potting mixes that have been approved to carry the Standards Mark can be obtained from the Standards Association in Australia.


Nursery Management 2nd Ed. 

A comprehensive reference of 320 pages, more than double the first edition. by John Mason

Learn to Growing Plants and Management of Production Nurseries or Garden Centres, in this classic book from John Mason, Principal of Australian Correspondence Schools, Fellow of Parks and Leisure Australia, Fellow the Institute of Horticulture (UK). The book focuses on all elements of nursery management including site selection, selecting and managing nursery stock, propagation, equipment and structures, new plant breeding and ownership rights, management skills, lists of seeds and material suppliers etc