Courses in Turf Care


A comprehensive introduction to the identification, selection, culture and management of turf for commercial, recreational or home use. 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. Topics covered include:
* Introduction To The Turf Industry - Turf varieties, using turf, terminology.
* Turfgrass Physiology - How grass grows, plant structure and function.
* Turf Establishment - Step by step procedures, different planting methods.
* Soils - Understanding & improving soils, drainage techniques.
* Turf Weed Problems - Weed identification, control methods.
* Turf Pests & Diseases - Identification, control, using pesticides.
* Turf Maintenance Techniques - Renovation, mowing, maintenance programs.
* Irrigation - Types of systems, timing of irrigation.
* Playing Fields - Gradients & dimensions, problem solving, construction.
* Greens - Construction, maintenance.

Fee Code: S3
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Develops your ability to manage the maintenance of sports turf. Ten lessons as follows:
  • Turf Variety Selection
  • Mowing - equipment & techniques
  • Cultivation techniques - spiking, coring, thatch removal, etc.
  • Preparing for play on sports grounds - rolling, marking, dew removal, etc.
  • Preparing for play on greens - rolling, marking, dew removal, etc.
  • Turf protection and preservation.
  • Irrigation & drainage.
  • Soil treatments and sprays. (chemicals, fertilisers, lime, etc.)
  • Evaluate maintenance of facilities.
  • Develop a management plan.
Fee Code: S3
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Develops your ability to diagnose and treat problems in turf. Ten lessons as follows:
  • Understanding Turf Deterioration
  • Repair & Renovation Equipment
  • Turf Cultivation Techniques
  • Health Improvement - feeding, pests etc.
  • Optimising Turf Usage
  • Replacing Damaged Turf - Topdressing, sodding, plugging, etc.
  • Renovation of Degraded Turf (eg. end of season, after a party, etc)
  • Eradicating Turf Weeds
  • Aeration & drainage problems
  • Managing a turf nursery
Fee Code: S3
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A 600 hour accredited course designed principally for turf workers at golf courses, bowling greens, sports fields, or councils. 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 turf culture, species and management.
The Turf Stream is divided into the following units:-
1. Identification Of Turf 2. Turf Growth
3. Seed, Sowing & Turfing 4. Turf Culture
5. Pests, Diseases & Weeds 6. Machinery
7. Maintenance 8. Irrigation Design
9. Management 10. Work Scheduling
11. Turf Management 12. Basic Landscaping
13. Plant Selection 14. Materials, Constructions & Costs
15. Sports Specifications

Fee Code: CT plus exam fees
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There is a large variety of machinery and equipment on the market which can be used to assist with horticultural maintenance. Virtually all of the basic concepts are good but for most individual types of equipment there are both good ad bad models.

Don't buy anything without first shopping around and talking to a number of people who have used different models.

Turf cutting equipment falls into a number of groups with both small and large examples of each group.

Slasher type... blades cut in a horizontal plane, these are relatively cheap and robust but tear grass; the cut if not clean and the area can look brown after cutting. This group can include the cheap 2 stroke 'Victa' push type (some of these are unsuited to commercial use), more robust self contained units and the larger tractor mounted type slashers.

Cylinder mowers ... blades mounted on a cylinder or several cylinders which rotate, gives very clean cut, suited only to quality turf, damaged if used on rough areas, more expensive than other types, normally self contained models today but older tractor drawn models are available. Very expensive to repair if the blades are damaged.

Flail type ... blades attached to central shaft which rotates giving a cylindrical cutting action; tractor mounted or self propelled, cost between other two types, flails need to be replaced every so often, gives a clean cut, will mow rough ground but blades deteriorate faster in that situation.

*Never mow wet grass with a rotary mower
*Avoid mowing wet grass with a cylinder mower
*Cut twice weekly when grass is growing fast
*Cut every 2-3 weeks if grass is growing slowly
*Cut grass up to 4cm tall when not growing fast (eg: under drought conditions or in cool weather).
*Avoid cutting grass shorter than 1 cm high
*Clean sticks, stones or other rubbish off the lawn before mowing
*Mow backwards and forwards across the lawn in parallel lines and at right angles to the lines you followed on your previous cut.
*Avoid mowing on days of extreme heat or cold (This can scorch the cut tips of grass).

ARTICLES by Staff of the Australian Correspondence Schools
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