CERTIFICATE IN HORTICULTURE (LANDSCAPING & GARDEN DESIGN) VHT002

Course CodeVHT002
Fee CodeCT
Duration (approx)700 hours
QualificationCertificate

COURSE CONTENT

This certificate entails the following:

  • Core studies - half of the course, involving approximately 350hrs over 15 lessons.
  • Elective studies - half of the course, involving stream studies specific to landscaping.

Core units

1. Introduction to Plants

Nomenclature and taxonomy, the plant kingdom, genus, species, hybrids.

2. Parts of the Plant

How plants grow, plant structure, parts of the flower and leaf, modification of stems and roots.

3. Plant Culture - Planting

How to plant and protect newly planted specimens, terms like: annuals, biennials, perennials, deciduous, evergreen and herbaceous plants.

4. Plant Culture - Pruning

Purpose for pruning, rules for pruning, how to prune.

5. Plant Culture - Irrigation and Machinery

Different irrigation systems, components of an irrigation system, designing an irrigation system, maintenance in the garden and for tools.

6. Soils & Media

Soil classifications, testing soil, potting mixes, the U.C. System, ingredients of potting mixes.

7. Soils & Nutrition

Fertilizers - deficiencies and toxicities, N:P:K ratios, salting, fertilizer programming, compost.

8. Propagation - Seeds & Cuttings

How to propagate plants with the two easiest techniques, propagating mixes, cold frame construction, after care for young plants.

9. Propagation - Other Techniques

Other methods to increase plant numbers - budding, grafting, layering, division and tissue culture.

10. Identification and Use of Plants

How are plants used in the landscape, how to choose and purchase plants, selecting plants suitable for the climate and site.

11. Identification and Use of Plants

Problems with plants and choosing plants for problem sites.

12. Identification and Use of Plants

Indoor and Tropical Plants, flowers, herbs, bulbs, ferns.

13. Pests

Identifying and controlling pests, chemical and natural methods for control, chemical safety precautions.

14. Diseases

Identifying and controlling diseases, plant pathology, fungi, viruses, non pathogenic problems, interactions with the host and the environment.

15. Weeds

Identifying and controlling weeds, chemical terminology.

Stream Studies:

The aim of the stream studies is to develop skills and knowledge in landscape design, construction, features and landscape business management.

You will engage in the following activities as part of the stream studies:

  • Review the historical evolution of gardens.
  • Obtain pre-planning information and use of that information to draw plans.
  • Identify different principles and styles of landscape designs.
  • Analyze garden designs.
  • Develop graphic skills, and a knowledge of drawing materials and techniques.
  • Prepare cost estimates for a landscape job.
  • Describe surfacing materials and their effects.
  • Explain the quality and cost of different landscape materials.
  • Develop a knowledge of plants, both native and exotic, suitable for local conditions.
  • Select plants for difficult sites and conditions.
  • Describe advantages and disadvantages of various pipes, sprinklers and pumping equipment.
  • Recommend irrigation systems for different landscape situations.
  • Design a simple irrigation system.
  • Design a bush garden and the value and relevance of using native plants.
  • Analyze and report on a cottage garden design.
  • Analyze and report on a playground design.
  • Prepare a playground design for a school or public park.
  • Draw layout plans for a range of gardens.
  • Conduct a detailed survey of a site, prepare a detailed plan based on that survey, estimate costs and develop contract documentation for that project.
  • Explain earthworks and soil preparation techniques used in landscaping.
  • Describe alternative techniques for establishing and growing plants.
  • Explain a range of landscape construction techniques including building fences, walls, rockeries, paths, water gardens, paving and drainage.
  • Compare different landscape materials with respect to their quality, cost, availability and application in garden construction.
  • Describe the correct procedures for the proper and safe removal of a limb from a tree, and for the felling of trees.
  • Develop a detailed maintenance program for a garden.
  • Demonstrate the ability to prepare for, and plant a new lawn.
  • Explain how to establish turf on a steep slope.
  • Write and advertisement for a landscaping business.
  • Explain basic management procedures.
  • Show a reasonable level of communication skill.
  • Explain health and safety requirements on a landscape site.

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WILL THIS COURSE GET YOU A JOB?

There are many points that need to be considered when you are looking for work and having a qualification is just one of them:
Are you studying the right course?
A good course will help you to not only gain knowledge in the field of study it will also help you to experience actual situations that you may encounter in the work place. This is called ‘Experiential Learning’ many courses concentrate on ‘Competency Based Learning’ – just ticking you off against a known list of tasks. Experiential or Problem Based Learning will help you to develop those problem solving skills that are much sought after in employees by commerce and industry.
 
Are your studies broad enough?
In horticulture for example to narrow your focus on one industry sector also narrows your opportunities. A Certificate in Horticulture (core units) will give you those under-pinning horticulture skills that are needed in any inter-industry sector whether you are designing gardens, working in a nursery, working as a gardener etc. You can then use these basic skills to specialise for e.g. Landscaping and Garden Design. Should you want to change sectors later you can still do so because of those basic horticultural skills you acquired by undertaking those fundamental core units.
 
Are you lifting your profile? No matter what job we are in or hope to get into, networking is the best way to get your name out there and be noticed. Join online social media groups such as linked-in to establish a profile. Make sure you keep it up to date and list your educational and work experience, you would be surprised how many job offers come through these types of networks. Network with industry – attend seminars, industry exhibitions, garden shows etc. and make yourself known; someone may remember you later.
 
Are your communication skills good? We all remember a good communicator. Communication is not just about being able to hold a conversation with someone though, it also includes writing and technology skills. Today it is essential for everyone to have basic computer skills, good telephone techniques, a respectful way of speaking with others and knowing what is acceptable and non-acceptable behaviour in the workplace.
 
Are you well-presented?
A tidily presented person will stand out and be more likely to get ahead in their jobs than one that turns up at work in yesterday’s dirty clothes. If you are running your own business good presentation also evokes a feeling of confidence both from you to the customer and from the customer to you.
 
Have you chosen the right school?
Not all education providers are equal – some will push you through your course just to get you to the end. Others require you to study within set time frames and others give you little support. Many are more about getting that government funding than they are about educating their students. At ACS we:
  • Are independent – we do not really nor apply for government funding – so we are less caught up in bureaucracy and more into educating our students.   
  • Allow our students to take their time.
  • Support our students through their studies – we encourage them to contact us and help us to help them as soon as the smallest problems arise.
  • Want you to succeed!
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