Practical Horticulture 2

Course CodeBHT323
Fee CodeS3
Duration (approx)100 hours
QualificationStatement of Attainment
Improve your career opportunities and develop your business aspirations! 
 
Explore how horticultural knowledge can be applied in a practical way to solve problems in gardens, nurseries and on farms.
 
This course covers subject areas such as: horticultural calculations, propagation management, hard and soft landscape management, planning - identifying needs for management of horticultural sites, identifying plant tissue and much more.This course will help you to stay ahead of the competition and fulfil your managerial or business goals.
 
This course covers different things to Practical skills I. You can take this course by itself, though for most students it will be taken after Practical Horticulture I.

Lesson Structure

There are 11 lessons in this course:

  1. Materials and Equipment
  2. Horticultural Calculations
  3. Practical Risk Management
  4. Machinery and Equipment Assessment and Maintenance
  5. Propagation Management
  6. Hard Landscape Maintenance
  7. Soft Landscape Maintenance
  8. Practical Plant Identification Techniques
  9. Pest, Disease and Weed Control
  10. Identifying plant tissues
  11. Planning -identifying needs for management of horticultural sites.

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.

Aims

  • Identify a range of horticultural materials and equipment and sundries
  • Specify assessments necessary to perform horticultural operations, and carry out calculations for these assessments
  • Assess horticultural situations for risks and hazards, and demonstrate methods and procedures to minimise risk
  • Assess the state of repair of a powered implement and carry out routine maintenance or calibration.
  • Organise the propagation of a range of plants
  • Carry out routine maintenance on a variety of hard landscape features.
  • Demonstrate and determine the routine maintenance and future management for production and amenity situations of a variety of soft landscape features.
  • Identify a range of seeds and plants
  • Identify a range of weeds, plant pests, diseases and disorders, and state methods of their prevention and control.
  • Identify plant tissues and state their functions
  • Carry out a planning exercise to determine future management of a given area of plants, and all hard or soft landscape features

How Do You Control Weeds?
First you need to know they are a weed and understand the significance of the problem they present. 
As adult plants, weeds are much easier to distinguish from one another. The plants become different in size and shape, the leaf colours vary, and the flowers which appear also vary.
However, young weed plants are all the same size, frequently have similarly coloured foliage, and don't have any flowers to help you distinguish them from one another. When weed seedlings appear in a young crop (e.g. vegetables) it can be difficult to tell the crop from the weeds.
 
Types of Weed Problems
 Weed problems occur in many different situations and the appropriate treatment will be different in each situation.
 
FENCE LINES AND BORDERS
These are weeds growing alongside a fence or house wall, on the edge of a path, garden bed, or at the base of some other structure (e.g. seat, gazebo, or statue).
 
Weed control here is simple by applying residual weedkillers. These chemicals kill the weeds and deter new weed growth for months. 
 
Weeds in these areas may also be cut regularly with shears or a brush cutters, but this may need doing regularly attention weekly to maintain appearances. Alternatively the area beside a wall or around a garden feature can be surfaced with mulch, gravel, or even paving to deter weed growth.
 
WEEDS AT THE BASE OF TREES
Weed growth often develops too close to the trunks of trees in lawns or home orchards to be reached by normal mowing. A brush cutter can be used in such situations, or if you want to minimise the workload it may be preferable to use an organic mulch such as wood chips or bark placed around the tree trunk. You can then spray a few times each year if necessary with a contact weedkiller when weed growth appears.
 
WEEDS IN GARDEN BEDS
The best way to control weeds in garden beds is to kill all weeds before you first plant the bed, and then avoid bringing any new weeds into the garden. Only use clean weed-free soil from reputable garden product companies, even if it costs more. Never bring plants into the garden with weeds growing in the pots. Even if you pull the weed out, some root or seed may remain and grow into a new weed. 
 
Flower or vegetable gardens which need periodical replanting will inevitably still grow some weeds. Some hand weeding will always be necessary in these situations, particularly when seedlings are young and small. Shrubberies can be mulched to minimise the need for hand weeding.
 
Sometimes persistent weeds can take over areas though, and no amount of hand weeding is likely to remove the problem. It is sometimes better to face facts and sacrifice an area of garden. In such areas, first remove everything you can by digging over with a fork. Then, spray any regrowth around 2-4 weeks later with a contact weedkiller. Finally, cover the area with a clear plastic sheet for up to 1 week to "cook" any remaining weed tissue or seed. After removing the sheet, the area can then be redeveloped.
 
WEEDS IN HARD SURFACED AREAS
Weeds often grow between pavers, in gravel driveways, or even in cracks in concrete. Spot sprays or milder chemicals will kill most weeds in these areas, but may not stop new weeds springing up a few weeks later. Hand weeding often does not work, because it is difficult to remove all of the roots, and if you pull the top off a weed, the roots will probably just regrow.
 
Residual chemicals are often more useful because they remain in the ground for several months killing not only existing weeds, but new ones as they germinate.
 
PLANTS THAT GO TO SEED
Many of these plants set prolific amounts of seed during the growing season which mature and fall to the ground (e.g. pyrethrum, forget-me-not, lemon balm). These seeds may well germinate during the growing season, or they may germinate in the spring. At whatever time the seeds do germinate, there will be a great deal of them and you can be faced with a mass of new and unwanted seedlings. These weeds must be eradicated before they drop any seed - so act immediately, as soon as you see a flower!
 
VIGOROUS, INVASIVE CREEPERS
These types of plants take root easily (e.g. periwinkle, ivy), and readily spread across shrub borders with their long, branching shoots. They tend to wind themselves around the other plants and push roots into the ground as they come into contact with it. This means that the plant is able to spread very rapidly. Once these roots have become established, it can become difficult to control the growth of the plants. One spray of a chemical is rarely enough for such weeds. The only sure way is often to dig the plants out then spray the regrowth several times before replanting.
 
SUCKERS
These are plants which spread by suckers or underground roots (e.g. raspberry, willow, bamboo, couch grass, kikuyu). One of the main features with this type of plant is that you do not know about the problem until it appears. As the plant is spreading underground, the roots can travel some distance before they surface. Just cutting the growth off where it appears will not solve the problem, as the roots may will reshoot from the buried root. The only sure method of control is to dig the root or sucker up along its total length, cover with a heavy mulch and spray any regrowth repeatedly.
 
UNDERGROUND RHIZOMES,TUBERS, BULBILS AND CORMS
Many weeds reproduce not only by seed but also underground by stolons, suckers, bulbs, corms or by small pieces of stem or root (e.g. soursob, onion grass). You cannot merely pull these weeds out as the underground bulbils or a root section is invariably left in the ground to reproduce. A combination of hand and chemical control may be necessary.
 

HOW THIS COURSE WILL HELP YOU:

Take the next step in your career: develop practical skills in the management of a variety of horticultural situations required of the horticultural manager or the management of your own business that you would normally learn working under the supervision of a horticultural expert. A step on from Practical Horticulture 1 but a course that can be taken in its own right by those with fundamental horticultural knowledge.

 

 

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