Advanced Certificate in Turf Care

Course CodeVHT087
Fee CodeAC
Duration (approx)900 hours
QualificationAdvanced Certificate

Learn to Develop and Manage Quality Turf

This course provides a very sound foundation for a career in the turf industry. Increase your knowledge and skills in turf management, turf repair, horticulture, irrigation, weed management, plant protection and much more.

Learn from experienced horticulturalists. Grow your awareness of industry and opportunities; and develop your networking skills.


Core ModulesThese modules provide foundation knowledge for the Advanced Certificate in Turf Care.
 Machinery and Equipment BSC105
 Turf Care BHT104
 Irrigation - Gardens BHT210
 Sports Turf Management BHT202
 Weed Control BHT209
 Turf Grasses BHT342
 Turf Repair And Renovation BHT303
Stream ModulesStudied after the core modules, stream modules cover more specific or niche subjects.
 Industry Project I BIP000
Elective ModulesIn addition to the core modules, students study any 1 of the following 9 modules.
 Horticultural Research A BHT118
 Landscape Construction BHT111
 Landscaping I BHT109
 Soil Management - Horticulture BHT105
 Amenity Horticulture I BHT234
 Engineering Applications BSC205
 Horticultural Management BHT203
 Irrigation Management (Horticulture) BHT305
 Soil and Water Chemistry BSC307

Note that each module in the Advanced Certificate in Turf Care is a short course in its own right, and may be studied separately.


To most people, caring for a lawn appears a fairly straight forward thing. You mow it when it gets long, and water it when it is dry, and beyond that, there isn't that much more to do.

In reality though, turf is made up of many living plants, growing in a soil that is inhabited by other living thins. Soil bacteria may be important, helping the grasses to process nutrients, but soil can also contain pests and diseases. A home lawn that gets very little use may retain an even surface, provided it has been constructed properly in the first instance. A sporting field though can be subjected to lots of wear and tear from people running over it and tractors driving across it.

To create and maintain a permenant, quality turf, requires constant attention. When the surface becomes uneven, it must be made more even. When it becomes soft, it must be made harder, and when it becomes too hard, it might need to be made softer. If patches become dead or diseased, they must be resurrected.\

This course teaches you about a wide range of tequniques, tools and equipment, that can be used to create and maintain the type of turf surface that is required, wherever and whenever the situation calls for action 

Rolling a Turf

Turf rolling is an example of a technique often called for with a quality sports turf.
Turf is rolled in order to achieve a more even surface by leveling out bumps and depressions. This is important in many sports, especially where a ball will be rolling on the surface, such as for golf, croquet or lawn bowls. In some instances, rolling is also used to create a "harder" surface. For cricket or tennis, a ball will bounce better on a harder, rolled surface.

Rolling does however create conditions which generally, are less than favourable for the health and growth of turf plant species. Rolling compacts the soil, reduces aeration, and impairs free drainage. Repeated rolling over an extended period can lead to eventual demise of grass or other turf plants.

The advantages and disadvantages of rolling must be balanced by the turf grass manager.

As a turf becomes more compacted, it needs to be aerated, improving drainage and air flow, and allowing turf plants to recuperate. As the turf health begins to improve, however, it may be rolled again, repeating the cycle.

Variables in Management of Rolling

The turf manager can maintain a turf by doing the following:

Moving Used Surfaces
Create a turf cricket wicket large enough to relocate the pitch during the season.

Redirecting Traffic
Put up temporary fences, move a hole or tee in golf

Renovating Between Periods of Use
If a surface is to be played on weekly, it may be aerated immediately after play, and left unrolled until as late as possible.
At the end of a season, a sports ground may be renovated and rested without rolling or play; prior to the next sport season.

Minimising Unnecessary Compaction
Limit the use of heavy machinery. Do not put heavy machinery over the turf when it is being rested and renovated.

Boosting Plant Health
Through watering, feeding, and so on.

Selecting Hardier Grass Varieties
Some species are more tolerant to rolling.



Hand rollers

These are rollers which you push or pull manually (no mechanisation).
Traditionally the cylindrical roller has been made from concrete or metal, or a combination of these materials. 
In more recent times, plastics have been used to make manual rollers. These are often hollow cylinders which can be filled with water to whatever degree you require. Such equipment is potentially very flexible in its use:

  • The water can be emptied out when not in use, allowing the roller to be transported with ease.
  • The amount of water filled can be varied to increase or decrease the degree of force which is placed on the turf. As such, the weight of the roller can be tailored according to varying conditions, such as how wet the turf is, the soil type being rolled, or the type of sport being played.

Despite all of these advantages, it can be exhausting work for a greenkeeper to do too much rolling manually. The major application for manual rollers is in preparing small areas of turf.

They may be used as a supplement to mechanised rollers, perhaps on a bowling green or lawn tennis court, or they may be appropriate in a home situation (e.g. a lawn tennis court, putting green or croquet area), where the cost of a fully mechanised commercial roller cannot be justified.

Mechanised Walk-Behind Rollers

These are self-propelled, and more expensive than manual rollers, but a heavy roller can be managed with greater ease by one person.

Tractor Drawn Rollers

These are generally large and very heavy, frequently used on large areas such as playing fields (eg. football, cricket or soccer grounds).
They are not mechanised themselves but are attached to a tractor and pulled over the ground surface.

Vibrating Rollers

These are generally very heavy and vibrate as they move, hence creating a greater degree of compaction than most other types of rollers.  They are more commonly used for compacting surfaces for roads or paths, than on a turf. Vibrating rollers may also be used in dam construction, to compact and seal a surface so it will better hold water.

Sponge Rollers

These soak up water as they move over the turf. Rather than compacting the surface they are something altogether different.

What do Turf Experts do?

Graduates may work in enterprises such as:

  • Golf Courses, Bowling Clubs, Horse Racing Tracks
  • Sporting Complexes and Playing Fields: Football Grounds, Cricket Grounds, Athletics, etc
  • Schools, Colleges, Universities
  • Turf Suppliers: seed companies, machinery suppliers, instant turf or sod suppliers
  • Small Businesses - mowing contractors, pest control contractors, turf renovators, landscapers, nurseries
  • Government Parks Departments
  • Turf Research
  • Turf Education and Media ... and more 

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