Plant Care Courses

Course Listings

Garden Maintenance

Learn how to effectively maintain a garden while reducing the amount of time, labour and costs involved.

Proper garden maintenance will cost you both time and money. Fortunately, there are shortcuts to help you have a good-looking garden without spending a huge amount of time or money on your property.

We usually think of garden maintenance as a summer priority when lawns, weeds and plants grow vigorously but even in winter a garden may deteriorate without regular maintenance.

Plants that are fed well are healthier, resist disease and pest problems, and generally require less maintenance. If a plant is unhealthy, it may be because of a lack of good nutrition, but it can just as easily be because of something else. Healthy plants resist pest and disease problems.

Heat, cold, wind, rain, frost, shade, pollution and other environmental problems can have disastrous effects on plants. Plant varieties vary in their tolerance of these conditions, for example the heat which might kill one plant may simply slow the growth of another. Some plants are very adaptable others not.


This course will show you how to have a healthy garden year round - whether it is your garden or those of your clients!


Irrigation - Gardens

Select,  install and maintain irrigation systems for home gardens, parks or ornamental horticulture.

Learn about irrigation technique: estimating plant needs, operations, scheduling, pumps, filters, systems, drainage, and more.


Water is essential to plant growth and is often the major limitation to productivity. Irrigation is now playing a more important role in horticulture as well as home gardens than ever before.

Irrigation can enable plants or turf to be grown in a dry climate where it would not otherwise be possible.  It can supplement the existing rainfall and improve growth rates by extending the growth period of the plant, or it can ensure that there is adequate moisture during critical periods when the plant is growing most rapidly. The value of irrigation can vary greatly from year to year depending on the distribution of rainfall during the growth season.


Irrigation at appropriate times can also improve the quality of turf or the general health of garden plants.

This course that covers the design, installation, maintenance, operation and evaluation of simple irrigation systems. It is similar to Bht 204, Bht 210 or Bag213,  but focuses on irrigation for parks, home gardens, and other ornamental horticulture areas.


Irrigation Management (Horticulture)

Work towards becoming an irrigation specialist

This advanced course assumes some knowledge of irrigation equipment and installation. It is suitable for foremen, supervisors, managers and installers of irrigation systems.

The following topic areas are covered:

  • Ways to optimise water efficiency
  • Scheduling irrigation for crops & pasture
  • Drainage system design
  • Operating irrigation controllers
  • Managing system maintenance
  • Managing fertigation
  • Evaluating irrigation designs
  • Design of different systems
This course builds on skills achieved in Irrigation (BHT 304, BHT 210 or BAG213) modules to develop the student's skills to manage the design and operation of large scale irrigation systems for horticultural applications.

Plant Health (Horticulture III)


Learn about plant pests and diseases and ways to manage their impact on gardens or crops.

Government, nursery and private positions are more demanding then they ever were; employers are becoming increasingly selective choosing personnel with broad horticultural knowledge and less emphasis is placed on the 'learn on the job' approach of years gone by. Education is imperative if you expect to compete in this field and those that have the knowledge will also have the best chance of reaping the rewards.

A sick plant may have one or several causes at the same time.

There are thousands of possible causes which can contribute to a plant's problems. More often than not, there are several factors involved. Minor diseases or environmental problems may weaken the plant, making it susceptible to some more major (obvious) disorder. When you inspect a plant for problems, you should systematically consider all of the things which might possibly be going wrong. This course provides the foundation for inspecting diagnosing and treating all types of problems.

This subject develops a firm understanding of plant health, the systematic identification of health problems in plants, and the techniques for control of those problems.


Plant Health Short Course

Learn to examine a sick plant and systematically determine the type of problem that is affecting it.

Identifying pest and disease problems begins by understanding the categories and sub categories of what can cause illness in a plant. Next you need to become familiar with the signs that suggest which category or sub category you are looking at.

Plant Protection

Know how to protect your plants - a detailed course for horticulturists, technicians and also for enthusiastic gardeners.

 Understanding the life cycles of insects and weeds and learning how to identify them is important in the protect of plants from disease and insect and the spread of weed species. l

In this course you learn how to identify diseases, insects and weeds, understand their life-cycles and select and use appropriate treatments. Control techniques are covered in detail using chemical and biological solutions along with safety procedures and practices.

Protected Plant Production

Open Learning Course, self paced home study

Learn to grow crops or other plants in a greenhouse, shade house or other protected environment

This course provides a credit in ACS qualifications, accredited through IARC.

Pruning Plants

Pruning Plants Properly can have a huge impact on how they perform.

  • A well pruned plant can produce a lot more flowers or fruit
  • A properly pruned plant can live a lot longer and look healthier.
  • Study pruning and be a much more proficient pruner.

Qualification -Certificate in Horticulture (Plant Protection)

Learn to identify and care for many different plant varieties

  • to diagnose problems (pest, disease, nutrient & environmental), 
  • natural vs chemical controls,
  • integrated pest management,
  • application equipment,
  • using pesticides, and more.

This is a 700 hr certificate that provides initial training in the area of plant protection. This course is similar to other C12CN002 horticulture certificates in its introductory (core) units, but devotes 50% of the course to topics specifically related to plant protection. Accredited through International Accreditation & Recognition Council

Soil Management - Horticulture

Soil management - the basis for healthy plants and conservation for future generations.

The Soil is a living biological ecosystem that must be managed to the benefit of the crop and to the broader ecosystem of the region. The reason we investigate soil and its characteristics it to understand it in relation to plant growth, how to manage and manipulate it without causing damage, how to improve it generally or how to modify it for the growing of specific crops. Good soil conditions are critical to the healthy growth of most plants.

Nutrient levels, pH, salinity, depth, texture (properties of sand and clay), structure (form and arrangement), porosity (air space), consistence (the ability of soil to withstand rupture) and even colour can affect plant growth independently or interdependently.

Over eight lessons this course will develop an understanding of physical and chemical properties of soils, the ability to carry out simple tests and determine soil characteristics, and to decide ways of treating a soil to improve its ability to grow plants.

This course provides a credit in ACS qualifications, accredited through IARC

The course is specifically designed for ornamental gardens, landscaping, container growing, and turf situations.