FOUNDATION CERTIFICATE IN RESIDENTIAL GARDEN PLANNING & CARE - Level 2

Understand the essentials of plant growth, propagation and development with this comprehensive online course.

Course Code: VHT040
Fee Code: S3
Duration (approx) Duration (approx) 150 hours
Qualification Certificate
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Foundation Certificate in Residential Garden Planning and Care Level 2

This course covers 4 units:

  • The Plant Kingdom (Unit 1)
  • Plant Nutrition, The Root Environment (Unit 2)
  • Pests, Diseases and Weeds (Unit 3)
  • Sexual and Asexual Propagation (Unit 4)

Students learn strong foundation knowledge to prepare for further studies in horticulture in:

  • Plant structure and function
  • Plant identification
  • Plant reproduction
  • Physiological processes in plants including growth and development
  • Understanding soils and roots
  • Plant nutrition
  • Managing plant health issues
  • Propagation principles and practice
LESSON STRUCTURE

here are 10 lessons in this course:

  1. Classification of Plants and the Plant Naming System
    • Botanical and Horticultural Nomenclature: common names, scientific names
    • The Binomial System
    • Botanical Classification levels
    • Horticultural Groups
    • Plant Families and their distinguishing characteristics
    • Species, Hybrids, Varieties, Cultivars
    • Review of significant Dicotyledon and Monocotyledon families
    • Plant Lifecycles
    • Stages in Plant Development
    • Plant Collection Reviews
  2. The Internal Structure of Higher Plants
    • Plant Cell Structure
    • Cell Components
    • Cell Division; mitosis and meiosis
    • Types of Plant Cells; Parenchyma, Collenchyma, Sclerenchyma, Xylem, Phloem, Epidermal
    • Internal Structure of Dicotyledon Stems: Epidermis, endodermis, cortex, vascular bundles, etc
    • Structure of Monocotyledon Stems
    • External Differences between Monocotyledons and Dicotyledons
    • Anatomical features of leaves and stems in cross section
    • Plant Tissues
    • Primary and Secondary Growth
    • Terminology
    • Botanical Keys and their use
  3. The External Structure of Higher Plants, Roots, Leaves, Stems and Buds
    • Stems; the framework, functions of the stem
    • Stem modifications
    • Leaves
    • Functions of leaves
    • Respiration, transpiration and photosynthesis
    • Leaf shapes
    • Compound leaves
    • Leaf modifications
    • Buds: adventitious, apical, flower, vegetative
    • Root Structure
    • Types of Root Systems
    • Root Modifications
    • Morphological Changes due to Maturation
  4. Identification and Function of the Reproductive Parts of the Plant
    • Parts of a flower: Sepals, Petals Stamens, Carpel
    • The Inflorescence
    • Flower Structure
    • Types of Fruits
    • Fruit and Seed Terminology
    • Modification of Fruits -dry fruits, succulent fruits, composite fruits, false fruits
    • Key to Main Fruit Types
  5. Pollination and Fertilisation in Higher Plants
    • Pollination Processes
    • Self Pollination, Cross pollination
    • Pollination Mechanisms
    • Compatibility
    • Fertilisation, Embryo and Seed Formation
    • Post Fertilisation
    • F1 Hybrids
    • Genotype versus Phenotype
    • Male Sterility
    • Parthenocarpy
    • Hybrid Seed Production
    • Terminology
    • Seed and Fruit Development
    • Seed Structure
    • Seed Germination
    • Fruit Set, Growth and Development
  6. The Fundamental Physiological Processes in Plants, Plant Growth and Developmental Relationships
    • Importance of Photosynthesis
    • The Light Reactions
    • The Dark Reactions
    • Chloroplasts in Photosynthesis
    • C3, C4 and CAM Plants
    • Rate of Photosynthesis
    • Chemistry of Respiration
    • Rate of Respiration
    • Stages of Respiration
    • Aerobic versus Anaerobic Respiration
    • Transpiration and Translocation of Water
    • Osmosis
    • Diffusion
    • Mechanisms of Nutrient Uptake
    • How Water, ions and metabolites move through a plant
    • Tropisms; Phototropism, Geotropism, Thigotropism, etc
    • Chemical Growth Modification; Auxins, Gibberellins, AA, Ethylene, Cytokinin, etc
    • Effects of Chemical hormones
    • Light factors in plant growth
    • Artificial Light
  7. Soils and the Root Environment
    • Soil Profile
    • Importance of Soil
    • Soil Composition
    • Texture
    • Structure and soil types
    • Soil Horizons (A, B, C and R)
    • Naming the Soil
    • Improving Soil Structure
    • Soil Sampling
    • Improving Fertility
    • Organic Matter
    • Benefits of adding Organic Matter
    • Soil Water and it's Value to Plants
    • Water Loss from Soils
    • Improving Water Retention
    • Hygroscopic Water, Gravitational Water, Field Capacity and other terminology
    • Saturation
    • Rate of Watering
    • Plant Health and Drainage
    • Symptoms of Poor Drainage
    • Improving surface and sub surface Drainage
    • Tensiometer
    • Soil pH
    • Nutrient Availability and pH
    • Calcifuges and Calcicoles
    • Adding Lime
    • Adding Acidic Materials to Lower pH
    • Conservation Issues: Peat
    • Terminology
  8. Plant Nutrition
    • Soil Life: Earthworms, Mycorrhizae, Nitrogen Fixing
    • Nitrogen Cycle; Ammonification, Nitrification, Detritrification, Nitrogen Loss
    • Forms of Nitrogen
    • The Nitrogen Cycle
    • The Carbon Cycle
    • The Nutrient Elements
    • The Major Elements
    • The Minor Elements (Trace Elements)
    • Total Salts
    • Diagnosis of Nutrient Problems
    • Fertilisers
    • Types of Fertilisers
    • Applying Fertilisers
    • Natural Fertilisers
    • Manures, Rock Dusts, Seaweed
    • Composting Methods: sheet composting, Indore method, 14 day method, compost bins, trench composting, etc
    • Green Manures
    • Mulch and Mulching
    • Cultivation Techniques
    • Cultivation Tools and Equipment
    • Improving Water Infiltration into Soil
    • Non Dig Growing Method
    • Soil Problems
    • Soil Rehabilitation
    • Properties of Growing Media
    • Potting Media: Components and mixes
    • Choosing Growing Media
    • Air Filled Porosity
    • Hydroponics defined
  9. Plant Health Problems
    • Factors Affecting Plant Health and Growth
    • Types of Problems
    • Conducting an Inspection
    • Determining and Recommending Treatments
    • Responding to Difficult to Diagnose Problems
    • Plant Pests -major groups
    • Pest Treatments - Sanitation, Physical control methods, Resistant varieties, Biological controls, Chemical controls, Soil drenches
    • Insect Biology; structure, lifecycles, etc
    • Review of Major Pests and their Treatments
    • Review of Major Diseases and their Treatments
    • Review of Environmental Problems and their Control
    • Types of Weeds
    • Identifying Weeds
    • Weed Control Methods; suffocation, burning, cultivation, grazing, mowing, solarisation, chemicals, etc
  10. Plant Propagation Principles and Practice
    • Sexual Propagation
    • When to Sow Seed
    • Why Some Seeds Don't Germinate
    • Dormancy Factors in Seed -Hard Seed Coat, Chemical Inhibitors, Undeveloped Embryos etc
    • Difficult to Germinate Seeds
    • Treatments to Break Seed Dormancy
    • Seed Sources
    • Seed Saving; Seed Storage
    • Sowing Seed Indoors
    • Seed Sowing: Germination, Temperature Control Hygiene
    • Seed Propagating Media
    • Sowing Seed Outside
    • Handling and caring for Seedlings
    • Potting Up
    • Propagation after care
    • Propagation from Cuttings
    • Succeeding with Cuttings
    • Types of Cuttings
    • Softwood, Semi Hardwood and Hard wood Cuttings
    • Variations on Cuttings: nodal, heel, tip, etc
    • Leaf Cuttings, Leaf bud cuttings, Root Cuttings, Bulb Cuttings, etc
    • Stock Plants for Cuttings
    • Layering
    • Propagation from Specialised Stems and Roots; Offsets, Division, etc
    • Propagating Tools: Secateurs, How to Cut, Knives
    • Grafting
    • Propagating Plants in a Greenhouse
    • Cold Frames
    • Heated Propagators

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.

COURSE AIMS

  • Describe the classification of higher plants
  • Describe the internal structure of higher plants
  • Describe the structure and functions of roots, leaves, stems and buds.
  • Describe the functions of the reproductive parts of the plant
  • Describe the process of pollination and fertilisation in higher plants.
  • Describe the processes photosynthesis, respiration, the movement of water in plants and plant growth and development.
  • Develop an understanding of the constituents, properties and management of soils and growing media.
  • Describe the nutrient elements and plant nutrition in relation to soil and growing media.
  • Describe the uses of organic matter and the importance of living organisms in the soil
  • Develop an understanding of pest, diseases and weeds that affect horticultural plants, and the cultural, biological, chemical and integrated systems used to control those problems.
  • Develop an understanding of the principles and main practices of plant propagation in horticulture.
 



Course Contributors

The following academics were involved in the development and/or updating of this course.

Bob James (Horticulturist)

Bob has over 50 years of experience in horticulture across both production sectors (Crops and nursery) and amenity sectors of the industry.
He holds a Diploma in Agriculture and Degree in Horticulture from the University of Queensland; as well as a Maste

Adriana Fraser (Horticulturist)

Adriana has worked in horticulture since the 1980's. She has lived what she preaches - developing large gardens and growing her own fruit, vegetables and herbs and making her own preserves.
In 1992 she formalised her training by graduating with a certif

John Mason (Horticulturist)

Parks Manager, Nurseryman, Landscape Designer, Garden Writer and Consultant.
Over 40 years experience; working in Victoria, Queensland and the UK.
He is one of the most widely published garden writers in the world; author of more than 70 books and edito

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