PRACTICAL HORTICULTURE 1

Learn some of the more important practical skills for gardening - propagation techniques, pest and disease identification, weed identification, and plant maintenance.

Course Code: BHT238
Fee Code: S3
Duration (approx) Duration (approx) 100 hours
Qualification Statement of Attainment
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Learn Hands on Practical Skills for Horticulture


....YES...YOU CAN LEARN THESE BY DISTANCE EDUCATION!!!
 
This course was originally developed to fit curriculum from the Royal Horticultural Societies Advanced Certificate and Diploma in Horticulture.
 
We show you step by step, how to undertake a wide range of important horticultural tasks; and then help you refine your skills, confirming you are understanding and doing things correctly, by way of interaction with tutors in assignments and using resources such as the internet.

Lesson Structure

There are 10 lessons in this course:

  1. Soil Analysis
  2. Seed Propagation (including seed identification)
  3. Vegetative Propagation
  4. Potting up and After Care of young plants
  5. Planting
  6. Maintenance of Established Plants
  7. Practical Plant Identification
  8. Pest and Disease Identification
  9. Weed Identification
  10. Risk Assessment

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

  • Test soils to determine characteristics which would be valuable to management of any given soil in a horticultural situation
  • Identify sandy loam, silty loam, and clay loam soils by feel; and pH testing by soil indicator; and relate to plant selection
  • Identify and sow a range of different types of seeds, in different situations, in a way that will optimise successful propagation.
  • Propagate a range of plants using different vegetative propagation techniques
  • Pot up and provide after care for a range of propagated seedlings and cuttings.
  • Plant a range of (different types) plant material.
  • Maintain the desired growth type and habit for a range of plants.
  • Identify significant woody plants including: Trees; Shrubs; Ground cover; and Conifers
  • Identify a range of significant plant problems including pests, diseases and others.
  • Identify a range of non woody and indoor plants of horticultural significance.
  • Conduct a risk assessment of a horticultural workplace to determine safe working practices and select appropriate personal safety clothing and equipment.

 
 

EXAMPLES OF PRACTICAL WORK IN THIS COURSE



EXAMPLE 1.
Make a water percolating measuring device from an empty can to determine how quickly water moves through your soil.
1. Cut the top and bottom out of the can.
2. To measure the water absorbed, tape a plastic rule two inches (5cm) down on the INSIDE of the can.
3. Locate an area where the soil is not compacted place a board over the top of the can and pound the can several inches into the ground.
4. Fill the above ground part of the can with water.
5. After an hour, read on the plastic ruler the amount of water that the soil has absorbed. And write down your answer.
6. Determine what type of soil you think it is by using the information on ‘percolation rates’ provided earlier in this lesson.



EXAMPLE 2.

1. Testing the soil drainage:

Dig 50 cm deep holes in several different parts of the garden. Fill them water and then allow them to drain completely. Refill the holes with water and observe how long it takes the water to drain away. If the holes are still holding water after 24 hours, you have a drainage problem that needs to be addressed.

2. Using both a pH meter (if possible) and a colorimetric pH test kit, test soil samples (at least 6) collected from various locations on your own or a friend’s property. A tablespoon of soil for each sample is sufficient. Label the samples noting the location. Note the differences. Samples taken close to concrete may have higher pH than those collected underneath deciduous trees where soils can be more acidic.
The results of the test will enable you to choose the correct pl


EXAMPLE 3.

Sow Seeds in Containers

1. Fill the container with propagation media and level off to approximately 5 -10mm below the rim. Level the surface and firm the mix lightly, but not too hard over firming will reduce the air filled porosity and will result in over wetting.

2. The seeds are sown evenly over the surface of the tray. A pepper pot is useful for sowing smaller seeds – simply mix the seed with fine white sand (so you can see the seeds and where you have sown the mixture). Small plastic seed sowers are also available through various outlets these are used for smaller quantities of seeds.

*Note: avoid sowing too densely as lack of air movement encourages disease, and seedlings don’t have sufficient room to grow strongly.
*However in a nursery situation you will also be trying to maximise available propagation space so you will need to strike a balance. This will come with experience and practice.
*Vacuum sower and Hydro-seeders are most often used in larger nurseries. Pre-filled punnets are fed into a machine that automatically sows seed at a specific rate and pattern.

3. Cover the seed with fine sand or propagation mix. Only cover to a depth equivalent to the thickness of the seed. This depends on the species as some seeds need light to germinate. Make sure the container is labelled, showing the date and name of the seed. In a nursery situation you would also keep computerised or written records of when and what you have sown.

*Note if seeds are sown too deeply the plant will be weakened due to the extra energy required to get to the surface, some may not emerge at all.
If planted too shallow the roots won’t take hold into the medium and will most likely die.

4. Water the tray with a fine spray from above, or place the tray in shallow water until you can see water rising to the top of the propagation mix. Carefully lift the tray out and place it on a bench so that excess water quickly drains away.  

5. Label the trays with the species name and date and determine the appropriate location to assist germination


EXAMPLE 4

Tubing Seedlings
 
Fill in the Check List below as you undertake the work

Scientific Name of Plant:………………………………………

Type of media used……………………………………………..

Size of pots used………………………………………………..

Average length of root system………………………………..


Amount of plants tubed…………………………………………


Growing–on position 1.……………………… length of time in this position………………………                                                
                     
               Position..2……………………… length of time in this position………………………
               
                      Position 3………………………. length of time in this position………………………

Assessment……………………………………………………..

Assessor’s comments…………………………………………………………………………………………………….

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….
This activity should be supervised, assessed and signed by a qualified horticulturist (The school can help you find someone if need be)
The results should be recorded by the student on the above sheet and marked as C or NYC by the assessor.
The student should demonstrate the ability to:
1. Choose appropriate size pots
2. Choose appropriate media
1. Tube seedlings by holding correctly and without causing damage to either the root system or the vegetative parts
3. Plant to correct depth and firm around plants and give an appropriate amount of water.
4. Place in an appropriate position for growing on
The student should demonstrate knowledge of growing-on procedures by filling in the answers at the appropriate position above.
 
Ask student to fill in the growing on procedures
C = Student has performed task to a competent level
NYC= Student had as yet not demonstrated competency

Name and phone number of supervising horticulturist

Name………………………………………….

Qualification…………………………………..

Phone Number………………………………..

Signed………………………………………....Date……………………………………………………
 
___________________________________________________________________________________________



Course Contributors

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

Bob James

Horticulturalist, Agriculturalist, Environmental consultant, Businessman and Professional Writer. Over 40 years in industry, Bob has held a wide variety of senior positions in both government and private enterprise. Bob has a Dip. Animal Husb, B.App.Sc.,

Maggi Brown

Maggi is the classic UK "plantswoman". She can identify thousands of plants, and maintains her own homes and gardens in the Cotswolds (England), and near Beziers (in Southern France). Maggi is regarded as a leading organics expert across the UK, having w

Gavin Cole (Horticulturist)

Gavin started his career studying building and construction in the early 80's. Those experiences have provided a very solid foundation for his later work in landscaping. In 1988 he completed a B.Sc. and a few years later a Certificate in Garden Design. I

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