Once you are enrolled in this course, you will receive access to the first Study Period, which contains the first set of units for the course. When you have successfully completed those units, you'll be given access to the next Study Period.
Open Colleges may make changes to the course from time to time to reflect changes introduced to the relevant Training Package or other regulatory requirements. Please download the course guide for current information about the course and its status.
Note: Courses offered by Open Colleges on behalf of TAFE NSW North Coast may include Units of Competency that are graded by TAFE NSW.
You will be introduced to important knowledge and skills of a Horticulturalist, including how to recognise plants, including common weeds, and how to collect and press dry plants to create your own personal herbarium. You will also be introduced to planting trees and shrubs which is an important skill, especially when working in open spaces, such as public parks and sporting areas.
- Prepare for plant recognition
- Recognise specified plants
- Update the reference collection
||Collect, prepare and preserve plant specimens
- Collect specimen
- Press plants
- Record data
||Plant trees and shrubs
- Prepare for planting operations
- Prepare trees and shrubs for planting
- Inspect plants and report problems
- Install trees, shrubs and/or other plants
You will learn how to install and look after permanent plant displays for parks or gardens or temporary displays, such as a garden show. Many organisations, including councils and organisations that manage open spaces, will have nurseries. You will learn how to maintain nursery plants and be introduced to basic irrigation concepts.
||Install and maintain plant displays
- Assess requirements for plantscaping
- Install containerised and direct planted specimens
- Maintain plants
||Maintain nursery plants
- Prepare to work
- Monitor and maintain the nursery environment
- Determine daily water requirements
- Promote plant growth by intervention
- Complete work
Work health and safety
Work health and safety is critical. Study Period 3 provides a broad overview of WHS in the workplace and what expectations employers will have of you when it comes to contributing to WHS. For example, writing up hazard and incident reports and participating in consultative meetings. Your later modules will look at specifics of WHS related to, for example, planting trees and shrubs or controlling weeds.
||Contribute to work health and safety processes
- Apply work health and safety policies and procedures
- Assist in workplace hazard identification and risk control
- Observe safe practices during work operations
- Participate in arrangements for maintaining the health and safety of all people in the workplace
Share plant information
You will learn how to use your communication skills to assist clients and provide information to help them solve their horticulture problems. These skills are relevant to all sectors including retail nurseries, landscaping and in relation to open spaces, such as gardens, sporting facilities, and parks.
||Provide information on plants and their culture
- Identify the issue
- Decide on preferred solution
- Provide the preferred solution
You will build on the skills and knowledge learnt in Study Period 2: Installing Plants. You will gain more knowledge about plant botany and physiology. You will also gain practical skills in recognising nutritional problems, monitoring soil fertility and implementing soil improvements for garden and turf areas, including estimating application rates for fertilizers.
||Implement soil improvements for garden and turf areas
- Prepare and collect soil samples for testing
- Determine physical characteristics of sample
- Determine chemical characteristics of sample
- Prepare soils for planting or replanting
||Implement a plant nutrition program
- Prepare for implementation of the plant nutrition program
- Monitor soil pH
- Determine nutritional problems in plants
- Prepare to use fertilisers
- Prepare application equipment
- Apply specific products at appropriate rates
Plant health and biosecurity
You will practice the skills to control weeds, plant pests, diseases and disorders. You will develop your skills in recognising the most common symptoms of affected plants, as well as how to select and apply treatments. Environmental sustainability is important in this study period and you will learn a how to incorporate IPM (integrated pest management) principles into your work.
- Assess weed infestation
- Plan control measures
- Implement weed control
- Monitor control measures
||Apply environmentally sustainable work practices
- Identify current practices in relation to resource usage and sustainability
- Contribute to the review of workplace environmental sustainability practices
- Apply improvement strategies
- Record and report on work practices
||Control plant pests, diseases and disorders
- Assess pests and disease infestation
- Plan the implementation of management measures
- Implement management measures
- Monitor management methods
Working in the industry
In Study Period 7 you'll learn and practice skills specific to maintaining park and open space facilities (e.g. play areas, benches etc). You will coordinate a small project such as paving a small area. You will also learn how to conduct a site inspection, including how to verify a location, ownership, orientation and boundaries of a site. This will also include how to estimate dimensions and gradients.
||Coordinate work site activities
- Prepare for work site activities
- Organise resources
- Coordinate and report on activities
||Conduct site inspections
- Collect information
- Prepare for a site visit
- Conduct site inspection
- Document information
In Study Period 8 you will continue to develop skills in open space management, especially parks and large grassy areas. You will learn to check equipment and recreational facilities and prepare inspection reports. You will work on a small project and strengthen your knowledge of basic irrigation.
||Conduct operational inspection of park facilities
- Prepare for operational inspection
- Undertake operational inspection
- Finalise the park inspection
||Implement a grassed area maintenance program
- Prepare for grassed area maintenance work
- Maintain and repair grassed areas
- Coordinate and report on grassed area maintenance activities