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ASSOCIATE DIPLOMA IN TURF VHT011

Duration (approx) 1500 hours
Qualification Associate Diploma

Work in greens management, turf management, sales and marketing with this intensive course.

This course gives you a sound foundation for a career in the turf industry.

Work as a superintendent, greens manager, sales or marketing representative, technician etc.A useful qualification for anyone with an interest in working in turf. 

 

Courses can be started anytime from anywhere in the world!

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Learn to be a Turf Professional

Turf Management is a huge industry, with exciting career opportunities.

This is a premium course, designed to give you the very best start in the turf industry, as a technician , manager, consultant or teacher.
 
Discover opportunities in Green Keeping, Turf Management, Turf Construction and Sports Turf Management.
 
Learn turf management from our highly experienced and well qualified horticulture tutors who are there to help you every step of the way with this  Associate Diploma course in Turf.

 

Duration:  1500 hours (approximately)

 

Student's Comment

"Thanks for the videos, they are great! I got a lot of information from them. The Turf Management video is practical and easy to understand. Plant Propagation is a video every student should watch because out here in the real world no-one would give out such information. The Rose Growing Tape was very beneficial to me as I have about 60 odd roses. I thought I knew a little about them but this tape is a real eye-opener."
- Kelvin

 

Course Content

You must successfully complete assignments and pass exams in 14 modules, and also attend 100 hours of Industry meetings.

Compulsory Modules

Elective Modules

Choose three additional modules from the following options:

 

CORE MODULES: Brief Outlines


Horticulture I

There are twelve lessons in this course, as follows:

  1. Plant Identification: Naming plants; distinguishing the taxonomic divisions of plants including family, genus, species and variety or hybrid; identifying the different parts of a flower; distinguishing the morphological characteristics of leaves.
  2. Planting: Planting methods used for different types of plants including annuals, perennials, evergreen and deciduous plants; influence of environmental factors on planting techniques.
  3. Soils: Classifying soils; sampling and testing soils; chemical and physical properties of soils; soil improvement techniques; composting; potting mixes.
  4. Nutrition: Major and micro elements necessary for plant growth; nutrient deficiencies and toxicities; fertilisers.
  5. Water Management: Irrigation systems – characteristics, advantages and disadvantages; drainage systems; water-wise gardening.
  6. Pruning: Pruning techniques; importance of pruning to growth, flowering and fruiting; pruning tools.
  7. Weeds: Identifying common weeds; characteristics of weeds; control techniques; herbicides.
  8. Pests and Diseases: Identifying common insect and disease problems; control methods; Integrated Pest Management; pesticides; hygiene procedures; chemical safety.
  9. Landscaping: Stages of landscaping; design procedures; collating pre-planning information; preparing plans; selecting plants for specified sites.
  10. Propagation: Asexual and sexual propagation; taking cuttings; sowing seeds; after care of propagated plants.
  11. Lawns: Turf grass varieties; laying a new lawn; cultural techniques including watering, fertilizing, topdressing, aerating, pest and disease control.
  12. Arboriculture: Tree management techniques including pruning, removal and tree surgery; identifying tree problems.

Turf Care

There are eleven lessons as follows:

  1. Introduction - Turf Varieties
  2. Turf Grass Physiology
  3. Turf Establishment
  4. Soils
  5. Turf Weed Problems
  6. Turf Pests & Diseases
  7. Turf Maintenance Techniques
  8. Irrigation - An Overview
  9. Playing Fields & Bowling Greens
  10. Managing Established Turf
  11. Establishing Ornamental Turf

Sports Turf Management

Ten lessons are as follows:

  1. Turf Variety Selection
  2. Mowing - selection, use and maintenance of equipment.
  3. Cultivation Techniques -spiking, coring, thatch removal and other techniques.
  4. Preparing for Play on Sports grounds - rolling, marking, etc.
  5. Preparing for Play of Greens - rolling, marking, etc.
  6. Turf Protection & Preservation
  7. Irrigation & Drainage
  8. Soil Treatment & Sprays - pesticides, fertilisers, etc.
  9. Evaluate Maintenance Facilities
  10. Develop a Management Plan.

Turf Repair and Renovation

Ten lessons are as follows:

  1. Understanding Turf Deterioration - physiological and biological responses.
  2. Repair & Renovation Equipment - use and repair of applicable equipment.
  3. Turf Cultivation Techniques
  4. Health Improvement Techniques -pest control, feeding, watering, etc.
  5. Optimising Turf Usage
  6. Replacing Damaged Turf - techniques for replacement.
  7. Renovation of Degraded Turf - techniques to repair and renovated turf.
  8. Eradicating Turf Weeds
  9. Treating Aeration & Drainage Problems - compaction, etc.
  10. Managing a Turf Nursery.

Irrigation (Gardens)

There are 10 lessons as follows:

  1. Introduction to Irrigation
  2. Soil Characteristics & Problems
  3. Estimating Plant Needs & Irrigation Scheduling
  4. Drainage
  5. Types of Irrigation Systems
  6. Trickle Systems
  7. Design Specifications
  8. Pumps & Filters
  9. Selecting the Right System for a Plant
  10. Design & Operation of Systems.

Plant Protection

There are 10 lessons as follows:

  1. Introduction: scientific names, terms, diagnosing problems
  2. Control Techniques: biological and chemical techniques, alternative methods
  3. Chemicals: characteristics of chemicals
  4. Identifying Diseases: symptoms, fungi and viruses and other pathogens
  5. Disease Control: life cycle of fungi
  6. Insect Classification: biology and insect classification
  7. Insect Control: how to control pests
  8. Non Insect Pests: nematodes, snails, centipedes, etc.
  9. Chemical Weed Control: weed identification
  10. Non‑chemical Weed Control: natural control methods

Weed Control

The course is divided into 8 lessons as follows:

  1. Weed Identification: review of the system of plant identification, general characteristics of the weeds, further information, contacts, etc.
  2. Weed Control Methods: practical research on management of weeds, understanding terminology and the use of mulches
  3. Chemical Weed Control: review of commercial and domestic herbicides, determining what differentiates them, their availability and use.
  4. Weed Control In Specific Situations: understanding weed control strategies for particular situations, accessing first hand information about weed control from industry leaders and determining a weed control program for five different sites.
  5. Safe Chemical Application: reviewing what types of chemicals and application methods are used in the industry and the required safety procedures for the handling and administrating chemical herbicides.
  6. Non-Chemical Weed Control: determining any detrimental effects chemical herbicides have on the environment, reviewing non-chemical applications and their effectiveness.
  7. Dealing With Specific Weed Control Problems: looking at current industry practices for weed control and the effects on the environment, in relation to specific weed control problems.
  8. Developing A Major Weed Control Program: a practical lesson where the student can fully demonstrate their understanding of weed control by devising a weed management plan for a designated area.

Machinery and Equipment

There are eight lessons as follows:

  1. Engine Operation
  2. Hydraulics
  3. Machinery Components
  4. Hand Tools
  5. Power Tools
  6. Tractors
  7. Equipment Maintenance
  8. Specific Workplace Requirements

Horticultural Resource Management

There are ten lessons in this course as follows:

  1. Horticultural Business Structures
  2. Management Theories and Procedures
  3. Horticulture & The Law
  4. Supervision
  5. Financial Management
  6. Staff Management
  7. Improving Plant Varieties
  8. Productivity and Risk
  9. Managing Physical Resources
  10. Developing an Horticultural Business Plan

Event Management

There are 9 lessons as follows:

  1. Scope and Nature of Event Management
  2. Developing the Concept
  3. Physical an Human Resources
  4. Project Logistics
  5. Marketing an Event
  6. Financial Management
  7. Risk Management
  8. Staging the Event
  9. After the Event

Research Project I

There are 7 lessons as follows:

    1. Determining Research Needs

    2. Searching For Information

    3. Research Methods

    4. Using Statistics

    5. Conducting Statistical Research

    6. Research Reports

    7. Reporting On A Research Project.

Industry Meetings

This is satisfied by submitting documentation to confirm you have attended/participated in 100 hours of events conducted withing or for the turf industry.

These may be events such as seminars, conferences, tours, visits, workshops, trade exhibitions or anything where you are able to network with other people who are involved with turf.

Proof may be in the form of a letter from an official or colleague, copies of receipts, a written report, or anything else that can indicate you have in fact attended something.

More Information on Elective Modules
 

HORTICULTURE II (PLANT HEALTH)

There are ten lessons in this module, as follows:

1. Introduction

2. Overview of Preventative Controls

3. Insecticides

4. Other Pesticides

5. Spray Equipment

6. Insect Biology

7. Fungal Biology

8. Environmental Problems

9. Viruses

10. Nematodes, Molluscs and Crustaceans

ENGINEERING APPLICATIONS (ENGINEERING II)

There are nine lessons as follows:

1. Surveying

2. Earthworks

3. Water management

4. Environmental control

5. Chemical applications

6. Fencing

7. Mechanisation

8. Engineering efficiency

9. Developing engineering solutions

IRRIGATION MANAGEMENT (AGRICULTURAL)

There are 8 lessons as follows:

  1. Ways to Optimise Water Efficiency
  2. Scheduling Irrigation for Crops and Pastures
  3. Drainage System Design
  4. Operating Irrigation Controllers
  5. Managing System Maintenance
  6. Managing Fertigation
  7. Evaluating Irrigation Designs
  8. Design of Different Systems

SOIL MANAGEMENT - HORTICULTURE

There are 8 lessons in this course:

  1. Physical and Chemical Properties of Soils
    • How soils develop
    • The main rock forming minerals: silicates, carbonates, oxides and sulphates
    • Types of rock: igneous, sedimentary, metamorphic
    • Denitrification, immobilisation, mineralisation and ammonium fixation
    • Understanding soil function: plant nutrition, support, water and air supply
    • Naming a soil
    • Improving soils for plant culture
    • Organic matter
    • Plant nutrition
    • Nutrient availability and pH
    • Cation exchange capacity
    • Conductivity
    • Salinity build up
    • The nutrient elements
    • Major elements and minor elements
    • Total salts
    • Diagnosing nutrient problems
    • Fertilisers
    • Composting
  2. Soil and Plant Tissue Test Methods
    • Soil sampling
    • Common soil tests: pH, texture, structure, etc
    • Tissue analysis
    • Different methods od measuring pH
    • Water content of soil
    • Fertiliser solubility
    • Testing the effect of lime
    • Laboratory testing of soils
    • Measuring salinity
    • Colorimeters
    • Bulk density
    • Understanding soil analysis
    • Deciding when and how to test
  3. Soil Science and Health
    • Organic carbon
    • Available phosphorus
    • Soil colour
    • Texture and its affect on plant growth
    • Structure and its affect on plant growth
    • Consistence: affect on plant growth
    • Depth of profile, pH, porosity and other things affecting plant growth
    • Soil classification and description: different horizons
    • Factors affecting soil formation: parent material, climate, ecosystem, etc
    • Weathering processes in soil formation: physical, chemical, geochemical
    • Pedochemical weathering
  4. Container Growing
    • Introduction
    • What to grow
    • Problems with containers
    • Care of containers
    • Comparing materials: plastics, terracotta, fibreglass, etc
    • Aesthetics of containers
    • Potting up
    • Potting mixes
    • Ideas for container gardens
    • History of potting mxes
    • UC mixes
    • Soilless mixes
    • Testing for toxins in potting media
    • Propagating media
    • Problems with Organic materials in media
    • Coir
    • Rockwool
    • Components of potting media
    • Cleanliness with soils and potting media
    • Hydroponics
  5. Land Degradation and Other Soil Problems
    • Chemical damage to soil
    • Builders rubbish in soils
    • Salinity
    • Dogs or cats urinating
    • Growing plants in dry areas
    • Soil degradation
    • Erosion
    • Salinity
    • Acidification
    • Compaction
    • Chemical residues
  6. Soil Management Applications
    • Aims of soil management
    • Soil management in orchards
    • Fertilizer application
    • Soil covers
    • Soil management for Vegetables
  7. Organic Techniques and Soil Management
    • What is organic growing
    • Organic principles for overcoming soil problems
    • Natural plant nutrition
    • Trace elements
    • Earthworms
    • Types of mulch and its use
    • Nutrition managementin a plant nursery
    • Applying liquid fertilizers
    • Organic fertilizers
    • Natural fertilizers
    • Mineral rock fertilizers and soil conditioners
    • Apatite phosphate rock
    • Dolamite
    • Gypsum
    • Soil management in market gardens
    • Crop rotation
    • Determining kind and quantity of fertilizer to use
    • Cover crops
  8. Soils and Managing Earthworks
    • Eath forming
    • Machinery
    • Creating mounds
    • Sources of "fill"
    • Drainage
    • Improving drainage
    • Improving surface drainage after construction
    • Designing a drainage system
    • Improving permeability during construction
    • Layout of drains
    • Types of drains

PLANT PATHOLOGY

There are eight lessons in this course, each one taking around 12 hours to complete. There are three main sections to the course:

1. Introduction

2. Types of Diseases

3. The Life-cycle of a Disease

4. Control Techniques

5. Selected Pathogen Diseases ‑ Ornamentals

6. Selected Pathogen Diseases ‑ Crops

7. Non-Infectious Diseases

8. Special Project

LANDSCAPING I

The ten lessons are as follows:

  1. Basic Design Procedure A. - collecting pre-planning information, landscape elements, principles, etc.
  2. History of Gardening ‑ garden styles and themes, famous designers, garden influences.
  3. Draughting & Contracting - drawing techniques, specifications, details.
  4. Basic Landscape Construction - timber, steps, retainer walls, pathways, playstructures, etc.
  5. Surfacings - concrete, asphalt, gravels, mulches, grasses, gradients, etc.
  6. Furnishings & Features - chairs, statues, figurines, birdbaths, skateboards, safety, etc.
  7. Park Design A - good/bad park design characteristics, recreational landscaping.
  8. Home Garden design - good/bad garden design characteristics.
  9. Design Procedure B - development of concept plans and detailed planting plans.
  10. Park Design B - development of park design, fun & fitness trails.

LANDSCAPE CONSTRUCTION

There are ten lessons as follows:

  1. Tools and Machinery
    • Manual Handling
    • Materials used for Constructing Tools and Equipment; ferrous metals, non ferrous metals
    • Safety with Electricity
    • Engine Troubleshooting
    • Machine Maintenance
    • Types of Machines
    • Chainsaws: safety, buying, using
    • Brushcutters
    • Earthmoving and Cultivating Equipment; rotary hoes, ploughs, cultivators, etc
    • Workshop and Hand Tools; spanners, chisels, hacksaws etc
    • Hand saws, Rakes, Spades, Shovels, Rollers, Wheelbarrows, Sprasyers, etc
  2. Landscape Plans and Setting out a Construction Site
    • Reading Landscape Plans, Scale, etc
    • Understanding and Using Triangulation
    • Slope, Contouring, Grid Systems
  3. Drainage in Landscape Construction
    • Introduction to Drainage
    • Testing Drainage
    • Improving Drainage
    • Improving Soil Water Infiltration
    • Improving Drainage after construction; sand slitting, aerating, sub soiling
    • Sub Surface Drains; types, layout, outlet, gradients, pipe spacing, etc
    • Surface Drainage
    • Soil Testing; testing nutrients, pH, toxins
  4. Earthworks
    • Levelling terminology
    • Levelling Procedure
    • Levelling a Sloping Site
    • Earthmoving
    • Earthmoving Machinery; Bobcat, Backhoe, Dozer
    • Use an Experienced Driver
    • Topsoil Considerations
    • Earth Forming: creating Mounds
    • Building Raised Garden Beds
    • Earth Quantity Calculation
    • Soil Degradation
    • Erosion; water erosion, wind erosion, controlling erosion
    • Soil Acidification Management
    • Managing Soil Compaction
    • Managing Chemical Residues
  5. Surfaces, Paths, Paving and Turf
    • Introduction
    • Surfaces for Play Areas
    • Concrete; concrete, cement, mortar, variations in treatment and use
    • Loose Surfacing Materials: advantages and disadvantages
    • Bark Surfaces, Crushed tiles, pebbles, etc
    • Paths; concrete, asphalt, etc
    • Paving; laing pavers, setting out circular paving, curved paving, edges to paving
    • Lawns and Turf; shape, design, establishment
    • Garden Edges
    • Playing Field Construction
    • Sand Based Technology
    • Constructing Steps
  6. Construction of Garden Structures I
    • Buildings in a Garden; gazebos, verandahs, storage buildings, cubbies, etc
    • Where to build a building
    • Floors and Foundations for Buildings
    • Walls; brick construction, coping, expansion joints, etc
    • Fencing
    • Retaining Walls
    • Wooden Walls
    • Construction with Rock or Masonry; dry walls, wet walls
    • Home Playgrounds
    • Using Timber in the Garden
    • Differences between Softwood and Hardwood
  7. Construction of Garden Structures II
    • Compost Bins
    • Traditional Features: gazebos, statues, gates, arches, sundials, bird baths, urns, tubs, pergolas, pleached alleys, etc
    • Wooden Decks
    • Constructing a Deck
    • Greenhouse and Shadehouse; types, construction, installation
    • Water Features; Waterproofing, keeping water clean
    • Landscaping a pond
    • Tennis Courts
    • Spas
    • Rockery Construction
    • Artificial Rock Formation
    • Mulching Rockeries
    • Garden Furniture
    • Lighting in the Garden
  8. Irrigation Systems
    • Planning an Irrigation System
    • Types of Systems: sprinkler, drip, automatic, etc
    • Using and Maintaining an Irrigation System
  9. Establishing Hedges and Other Plants
    • Factors affecting successful plant establishment
    • Physical Plant Protection Methods
    • Hedges; site preparation, plant selection, spacing, planting, pruning, hedge maintenance
  10. Workplace Safety and Management of Landscape Construction Work
    • Risk Management on a Landscape Construction Site
    • The Risks
    • Keeping a Work Site Safe
    • Duty of CareSignificance of Illness
    • Protective Clothing
    • Safety with Tools and Equipment
    • Safety with electricity and different types of equipment
    • Tool Maintenance

PRACTICAL HORTICULTURE 1

There are ten lessons in this module as follows:

  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

PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE FOR CONSULTANTS

There are eight lessons in this module as follows:

1. Determining if a Consultancy
Practice is for You
- Attributes of successful
consultants
- Advantages & disadvantages
- Codes of Conduct
- Are you ready?

2. Planning a Consultancy Practice:
Part 1
- Methods of getting into
consultancy
- Business structure & name
- Working from home or an office
- Insurance
- Financing
- Equipment
- Set up costs
- Surviving start up
- Getting assistance

3. Planning a Consultancy Practice: Part 2
- A comprehensive Business Plan & Implementation / Pro-forma

4. Knowing What to Charge
- Your costs
- Available Working Time
- Different ways to charge
- Value based fees & justifying your fees

5. Setting Up Your Consulting Practice
- Letting clients find out about you/Advertising/Marketing
- Creating a press kit
- Internet
- Image
- Networking

6. Keeping Accounts and Records
- Keeping Records
- Source documents
- The invoice
- Timesheets
- Being organized

7. How to Generate Business & Keep It
- Using agents/brokers
- Using other consultants
- Asking advice from clients & potential clients
- Asking for a reference
- Tenders
- Writing articles
- Successful client relations
- Keeping clients
- What to do if a potential client says ‘no’
- Principles of acquiring business

8. Maintaining Your Consultancy Practice
- Professional development
- Hiring staff to expand your business
- Creating passive income
- Pitfalls to avoid

SUPERVISION

There are 10 lessons as follows:

1. Introduction - Functions of a supervisor, Organisational structures and heirachy, Bases for organisational structure, Organisational charts, Supervisors responsibilities, How supervisors fit into an organisation, What does a supervisor do.

2. Understanding the work place - Government and private personnel departments, unions; Law and employees, Contracted responsibilities, Discrimination, Liability for staff actions, Workplace elements.

3. Communications and human relations -Influence in the workplace (formal authority, Reward and punishment, Knowledge, Leadership, Power, etc), Familiarity, Managing Aptitude (Status, Prestige, Loyalty, Security, Friendship, Personality, Workload, etc), Good Business Writing, Memoranda, Letters.

4. Motivating employees - Internal Incentives, Environmental Incentives, Practical ways to motivate

5. Organising the work place - Good work habits, Planning a Work schedule, Establishing priorities, Improving results, Project planning and management tools, Organising the work space.

6. Problem solving techniques - Solving problems, Guidelines for making decisions, Types of problem, solvers, Different ways to solve problems, Involving others, A Classic Problem Solving Technique

7. Discipline, complaints and grievances - Levels of discipline (reprimanding, fixing, blame, formal warning, removing privileges, termination of employment, legal action), Increasing self discipline, Introducing change, Giving orders.

8. Interviewing, recruitment, training - Job interviews, Successful interviewing, Resumes/ C.V's, Training Staff, Staff Procedure Documents, Staff contracts,

9. Work place safety -Cost of injury and illness, Duty of Care, Accidents, Managing manual work safely, Protective equipment

10. Dealing with management/worker participation/ report writing/ staff meetings - Purpose of meetings, Leading a meeting, Problems with meetings, Meeting documentation

HORTICULTURAL MARKETING

There are seven lessons in this course, as follows:

1. Introduction to Horticultural Marketing

2. Horticultural Marketing Processes

3. Horticultural Marketing Methods

4. Customer Service

5. Horticultural Marketing Research

6. Developing An Advertising Program

7. Developing An Horticultural Marketing Strategy

PLAYGROUND DESIGN

The eight lessons in this course are as follows:

1. Overview of Parks and Playgrounds
2. Playground Philosophy
3. Preparing a Concept Plan
4. Materials
5. Park and Playground Structures and Materials
6. Local and Neighbourhood Parks
7. Community Participation in Park Development
8. Special Assignment

 

GOLFING ON A SMALL PROPERTY

Golf courses are huge properties; but if golf is your thing; you can still do a lot with even the smallest home garden.

If you are a turf professional, looking for a good business idea -think outside the box, and maybe specialize in turning people's home gardens into golfing centres.

Just think of the possibilities! What you can do will depend on such things as the amount of space you have available, the rise and fall of your garden, how much time you are willing to spend on maintenance, and what other things you use your garden for.  You can even provide outdoor lighting to extend the time you can practice.

IDEAS TO TRY

A Golf Practice Court – to hit those balls as hard as you want without leaving home. This can be as simple as the placement of a rubberised mat, artificial turf or similar material onto a level spot in your garden (either as a temporary or a permanent feature) as a tee off point. If it is to be a permanent fixture it can easily fixed into position with plastic or metal pegs, and edged with timber or pavers. The mat or instant turf can be porous to allow for drainage (make sure that the material on which you are laying it drains well – a sand base over screenings is good), or lay it with a slight slope to allow excess water to readily drain away. Alternatively create your tee with real turf. This will involve a lot more maintenance, but for the real golfing purists, may be preferred.

Stopping/catching your shots is most commonly done using a series of loose nets that absorb the force of the shot resulting in the golf ball running down the net to the ground where they can be easily collected. The netting material used is commonly small-meshed plastic/nylon (shade cloth has been used – but this can restrict your view due to the very small mesh size)). It is usually strung from wire or rope supports held up by wooden or metal uprights. 

To create an effective catching area, that also minimises the risk of poorly struck shots shooting out in the wrong direction you need to ensure that you create an enclosure that is only open at the tee end. The side nets and roof should reach at least as far back as your tee off position. You should allow sufficient length so that when your ball hits the nets it doesn’t get flicked back at you. It is also very important that there are no solid structures such as poles exposed in the enclosure which balls could hit and ricochet off. Make sure that you have sufficient room to allow for a full swing of your club, don’t forget also that you might have friends or relatives who are taller (with a longer swing radius) who might also use the practice court. Make sure that the mesh you use to catch the balls has a mesh size small enough that golf balls can’t be ‘forced’ through it. 

A Putting Green – This can be a great way to sharpen up your putting skills. Putting greens can be made using either real turf, or artificial turf. Using real turf will require a lot more maintenance, but this can be quite pleasurable for some, and will enable you to create putting conditions that are very similar to those you will find on a golf course, and also enable you to more readily change pin hole positions. 

A putting green, while basically level, can make use of slight undulations in your garden, or you can create these to add more interest to your putting experience. In both cases good drainage is required. Your putting green can be made on a slightly raised mound, which is topped off with at least 5cm of a  suitable soil for your turf, such as sandy loam. This is easy to level, provides good drainage, and for natural turf provides a good medium for root development.

Fine leaved grasses such as Bents, Fescues and Couch are most commonly used for bowling greens to create as even a surface as possible. Seed or instant turf (sod) of these grass types are readily available from garden supplies or specialist instant turf providers. Fine textured artificial turfs are also readily available – these can be found under “Artificial Turf’ in your Yellow Pages phone directory.

A Chip & Putt Hole – This could be established on larger sites, and include a small putting green, surrounded by an area of lawn, or rough mown grass from which you could do small chip shots. You might also include a small sand trap or two around the green, perhaps even a water feature that doubles as a fish pond. The sand traps might also have a dual purpose by providing a sand pit for your children. You will need to take great care that a chip and putt hole is located so that any stray chips, or over hit ones won’t damage your or your neighbours property. Coarse sand for sand traps is readily available from garden supply companies.

A Mini Golf Course – This is only limited by your imagination! You don’t need to have turf for this – you can make a series of holes using timber, metal, concrete or more. To get ideas simply visit an existing mini golf course and take note of the types of materials they have used, and how they have “arranged” each hole.


CARING FOR SPORTS TURF IN A HOME GARDEN

Mowing 

During active growing seasons to get best results you may need to mow up to three times a week (depending on how fast the grass grows). More constant attention will help develop a true and even surface as well as destroying many undesirable grass species unable to withstand constant mowing. Direction of mowing is another important factor and should be varied as much as possible. Mower settings should be checked each time you cut and adjusted according to the vigour of the grass. Grass cuttings should be removed as they provide organic matter which can cause crumbling and unevenness. Finally it is critical to check mowers for oil leaks as oil burn can be disastrous for any grass surface. Hand propelled cylinder mowers can be used to remove the risk of such damage and to give a fine even cut (also its a great way to get some light exercise). It will only take a few minutes using such a mower to cut your tee or bowling green if you do it regularly

Watering

Good even distribution of water over the surfaces of greens and tees is very important to encourage even growth. In hot conditions you may need to water every day or two. Ideally water in the late evening or at night.

Top Dressing

Regular top dressing with good quality sandy loam is recommended. It assists in producing and maintaining even surfaces through the repair of plug marks and divots. Both tees and greens require frequent top dressing with special emphasis being given to worn or uneven areas. 

Changing Golf Holes

If you are using an area for putting, the grass around the hole gets more wear and tear; so install several holes in different places, and change the one you use frequently. Top dressing should be done to repair damaged spots as you go.

Fertilising
How often you fertilise will depend on your soil and climate conditions. The aim is to ensure enough active growth to replace/renew damaged turf, while trying to minimise how often you need to mow. This can be a delicate balance, and will usually take a few seasons to sort out what is best for your turf. Any fertilisers that you do add should be well watered in to minimise the risk of fertiliser burn. 
 
Evenness of fertilizer application on tees and greens is most important and therefore for the best results the making up of fertilizer solutions (liquid feed) should be carried out. A basic mixture to be applied each month during active growing seasons at the rate of every 10 square metres is:

Urea 43 grams
Superphosphate 25 grams
Sulphate of Potash 24 grams

Supplementary applications of Urea during high rainfall periods may also be required. The pH of the green is also very important and low pH is more common than high pH and may require lime applications of around 2.5 kg per 10 sq metres until a suitable pH (ideally 6-6.5)is reached. Iron sulphate at a rate of 2.5 to 5.0 grams per 10 sq. metres will give a quick greening affect although care is required as excessive iron sulphate will burn the green. 

Weed Control
The most suitable policy of weed control should be one of maintaining grasses in optimum growing health. This will ensure that weeds do not become a real problem. Weeds will appear from time to time on greens and remedial measures must be adopted. Isolated weeds can be carefully hand removed as required. Larger infestations may require the application of a selective weedicide 

 

What about Other Sports?

Bowling greens, lawn tennis courts and croquet lawns; amongst others, are all equally viable possibilities for a home garden, and in many ways, the jobs outlined above are fairly similar on these, to what they are on a golfing surface..
 

In summary ...

Turf is one of the most rewarding areas of horticulture.  There are few more beautiful sights than a fine grass sward mown into perfectly parallel stripes.  The highest quality turf will always be required by sportsmen and so the highest quality horticulturalists will also always be required.

But do not forget that many different employers need senior staff to look after high quality turf - it is not just Lord's Cricket Ground or the All England Tennis & Croquet Club in Wimbledon.  Leisure centres, universities, schools, and local councils all need highly proficient and knowledgeable people to look after their green areas - just think of all those lovely bowling greens!

There are many other opportunities too.  For instance, many people find their lawns to be more of a chore than a pleasure as they get older and would rather hire help with maintenance than do it themselves.  There are many businesses that provide the valuable service of lawn care in domestic and private gardens.  Alternatively, there is a need for consultants to advise property developers and other land owners on the establishment and maintenance of grass areas.

Turf is everywhere, from cricket grounds to motorway verges.  All play an important role in people's lives, even if they don't realise it sometimes.  

Why Study This Course?

This course opens wide the opportunities available to you for a career with turf. It is a natural upgrade to our Certificate in Horticulture (Turf) VHT002 but may be taken as a stand-alone course. The course provides a solid foundation in key areas of horticulture as well as specialist knowledge in turf principles and practices. The course is ideally suited to people who are working or hoping to work in:

Green keeping

Turf Installation

Sports Facilities

Lawn Mowing

Garden Maintenance

If you have any questions relating to this or any other course, before you enrol, contact us on the link below.

 

 

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Meet some of our academics

John Mason (Horticulturist)Horticulturist, Nurseryman, Landscaper, Garden Writer, Parks Manager and Consultant. Over 45 years experience; working in Australia and the UK. He is one of the most widely published garden writers in the world; author of more than 100 books and editor for 4 different gardening magazines. John has been recognised by his peers being made a fellow of the Institute of Horticulture in the UK, as well as by the Australian Institute of Horticulture.
Diana Cole (Horticulturist)Horticulturist, Permaculturist, Landscaper, Environmentalist. Holds a Diploma in Horticulture, degree in geography, permaculture certificate and various other qualifications. Between 1985 and 94, Diana was a task leader with the British Trust for Conservation Volunteers. Since 2001 she has been chairperson of the Friends of Mellor Park (with Stockport MDC). From 2005 she has worked exclusively in horticulture as proprietor of her own garden design and consultancy business in and around Derbyshire; and at the same time as part time manager of a small garden centre. Diana has been an enthusiastic and very knowledgeable tutor with ACS since 2008.
Gavin Cole (Horticulturist)Landscaper, Horticulturist, Psychologist, Builder, Garden Writer. Studied construction and surveying at Bristol Polytec, B.Sc. at University of Northumbria (1988) and Psychology in Australia. He completed a Cert.Garden Design in 95. In the mid 1990's he worked as Landscape Manager and Garden Designer for the Chelsea Gardener in London and in 97 commenced his own business as a garden designer; operating at first in London, then in Australia. He has worked for ACS as a tutor, course counsellor and writer since 2001, alongside his own freelance work as a horticultural consultant and writer. Gavin has co authored many books and written hundreds of articles published in gardening magazines including Home Grown, Your Backyard and Garden Guide.
Bob James B.Sc.,M.Env.Mgt.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., Grad.Dip.Mgt, PDC, M.Enviro.Mgt.


Check out our eBooks

Garden Design Part 1The Garden Design ebook part 1 is an essential handbook for students and landscape professionals. A foundation guide to garden design, this book provides stunning full illustrations to demonstrate tips and examples on garden design, functional uses and aesthetics. Some topics that are covered in this ebook include 1/ Introduction to Garden Design, 2/ Appropriateness of garden design, 3/ Creating an impact, 4/ Designing to a budget, 5/ Choosing plants, 6/ Using the garden, 7/ Where the garden meets the house, 8/ Making the winter garden more comfortable, 9/ Gardens for children, 10/The secure home and garden, 11/ Lighting a garden, 12/ Dealing with shade, 13/ Garden Art, 14/ Pots and planters, 15/ Colour in the garden, 16/ Applications for colour and 17/ Garden furniture.
Getting Work in HorticultureExplore what it is like to work in horticulture; how diverse this industry is, how to get a start, and how to build a sustainable, long term and diverse career that keeps your options broad, so you can move from sector to sector as demand and fashion changes across your working life.
WeedsThis book helps you understand different types of weeds, and how to control them. Many of the more commonly occurring weeds around the world are both illustrated and described.
The Environment of PlayFull of inspiring colour images of playgrounds around the world, this book is ideal for designers, park managers, schools and parents! First published in the USA in 1982. Used in the past as a university text (in landscaping and education degrees). Completely revised in 2012. Full of inspiring colour images of playgrounds around the world, this book is ideal for designers, park managers, schools and parents! Play is the most important and effective method of learning for adults as well as children. It can be active or passive, planned or spontaneous. If you want to learn about the relationship between PLAY and the ENVIRONMENT, this is the ebook for you.