Become a Turf Professional
This course is aimed at those who would like to work at golf courses, bowling greens, council facilities, sports grounds, or other locations where turf grasses need to be maintained.
- It's a 600-hour course specifically designed to meet the needs of turf workers.
- Delivery by distance learning means you can study in your own home, at your own pace.
- Highly qualified and knowledgeable tutors will guide you along the way.
The course involves six modules split into two parts, structured as follows:
- Horticulture I
- Turf Care
- Machinery and Equipment
- Sports Turf Management
- Turf Repair and Renovation
- Irrigation (Gardens)
1. Horticulture I
There are 13 lessons in this course, as follows:
- 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.
- Planting: Planting methods used for different types of plants including annuals, perennials, evergreen and deciduous plants; influence of environmental factors on planting techniques.
- Recognising Plant Families and Identifying Plants.
- Soils: Classifying soils; sampling and testing soils; chemical and physical properties of soils; soil improvement techniques; composting; potting mixes.
- Nutrition: Major and micro elements necessary for plant growth; nutrient deficiencies and toxicities; fertilisers.
- Water Management: Irrigation systems – characteristics, advantages and disadvantages; drainage systems; water-wise gardening.
- Pruning: Pruning techniques; importance of pruning to growth, flowering and fruiting; pruning tools.
- Weeds: Identifying common weeds; characteristics of weeds; control techniques; herbicides.
- Pests and Diseases: Identifying common insect and disease problems; control methods; Integrated Pest Management; pesticides; hygiene procedures; chemical safety.
- Landscaping: Stages of landscaping; design procedures; collating pre-planning information; preparing plans; selecting plants for specified sites.
- Propagation: Asexual and sexual propagation; taking cuttings; sowing seeds; aftercare of propagated plants.
- Lawns: Turf grass varieties; laying a new lawn; cultural techniques including watering, fertilising, topdressing, aerating, pest and disease control.
- Arboriculture: Tree management techniques including pruning, removal and tree surgery; identifying tree problems.
2. Turf Care
There are eleven lessons as follows:
- Introduction - Turf Varieties
- Turf Grass Physiology
- Turf Establishment
- Turf Weed Problems
- Turf Pests & Diseases
- Turf Maintenance Techniques
- Irrigation - An Overview
- Playing Fields & Bowling Greens
- Managing Established Turf
- Establishing Ornamental Turf
3. Machinery and Equipment
There are eight lessons as follows:
- Engine Operation
- Machinery Components
- Hand Tools
- Power Tools
- Equipment Maintenance
- Specific Workplace Requirements
4. Sports Turf Management
Ten lessons are as follows:
- Turf Variety Selection
- Mowing - selection, use and maintenance of equipment.
- Cultivation Techniques -spiking, coring, thatch removal and other techniques.
- Preparing for Play on Sports grounds - rolling, marking, etc.
- Preparing for Play of Greens - rolling, marking, etc.
- Turf Protection & Preservation
- Irrigation & Drainage
- Soil Treatment & Sprays - pesticides, fertilisers, etc.
- Evaluate Maintenance Facilities
- Develop a Management Plan
5. Turf Repair and Renovation
Ten lessons are as follows:
- Understanding Turf Deterioration - physiological and biological responses.
- Repair & Renovation Equipment - use and repair of applicable equipment.
- Turf Cultivation Techniques
- Health Improvement Techniques -pest control, feeding, watering, etc.
- Optimising Turf Usage
- Replacing Damaged Turf - techniques for replacement.
- Renovation of Degraded Turf - techniques to repair and renovated turf.
- Eradicating Turf Weeds
- Treating Aeration & Drainage Problems - compaction, etc.
- Managing a Turf Nursery.
6. Irrigation (Gardens)
There are 10 lessons as follows:
- Introduction to Irrigation
- Soil Characteristics & Problems
- Estimating Plant Needs & Irrigation Scheduling
- Types of Irrigation Systems
- Trickle Systems
- Design Specifications
- Pumps & Filters
- Selecting the Right System for a Plant
- Design & Operation of Systems.
WORKING IN THE TURF INDUSTRY
A perfect lawn really looks great; but it does take a lot of work to both establish and maintain such a lawn – more work than most people realise. If you think about it, a bowling club employs a greenkeeper full time to maintain an area of lawn not much bigger than the lawn in many home gardens. If you want a better lawn you need to do two things:
- To be doing the right jobs – either learn how to do it from an expert, or hire an expert to do it for you.
- To be putting the required time into doing the work.
Winter Lawn Care
To keep the lawn in good condition over winter:
- raise the mower height to help maintain its vigour
- keep winter weeds under control, especially Winter Grass, mosses and sedges
- improve drainage – no lawn grasses thrive in heavy wet soil
- improve soil aeration – spike the lawn with a garden fork to aerate the root zone
- spread lime over the lawn if the pH is acid (below pH7). Fertilisers used over a long period can make the soil too acid
- control winter diseases – brown patch and dollar spot – using lawn fungicides and improving drainage
- use a lawn mix that includes ‘cool season grasses’ – bent, rye and fescues. These stay green throughout winter in cool climates.
If you want to improve your lawn, ask yourself:
- am I mowing it at the best height, with the best machinery?
- am I keeping the soil in good condition … fertile, well drained, not too compacted etc?
- am I keeping it watered in dry weather?
- do I have the best varieties of grass?
- are lawn weeds being kept under control?
- are pest and disease problems always controlled?
- is it protected from over-use and is any damaged turf repaired or replaced?
WHAT A LAWN EXPERT SHOULD KNOW
To maintain a top quality lawn, you (or the lawn expert you employ) should be familiar with all of the following aspects of lawn establishment and maintenance:
- soil preparation
- choosing appropriate grass varieties (eg. grasses for high quality lawns, high-use lawns, lawns in shade, low maintenance lawns)
- sowing techniques
- laying turf lawns
- mowing techniques (including mowing heights and use of appropriate machinery)
- edge trimming
- weed prevention and cure
- winter care
- pest and disease control
Why You Should Study This Course
Designed by professionals for professionals, this course is perfect for those who want to gain a qualification to show for their experience in the field, or those who want to learn more about turf care and restoration. The inclusion of horticulture and irrigation modules gives students a broader understanding of plants and watering which is required by anyone in any horticulture specialty. The course will be of most value to those looking for a career in the following areas:
Turf care & repair
Parks & gardens
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