UNDERSTAND PLANT HEALTH
- Identify Problems
- Determine Appropriate Responses
There are thousands of possible causes which can contribute to a plant's problems.
More often than not, there are several factors involved. Minor diseases or environmental problems may weaken the plant, making it susceptible to some more major (obvious) disorder. When you inspect a plant for problems, you should systematically consider all of the things which might possibly be going wrong. This course provides the foundation for inspecting diagnosing and treating all types of problems.
Student Comment: "I have found the course to be interesting and challenging, with great learning materials that really make you research the industry and get involved. It has been a great way to study because it has allowed me to work in the industry and study at the same time. I have found the online resources to be fantastic, the tutors feedback constructive and the fact that assignments can be submitted online makes the process so easy." Tom Wood - Diploma in Horticultural Science course
This subject develops a firm understanding of plant health, the systematic identification of health problems in plants, and the techniques for control of those problems.
Government, nursery and private positions are more demanding than they ever were; employers are becoming increasingly selective choosing personnel with broad horticultural knowledge and less emphasis is placed on the 'learn on the job' approach of years gone by. Education is imperative if you expect to compete in this field and those that have the knowledge will also have the best chance of reaping the rewards.
A sick plant may have one or several causes at the same time.
There are ten lessons in this module, as follows:
2. Overview of Preventative Controls
4. Other Pesticides
5. Spray Equipment
6. Insect Biology
7. Fungal Biology
8. Environmental Problems
10. Nematodes, Molluscs and Crustaceans
SUMMARY OF COMPETENCIES DEVELOPED
Here is just a sample of what you will learn to do in this course:
- Identify the characteristics of pests and diseases of plants.
- Explain methods for the control of pests and diseases.
- Describe the characteristics of a range of different pesticides, including insecticides
- and fungicides.
- Explain the selection and use of spray equipment appropriate for different
- specified tasks.
- Describe aspects of the biology of an insect which are relevant to pest control.
- Describe aspects of the biology of an fungus which are relevant to disease control.
- Explain how inappropriate environmental conditions can affect plant health.
- Identify the characteristic signs of a range of non-insect pests,and select appropriate control methods.
Duration: 100 hours
WHAT THE COURSE COVERS
Here are just some of the things you will be doing:
Develop a checklist for determining the significance of pests and diseases, which addresses different criteria including:
- short term impact
- long term impact
- economic impact
- aesthetic impact.
Distinguish between the main types of plant diseases, including:
Create a standard worksheet for reviewing pest and disease problems of plants.
Diagnose different problems (ie. pests or diseases), documenting the problem on a standard pest/disease review worksheet.
Describe different ways to control pests and diseases, including:
- Application of chemicals
- Plant selection
- Companion planting
- Cultural techniques (i.e. improving ventilation, improving drainage)
- Physical control (i.e. pruning, hand removal, trapping, hosing off).
Explain how plant breeding has been used to improve pest/disease resistance in different plant species.
Explain three biological control methods for dealing with specific problems.
Develop an IPM strategy for a specific situation such as a crop or garden, considering:
application procedures, remedial action and monitoring.
Describe plant hygiene practices for a specific situation such as a crop, nursery or garden, in line with industry practice, enterprise guidelines and sound management practice.
Recommend control methods for different pest and/or disease problems diagnosed.
List safety procedures to follow when handling pesticides.
Distinguish between the main groups of pesticides, including:
- synthetic pyrethroids
- chlorinated hydrocarbons.
Explain the difference between the action of systemic and non-systemic pesticides.
Explain maintenance practices, including cleaning, for a specified sprayer.
List different uses for several types of sprayers, including a motorised pump sprayer, a knapsack and a PTO driven tractor mounted sprayer.
Compare different sprayers, in terms of:
- spare parts
- ease of use
Explain the application of chemicals in a given situation, including:
- Mixing chemicals
- Equipment operation
- Safety measures
- Post spray procedures such as cleaning, and storage of chemicals).
Describe the minimum records which should be kept when spraying pesticides.
Prepare a labelled diagram showing the structural parts of an insect.
Prepare an insect collection of different insects of significance to agriculture or horticulture.
Identify to genus level, the insects collected.
Compare the structural differences between different types of insects.
Describe the lifecycle of an insect species.
Explain how an understanding of insect lifecycle can be applied to pest control.
Describe the lifecycle of a fungal disease species.
Explain the physiology of tree decay processes, including compartmentalisation.
Explain aspects of fungal biology, for different types of fungi, which are of horticultural significance, including:
- Sclerotinia rot
- Peach leaf curl (Taphrina deformens)
- Powdery Mildew
List environmental problems which affect plant health and their symptoms.
Describe the affect of air pollution on different plants.
Identify nutritional deficiency symptoms in specified situations.
Develop a fertiliser program in response to a specified nutritional problem.
Distinguish between the affects of water deficiency and water excess on plant health.
Explain how to diagnose damage by various non-insect pest problems, including:
- Slugs and snails
- Larger animals such as rabbits, possums or birds.
Explain how to control different non-insect pests with both chemical and non-chemical methods.
What This Course Can Do For You
This course builds on knowledge gained through our Horticulture I and Horticulture II modules but may be taken as a stand-alone course. Those completing this course will have acquired a thorough knowledge of plant health to complement their understanding of general horticulture principles and practices. By understanding plant pest and disease cycles you will be better equipped to establish suitable programs of control for these problems. The course will suit people looking to work in:
- Garden maintenance
- Parks & Gardens
- Garden Tourism
- Garden Conservation
- General Horticultura
- Nursery & Propagation
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