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Duration (approx) 100 hours
Qualification Statement of Attainment

Learn to identify and control weeds.

  • Understand weed control.
  • Develop your knowledge of weed control methods.
  • Taught by horticulture experts.
  • Study in your own time at your own pace.


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This course assumes a basic knowledge of weeds, and from there develops your ability to diagnose and treat problems associated with weeds in gardens, amenity  landscapes, on farms and in natural areas.

There are many different ways of controlling weeds, and literally thousands of different weed species which might need controlling. It is always important to use the appropriate treatment for the weed(s) in question. Young weeds are far easier to control than older ones. Some chemicals, for instance will effectively kill certain weeds when they are in the early stages of growth, but will not control other types of weeds. You may need to be able to distinguish between types of weeds to determine whether the chemical will or won't work.

Over seven lessons you learn about both chemical and non-chemical control methods (mulching, burning, mowing), the use of spray equipment and safety procedures which should be followed.

Duration:   100 hours


The course is divided into seven lessons as follows:

1.  Weed Identification

  • Review of the system of plant identification
  • Common groups of weeds
  • General characteristics of the weeds
  • Resource guide

2.  Weed Control Methods

  • Different ways to control weeds
  • Types of weed problems
  • List of plants to avoid
  • Profile of some common weeds
  • Mulching
  • Soil treatments to control plant problems
  • Physiological effects of weedicides on plants
  • Pesticides terminology

3.  Chemical Weed Control

  • Review of commercial groups of herbicides and their use
  • Weedicides for home gardens

4.  Weed Control In Specific Situations

  • Methods of controlling weeds on turf
  • Types of weedicides used
  • The law in relation to chemical use
  • Commonly used commercial formulations
  • Weed control in plant nurseries

5.  Safe Chemical Application

  • Safety rules for using chemicals
  • Safely storing and mixing of chemicals
  • Correct usage of chemicals
  • Cleaning up and disposing chemicals
  • Basic first aid in relation to chemicals
  • Keeping records of chemical usage
  • Selection of pump and tanks
  • Sprayer maintenance and cleaning
  • Effects of chemicals on humans and animals

6.  Non-Chemical Weed Control

  • Effects of chemical herbicides on the environment
  • Biocontrol of pests and diseases
  • Advantage and disadvantage of biocontrol

7.  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.



  • To distinguish between different types of weeds, and identify common weed species, growing in your locality.
  • To understand the characteristics of different weed control methods.
  • To be able to explain the use of chemical herbicides to control weeds.
  • To be able to specify appropriate weed control methods, for different types of situations.
  • To determine appropriate techniques for the safe application of chemical herbicide in a specific situation.
  • To be able to explain different non-chemical weed control methods.
  • To be able to devise appropriate methods for control of weeds, for specific problems, in both the horticultural and agricultural industries.
  • To be able to determine a detailed weed control program for a significant weed problem.



  • Observe and consider over 100 different varieties of weeds and prepare plant review sheets for different weed plants.
  • Make up a list of information resources.
  • Plant, grow and observe different varieties of weeds.
  • Make drawings of young seedlings of at least fifteen different weeds.
  • Speak/interview people who have to deal with weed control in their daily life.
  • Visit a nursery, garden shop or hardware store that sells herbicides to the public.
  • Visit at least one supplier of herbicides for industrial and agricultural use.
  • Contact larger chemical companies for leaflets on different herbicides.
  • Investigate at least two workplaces where weed control programs are regularly carried out.
  • Visit and inspect different sites where weeds are a problem.
  • Photograph different places that have been treated with weedicides.
  • Contact your local Department of Agriculture or Lands Department for researching purposes.
  • Visit several farmers who raise different types of livestock.
  • Develop a 12 month guideline for an integrated weed control program for a particular site


A weed is any plant that is growing where you don't want it. A weed will compete with your desired plants for light, space, water and nutrients. A plant could also be a weed because of a particular characteristic; it could be poisonous to stock or humans, it may act as a host plant for pests and diseases (of both other plants and/or animals), it may have damaging roots, or it could cause allergies. Any plant has the potential to be a weed.

There are many different ways of controlling weeds, and literally thousands of different weed species which might need controlling. It is always important to use the appropriate treatment for the weed(s) in question. Young weeds are far easier to control than older ones.

Steps in Controlling Weeds

  • Know what weed or weeds you are dealing with.
  • Know how those varieties grow, and what conditions they do and don't tolerate.
  • Create conditions which weeds don't like.

You need to consider whether you want to kill or just control the weeds. When you know these answers you can consider which method is best for your situation.

This course will show you a range of ways of controlling weeds -some natural, some not.

Reasons to Study This Course

This course covers all aspects of weed control from slashing to burning, and chemicals to organic methods. It helps students with identification regardless of which country you live in, and assists you in devising programs of weed control on different sites throughout the year.  The course is a great companion to other horticulture courses but may be studied by itself. It will be of particular interest to people working in the following fields:

  • Garden Maintenance
  • Land Management
  • Crops
  • Agriculture
  • Parks & Gardens
  • General Horticulture


 Any Questions?

Our horticulture tutors are happy to answer any questions.



Courses can be started anytime from anywhere in the world!

Meet some of our academics

Marie Beerman B.Sc.,M.Hort.Marie has been involved in horticulture since 2003. She completed a Masters degree in Horticulture at Hannover University in Germany in 2007, and has worked with ACS since 2011 She has co-authored of several ebooks including one on Roses and has a very sound knowledge and experience with horticultural science and research ranging from plant taxonomy and plant breeding to pest, disease and soil management.,
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.
Maggi BrownMaggi is regarded as an expert in organic growing throughout the UK, having worked for two decades as Education Officer at the world renowned Henry Doubleday Research Association. She has been active in education, environmental management and horticulture across the UK for more than three decades. Some of Maggi's qualifications include RHS Cert. Hort. Cert. Ed. Member RHS Life Member Garden Organic (HDRA) .
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.

Check out our eBooks

Growing & Knowing GrassesThe Growing & Knowing Grasses ebook will provide you with everything that you need to know about grass. Get to all about the botany of grasses, how to identify them, how to cultivate grasses, the different uses for grasses and also includes a detailed illustrated encyclopedia of grasses and grass-like plants.
Organic GardeningFor decades farmers have relied upon chemicals to control pests and diseases in order to produce saleable crops. In the ornamental, vegetable and fruit gardens reliance on chemical controls has also been the mainstay for many gardeners.
Starting a Garden or Landscape BusinessExpert advice on how to get started in your own garden or landscape business! Packed with valuable business advice, horticultural and landscaping knowledge, and practical ideas - this book is a must have for garden lovers. It is great for anyone thinking about (or already involved in), a horticultural, landscaping or garden business. This updated re-print is only available as an ebook.
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.