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Wholesale Nursery Management
Wholesale Nursery Management 100 Hours Certificate Course
Learn About Wholesale Nursery Management
Wholesale Nursery Management course online. Learn to produce great plants in a commercially successful way. Managing a production nursery involves more than just propagating and potting up plants.
Even the small nursery must be able to not only produce plants, but do it at a pre determined cost, then sustain those plants before and during marketing. The nursery industry currently has a real need for people with skills and knowledge in managing production in plant nurseries! This course provides a solid grounding for developing those skills.
Lesson Structure: Wholesale Nursery Management BHT212
There are 8 lessons:
1 Nursery Site Organisation
- Nature and Scope of Wholesale Nurseries
- Specialist Nurseries
- Location and Site Selection Characteristics;market proximity, land cost, climate, isolation, air quality, water etc
- What to Grow
- Determining Marketable varieties
- Site Surveying
- Starting as a Nursery Producer
- The Mission Statement
- Controlling Quality
- Revamping an Existing Nursery
- Nursery Standards; Cost Efficiency, Quality standards, Size
- Business Planning
- Case Study
- Production Systems
- Flow Chart for Growing a Nursery Crop
- Production Methods
- Cutting Production Efficiencies
- Work Scheduling
- Type and Number of Employees
- Human Resource Management
3 Nutrition and Pest Management
- Overview of Nursery Pests and Diseases
- Identifying Problems
- Disease and pest management
- Nursery Hygiene
- Resistant Plants
- Controlling Problems through Cultural Practices
- Physical Control of Problems
- Biological Control
- Chemical Control
- Minimising Chemical Use
- Conducting Inspections within the Nursery
- Nutrient Management
- Fertiliser use and plant nutrition.
4 Growing media
- Growing Media for Container and Field Grown Plants
- Understanding soils
- Soil Testing
- Improving Soils
- Potting Mixes and soil-free mixes
- Components of Potting Media
- Selecting Potting Media
- Problems with Potting Media
- Propagation Media
- Sterilisation techniques.
- Water Supply
- Town Water
- Water Courses and Groundwater
- Water Quality
- Water Treatment
- Recycling Water
- Irrigation Systems; overhead sprinkler, drip, etc
- Pulse Watering, Demand Watering, Precision etc
- Scheduling Irrigation
- Irrigation System Maintenance
- Use of liquid fertilisers through irrigation.
6 Modifying Plant Growth
- Plant Uniformity
- Holding Stock
- Making Stems Sturdier
- Making Plants Taller
- Developing a Compact Root System
- Creating a denser, bushier Plant
- Improving Foliage Colour
- Encouraging Flowering
- Flower forcing out of Season
- Using Light to Modify Plant Growth
- Greenhouses and other protective plant structures.
7 Marketing Strategies
- Overview of Nursery Marketing
- Nursery Products
- Marketing Mix
- Market Research
- Marketing Budget
- Marketing Plan.
8 Selection of Nursery Crops
- Considering Options
- Choosing a Plant Variety to Market
- Developing a stock list
- Criteria for Selecting Plants
- Quarantine Concerns
- Clearing Surplus Stocks
- Nursery Industry Trends
- Surveying Customers
Learning Goals: Wholesale Nursery Management BHT212
- Describe how site characteristics influence the establishment and management of wholesale nurseries.
- Explain management structures and work scheduling in wholesale nurseries.
- Describe the management of pests and diseases and plant nutrition in production nurseries.
- Explain the physical and chemical properties of growing media used in production nurseries.
- Describe the techniques and equipment used to irrigate plants in nurseries.
- Explain techniques used to modify and influence the growth of plants in production nurseries
- Describe strategies used by production nurseries to increase sales.
- Explain criteria for selecting plants and developing a nursery stock list.
Practical (Set Tasks)
Assessment is based on a combination of completing all assignments and sitting for a final short one and a half hour exam, in your own location.
If you don’t cope well with exams then you may elect to undertake a project instead. This is a popular option.
In addition, most modules have a Set Task at the end of each lesson placed before the assignment. This is an opportunity to undertake practical work to help you acquire knowledge and skills and practical experience. This ADL feature is an added bonus not found at most online schools. Set Tasks are not required for assessment.
Some courses also have optional Self-Tests which are available on our online learning platform. These are not available by correspondence or by USB, and do not form part of your overall grade.
How our courses work
- Choose Your Learning Method
You choose how you would like to receive your course material, i.e., Online, USB or Correspondence. The choice is yours. You may also work on online or offline.
- Tutor Allocation
Every student is assigned their own dedicated tutor who is an expert in their subject area. They provide as much or as little individual contact as you require. You can contact your tutor whenever you need – your hours are not limited.
- Feedback and Assignments
Tutor Feedback is an essential component in helping you understand the subject matter. Tutor feedback is given in the form of notes written on the assignment. We encourage you to contact your Tutor where help with clarification and understanding of course material may be required.
Your assignments are located at the end of each lesson. You submit them for marking whenever you are ready. There is no time limit.
- Set Tasks and Self-Tests
Most modules have a Set Task at the end of each lesson before for the assignment. This is where you get the opportunity to undertake practical work to help you acquire knowledge, skills and practical experience. Many modules also have short Self-Tests.
Once all assignments have been completed you may then elect to sit for a one and half hour exam in your own location. If you prefer not to take the exam you do have the option to undertake a project instead.
Once the exam or project part of the course is completed, your Certificate is then processed. Please allow approximately 4 weeks for this.
- Design Your Own Qualification
ADL offers students the flexibility to self-design their own qualification – bundling together a combination of 100-hour modules into a qualification higher than a certificate.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Here is a list of the most often asked FAQ’s.
Q. Why should I enrol with the Academy for Distance Learning?
A. Here at ADL, our students are our priority – we treat everyone as a unique individual.
Q. Do I need to buy text books?
A. No, as each module has been written by highly qualified industry professionals. The content of the material is presented in such a way that text books are not required. However, if you require additional reading your tutor will be able to supply a list.
Q. What happens if I have to stop studying for a while? (eg. become sick, go on holidays, have a baby, move house, etc)
A. It’s OK to take a break and start up your study at a later point in time. Just let us know.
Q. Is there an age limit?
A. There is no maximum age limit. We do however, have a minimum age limit of 18 years. Below that age parental consent would be required.
Q. Are your courses up-to date?
A. Our courses are revised and updated on a rotation system.
Q. Do you have a Cancellation policy?
A. Yes. We have a cancellation policy that is fair and equitable. For further details please click here.
Q. Will I have any opportunity to engage with other students?
A. We have a Student Community group based on facebook! If you don’t have a facebook account already, you could make one just for talking with fellow students on the group.
Q. When can I enrol/start?
A. You may enrol and start at any time of the year – it’s all self- paced.
Q. Can I study from anywhere in the world?
A. Our courses are available to anyone, anywhere in the world from the comfort of your own home. The course content is relevant to any country, culture or economy.
Q. How long do I have to complete the course?
A. You complete the course at any time that is convenient for you.
Q. Completing a 100 hour module – how long will it take?
A. For some students a 100 hour module will take approximately to 3- 6 months to complete. Others take less time and some even longer.
Q. Assessment – how does it work?
A. For each 100 hour module you are assessed by assignments (at the end of each lesson) and a final one and a half hour exam (or you may elect to complete a Project, instead of sitting the exam) – the choice is yours – you sit for the exam in your own location.
Q. I don’t cope well with exams – what can I do?
A. You may elect to undertake a Project (set by your tutor) instead of sitting the exam. Projects are completed from your home and can usually take a couple of weeks to complete.
Q. If my assignment is not up to standard is there an opportunity to resubmit my work?
A. Yes –
Q. How many assignments do I need to complete for each module?
A. At the end of each lesson, there is an assignment – so if a course has say, 10 lessons, there would be 10 assignments.
Q. I am having difficulty attending workshops/industry meetings, what can be done?
A. If your course requires attendance at workshops, conferences, or industry meetings; alternative arrangements can be made in your country.
Q. What qualification will I receive?
A. For individual modules, you would be awarded a Certificate endorsed by TQUK (Training Qualifications, UK), providing you complete all assignments and the exam. If you just want to complete only the assignments and not sit for the exam or finish a Project, then a Letter of Achievement would be awarded. For more details on qualifications available please click here.
Q. Can I customize my diploma/higher qualification?
A. Not all educational institution’s certificates /diplomas meet everyone’s needs. The opportunity to Design Your Own Diploma at the Academy (subject to our approval) is an added bonus, not found at other colleges. You choose modules that you think will help you in achieving your goal.
Q. What do I get when I complete the course? Will I receive a transcript?
A. At the completion of all courses and providing all assignments and exam requirements have been met, you will receive your Award and a Transcript.
Q. Our tutors – who are they?
A. We appoint Tutors and require that they must be currently active in their industry, with at least 5 years’ experience in their chosen profession.
Q. Can I contact my tutor at any time?
A. Yes – you have unlimited access to your tutor via email through our Online Classroom. You can always leave a message with ADL requesting your tutor to contact you. You decide on how much or how little contact you wish to have.
Q. Practical work – How is this done?
A. To find out more about this part of the course please visit the section on How Our Courses Work here.
Excerpt From The Course
Soil provides plants with the following:
- Nutrition: the plant derives much of its food from nutrients in the soil.
- Support: the soil holds the plant firm and stops it falling over.
- Water and air: the roots absorb both water and air and so the soil must contain both. Soil with too much air leaves the plant starved for water. A soil with too much water leaves the plant starved for air.
Soils vary with respect to the above factors. For example, a sandy soil provides less support than a clay soil. A clay soil generally provides less air than sand but has a greater capacity to hold water. An organic soil usually has a good ability to hold water, but it does not always provide good support.
Soil is made up of organic particles that were once living plants or animals, and also of inorganic particles that were once rocks which have now broken down through chemical and physical weathering. As soils play such an important role in the health and growth of plants, a nursery manager should be aware of the following soil characteristics:
Sand, loam and clay describe the texture of a soil. The type of material that makes up a soil affects the movement of water and air through the soil, the root penetration into the soil, and also the looseness and workability of the soil.
The soil profile describes the various horizontal layers that a soil is made up of. Each soil layer may contain soils of different textures. Soils are not evenly made up of individual particles of sand, silt, clay and humus. These individual particles are found in groups called crumbs or aggregates throughout the soil. You can see these crumbs or aggregates when you sift the soil through your fingers. The individual particles in the soil (sand, silt, clay and humus) hold together more firmly than the various aggregates (groups of sand, silt, clay and humus). Aggregates come in different shapes and sizes and are also arranged in different ways to give soils their characteristic structures. Soil aggregates may include the following:
- Gravel: particles larger than 2mm
- Sand: particles between 0.02 to 2mm in diameter
- Silt: between 0.02 and 0.002mm in diameter
- Colloids: less than 0.002mm in diameter (these are either clay or organic).
Soil will also include a certain amount of organic matter.
Colloid particles are small enough to disperse in water. Improving the soil structure has the effect of flocculating the particles, which means clumping the particles together.
Texture can be classified into 7 classes and 16 grades. The following table gives examples of the various classifications. The last word in the classification indicates the dominant component of the soil. Loam has an equal percentage of sand, silt and clay.
Classification of soil texture
|Soil||% of clay|
|sand||<< 10% commonly < 5 %|
|light sandy clay loam||15-20%|
|silt loam||25% clay 25% silt or more|
|sandy clay loam||20-30%|
|silty clay loam||30-35% clay 25% or more silt|
|silty clay||35-40% clay 25% or more silt|
|light medium clay||40-45%|
|heavy clay||50% or more|
The rate of water percolation is another way to describe the texture of soil. Percolation is the natural movement of water through the soil, and soils percolate water at different rates. Soil should be watered only as much, and as fast, as the soil can absorb without runoff.
Sandy soil absorbs more than two inches (5cm) of water per hour. It is very porous, with large spaces between soil particles. Little water is retained and the sandy soil dries out quickly.
Loam soil absorbs from 0.25 inches to 2 inches (6mm to 5cm) per hour. The soil is loose and porous and holds water quite well.
Clay soil absorbs less than 0.25 inches (6mm) of water per hour. Clay soil is dense with few air spaces between particles and holds water so tightly that little water is available for plants.
Soil structure is described according to shape, size and grade, where grade refers to soil strength and degree of development.
Good structure in a soil means that the mineral particles in the soil are bound together in crumbs, known as peds, of various sizes which are loosely arranged into larger groupings. This gives a well-structured soil its crumbly feel or appearance. This is known as a friable soil and provides plenty of pore spaces between the crumbs allowing good water penetration, aeration, and ease of penetration for plant roots and other soil life.
Crumb formation can be enhanced in a number of ways:
- The addition of organic matter
- The addition of clay in low clay soils
- The addition of iron and aluminium: for soils low in these elements
- The addition of exchangeable calcium: usually applied as lime or gypsum.
Crumb formation is reduced with increasing levels of exchangeable sodium which is common in areas with salinity problems. For example, leached clay soils which are high in sodium tend to have poor structure. Soil structure can also be readily damaged by:
- Over-cultivation or poor cultivation techniques: particularly when the soil is very wet
- Compaction: for instance, by repeated trafficking of machinery
- The killing of soil life with repeated applications of chemicals.
A well-structured soil has aggregates arranged in such a way that the soil is resistant to crushing and compaction. There should be many spaces and channels, known as pores, between the aggregates to allow oxygen to reach the roots as well as movement of excess water through the soil.
Diagnosis of Soil Type
The following table gives a diagnosis of soil type depending on how it feels between the fingers.
|Does the soil stain the fingers?||Does the soil bind together?||Does the soil feel gritty?||Does the soil feel silky or sticky?||Does the soil make water cloudy?|
|Loam (or silt)||No||Yes||No||No||No|
Organic soils are soils containing a large proportion of organic matter (more than 25%). These are usually black or brown in colour and feel silky. It is possible to get organic types of all of the above soils. A simple test of the organic matter content of a soil is to place a small amount in a container of water. Organic matter tends to float to the soil surface, so the more material that floats, the higher the organic matter content.
Pore Space in Soils and Growing Media
Aeration and drainage of a growing media will mostly depend on the amount of pore space available in the growing media. The pore space can be defined as the percentage of the media’s volume that is not filled with solids. For example, a total pore space of 50% means that in every litre of media there is 50% pore space and 50% solids. Total pore space can vary from as low as 30% in a heavily compacted soil up to 95% in some peat. Good garden soils contain about 50% total pore space while good potting mixes and propagating media may have up 60-80% total pore space.
Pore shape and size are also important. Large round or irregularly shaped particles result in bigger air spaces than flat or small particles. Large pore spaces allow greater movement of air and water. However, if the growing media consists of just large pore spaces, the water holding capacity of the media will be poor. The ideal situation is a combination of small and large pores spaces that provide good aeration and drainage but sufficient water holding capacity.
The rate of absorption of water and nutrients is affected by the temperature of the soil. Too much heat or cold will slow the whole metabolism down. Soil temperature is not always the same as atmospheric temperature. Mulching a plant or adding organic matter to the soil will even out, or lessen, the fluctuations in soil temperature. As with most organisms, plant roots will grow within a particular range of tolerance which will vary from one species to another.
In rough terms, soil pH can be described as a measure of the relative proportions of positive and negative ions in the soil. In pure water they are equal and so the pH of water is normally 7. A pH of 7 is neutral. A scale of 0 to 14 (called the pH scale) is used to record this measurement of pH.
Most plants prefer a pH of 6 to 6.5 (i.e. slightly acid), although, there are many exceptions. Plants may grow outside of their ideal pH range, but they will not grow as well. If the pH is below 4.5 or above 8 it is no good for the vast majority of plants. You should check the pH preferences of individual plants and the pH of the soil into which they are to be planted before adjusting the pH or planting.
Soil pH can be adjusted by the use of chemicals known as soil ameliorants. These are soil additives used to improve soil characteristics. Ameliorants include Lime (to raise pH) and Sulphate (to lower pH). However, the soil will tend to buffer, or modify, the effect of these chemicals and so calculation of the amounts required is often difficult. The general rule is to apply small amounts until the required result is obtained. It is better to add too little than too much!
When lime is added to break up hard clay soils, it will also raise the pH of the soil making it more alkaline. The addition of organic matter such as manure or compost, which contains weak acids, will cause the pH to drop. If fresh manure is used it can cause a drastic drop in pH. Sulphate of ammonia will also cause pH to drop.
FAQ - RHS Theory Qualifications
If you require further details about any of the RHS industry recognised qualifications please, call one of our friendly RHS Course Advisors on +44 (0)1227 789 649 or email: [email protected]
Q: When can I Enrol/Start My RHS Course With ADL?
A: Anytime, Anywhere. There are no enrolment deadlines.
Q: I live Overseas. Can I Study From Overseas?
A: You can study any of the RHS theory qualifications overseas. All courses are offered in English. You will need to email RHS Qualifications direct to arrange sitting for your examination overseas.
Q: Is There a Time Limit for Completing an RHS Qualification?
A: At present there are no time limits. However, RHS is contemplating in the future, the introduction of course time-lines.
Q: Are There Any Entry Requirements (Pre-Requisites)?
A: The RHS Theory courses do not require prerequisites, previous experience or any knowledge of horticulture. You just need passion for all things horticulture.
Q: What Course Should I Start With First? I Am New To RHS Qualifications.
A: We highly recommend that you start with Level 2 – Principles of Garden Planning, Establishment and Maintenance.
Q: What Does ADL Course Material Include?
A: Includes Power Point Presentations, Videos and written course lessons.
Q: When Do Exams Take Place?
A: Exams are held on fixed dates in February and June of each year. You should register as a candidate at least 3 months before these dates, so please do not leave exam registration to the last minute
Q: Where Do I Take My Exams?
A: UK: You take the exams at the RHS Wisley Centre, located between Cobham and Ripley in Surrey or at other authorised RHS centres around the UK.
Overseas: please email RHS qualifications direct for centre information.
Q: Exam Pass Marks?
A: Module – pass 50%. Commendation 70%.
Qualification: 50% pass for all modules.
Commendation awarded for all modules.
Each question carries a value of 10 marks.
Q: I’m Not Happy With My Exam Results?
A: You have the opportunity to re-sit your exam at the next opportunity.
There are no restrictions on the number of re-sits you can take. The highest mark you achieve will remain.,