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Soil Management - Horticulture 100 Hours Certificate Course


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Soil Management - Horticulture 100 Hours Certificate Course

Price: £325.00Course Code: BHT105 CLD
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Soil Management - Horticulture 100 Hours Certificate Course

Soil Management - Horticulture course online. The Soil is a living biological ecosystem that must be managed to the benefit of the crop and to the broader ecosystem of the region. The reason we investigate soil and its characteristics it to understand it in relation to plant growth, how to manage and manipulate it without causing damage, how to improve it generally or how to modify it for the growing of specific crops. Good soil conditions are critical to the healthy growth of most plants.

Nutrient levels, pH, salinity, depth, texture (properties of sand and clay), structure (form and arrangement), porosity (air space), consistence (the ability of soil to withstand rupture) and even colour can affect plant growth independently or interdependently.

Over eight lessons this course will develop an understanding of physical and chemical properties of soils, the ability to carry out simple tests and determine soil characteristics, and to decide ways of treating a soil to improve its ability to grow plants.

This course also prepares you to sit for RHS modules and acquire credits in the RHS advanced certificate or diploma. It is specifically designed for use with ornamental gardens, landscaping, container growing, and turf situations.


Learning Goals: Soil Management - Horticulture BHT105
  • To describe the significance of different physical and chemical properties of soil - in relation to the growing of plants
  • To correctly extract samples of soil, appropriate to different situations; and then conduct a range of simple tests to determine varying characteristics of the sample taken
  • To further explain the characteristics of a soil, scientifically; and relate those characteristics to the capacity of a soil to grow plants
  • To recommend appropriate selection and management of potting and other alternative media for growing plants in containers
  • To diagnose and recommend the treatment of a variety of soil degradation problems
  • To determine appropriate management programs for different soils in horticultural situations
  • To recommend soil management practices which are not going to cause a degradation of soil quality
  • Explain the methods used in managing earthworks in a way which is sensitive to soil condition


Lesson Structure: Soil Management - Horticulture BHT105

There are 8 lessons:

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

Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.


  • Identify evaluate soil structural problems in the field
  • Build a compost heap and monitor its decomposition process
  • Perform simple experiments to evaluate fertilisation rates and methods
  • Define and describe soil properties and processes
  • Perform simple tests and field analyses on soil
  • Identify nutrient deficiencies
  • Evaluate the attributes of various mulches
  • Analyse the impacts of earthworks and earth working machinery on soil and landscape
  • Analyse the effects of different soil management methods.
  • Identify soil and land degradation
  • Propagate and grow plants in containers
  • Identify and evaluate soil degradation minimisation programs and methods


The quality of this course is second to none, from the in-depth learning you will get to the expert individual mentoring you will receive throughout your studies. The mentors for this course are: 
Yellow rosesSusan Stephenson
BSc in Applied Plant Biology (Botany) Univ. London 1983.
City and guilds: Garden Centre Management, Management and Interior Decor (1984)
Management qualifications in training with retail store. Diploma in Hort level 2 (RHS General) Distinction. 
Susan Stephenson is a passionate and experienced horticulturist and garden designer. She has authored three books, lectures at 2 Further and Higher Education Colleges, teaching people of all ages and backgrounds about the wonders of plants and garden design, and tutors many students by correspondence from all over the world.
Susan studied botany at Royal Holloway College (Univ of London) and worked in the trading industry before returning to her first love plants and garden design. She is therefore, well placed to combine business knowledge with horticulture and design skills. Her experience is wide and varied and she has designed gardens for families and individuals. Susan is a mentor for garden designers who are just starting out, offering her support and advice and she also writes, delivers and assesses courses for colleges, introducing and encouraging people into horticulture and garden design.
In 2010, Susan authored a complete module for a Foundation degree (FDSC) in Arboriculture.
Susan holds the RHS General with Distinction. She continues to actively learn about horticulture and plants and (as her students will tell you) remains passionate and interested in design and horticulture.
Steven Whitaker portrait Horticulture tutorSteven Whitaker
Diploma in Garden Design (Distinction) – The Blackford Centre, Gold Certificate of Achievement in Horticulture, Level 2 NVQ in Amenity Horticulture, Level 1 NOCN Introduction to Gardening, – Joseph Priestly College, BTEC Diploma in Hotel, Catering and Institutional Operations (Merit), Trainer Skills 1, & 2, Group trainer, Interview and Selection Skills – Kirby College of Further Education
Steven has a wealth of Horticultural knowledge, having ran his own Design and Build service, Landscaping company, and been a Head Gardener. His awards include five Gold awards at Leeds in Bloom, two Gold awards at Yorkshire in Bloom and The Yorkshire Rose Award for Permanent Landscaping. Steven has worked with TV’s Phil Spencer as his garden advisor on the Channel 4 TV Programme, “Secret Agent”. 
He is qualified to Level 2 NVQ in Amenity Horticulture and has a Diploma in Garden Design which he passed with Distinction. Steven’s Tutor and Mentor was the Chelsea Flower Show Gold Award-winning Garden Designer, Tracy Foster. He also works for a major Horticultural Commercial Grower in the field of Propagation and Craft Gardening. Steven lives in Leeds where he is a Freelance Garden Designer and Garden Advice Consultant. 


Course Info
How Do Our Tuition Fees Compare?Full time classroom based Further Education Courses - Approx. £5,000 per year - Part-time classroom based Adult Education Courses - Approx. £7.00 per hour - N.B. classroom tuition means you learn at the pace of the class. One-to-one private tuition - from £15.00 per hour - ADL one-to-one tution fees - From £340 per 100 Hour Course = Average of £3.40 per hour - N.B. one-to-one tuition is tailored to your own individual learning availability and pace.
Course StartBegin your learning at any time.
Course Prerequisite None - Our course levels are an indication of the depth of learning you should receive. They do not describe the level of difficulty.
Course Qualification (Study Option A)Endorsed Qualification from TQUK - Training Qualifications UK, an Ofqual Approved Awarding Organisation - Completed written assignments and final evaluation per course/module to be taken.
Course Qualification (Study Option B)Certificate of Attainment from ADL - Completed written assignments only - no final evaluation.
Comparative Credits InformationUK Course Credits: 10 - U.S. Credit Hours: 3 - when compared to regulated courses.
Course Duration and DeadlinesCourse hours given are a guide only. You will be encouraged to work at your own pace to learn as much as you can, with no assignment deadlines or end date by which you must complete your course by. You are in control!
Study SupportPersonal tutor/mentor support from industry relevant professionals throughout your whole course. Mentors are contactable by e-mail, telephone and through the Moodle online classroom. They provide assistance with your course material, plus discuss, explain and give advice when needed. They will also mark and grade your assignments, plus provide constructive and helpful feedback vital to your success.
Suitability for Self Employment and Small BusinessesOur courses are ideal for sole traders and small business owners and their staff. Customer confidence in what you can do will determine how successful you are in getting clients. Doing the job right using the correct knowledge and skills, leads to repeat business and referrals to friends, family and work colleagues. Completing one or more of our courses for the service you have to offer, will give you the tools to achieve this and grow your business.
Recognition of Your Course By EmployersWe aim to achieve the correct balance between your qualification being recognised and providing you with the in-depth learning, to empower you to succeed. If you can demonstrate that you have the level of knowledge and transferable skills necessary to an employer, you should stand out from someone who has only received a superficial understanding of what's required - Select study option A when enrolling, so an employer can check the status of the awarding organisation for your qualification on the Ofqual Register.
Recognition of Your Course By UniversitiesAs you will see on our Testimonials page, previous students have used their qualification from us to get into university. However each one will have its own entrance criteria and acceptance may also depend on your other qualifications and experience. We can approach up to three universities on your behalf with details of our course before you enrol, so you will know whether it will be accepted as part of their application process. Please complete our contact form and we will begin the process.
Designing Your Own QualificationBundle up your choice of related courses to form your own qualification. Our Advanced Certificates (4 courses), Diplomas (6 courses), Advanced Diplomas (8 courses) and Higher Advanced Diplomas (12 courses), are used to differentiate between the in-depth knowledge and skills you will acquire in your chosen area of study. e.g. Advanced Certificate in Turf Care Management, which includes individual courses: Turf Care, Sports Turf Care, Turf Repair and Renovation and Turf Grasses.
How Can I Enrol?Online by selecting your study option, learning materials, plus payment option and then clicking the Enrol Now button - By contacting us for an application form - By telephoning us on 01227 789 649 (International: 0044 1227 789 649). Lines open 9am till 5pm Monday to Friday, excluding Bank Holidays and between Christmas and New Year.
How Can I Get a Pro-forma Invoice for my Employer?Contact us with details and we will email your employer an invoice. We will need: employer's name, address, telephone number, email address and contact name. We will also require your name, telephone number, email address, date of birth and the course and code you wish to enrol for.

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Previous Customer Experiences with our CoursesWoman leaping to the next level in her career development

"Fantastic Teacher. Well organised modules. Assignments force me to learn and research more so I can prepare well for exams. I really enjoyed studying via ADL.  I can now continue study at Ulster University which accept my certificate from ADL".    Level 4,  Advanced Certificate in Applied Science,  VSC001,  Stanislawa,  Poland.

Its with great pleasure I am announcing you my new job as 'Park Manager' for a 5 star hotel in Reunion Island.  Its definitely my courses with ADL (Botany, Agronomy and Trees for Rehabilitation) which were decisive for my nomination. Accordingly, my sincere thanks goes to all the ADL team.

"The course was a valuable learning experience as it provided me with the knowledge and understanding for me as a Careers Advisor. The feedback was very good from my tutor, and allowed me to  build upon my assignments that were marked. The comments were very informative  and very useful. Well written course material."  Andrew W, Careers  Counselling, UK

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Disclaimer: Every attempt is made to ensure all information from the academy is accurate and that the student has attained the competencies taught in a course, at the point of their assessment. Beyond this point, the graduate is responsible to maintain their acquired competencies, and apply acquired knowledge and skills in a way which is appropriate to the unique characteristics of each application. This will release the academy from any liability, action and claims of whatsoever nature in connection with, or arising from any such information, instruction or advice, given by any student or ex-student, whether directions given during the course are followed or not.