The Nursery Hands course provides an introduction to the requirements of managing a nursery from the propagation and growth of plants through to the control of pests and disease.

If you are looking to work in a nursery long term or are doing so and would like to refresh your skills, the Nursery Hands course is a great way to start.

Completely self-paced, the course can be studied in conjunction with any of our horticulture and gardening courses.


Course Outline
Course Code: 
100 hours - Access for 12 months
Online & Correspondence
Statement of achievement
Lesson Structure: 
  1. Introduction to the Nursery Industry: production systems, transport regulations, PVR
  2. Plant Identification and Taxonomy: systematic botany, plant families, leaf and flower parts
  3. Nursery Structures and Buildings: greenhouse management, structures for nurseries
  4. Potting Mixes: U.C. soil mixes, understanding soils, growing media
  5. Seed Propagation: quality, sources, storage, germination treatments
  6. Cutting Propagation: stock plants, hormones
  7. Other Propagation Techniques: tissue culture, division, separation, layering, grafting
  8. Plant Nutrition in the Nursery: nutrition management
  9. Pests and Diseases Control: hygiene
  10. Other Nursery Tasks: nursery irrigation, modifying plant growth
  11. Marketing and Sales: sales methods
Aims - the learning objectives of the course: 
  • Understand plant propagation techniques and efficiency and quality control measures for the nursery.
  • Understand means of identifying and naming plants through International Code of Botanical Nomenclature.
  • Describe pros and cons of different nursery structures and understand effective management techniques.
  • Describe different types of potting mix, their uses and pros and cons.
  • Discuss different sources, maintenance of genetic identity, hybridisation techniques, storage and germination of seeds.
  • Understand different means of propagating cuttings.
  • Understand alternative methods of propagation and their appropriate uses.
  • Discuss the importance of major and minor elements to plant health and the effect of their deficiencies upon plant nutrition.
  • Understand the effects of pests and diseases on the livelihood of the nursery and the importance of good hygiene standards to control them.
  • Understand different methods of controlling plant growth.