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“This is beyond what you would learn in a Trade Certificate in Horticultural Crop Production. It teaches you everything a tradesman would learn about plant culture; and more science, plus more plant identification than what an average tradesperson whould know” - John Mason Dip.Hort.Sc., Cert.Supn, FIOH, FPLA, Professional Horticulturist for over 40 years, Garden Author and educator
The core units consist of the following lessons:
1. INTRODUCTION TO PLANTS (40 hours)
The purpose of this study area is to explain the binomial system of plant classification and demonstrate identification of plant species through the ability of using botanical descriptions for leaf shapes and flowers.
2. PLANT CULTURE (60 hours)
The purpose of this study area is to demonstrate the ability to care for plants so as to maintain optimum growth and health while considering pruning, planting, and irrigation.
3. SOILS AND PLANT NUTRITION (50 hours)
The purpose of this study area is to provide students with the skills and knowledge to identify, work with and improve the soil condition and potting mixes, and to evaluate fertilisers for use in landscape jobs to maximize plant growth.
4. INTRODUCTORY PROPAGATION (40 hours duration)
The purpose of this study area is to improve the student's understanding of propagation techniques with particular emphasis on cuttings and seeds. Other industry techniques such as grafting and budding are also explained.
5. IDENTIFICATION AND USE OF PLANTS (60 hours)
The purpose of this study area is to improve the student's range of plant knowledge and the plant use in landscaping and the ornamental garden, and the realization that plants have optimum and preferred growing conditions.
6. PESTS, DISEASES AND WEEDS (50 hours)
The purpose of this study area is to introduce and help the student in identifying, describing and controlling a variety of pests, diseases and weeds in ornamental situations and safety procedures when using agricultural chemicals are explained.
The three specialist units include:
1. Outdoor Plant Production
2. Protected Plant Production
3. Another Crops Module chosen from the following options:
Fees do not include exam fees
There are two exams for the core and 3 for the stream (one for each stream module)
Duration: 700 hours
Tips for Biological Control (from our staff)
There are ways to grow plants without using dangerous chemicals. The finished product might have a few chew marks, but it will also be a much safer plant for you and your family to be around or use.
Natural or biological control is when we use living things such as predators or parasites to attack, harm or deter pests, diseases or weed problems. The concept of natural control is not new. In the late 1800’s the California citrus industry was nearly wiped out by a parasite known as Cottony Cushion Scale (Icerya purchasi). This scale is apparently an Australian native transported to California on acacia plants: it took around ten years to become a serious pest of the citrus groves in southern California.
The importation of a small number of Vedalia (Rodolia cardinalis)beetles (related to ladybird beetles) from Ireland virtually eradicated this pest very quickly, and now keeps it in check to this day. A similar case occurred when a tiny moth known as Cactoblastis cactorum was introduced to Ireland to control Prickly Pear cactus which at one stage, early in the 20th century, covered tens of millions of acres of pasture and semi arid land, particularly in Queensland and NSW.
Four main approaches to natural control are:
1. The introduction of parasites and predators, where natural enemies are introduced to control exotic pests or weeds, as in the case of Cottony Cushion Scale, which was introduced to California, from overseas, without its natural predators.
2. Conservation of existing natural enemies by, for example, changing spraying programmes such as using selective chemicals, or by changing the time of day when spraying takes place, as some insects are active at different times of the day, and by reducing the rates of the chemicals that we use: Note: it is not always possible just to stop spraying – it is often necessary to build up the natural enemies to a useful level first. Another method of conserving natural enemies is to change the way in which you crop your plants. This can be done by such methods as staggering planting times to reduce the impact of having a crop all at one stage when it may be more prone to attack or infestation; by the use of companion plants; by increasing crop diversity, by mixing crop species and by maintaining groundcover in orchards to promote parasite habitats.
3. New natural enemies can be developed by scientists either growing larger numbers of predators or parasites or by adding additional numbers of natural enemies collected or purchased from elsewhere. The production and marketing of biological control agents has now become a major business in Europe and the USA, with small scale activity also in Australia.
4. Companion Planting: This involves growing plants together to provide a beneficial effect; where characteristics of one plant might help deter pests or diseases which normally attack its neighbour, or may act as host to organisms that are predators of particular pests and diseases: Note that different growing conditions and locations may affect the success or failure of companion planting. Examples are:
Coriander, (Coriandrum sativum), repels aphids, spider mites and potato beetle: The roots of French Marigold (Tagetes patula) exude a substance which spreads in their immediate vicinity killing nematodes: By planting carrots and leeks together insects are confused by the blending of scents and the leeks repel carrot fly and carrots repel onion fly and leek moth.
Other approaches to biocontrol that are being actively researched are the development of plants with increased resistance to pests and diseases; the use of natural chemicals such as hormones or sex scents to either attract (to a trap or away from plants), repel or kill the problem pest: the use of sterile insects to upset reproductive cycles and the use of plant derivatives, such as pyrethrum, as pesticides.
Advantages of Biological Control
a) It does not damage crops, in contrast to some chemicals.
b) It does not leave a residue as is the case with many chemicals.
c) There are no crop-withholding periods, so you do not have to wait to harvest crops.
d) It is less costly than chemicals, and biocontrol may continue to be effective long after the original application as predator or parasite breeding occurs, unlike chemicals, which are either rendered inert on contact with the ground or have short residual periods.
e) Biocontrol agents often spread outside their original application area controlling pests and diseases over large expanses of area.
f) Pests are unlikely to build up resistance to biocontrol.
g) Biocontrol is usually specific to the targeted pest or disease and generally doesn't affect other organisms.
Disadvantages of Biological Control
a) Often very slow acting in comparison to chemicals and an effective population of controlling agents may take years to build up.
b) The degree of control is often not as high as with chemical control.
c) It is often very hard finding predators or parasites of some pests, particularly ones that are specific to a particular pest or disease, rather than to a number of organisms.
d) The ability of many biocontrol agents to move from one location to another can sometimes be a disadvantage. A pest or disease that may be a problem in one area may be desired in another. This can be seen in the case of blackberries which are grown commercially for their berries, but are also a noxious weed in some places. Blackberry rust, recently bought into Ireland as a biocontrol agent for this plant, may affect the commercial crops. Another example is the case of Pattersons curse, (Echium plantagineum), which is a noxious weed in some parts of Ireland and a useful pasture species in other parts. Attempts to release a biocontrol agent for this plant resulted in a Supreme Court case aimed at preventing its release.
The advantages of biological control often outweigh the disadvantages, certainly in the long term if not in the short term. Biocontrol is, now more than ever before, being actively promoted by many governments, agricultural and forestry departments, etc worldwide. Even as early as 1988 at least $165 million was saved on pesticide costs, by United States farmers alone, because of biological control. The benefits to the environment are even greater.
Learning Cloud Ireland provides students with a range of Horticultural Course majors.
Our world would be nothing without plants. They feed us, keep us warm and dry, clean our air and provide us with a beautiful, green environment to live in. Working with plants, from designing and building a new city park to developing new food crops can be incredibly rewarding and there is a wealth of career options to choose from.
Learning Cloud Ireland provides our students with a range of Horticultural Majors so that you can specalise and target the Career you want. Below is a list of just some of the Horticultural Course Majors available. Remember to request your free information pack to find out more
If you are an Irish citizen you may be eligible to receive financial support, meaning you can defer payment of your course fees. Additionally, if you are a resident of Ireland, you may also be eligible to receive a student grant under the Student Grant SchemeStudent support
We live in a society where the pressures of daily living are high with financial expenses, personal and work commitments, and mortgage and rental obligations. Then there are the unexpected life challenges that also get thrown our way. With this in mind the thought of taking on study can be daunting for most people. Here at Learning Cloud we understand that life doesn’t run in a straight line it has many ups and downs.
As an enrolled student at Learning Cloud, you are entitled to access a variety of non-academic support services from the Student Services Unit. These supports are designed to walk beside you throughout your studies they will assist you in life’s ups and downs to provide you the best opportunity to successfully complete your chosen course.
STUDENT SERVICES PROGRAMS INCLUDE:
Want more information about financial and student support? Fill out the enquiry form to the right and a study consultant will contact you with the details you need.
How will this course advance my career?
Learning Cloud programs have been developed in response to industry demand and are specifically designed to equip graduates with work-ready skills. Each participant will be trained and assessed in theory and in practical tasks and Real-world exercises are used throughout the program.
Studies prove, time and again, that college-educated workers earn more than those with only a high school qualification. College graduates often enjoy additional benefits, including greater job opportunities and promotions. Though the proof for greater earning potential exists, some might wonder whether the cost of the education warrants the overall expense in the long run.
College Graduate vs. Non-Graduate Earnings
The National Centre for Education Statistics (NCES) analyses employee earnings data biennially, according to education level. Findings indicate that workers with a qualification earn significantly more than those without. Since the mid-1980s, education has played a large part in potential wages, with bachelor's degree holders taking home an average of 66% more than those with only a high school diploma do. While college-educated workers' wages have increased over the past two decades, those with only a high school education have seen decreases in annual salaries in the same time period (nces.ed.gov).
How else will I benefit from studying with Learning Cloud?