Good soil conditions are critical to the healthy growth of most plants. Over eight lessons this course will develop an understanding of physical & 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. The course is specifically designed for crop production.
- Explain the physical and chemical properties of soils suitable for crop production.
- Use soil testing methods to assess soils characteristics suitable for crop production.
- Describe appropriate techniques for sustainable soil management for crop production.
- Explain the methods used in managing earthworks in a way which is sensitive to soil condition.
- Identify and propose solutions for a number of problems that may occur with soils for crop production.
- Describe the relationship between soil characteristics and plant health.
- Describe appropriate techniques for soil management in crop production.
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Detailed Course Outline
This course is made up of a number of lessons or units. Each of these has self assessment questions, a set task (practical homework) and an assignment which you can upload online. Click below to read about each of the lessons and what you will learn.
There are 7 Lessons in this course:
Physical and Chemical Properties Of Soils
- How soil develops naturally
- The main rock forming minerals
- Types of rock
- Understanding soils
- Soil structure
- Water and air
- Soil temperature
- Organic matter
- Cation exchange capacity
- Nutrition, major and minor elements, salts
- Diagnosis of nutritional problems
- Improving soils
- Indore Method
- 14 day Method
- Sheet composting
- Worm Digester Method
- Trench composting
- The finished product
Soil Testing Methods
- Naming the soil
- Soil sampling
- Checklists for sampling soil
- Common soil tests
- Methods for measuring: pH, organic matter content, water content, fertiliser solubility
- Testing the effects of lime in soil
- Laboratory testing of soil
- Sampling in greenhouses
- Measuring salinity
- Bulk densities of soils and potting mixes
- Checking the drainage rate of potting mixes
- Understanding soil analysis, including when, what and how to test
Sustainable Soil Management
- What is organic growing
- Eco gardening
- The use of organic principles to help overcome soil problems
- Natural plant nutrition -including trace elements
- A quick guide on nutrient deficiencies in plants
- Laying mulch
- Nutrition management
- Factors affecting fertiliser application
- Liquid fertilisers
- Organic fertilisers
- Natural fertilisers
- Mineral rock fertilisers and soil conditioners
Soils and Managing Earthworks
- Earth forming
- Improving drainage after construction
- Points to remember when designing a drainage system
Land Degradation and Other Soil Problems
- What can go wrong
- Chemical damage
- Rubbish and soils
- Salinity problems
- Gardening in dry areas
- Soil degradation
- Soil adicification
- Chemical residues
- A few hints with planting
- Physical plant protection methods
Soil Science and Plant Health
- Organic carbon
- Soil colour,pH, porosity, texture, consistence and its effects on plant growth
- Soil profile, classification and description
- Factors of soil formation
- Weathering processes of soil formation
- The use of legumes
- Soil management in orchards
- Soil management in market gardens
- Determining the kind and quantity of fertilisers to use
- Planning a vegetable growth site
- Soil management for vegetables
When you have completed your lessons you have the option of taking the optional exam. It's ok if you don't want the exam, we still issue your Careerline Certificate.
Barbara Tremain BSc. (Hons) Horticulture, RHS Adv. Cert,. RHS General, City & Guilds Garden Design, Permaculture Level 3 (UK)
Barbara brings to Careerline a wide range of horticultural experience and knowledge Barbara has a keen interest in herbalism, edible wild plants and has lead into studies of many plant based complementary medicinal systems, qualification as a Bach Flower remedy practitioner and studying Ethnobotany. Barbara has practiced and studied horticulture as well as combining it with her love of travel in many countries including the UK, US and Australia and has also studied Permaculture and runs her own horticulture business. Within the past two years she have also worked for Groundwork SW with 18-24 year old unemployed people, this work and the mentoring scheme has allowed me to teach informally. It has been a delight to nurture the interests of keen learners in horticulture and garden design. Meanwhile the business has covered a variety of Garden Design projects, from wildflower gardens to seaside situations, and has included some work with Chelsea Gold multi-winner John Moreland.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I pay in installments?
Yes! We offer great payment plans, however full payment up front is the cheapest. You can choose the best payment plan for you from the course page, or call us on 07 55368782 to talk to one of our course consultants for a custom plan.
Can I study from anywhere in the world?
We have many international students. Careerline's range of courses are suitable for any one, anywhere in the world.
Do I get a discount if I enroll in a second course?
Yes. You may claim a 5% fee discount when you enroll in a second course, and a further 10% off a three-course package.
Do I have to sit an Exam?
No. If you are enrolled in a Certificate course (100hrs), the exam is optional. You will be issued with a certificate which proves that you are competent in all units, if you choose not to sit the exam.
Do you have set start dates?
There are no set start dates, you may start at any time. Our courses are all self-paced. As our home page says, ‘Courses for Anyone, Anywhere, Anytime’. ‘Anytime’ includes the start time of your choice. However, we do encourage our students to submit assignments on a regular basis. Wherever possible, we suggest developing a study routine.