advanced certificate in applied mangement - (Wholesale Nursery)

Nursery stock production is a vibrant sector of the horticultural industry responsible for the growing of a wide variety of hardy and half-hardy plants.

This course develops an understanding of plant propagation (seed and cuttings), nursery hygiene, plant health, potting mixes and soils, production efficiencies, marketing, management and more.

This is a 900 hour course covering both management and horticultural studies relating to running a wholesale nursery. It is comprehensive and demanding, having been written by industry experts working alongside the Garden Design Academy tutors.

There are 4 core units common to all variants of the Advanced Certificate in Applied Management and three specialist units of study relating to the wholesale nursery sector. The core studies cover office practices, business operations, management and marketing.

The Garden Design Academy is run by experienced horticulturists passionate about passing on their knowledge to a new generation. It draws on decades of industry experience to offer a range of courses tailored to the needs of the modern professional.

The course develops the knowledge and skills needed to work as a manager or supervisor in the nursery stock production industry and provides essential background training in the propagation and growing on of plants.

The Advanced Certificate requires successful completion of each of the following 7 modules. It consists of three parts, including the following modules:

Part 1 (Core units):

Office Practices
Develops basic office skills covering use of equipment, communication systems (telephone, fax, etc) and office procedures such as filing, security, workplace organisations, etc. 

Business Operations
Develops knowledge of basic business operations and procedures (eg. types of businesses, financial management, business analysis, staffing, productivity, etc) and the skills to develop a 12 month business plan.

Develops knowledge of management structures, terminology, supervision, recruitment and workplace health and safety.

Marketing Foundations.
Develops a broad understanding of marketing and specific skills in writing advertisements, undertaking market research, developing an appropriate marketing plan and selling.

Part 2 (Wholesale nursery stream):


    1.Nursery Site Organisation: Buying an established nursery or establishing a new site, site planning, estimating space requirements.

    2. Management: Government and commercial nurseries, partnerships, companies, sole proprietorships, developing a management structure, labour relations and seasonal staff, work programs and production timing.

    3. Nutrition and Pest Management: Field crops, container plants, principles of fertiliser use and plant nutrition.

    4. Growing Media: Soils and soil-free mixes, rockwool, sterilisation, techniques.

    5. Irrigation: Methods and equipment, estimation of water requirements and use of liquid fertilisers through irrigation.

    6. Modifying Plant Growth: Modification techniques, flower forcing and quality control.

    7. Marketing Strategies: Exploiting existing markets, developing new markets, advertising, product presentation, pricing, plant recycling.

    8. Selection of Nursery Crops: Developing a stock list, operational flow charts, market surveys.


    1. Introduction to Propagation – asexual and sexual propagation, plant life cycles, nursery production systems

    2. Seed Propagation

    3. Potting Media

    4. Vegetative Propagation I - cuttings

    5. Vegetative Propagation II – care of stock plants; layering, division and other techniques

    6. Vegetative Propagation III – budding and grafting, tissue culture

    7. Propagation Structures and Materials – greenhouses, propagating equipment

    8. Risk Management – nursery hygiene, risk assessment and management

    9. Nursery Management I – plant modification techniques, management policies

    10. Nursery Management II – nursery standards, cost efficiencies, site planning and development


    1.  Introduction.  The principles of propagating plants by cuttings.:Importance of cuttings, Phenotype vs genotype,  why choose cutting propagation, where to get cuttings from, basic cutting technique.

    2.  Stem cuttings.  Ease with which tissue forms roots, types of stem cuttings (softwood, hardwood, semi hardwood, herbaceous, tip, heel, nodal, cane etc), treatments (eg. basal heat, mist, tent, etc), testing rooting, etc.

    3.  Non-stem cuttings.  Leaf cuttings, root cuttings (natural suckering with or without division, Induced suckering, In situ whole root cuttings; ex situ detached root cuttings), bulb cuttings, scaling and twin scaling, sectioning, basal cuttage.

    4.  Materials and equipment.  Selection and maintenance of stock plants; disinfecting cutting material;

    5.  Growing media.  Propagation media; biological, chemical and physical characteristics of propagation and potting media,  Testing for toxins, air filled porosity, potting up cuttings, soil-less mixes, rockwool, etc.

    6.  Factors affecting rooting.  Juvenility, Cutting Treatments (hormones & their application, anti transparents, acid/base treatments, disinfectants etc), Callusing, Mycorrhizae, Carbon Dioxide enrichment, etc.

    7.  Setting up a propagation area.  Creating and managing an appropriate cutting environment in terms of: Water; Disease; Temperature; Light and Air Quality. Greenhouses and other structures, watering methods (mist, fog, capillary etc), heating, etc.

    8. Management of cutting crops.  Estimating cost of production; Keeping records, etc.

Part 3 - Project:

A workplace project of 200 hrs relevant to your field of study. The project specifically aims to provide the student with the opportunity to apply and integrate skills and knowledge developed through various areas of formal study.

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

Working with Colin Elliott, an experienced professional horticulturist with extensive nusery industry experience, these courses are your route to a successful future in nursery stock production at a management level.

Advanced Certificate in Applied Management (Wholesale Nursery)

Course cost: £ 1,650 (single payment)

OR 2 payments of £ 880

OR 3 payments of £ 635

Book your course NOW

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