certificate in horticulture: Herbs

A distance learning programme providing effective training for those working or wishing to work in herb production. To be truly successful in this field you will need the general horticultural knowledge offered through this terrific course. The second half of the course focuses on the diverse aspects of herb growing from medicine to farming.

We run a number of different Certificates in Horticulture, all with the same essential horticultural science modules but each with lessons aimed at a particular industry sector. They form an excellent basis for the education of our future experts and professionals.

The Garden Design Academy Certificate in Horticulture (Herbs) provides approximately 700 hours of study in 30 modules, 15 of which are specific to herb production.

Working with Colin Elliott, an experienced professional hoticulturist, this CD-based course provides the information you need to make the jump into a career in the field of iherb production.

The 30 lessons are outlined as follows:

Core subjects:

  1. Introduction To Plants
  2. Parts of the Plant
  3. Plant Culture - Planting
  4. Plant Culture - Pruning
  5. Plant Culture - Irrigation and Machinery 1
  6. Soils and Media
  7. Soils and Nutrition
  8. Seeds and Cuttings
  9. Other Techniques
  10. ID and Use of Plants - Landscape Application
  11. ID and Use of Plants - Problems
  12. ID and Use of Plants - Indoor/tropical plants
  13. Pests
  14. Diseases
  15. Weeds

Crop specific modules:

These studies are made up of three modules, as follows: Herb Culture (outlined below)

PLUS any TWO of the following:

  • Aromatherapy
  • Culinary Herbs
  • Medicinal Herbs
  • Lavender
  • Scented Plants

Herb culture module

This course is divided into 12 units, each containing one or more lesson.

Unit 1: Introduction To Herb Culture

Lesson I Introduction to herbs - classification of herbs; use of a botanical key

Lesson II Cultural techniques - planting, drainage, feeding, mulching, composting, pruning

Lesson III Propagation techniques - propagation mixes, growing structures, cuttings, seed, separation and division, layering

Lesson IV Identification of plant health problems pests, disease, frost, heat, water stress

Unit 2: Using Herbs

Lesson I Processing and uses of herbs - medicinal, culinary, perfumes, dyes, oils, distillation Lesson II Harvesting and storage drying; freezing, fresh storage, when and how to harvest

Unit 3: The Mints (Lamiaceae)

Lesson I Mentha species - peppermint, spearmint, applemint, wintermint, pennyroyal, corsican, ginger mint etc.

Lesson II Lavender (Lavendula varieties) and thyme (Thymus).

Lesson III : Assorted Lamiaceae varieties: Lemon Balm, Hyssop, Rosemary, Bee Balm (Monarda), Basil, Savory, Marjoram, Sage.

Unit 4: The Daisies (Asteraceae)

Lesson I : Artemisia species...Southernwood, Wormwood, Tarragon, Mugwort.

Lesson II : Miscellaneous Asteraceae: Chamomile, Tansy, Safflower, Costmary, Yarrow, Calendula, Dandelion etc.

Unit 5: The Parsley Family (Apiaceae)

Lesson I : Parsley, Coriander, Dill, Caraway, Angelica, Cumin, Fennel, Lovage, Sweet Cicely

Unit 6: The Onion Group

Lesson I : Chives, Leek, Garlic chives, Tree onion, Welsh onion, etc.

Lesson II : Garlic

Unit 7: Other Herbs

Lesson I : Rosaceae (Rose, Burnet, Strawberry, blackberry, etc)

Lesson II : Miscellaneous: Lemon grass, Lemon verbena, Bay, Sorrel, Dock, Juniper, Horseradish, Evening Primrose, etc.

Lesson III : Scented Geraniums; Australian Natives, Eucalyptus and Others

Unit 8: Pests & Diseases

Lesson I : Companion Planting

Lesson II : Natural Pest Control: Herb sprays, biological control, etc.

Unit 9: Landscaping

Lesson I : Landscape Design Principles and Practices: How to draw a landscape plan

Lesson II : Home Gardening With Herbs; Cottage gardens, hedges & borders, tubs, baskets, kitchen gardens, herb lawns, herb indoor plants.

Lesson III : Public Landscaping: Historic herb grdens (Knot gardens etc), herbs for low maintenance & colour in parks..etc.

Unit 10: Herb Farming 1

Lesson I : Establishing & Operating a Herb Nursery: Open ground vs container growing, nursery layout, potting soils, pots and labels, marketing, etc.

Unit 11: Herb Farming 11

Lesson I : Establishing & Operating a Herb Farm: Soil Preparation and management (plastic mulch, organic mulches, cultivation), row cropping.

Unit 12: Herb Farming 111

Lesson 1 : Evaluating Herb enterprises, assessing market demand. Deciding how to proceed.

Each lesson ends with assignments to test your knowledge and reinforce your learning; these are sent to your tutor at the Garden Design Academy for marking and comments.

A excellent and comprehesive course of study from the Garden Design Academy for those serious about making a start and progressing in herb production.


Course cost: £ 1,200 (single payment)

OR 2 payments of £ 640

OR 4 payments of £345

Payment Method



  • chiveschives
  • herb gardenherb garden
  • parsleyparsley