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Plant Health Short Course - Understanding plant pests and diseases

Course Code: SGH5

Course Duration: 20 hours (minimum, self paced study, commonly 2 to 8 weeks, less or longer as you need)

Managing plant health is a three step process: recognising a pest or disease challenge, identifying the cause, and taking the right actions to tackle the challenge. It always seems that the more work you do in a garden, the more pest and disease problems seem to appear. For this reason, the keen home gardener and the professional landscaper need to be aware about what pests and diseases they may come into contact with, and how to control them.

This study guide will help the keen home gardener or graduate landscaper to identify the most common pest and disease problems, and to take appropriate action that will minimise harm to the environment.

This course has a particular emphasis on caring for our environment through sustainable pest and disease control for healthy land management, farming, and horticultural practices. These include reducing the use of chemicals and considering the relationships between all living things when making decisions about what action to take. This makes it even more important that the cause of a problem is correctly identified first time.


This course covers 6 lessons:

Lesson 1 Identifying problems

  • Understanding what can go wrong with your plants
  • More than one problem
  • Finding out what the problem is
  • Conducting an inspection
  • Alternative approach
  • Still unsure?
  • Tell tale symptoms
  • The main types of problems
  • Pests
  • Diseases
  • Shortcuts to problem identification
  • What insect is it?
  • Diagnosis of plant disorders
  • Difficult to diagnose problems

Lesson 2 Treating problems

  • Different ways to control pests and diseases
  • Cultural control
  • Biological control
  • Physical controls
  • Chemical
  • Legal control

Lesson 3 Problems and the plants they affect

  • Flowers & bulbs
  • Fruit & vegetables
  • Indoor, shade & greenhouse plants
  • Shrubs & climbers
  • Trees
  • Lawns
  • Australian natives

Lesson 4 Pests

  • The major types of pests
  • Common garden pests
  • Millipedes
  • Wasps

Lesson 5 Diseases

  • Disease considerations
  • Types of pathogens
  • Symptoms
  • Understanding diseases
  • Stages in the development of a disease
  • Common diseases

Lesson 6 Environmental problems

  • Common environmental problems
  • Foliage burn
  • Pollution
  • Lack of water
  • Drainage problems
  • Frost
  • Hail
  • Shade
  • Temperature
  • Wind
  • Plant tolerance levels
  • Ways to protect plants
  • Protective structures
  • Staking
  • Tree guards
  • Wind breaks
  • Mulching
  • Environmental problems in lawns
  • Appendices
  • Spray programmes
  • Stages of growth
  • Simple conversions
  • Further information
  • Publications/bibliography
  • Diagnosis services
  • Glossary 


How does this course work? 
You can enrol at any time.
Once you have paid for the course, you will be able to start straight away.
Study when and where you like. Work through at your own pace.

You can download your study-guide to your smart phone, tablet or laptop to read offline.

There are automated self-assessment tests you can complete at the end of each lesson. You can attempt these as many times as you wish and each time, upon completion, you can see your results. You will need internet access to complete the self assessment tests.

At the end of the course, you are presented with a large assessment which can be attempted online, anywhere, anytime. If you achieve a 60% pass in the exam; you immediately receive a downloadable certificate of completion with your name on it.


Who This Course Is For

Gardeners and landscapers wanting to enhance their knowledge of sustainable pest and disease control.
Permaculture practitioners, farmers, market gardeners, and horticulture consultants wishing to brush up on existing skills. 
Home gardeners who wish to learn to identify pests and diseases and make informed decisions about control measures that protect the environment.


Thinking of Enrolling? Get in Touch

Our friendly staff understand the importance of making the right choices when it comes to studying. 
We want to help you choose the right course whether it is for personal interest, upskilling, professional development, a new career, or a career change. 
Contact us and let us guide you on your learning pathway. 

Email us at admin@acs.edu.au | Call us on (07) 5562 1088 

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Plant Health Plant Health
$220.00 In stock