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Plant Health Short Course

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Plant Health Short Course - Understanding plant pests and diseases

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 in contact with, and how to control them.

This Study Guide will help in the identification of these problems. Without correct identification, it would be very difficult to suggest a suitable method of control. For example, a hole in a leaf may indicate damage by a pathogen such as a fungus, bacterium, or virus, or it could be caused by an insect. If you thought the problem was caused by an insect and sprayed it with an insecticide, but it was actually caused by a virus, then the spray is totally wasted.

This Study Guide will help the home gardener and those working in horticulture at an entry level to identify and control a range of the most common pests and diseases of plants.

We live in an age of heightened environmental awareness where there is an emphasis on caring for our environment through sustainable land management, farming, and horticultural practices which includes reducing the use of chemicals. It is therefore important that plant problems are correctly identified so that an appropriate treatment can be chosen. This will help to prevent useless spraying of possibly harmful chemicals or, perhaps more importantly, the spraying of beneficial insects.


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?
Telltale symptoms
The main types of problems
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
1) Cultural control
2) Biological control
3) Physical controls
4) Chemical
5) Legal control

Lesson 3 Problems and the plants they affect
Flowers & bulbs
Fruit & vegetables
Indoor, shade & greenhouse plants
Shrubs & climbers
Australian natives

Lesson 4 Pests
The major types of pests
Common garden pests

Lesson 5 Diseases
Disease considerations
Types of pathogens
Understanding diseases
Stages in the development of a disease
Common diseases

Lesson 6 Environmental problems
Common environmental problems
Foliage burn
Lack of water
Drainage problems
Plant tolerance levels
Ways to protect plants
Protective structures
Tree guards
Wind breaks
Environmental problems in lawns
Spray programmes
Stages of growth
Simple conversions
Further information
Diagnosis services


  • Enrol any time of day or night
  • Start studying immediately or later (as you wish)
  • Configure your study sessions at any length and frequency you wish
  • Work through at your own pace
  • Help desk- contact our help desk here with the subject title: 'Help Desk Short Course' 
  • Automated self assessment tests pop up 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.
  • At the end of the whole course, you are presented with a major automated examination 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

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Plant Health Short Course Plant Health Short Course
$220.00 In stock