Groundskeeping Courses and Classes Overview

Groundskeeping programs provide instruction in the installation and maintenance of various landscaping grasses, plants, and trees. These programs often include hands-on training and can also prepare students for certification in pesticide application.

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Essential Information

Students interested in taking groundskeeping or landscaping courses generally earn a certificate or associate's degree in landscape and nursery management, landscape technology, lawn management or groundskeeping. Students who want to continue their education may also earn a bachelor's or master's degree in landscape architecture. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, most states require individuals to be licensed or certified in order to apply and use pesticides. Common concepts covered in these courses include:

  • Common landscaping tools
  • Plant biology and identification
  • Outdoor space design
  • Common pests
  • Pesticide and non-chemical solutions to pests
  • Turf grass fertilization and maintenance

List of Courses

Horticulture and Botany Fundamentals Course

This course introduces students to plant terminology, plant anatomy, plant growth principles and horticultural practices. Focus is placed on plant growth requirements. Plant taxonomy, histology, morphology and physiology are also examined. Students study plant science as it relates to horticulture, and students may participate in lab projects that include plant production, training and classification sciences. This is an introductory course taken at the start of any program of study.

Introduction to Pesticides Course

This basic pesticide course introduces students to various laws governing the use of pesticides as well as the safe use and application of pesticides. Students explore issues concerning alternatives to pesticides. This class prepares students for a state pesticide certification exam.

Groundskeeping Design and Maintenance Course

Students are introduced to design elements and techniques as they apply to exterior landscaping. Focus is placed on preparing, evaluating and implementing functionally designed outdoor areas. Groundskeeping maintenance may also be explored, as well as spatial definitions, proportions, scale, tone and color coordination of landscaping materials.

Ornamental Plant Maintenance Course

Students learn to identify, propagate, cultivate and use decorative plants in landscaping. Additional subjects of study may include recognizing and treating disease and insect problems in decorative plants, thereby reducing plant damage or death. Other topics explored are plant adaptation and urban landscape issues.

Turf Grass Course

Topics in the turf grass course include how to plant and maintain turf grass, how to prepare soils, how to properly apply fertilizers and how to perform cost budgeting. Students are introduced to maintaining groundskeeping machinery, including lawn mowers, thatchers, aerators and edgers. Pest control measures, moss prevention, sod production and soil-water relationships may be other topics included in the course.

Entomology Principles Course

Here, students examine characteristics, methods of identification and life cycles of major plant pests. In addition, various pest control measures are covered. Weed identification may also be introduced, as well as exploring the damage that insects may inflict on garden plants and trees. Integrated pest management techniques are explored, along with alternative pesticide and maintenance methods to ensure healthy plant production in greenhouses, gardens, nurseries and yards.

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