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RHS: Plant Nutrition & Roots (2)Taught by Hilary Thomas

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‘You can trust the RHS to teach you everything you possibly need to know’ ~ Jamie Butterworth

  • Physical and chemical properties of soil

  • Methods of soil improvement

  • Role of water in soil

  • Plant nutrients and signs of nutrient deficiency


This module will develop candidates’ understanding of factors affecting plant growth. The module will therefore incorporate the delicate balance of nutrients and pH levels that are required for plants to flourish, as well as drawing attention to the signs of specific nutrient deficiencies. Such study will allow the candidate to appreciate the importance of good quality soil, and so will then also draw upon: soil evaluation; management; and proper irrigation. In addition, candidates will examine compost and varying growing media.

The Curriculum

  • 1. Physical and Chemical Properties of Soils

    In this lesson you will learn all about soil and how it supports plant growth. This will include soil formation and composition, as well as how to evaluate soil.

  • 2. Water and Soil Irrigation

    This lesson covers the essentials for healthy plant growth. You will also examine soil water and its varying forms, before moving on to look at irrigation and its benefits.

  • 3. Methods of Soil Improvement and Management

    Here you will learn all about the cultivation of soil, including how to test soil and cultivate it yourself. You will then learn how to consolidate seed beds and will consider the ‘seed bed’ system as a whole.

  • 4. Organic Matter and its Importance in the Soil

    This lesson tackles the contribution and benefit of living organisms to soil health, as well as the process of decomposition of organic matter. From here you will study compost, including: the sources of compost; methods of storing compost; and how to make a compost bed.

  • 5. Nutrients and Fertilisers

    You will be introduced to the nutrients needed by plants. Once you have come to terms with the individual nutrients required by a plant, you will study the signs of nutrient deficiency, as well as looking at soil pH and the effects of different pH levels.

  • 6. Composts and Growing Media

    This lesson will focus on container gardening. However it will also cover alternative growing mediums to peat, and introduce you to the basics of hydroponics.

Meet your expert tutor

Hilary Thomas was Head of the School of Garden Design at the highly regarded Capel Manor College where she taught both Horticulture and Garden and Planting Design for over 20 years. Her students won ...read more

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