Tom Cole

RHS: Plant Nutrition & Roots (2)

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    Includes personal feedback and tuition. More

  • $199

    Learn in an online classroom with no more than 20 classmates. More

Course Description

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.

This course is taught by Hilary Thomas, and if you opt for expert access your work will be marked by Tom Cole.

Course outline

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

Choose how you want to learn

  • The Expert option


    Develop your learning further with marked assignments and personal tuition from Tom Cole

    • Start course whenever you like
    • 6 weeks tutor access for personalised assignment feedback & coaching
    • 6 assignments marked by Tom Cole
    • Online classroom with up to 20 classmates
    • 6 lessons with expert videos & notes
    • Group chat & direct message with tutor & classmates
    • Lifetime access to videos, notes & classroom
    Learn more
  • The Peer option

    Discover the benefits of group learning in an online interactive classroom of no more than 20 people. Get the most from shared knowledge and community study

    • Start course whenever you like
    • Practise what you learn with your peers
    • Online classroom with up to 20 classmates
    • 6 lessons with expert videos & notes
    • 6 course assignments
    • Group chat & direct message classmates
    • Lifetime access to videos, notes & classroom
    Learn more

Gardening classroom - how it works

  • Start anytime

    Watch video tutorials led by expert tutors

    Watch video tutorials led by expert tutors
  • Test yourself

    Practice what you learn with inspiring assignments

    Practice what you learn with inspiring assignments
  • Personal tuition

    Get assignment feedback from expert tutors

    Get assignment feedback from expert tutors
  • Share ideas

    Collaborate and chat directly to classmates

    Collaborate and chat directly to classmates

Meet Tom Cole

Tom Cole - Gardening
Tom has been involved in land-based education since 1991. He was a lecturer at Capel Manor College, which culminated in becoming Head of Horticulture in 1997-2009. This role involved overseeing and leading a team based at 5 sites covering the London area. During 2009, Tom moved to Writtle University College as a Curriculum Manager, overseeing Further Education covering Agriculture, Countryside and Horticulture. During 2010 he became the Head of Faculty.

More recently, Tom has spent much time delivering RHS qualifications at Capel Manor College. He is an RHS Associate and speaker, qualification writer for Pearson/ BTEC and marks RHS Level 2 exams. Tom is also currently expanding a small, but perfectly formed soft landscape and maintenance business. Aside from teaching, he regularly broadcasts on BBC Radio Essex with Ken Crowther and contributes to various garden magazines.

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    RHS Qualifications: Distance Learning Approved Provider 2020

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    Purchasing the full collection is the most economical way of readying yourself for the final exam - and saving on the price of buying module by module. However feel free also to pick and choose the areas that interest you if you simply want the pleasure of horticulture and do not want to achieve the overall RHS Level 2 qualification.

    More information about the qualification can be found here.

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