Want to set up a garden maintenance business?

Working in garden maintenance but want to add to your knowledge?

Your boss has asked you to do a course?

This course covers all the aspects required to set you on the right track in your garden maintenance business.

Proper garden maintenance costs both time and money. Fortunately, there are shortcuts to help you create a good-looking garden for yourself or your clients - without spending a huge amount of time or money.

Over ten lessons, you learn how to effectively maintain a garden while reducing the amount of time, labour and costs involved.

Learn How to Maintain a Garden


  • Start Your Own Gardening Business - But Prepare First and Do It Right!
  • Good gardeners are always in demand; and are not only more secure in their job; but they have the potential to earn more money.
  • Taking a course like this should be a minimum starting point for anyone who is serious about setting themselves up as a gardener.



  1. Garden Furnishings and Machinery -develops an understanding of power tools used for maintaining a garden and also furnishings.
  2. Feeding Plants - Details areas involving plant care - nutrition , Improving soils, Cation exchange and pH , Plant Nutrition
  3. Weed Control - this lesson goes through weed control methods, common groups of weeds and options for treating and recognising different weed varieties.
  4. Weedicides - Types of chemicals found in weedicides and suitable weedicides, which would control the weed.
  5. Natural Pest Control - Goes through advantages and disadvantages of chemical and non- chemical pest control. Goes through natural controlling methods for pest and diseases. Teaches how to identify and solve specific problems
  6. Chemical Pest Control - Advises on safety procedures when using agricultural chemicals, specific chemical treatments and a summary of pesticides.
  7. Turf Management - Develops an understanding of turf varieties, appropriate turf for specific areas, low and high maintenance turf.
  8. Irrigation - Details on Irrigation, appropriate Irrigation systems and watering for plants.
  9. Maintenance of Plants - Overall areas to consider when dealing with plant care, maintenance of a complete garden area.

100 hours


This course aims to bring you to a point where you can do the following:

  • Evaluate the maintenance needs and develop a plan for maintaining a garden.
  • Select and maintain tools and equipment appropriately for use in garden maintenance.
  • Describe maintenance requirements for garden structures such as furniture, gates and fencing.
  • Maintain appropriate nutrition requirements for healthy plant growth.
  • Control weeds in a garden.
  • Use weedicides in a safe and effective way.
  • Control pests using non chemical methods.
  • Use chemical pesticides safely and efficiently.
  • Maintain lawns in a healthy and well maintained condition.
  • Describe options for managing water in a garden.
  • Determine actions that should be taken to maintain a variety of different plants.

Tips for Pruning Fruit Trees

Pruning trees can be daunting for many people – where do you cut, what do you cut and how do you do it? With a bit of knowledge though, it is not as hard as it seems. Obviously the bigger and older the tree the more likely it will be that you will need the help of a skilled pruner – but smaller fruit trees are not so difficult to tackle yourself, once you are informed in pruning techniques. 

Why do we prune?

You do not actually need to prune fruit trees – they will still produce fruit, but the fruit will be increasingly more difficult to access as the tree grows. Over abundant crops also means your trees are more prone to branches breaking under the weight. In the home orchard, pruning can largely be adapted to shape the tree so that it fits into the general function and design of your overall garden. If you want to prune so that you can walk under or past one side of your fruit tree, this is acceptable. If you wish to prune it up against a wall, this is also acceptable.
Pruning is done for the following reasons:
  • To remove dead or diseased wood which could affect other parts of the plant.
  • To exercise control over the type of growth, for example, to promote flowering, fruit or foliage, etc.
  • To control the size and/or shape of the plant.
  • To rejuvenate an old plant, replacing old wood with new wood.

If you are pruning for reasons other than the above, then you are probably pruning unnecessarily. Many people prune just for the sake of it; pruning creates cuts that are entry points for disease, so if you don’t need to prune, then don’t!  

Methods and shapes

There are many schools of thought today about how fruit trees should be pruned. In the past we pruned to a ‘vase’ shape, or encouraged a central leader with lateral branches (one year old short growth). And although there are several techniques that are used to promote more productive crops commercially today; for the home gardener the vase or open shaped, or central leader shape pruning methods are still the most popular. It encourages air movement through the tree reducing fungal problems and also keeps trees at a manageable height. 

Before pruning

Prior to pruning, look closely at the tree and try to understand how it grows. What parts of the tree produce flowers and fruit, what shape do you want to achieve, do you want small fruit or larger but less fruit? Note the size of the buds. Larger, plump buds are flower/fruit buds. 

You will notice that fruit buds are borne on particular parts of a tree, for example, peaches bear fruit on 1 year old laterals; apples bear fruit on the tips of one year old laterals, as well as in small clusters of compact growths called "spur systems". Others (figs for example) produce the first crop on the previous year’s wood and the second crop on new wood; apples produce fruit on spurs and laterals and most varieties bear best on 2 year old wood. To produce at their best, all types need to be pruned accordingly. 

The basis of your pruning should be to cut in a way which will encourage the development of the type of growth which will produce fruit for future years, but at the same time will leave sufficient fruit buds to allow a reasonable crop for the coming season.

Narrower buds are vegetative, which give rise to leaves or green shoots. The frequency of flower buds will give an indication of the amount of fruit the tree is likely to bear. 

On some types of fruit tree, for example apple and pears, one bud can produce several fruit; on others, e.g. stone fruits, one bud only produces one fruit. 

Some tropical fruit trees flower on new spring flush growth whereas others flower on older wood. When pruning be careful to leave or encourage the type of wood (growth) that produces flowers. The wrong prune can remove all next season's fruit.

There are several fruiting species that many people prune annually but that may not need it: citrus, walnuts, and macadamia and also almonds and apricots are examples, they will all fruit well, without annual pruning, if grown in good conditions.




Just go to the top of this page for pricing and enrolment options. If you have any questions you can contact us now, by:
Phone (UK) 01384 44272, (International) +44 (0) 1384 442752, or

Email us at [email protected]