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Grow your own career in horticulture!
The 10-month Horticulture Certificate Program is designed for students who seek to become professional gardeners. After 10 months, you will be ready for employment or self-employment in the field of horticulture. The program runs from January to November so students can follow an entire growing season.
Who should enroll?
Applicants should be interested in plants and in creating and maintaining gardens. You should be physically fit, enjoy hands-on work and being outdoors in all kinds of weather. Gardening involves creating both order and beauty, so be prepared to perform repetitive tasks as well as use your creativity. There is also a more technical aspect involved when you learn about irrigation systems, hardscaping features, and how to operate and maintain small engine equipment.
How to Apply:
For program costs and how to apply: Fees and Admission Requirements
You will learn all the basics – and much more – required to succeed in the field of horticulture. At least one third of your weekly class time is spent in the garden. Practical Skills and Plant Identification and Culture are the backbone of the program, with classes every week over the course of the 10 months.
Your theory courses will cover everything from Botany and Soil Science to Plant Health (Pests and Diseases), Business Practices, Integrated Pest Management, Turfgrass Management and Landscape Design. You will also learn about fruit and vegetable growing and alternative gardening practices through our Introduction to Permaculture and Sustainable Food Production courses. To provide a well rounded- horticultural education, field trips and guest speakers complete the schedule with topics as diverse as: Bonsai, Ethnobotany, Invasive Plant Management, Cut Flowers, Pond Installation and Maintenance, Native Plants or Mason Bees.
For a detailed list of courses, please see: Program Courses
Throughout the program, students participate in the maintenance and development of the Gardens at HCP, performing a variety of tasks common to each season. This includes garden projects, design proposals and installations, greenhouse work and partnership rotations with HCP garden volunteers. Students also take numerous field trips during the year to visit other local gardens and garden-related businesses.
Program Key Facts:
• January—November, 42 weeks
• Full-time, 28.5 hours per week*
• Mon-Thu 9 am- 4 pm, Fri 9 am -12:30 pm
• 2 weeks of work experience with local host employers
• 2 weeks summer break in July
• Have a minimum of 80% attendance for each of the individual courses, and for the entire program
• Have missed no more than five Practical Skills sessions per term
• Complete all project work assigned
• Pass all courses with a minimum of 70% average – all courses in the program must be passed in order to graduate from the program
• Successfully complete Practical Skills and Safe Work Practices
• Successfully complete all Practical Skills Checklists
Upon completion of the program, students receive a college certificate. They also complete the Horticulture Technician Foundation Program as outlined by the Industry Training Authority (ITA). Students will receive credit for the first two levels of apprenticeship training, as well as 500 work-based training hours toward their Red Seal Certification.
PHC graduates are employed by landscaping companies, nurseries, garden centres, golf courses, municipalities and more. Graduates also work in food production and as landscape designers. Many PHC graduates also go on to start their own horticulture business.
Graduates who want to obtain their Red Seal certification can go on to attend Levels 3 and 4 of their technical training. Level 3 and 4 are both offered at PHC.