A wonderful, informative course! I'll actually be able to use what I learned."
I want to thank the instructors for making this such an enjoyable course. Not only did I learn quite a bit, but the lessons were very well written, which isn't always the case. Now I need to go forward and put what I have learned into practice."
Thank you for providing this program. I enjoyed learning the material. I appreciate the resource material and the web site information. Thanks again."
Thank you--thank you--thank you! The course subject matter and your organization of the course material has provided me with an excellent resource guide to help me take my penchant/obsession/love of backyard gardening to the next level. I've poured through many gardening books, but none addressed the business perspective and related licensing/legal concerns. Most importantly, thanks for the encouragement."
This is the first "online class" that I have ever taken. I believe I have learned much from the course. The class truly helped me to see that going into this type of business on a small scale does not have to cost an arm and a leg. It is doable and can be profitable. I thank you for offering it and I will recommend it to others. I do hope you are considering a follow-up, if so, please let me know. Thank you."
Course Code: gpf
In our first lesson, you'll meet other gardeners who've successfully made the transition to nurserymen. You'll also learn what permits and licenses you may need as you get started. Then, we'll take a close look at climate zone maps to help you figure out what plants will grow best in your region and teach you easy ways to prepare your growing grounds. Finally, we'll show you ways to create inexpensive microclimates that will help you start your plants and expand the varieties you can grow.
In this lesson, you'll learn what production supplies you'll need and how to find wholesale sources for them. Then, we'll focus on the three major methods used in nursery production for starting plants: propagation by seed, cuttings, and division.
In this lesson, we'll teach you the most valuable lesson we've learned in this business: How to reduce the waiting time involved in growing plant material. Then, we'll focus on growing annual flowers and bulbs, paying special attention to market timing. You'll learn how to create high-value items such as color bowls and hanging baskets. We'll also discuss vegetable starter plants and herbs. Specializing in organic growing will help you tap into a lucrative area of the nursery trade, so we'll fill you in on all you need to know about organic growing and certification.
In this lesson, we'll focus on one of the hottest topics in gardening: The particular group of non-woody plants that nurseries call perennials. Then, we'll talk about woody plants--such as shrubs and vines--that form the more permanent plantings in a landscape.
Trees may be the largest members of the plant kingdom, but they're also among the easiest and most profitable to grow. In this lesson, you'll not only learn how to propagate landscape trees, but how to greatly shorten their growing time by buying bare-root seedlings and finished bare-roots. Then, we'll provide guidelines for quality standards.
In this lesson, we'll begin with a discussion on wholesale marketing. You'll learn all you need to know to do business with discount chain stores, local retailers, and landscapers. Then we'll explore consignment selling, contract growing, and business-to-business Internet options. And finally, we'll discuss retail marketing, or taking your product directly to the public.
Michael and Linda Harlan have been involved in the nursery industry since 1968. In 1985, they began a backyard nursery on a half-acre that grew into a successful 12-year business venture. The Harlans then shared their experience by publishing a self-help book entitled Growing profits: How to Start and Operate a Backyard Nursery. Michael has been teaching a course on this subject matter through the extension services of local community colleges for the past four years.
There are no prerequisites to take this course.
The instructional materials required for this course are included in enrollment and will be available online.
A new session of each course opens each month, allowing you to enroll whenever your busy schedule permits.
Once a course session starts, two lessons will be released each week for the six-week duration of your course. You will have access to all previously released lessons until the course ends.
The interactive discussion area for each lesson automatically closes two weeks after each lesson is released, so you’re encouraged to complete each lesson within two weeks of its release.
The final exam will be released on the same day as the last lesson. Once the final exam has been released, you will have two weeks plus 10 days (24 days total) to complete the final and finish any remaining lessons in your course. No further extensions can be provided beyond these 10 days.