A new session of each course opens each month, allowing you to enroll whenever your busy schedule permits!
How does it work? Once a 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.
Keep in mind that the interactive discussion area for each lesson automatically closes 2 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 2 weeks plus 10 days to complete the Final and finish any remaining lessons in your course. No further extensions can be provided beyond these 10 days.
Lesson 01 - Making the Transition from Gardener to Nurseryman
In our first lesson, you'll meet other gardeners who've successfully made the transition to nurserymen. You may be surprised to discover that, within the small space of a backyard, you can produce significant income by growing plants. You'll also learn what permits and licenses you may need as you get started.
Lesson 02 - Your Climate Considerations
Today, we'll take a close look at climate zone maps to help you figure out what plants will grow best in your region. Then we'll 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.
Lesson 03 - Necessary Supplies and Where to Find Them
In this lesson, you'll learn what production supplies you'll need and how to find wholesale sources for them. We'll discuss cover containers, soil, fertilizer, and labels. Then we'll talk about why it's important to keep track of your expenses for tax purposes.
Lesson 04 - Plant Propagation Methods
Starting new plants is one of the most exciting and rewarding experiences for gardeners and nurseryman alike. The process of starting new plants is called propagation. In this lesson, we'll focus on the three major methods used in nursery production: propagation by seed, cuttings, and division.
Lesson 05 - Reduce Your Growing Time: Buy Plants from Other Growers
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. You'll learn what types of starter plants are available and how to find wholesale sources. We'll also offer some valuable guidelines to help you decide what to grow. Then we'll talk about how to find additional sources of information and business networking opportunities through nurserymen associations and trade shows.
Lesson 06 - Growing Annuals (Including Vegetables, Herbs, and Bulbs)
In this lesson, 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. Then we'll 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.
Lesson 07 - Growing Perennials
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.” You'll become familiar not only with the favorites, but with the wide variety of perennials available. Then we'll go over some detailed information about specific perennials, including how to grow them and how to time them for market.
Lesson 08 - Growing Shrubs, Roses, and Vines
Today we'll talk about woody plants--such as shrubs and vines--that form the more permanent plantings in a landscape. We'll pay particular attention to roses because they're among the most beautiful and profitable shrubs. In addition, you'll learn how to grow small fruiting shrubs and vines for specialty markets.
Lesson 09 - Growing Various Trees in Sizes from #1s to #15s
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. We'll complete the lesson with a discussion on fruiting and flowering trees.
Lesson 10 - Producing a Quality Plant
Whether you're growing plants for fun or profit, you'll want to produce quality plant material. In this lesson, we'll provide guidelines for quality standards. You'll learn about pruning, staking, and training plants into special shapes and forms. We'll also talk about methods you can use to ward off diseases and pests.
Lesson 11 - Wholesale Marketing
If you're like most gardeners, growing plants is the easy part—marketing is the real challenge! 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.
Lesson 12 - Retail Marketing
In our final lesson, we'll discuss retail marketing, or taking your product directly to the public. You'll learn how to advertise inexpensively and effectively so you're not just growing plants, you're growing your business! We'll explain what you'll need to know to sell your plants from your home or garage sales, certified farmers markets, and flea markets. Then we'll discuss selling your plants to government or public agencies.