The Horticultural sector is one of the most important primary industries in Australia. Not only do you find horticultural work ‘on the land’ but there are parts, private gardens and don’t forget sporting facilities.
Like the landcare worker, you must love physical, outdoor work, however, you require a lot more knowledge of gardening and plants, usually gained from a VET course, such as the Cert III in Horticulture that some of RichmondPRA’s crew members are doing (see story on St Marys Enterpraise). Other courses included Production Horticulture, Production Nursery or Retail Nursery.
Horticultural tradespersons maintain plants and planted areas, construct horticultural features and apply treatments to enhance plant growth and control pests.
•Plant and transplant flowers, shrubs, trees and lawns; maintaining and watering gardens
•Correct soil deficiencies, add fertilisers and compost
•Treat pests and plant diseases
•Use chemicals such as growth regulators
•Construct ponds and rockeries
•Pruning trees and hedges
•Hoe irrigate and fertilise crops
•Look after equipment used in all the above
•Install irrigation and drainage systems.
•Supervise and plan the work of others, planning and budgeting, especially if self employed.
There are quite a few specialisations within the Horticultural trades:
•Arboriculture worker (tree surgeon)
•Floriculturist (flower farmer)
•Gardener (looks after plants in public parks and so on)
•Greenkeeper (works on golf courses and other places where fine turf is found)
•Landscape gardener (includes the element of design and often works on private gardens)
•Nursery worker (grows and sells plants).
And don’t forget jobs like Beekeeper (apiarist), Farm hand or manager, Florist, Forest Worker, Timber harvester and viticulturist (vineyard manager)
AgriFood Skills Australia
Phone: (02) 6163 7200
Australian Institute of Horticulture Inc
Phone: (02) 8001 6198
Nursery and Garden Industry Australia (National Office)
Phone: (02) 8861 5100
Rural Skills Australia