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Horticulture is the science of plant propagation and cultivation. A trained horticulturist works on creating ornamental and edible plants, shrubs and trees, and ensuring that these are better resistant to insects, diseases and climatic fluctuations. Taking online summer horticulture classes is a step towards getting started in this career. You will learn about plant tissue, plant propagation, planting methods, plant and soil nutrition, plant maintenance, landscape design, irrigation techniques and equipment, pest treatment, sustainable landscape, and horticulture business management. The classes will cover topics like arboriculture (about trees and shrubs), floriculture (about floral plants), olericulture (about vegetables), pomology (about fruits) and much more. This knowledge can be used as credit for further certification.
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Going for online summer classes will save time as well as commuting expenses. You can do the horticulture course at your convenience, keeping contact with instructors and peers over the Internet. Study materials may be provided online or in CD-ROM form. You may have to purchase some prescribed books on horticulture in addition. You may have to participate in field trips or complete practical projects and post information and photographs about these online.
Schools Offering Summer Horticulture Classes
There are many online schools offering summer horticulture classes. It is a good idea to research these schools, check their accreditation, and see what past and present students are saying about the course. Ideally, look for a course that allows credit for further education. This will stand you in good stead if you decide to pursue a degree in horticulture; getting a horticulture degree would be a good idea as it will open up better and higher paying career opportunities
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Here are some schools that you can check out -
The OSU Extended Campus offers online summer horticulture classes. The classes are of an 11 week duration, starting from 21 June, and class registration starts on 11 April. Tuition fees per credit are $235 for undergraduates, $461 for graduates and $50 for professionals. The following courses are offered -
- Introduction to Horticultural Systems, Practices and Careers
- Landscape Plant Materials
- Organic Farming and Gardening
- Principles of Turfgrass Maintenance
- Plant Nutrition
- Urban Forestry
The online summer horticulture classes offered by the University of Guelph are conducted from 10 May to 30 July. Course fees are $495, and most of the course materials is provided via a CD-ROM. Many of these courses have accreditation from the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America, and can be counted towards further education. The following courses are offered -
- Introduction to Soils and Plant Growth
- Landscape Design
- Ornamental Plant Protection
For further education in horticulture, you might want to check out the online degrees offered by Warnborough College and The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
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Career prospects in horticulture are good, depending on your training, experience and willingness to work. Horticulturists work in plant and agriculture research institutes, in plant nurseries, in floriculture and arboriculture farms. They may work as plant nursery managers, as farm managers, as agriculture consultants, as landscape designers, and in other horticulture related occupations. Earning varies according to work, work position, employer, location and experience. In 2008, the US Bureau of Labor gave the annual median wages of agriculture managers as $59,450. There are expected to be around 64,900 projected job openings in this area for 2008-2018.