Turf Care

Learn about lawns

  • For home gardens
  • Sports grounds
  • Golf courses
  • Amenity situations (parks, roadsides, commercial sites)
  • To work as a gardener, green keeper or groundsman

Learn How Every Lawn is Different

To the untrained eye, all lawns look the same; just a big area of cut grass. Grasses can vary greatly though. Some are hardier or more disease resistant, some have thicker leaf blades, and some creep along the ground while others grow upright.

Even grasses that are called the same name are not necessarily the same. The term couch grass (for example) is commonly applied to fine leaved creeping grasses of the genus “Cynodon”; but it is also occasionally used loosely to describe fine leaved grasses from other genera. Grasses that may be called couch include:

  • Couchgrass or Bermudagrass  - Cynodon dactylon
  • South African Couch - Cynodon transvaalensis
  • Hybrid Couch - cultivars selected from cross breeding Cynodon dactylon with Cynodon transvaalensis 
  • Queensland Blue Couch - Digitaria didactyla
  • Salt Water Couch - Paspalum vaginatum

Even within each of these species there can be different varieties with varied characteristics.

Learn how every lawn should be treated differently

Through this course you will begin to learn how different cultivars of grass should be used and treated. Some are more suited to playing sport on, some look greener, and some can be mown lower so balls will roll better on the surface.


There are eleven lessons as follows:

1. Introduction

  • Benefits of Turf
  • History of Turf
  • Turf Varieties
  • Lawn Mixes
  • What Lawn to Grow Where

2. Turf Grass Physiology

  • Scope and Nature of Grass
  • Morphology of a Typical Grass Plant
  • The Grass Flower
  • Identifying other Distinguishing Characteristics
  • Grass Roots
  • Grass Shoots
  • Root Shoot Ratio
  • Recuperative Potential
  • Ways of Identifying a Grass Key to Common Turf Grasses
  • Identification Tips for Rye grasses, Bents, Fescues and others
  • Descriptions of Major Warm Season Grasses; couch, zoysia, carpet grass

3. Turf Establishment

  • Introduction
  • Soil Preparation
  • Seeding; seed quality, planting method, after planting care
  • Sodding or Instant Turf
  • Other Techniques; plugging, stolonizing, sprigging, chitted seed
  • Work Scheduling
  • Estimating Costs

4. Soils

  • Understanding soil, introduction and texture
  • Soil Blends
  • pH, Buffering
  • Improving Soils
  • Calculating Quantities of Soil Needed
  • Nutrition
  • Fertilizing Turf
  • Drainage

5. Turf Weed Problems

  • Introduction
  • How Weeds are Spread
  • Non Chemical Weed Control in Turf
  • Chemical weed Control in Turf
  • Effective and Safe Herbicide Use

6. Turf Pests and Diseases

  • Introduction
  • Chemical and Non Chemical Control
  • Dry Patch
  • Heat Scadls
  • Algae
  • Mosses
  • Chemical Contamination of Turf
  • Damping Off
  • Brown Patch
  • Fairy Rings
  • Dollar Spot
  • Rust
  • Smut
  • Pests occurring in Turf Grass
  • Review of Commonly Used Pesticides and Fungicides
  • Spraying Equipment
  • Domestic Lawn Care Program

7. Turf Maintenance Techniques

  • Introduction
  • Turf Mowers
  • Mowing Guidelines
  • Length of Cut
  • Getting a Clean Cut
  • To Catch or Not to Catch
  • Pattern of Cutting
  • Cutting Steep Slopes
  • After Mowing, and lawn clippings
  • Mower Safety
  • Other Turf Maintenance Techniques

8. Irrigation - An Overview

  • Water and Plant Growth
  • Managing water retention and loss
  • Understanding movement of Soil Water
  • Types of Soil Water
  • Testing for Soil Water
  • Estimating Water Needs
  • Irrigating Turf
  • Rate, Timing and Period for Watering
  • Cyclic Watering, Pulse Watering
  • Irrigation Equipment

9. Playing Fields and Bowling Greens

  • Gradients for Sporting Facilities
  • Dimensions for Sports Facilities
  • Construction Procedure for a Playing Field
  • General Specs for Golf Course Preparation
  • Cricket Wicket Construction
  • Maintenance and Repair of Turf Wickets
  • Marking a Wicket
  • Treatment after Play

10. Managing Established Turf

  • Introduction
  • Golf Course Care and Maintenance
  • Mowing
  • Watering
  • Renovation
  • Fertilizing
  • Weed Control

11. Establishing Ornamental Turf

  • Introduction
  • Turf in Shade
  • Establishment of Ornamental Turf
  • Planning and environmental auditing


  • Identify the range of grasses and other species available for turf culture.
  • Explain the management of soils for growing turf.
  • Identify methods for the establishment of turf.
  • Explain the management of problems in turf including weeds, pests and diseases.
  • Explain maintenance practices used in turf management.
  • Plan the development of different turfs used for sport.
  • Develop plans to establish a turfed area.
  • Develop management strategies for the care of established turf.

Duration    100 hours


Scope of the Turf Industry

A park, golf course, bowling green, race track, garden or other public space with well maintained grasses areas is not only visually appealing, it creates a sense of space and restfulness when combined with other elements in the landscape. The turf industry services public and commercial spaces such as these, and also turf in private gardens.

More people work in turf than what people might imagine, from superintendents and green keepers, to pest control contractors, seed suppliers and machinery salesmen; and these are only some of the opportunities that may open up to a graduate in turf care or management.

A healthy and vigorous lawn also provides the following benefits:

  • every 2-3 square metres of grass produce enough oxygen for one person for a day
  • lawns have a cooling effect on the immediate area
  • lawns absorb carbon dioxide emissions from nearby vehicles
  • lawns reduce noise by absorbing and deflecting sound
  • lawns reduce glare
  • lawns reduce water runoff through absorption
  • lawns improve the soil processes and general soil condition

A turf is a low-growing ground cover. The type of plant used in the turf may be a single variety or a mixture of plant varieties. It might be cut regularly or only rarely to maintain a desirable and even height. While grasses are the most common groups of plants used for turf, a very wide variety of other types of low growing plants have been used successfully, including clovers, Dichondra, thyme, and chamomile. These notes will concentrate on grass turf.

There are three main reasons for which turf is created:

a) Functional turf is used to control soil erosion, reduce dust and mud problems, reduce glare, noise, air pollution and buffer temperature fluctuations. Turf along a roadside or surrounding a factory are examples of functional turf.

b) Recreational turf is used for sporting activities, such as bowling greens, golf courses and football grounds, and other outdoor recreational activities such as surfacing a children's playground or picnic area.

c) Ornamental turf is primarily intended as a decoration, for example the front lawn of a home or office building or high quality grassed areas in public parklands.


NOTE: some turf might be created for a combination of reasons, and as such do not fit exclusively into one of the above categories.



  • To perform better at work - if you already work as a gardener, greenkeeper or in horticulture
  • To improve your prospects for finding employment
  • To prepare for running a lawn care and mowing business
  • To create or manage your own lawn - lawns can be costly and time consuming if you don't know what you are doing. You can save on both is you invest some time and money into this course and learn to avoid mistakes.


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Fee Information (S3)
Prices in Australian Dollars

PlanAust. PriceOverseas Price
A 1 x $834.96  1 x $759.05
B 2 x $451.44  2 x $410.40

Note: Australian prices include GST. 

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Courses can be started anytime
from anywhere in the world!

All orders processed in Australian dollars.