Centre for Continuing Education

Gardening for Beginners Course

Horticulture and gardening. Open to everyone.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) update: arrangement of our courses

Some of our courses have moved to online delivery. We aim to continue to deliver a high-quality educational experience through interactive, online classes in real-time. If you are currently enrolled in a course with us, we will be in touch soon with options for your enrolment.

Please note that for online classes, all course materials will be shared electronically. No printed resources will be available.

This basic gardening skills course teaches everything you need to know about how to achieve the best results for your outdoor area, from the ground up.

Discover what type of soil you have and how you may need to improve it. Find out which plants are suitable for specific areas and how to maintain them with a minimum amount of time and effort.


By the end of this course, you should be able to:

  • identify the requirements of plants to grow successfully
  • assess your soil type and establish means of improvement, if necessary
  • select suitable containers and potting mixes
  • determine the difference between organic and non-organic fertilisers
  • determine the preferred location of specific plants
  • implement accurate watering procedures
  • apply correct planting, pruning and staking techniques
  • identify pests and diseases and distinguish between the various methods of control.


  • Introduction to the course
  • The living plant
  • Soil
    • Type
    • Analysis
    • Acid/alkaline
    • Soil testing
    • How to improve your soil
  • Types of potting mix
  • Organic and non-organic fertilisers
  • Plants for specific areas
    • Sun
    • Shade
    • Dry
    • Wet
    • Privacy
    • Allergy
    • Fragrant, etc.
  • Watering
    • Irrigation systems
    • Water storage systems
  • Garden maintenance
    • Planting
    • Staking
    • Pruning
    • Mulching
  • Pests and diseases
    • Identification
    • Physical, natural and organic controls
  • Course review

Intended audience

Anyone interested in learning the practices of good gardening and those who want to achieve the best results with minimum maintenance.

Delivery style

Delivered in an interactive environment where fundamental gardening techniques are discussed and demonstrated. Equipment is displayed and you will be encouraged to bring to class a soil sample for analysis.


Course notes are provided in class.


  • Expert trainers
  • Central locations
  • Free, expert advice
  • Course materials – yours to keep
  • CCE Statement of Completion

Gardening for Beginners Course

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What others say.

  • The facilitator was fantastic. So enthusiastic and informative. Will definitely be back for more!
  • Judith Sljeijpen was excellent, and the course was interesting, fun and informative.
  • An engaging and interesting day that delivered exactly what was promised. Judith is a knowledgeable and delightful teacher who was able to cater to the varying needs and personalities of the group.
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