This very intensive course prepares landscape professionals to write the Soul Organic Land Care Accreditation exam. It focuses on the topics covered in the exam: what sets organic/holistic horticulture apart from conventional horticulture. The major emphasis is on soil management, and the connection between soil health and landscape health. Using Organic Turf Management as an example, you will learn a new decision making framework that will enable you to work with natural processes to create and maintain healthy, beautiful landscapes.

Entry Requirements

  • Ontario Secondary Diploma at the advanced or general level, or its equivalent, or mature student status;
  • Grade 12 English or its equivalent is recommended

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Organic Land Care Accreditation Course


Demonstrated prior landscaping education/experience/employment

Soil is the foundation of landscape health. Whether you grow ornamental gardens, turf or vegetables, you need to understand how soil works. Most often soil is primarily looked at as a growing medium, something lifeless and sterile. However, soil is the exact opposite; it's an ecosystem and needs to be managed as such. The greatest biodiversity on earth occurs, or should occur, in the top few inches of soil. Soil ecosystem health and plant health are inseparably linked. Soil processes are universal, applying equally to ornamental landscapes, turf and agricultural crops. Our job is primarily one of fine-tuning. In this intensive, professional course you will learn how to assess the health of your soil and support the natural processes within the soil that result in plant health. You will learn how the uses of environmental toxins are counterproductive to achieving your landscape goals. A new decision making framework will be presented to enable you to work with nature to create and maintain healthy, beautiful landscapes, including lawns. Support for the process of transitioning a landscape from chemical dependency to organic self-sufficiency is what sets this course apart from traditional soil science courses. The online course engages students with practical and hands-on projects and is for those with previous landscaping education/experience only.

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Program Outcomes

Upon successful  completion of this course the student will be able to:

  • Define what organic means within the context of a new decision making framework for organic landscape management practices
  • Explore the complexity of soil ecosystems by examining the pros and cons of various soil management practices
  • Evaluate landscape management practices for their ability to support integrated ecological processes that result in increased soil quality, fertility, water attraction and retention, and plant health
  • Recognize the differences between "Pest and Disease Management" and "Health Management"

SOUL Accreditation

To become an Accredited Organic Land Care Practitioner, you must have demonstrated industry experience and successfully completed the course, OLC 400 Organic Land Care Accreditation,  within the past 2 years. You will then need to apply to SOUL to write the Accreditation exam. Follow the steps on the Society of Organic Urban Land Care website to initiate the process.

Program Contacts

Ariane Favereau Broughton
Program Assistant
416-491-5050 ext.22663

Astrid Muschalla
Part-time Program Coordinator

Sharon Estok
Academic Program Manager
416-491-5050 ext.22515