OLP100 - Fundamentals of Organic Land Care

Outline info
Last revision date 2018-07-20 13:26:41.315
Last review date 2018-07-20 13:26:49.799

Subject Title
Fundamentals of Organic Land Care

Subject Description
The science and practice of organic horticulture will be introduced, facilitating a profound shift in ecological awareness. The current research for understanding the connection between soil health, plant health, human health and environmental health will be fully explored. You will come to understand the concepts of landscape health management as opposed to pest management, building a holistic decision making framework for creating and maintaining vibrantly healthy gardens and landscapes, including turf.
For environmentalists, naturalists, conservationists, home gardeners, farmers, and landscape professionals; this course also qualifies for the educational requirement with Society of Organic Urban Land Care (SOUL) to become an Accredited Organic Land Care Practitioner. Continuing Education Credits can also be earned to maintain industry certifications (ISA, CNLA, BCSLA).

Shifting to organic land care has sweeping benefits for regional ecosystems and public health. By becoming an Accredited Organic Land Care Practitioner, you can help schools, hospitals, parks, and other public institutions play a role in this shift. If you are already working in horticulture or groundskeeping, this course will help you to engage and support your institution in transitioning to organic management.

Credit Status
One credit (42 hours) toward the Organic Land Care Fundamentals – Level 1 Program

Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this subject the student will be able to:

  1. Define what organic means within the context of a new decision making framework for urban horticultural practices.
  2. Using the science of botany, describe basic plant anatomy, development and physiology, plant processes and horticultural applications.
  3. Explore the soil ecosystem by examining the pros and cons of various soil management practices.
  4. Recognize the difference between a “symptoms management” approach compared with creating and managing ecosystems that attract and retain water.
  5. Recognize the differences between "Pest and Disease Management" and "Health Management”.

Cheating and Plagiarism
Each student should be aware of the College's policy regarding Cheating and Plagiarism. Seneca's Academic Policy will be strictly enforced.

To support academic honesty at Seneca College, all work submitted by students may be reviewed for authenticity and originality, utilizing software tools and third party services. Please visit the Academic Honesty site on http://library.senecacollege.ca for further information regarding cheating and plagiarism policies and procedures.

All students and employees have the right to study and work in an environment that is free from discrimination and/or harassment. Language or activities that defeat this objective violate the College Policy on Discrimination/Harassment and shall not be tolerated. Information and assistance are available from the Student Conduct Office at student.conduct@senecacollege.ca.

Accommodation for Students with Disabilities
The College will provide reasonable accommodation to students with disabilities in order to promote academic success. If you require accommodation, contact the Counselling and Disabilities Services Office at ext. 22900 to initiate the process for documenting, assessing and implementing your individual accommodation needs.


Topic Outline
Module 1:  Principles of Organic Land Care
Module 2:  Botany and Adaptations within Ecosystems
Module 3:  Soil Ecosystem
Module 4:  Soil Testing
Module 5:  Soil Fertility Management
Module 6:  Composting, Teas and Brews
Module 7:  Water-wise Gardening
Module 8:  Garden Bed Installation, Permaculture Design
Module 9:  Pruning
Module 10:  Landscape Health Management
Module 11:  Lawns
Module 12:  Garden Design & Construction
Module 13:  Organic Standards & Certification

Mode of Instruction
This course will be delivered via the internet. This involves the use of the online materials and/or text, possible group discussions and consultation with your instructor via the online course platform. Students will be responsible for completing all online activities and participating in group discussions and working through textbook readings, quizzes, assignments, as required.

Prescribed Texts

Reference Material


Title: Working With Nature – Shifting Paradigms
Author: Heide Hermary
Publisher:  Gaia College Inc., (2007)
ISBN: 978-0-9735687-2-1

Required Supplies

Promotion Policy

Grading Policy
A+ 90%  to  100%
A 80%  to  89%
B+ 75%  to  79%
B 70%  to  74%
C+ 65%  to  69%
C 60%  to  64%
D+ 55%  to  59%
D 50%  to  54%
F 0%    to  49% (Not a Pass)
EXC Excellent
SAT Satisfactory
UNSAT Unsatisfactory

For further information, see a copy of the Academic Policy, available online (http://www.senecacollege.ca/academic-policy) or at Seneca's Registrar's Offices.

Modes of Evaluation

  • Assignments are due at the beginning of the class on which they are due.
  • A late penalty of 10% per day is assessed for late assignments, including those not handed in at the beginning of class when due.
  • Material will not be accepted after one week following the due date and/or when the marked material is returned to students, whichever comes first.
  • Assignments are to be prepared by computer.

Absenteeism and Exams/Tests
  • Students should be aware that absenteeism almost guarantees an inability to achieve satisfactory grades.
  • Students who are absent for an examination due to an emergency (e.g., motor vehicle accident, hospitalization or death in the family) may provide official documentation within five days of the missed exam and be provided a deferred exam at a later date.  Official documentation includes a death notice or an original doctor’s certificate identifying the date, length of time expected absence and the specific reason for the absence.  Examinations missed without official documentation and approval result in a grade of zero.
  • There are no deferred options for missed tests.  The value of missed tests, at the discretion of the Faculty, will be added to other evaluation components.

English Proficiency
  • All written work should demonstrate the following characteristics for clarity and conciseness:
-writing is consistent with the rules of English grammar
-spelling and punctuation are correct
-sentences are structured correctly
-main ideas are supported with specific, relevant examples and reasons
-work flows logically through supporting statements/paragraphs
-work is arranged in correct format (e.g., as a report, essay)
-up to 10% of the final grade may be deducted on all work if the above English competencies are not met.

Format for Assignments
  • Students must use the standard, APA style for quoting sources.   Help is available at:  http://library.senecacollege.ca

Grading is based on the following marking scheme:

Assignments and Grading

Detailed assignment pages will be available for each assignment.

Discussion Board Commentaries and Responses (5) 15%
Assignments (3) 45%
Tests (5) 40%

 A passing grade in this course requires a total of 100% for all tests (multiple attempts are encouraged) and a minimum of 75% for the total written assignments and a minimum of 75% for the discussion participation.  A certificate of completion with a final grading of Excellent (over 90%) or Satisfactory (75 – 89%) will be awarded when the minimum passing grade has been achieved. Below passing grade of 75% constitutes a failing grade (Unsatisfactory).


Approved by: Denis Gravelle