Soils and Growing Media

Subject HORT10014 (2014)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2014.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 1 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject is not offered in 2014.

Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 24 hours lectures and 24 hours practical activities. Total: 48 hours
Total Time Commitment:

96 hours

Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Description, Subject Objectives, Generic Skills and Assessment Requirements of this entry. The University is dedicated to provide support to those with special requirements. Further details on the disability support scheme can be found at the Disability Liaison Unit website:


Melbourne School of Land & Environment Student Centre
Ground Floor, Land & Food Resources (building 142)

Phone: 13 MELB (13 6352)

Subject Overview:

Understanding soils and growing media is fundamental to achieving optimal growth of plants in a wide range of environments. Soils affect plant health intimately and their composition, structure and nutrient availability can dictate which plants can be grown successfully in a particular environment. Understanding the mechanisms by which soils and growing media promote or detract from plant growth will allow the horticultural professional to successfully negotiate plantings in a range of soil types. Natural soils in the urban environment are increasingly rare while the number of specialist growing applications such as roofs, vertical plantings, and other substrates with limited soil volume are increasing rapidly. This subject will allow the student to understand the properties required in growing media, why they are important and give them the ability to specify physical and chemical properties for specific situations.

Learning Outcomes:

On completion of this subject students should be able to:

  • understand the chemical and physical properties of soil and growing media composition
  • identify different soil textures and structures
  • assess plant, soil and growing media nutrient status and manage nutrient levels
  • understand the importance of soil water aeration, drainage and temperature
  • apply the principles and practices of soil husbandry and growing media management to specialist applications such as green roofs, vertical walls and container gardening

1hr examination (25%) mid semester, 2hr examination (50%) end semester, Assignment 1000 words (25%) end semester.

Prescribed Texts: None
Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

On completion of this subject students should have:

  • developed a capacity for independent critical thought, rational inquiry and self-directed learning;
  • an ability to derive, interpret and analyse information from primary sources;
  • be able to apply theoretical principles to achieve practical outcomes;
  • an ability to integrate information to solve problems and effectively use technology in this discipline; and
  • excellent written communication skills to allow informed dialogue with individuals and groups
Related Course(s): Associate Degree in Environmental Horticulture
Associate Degree in Urban Horticulture

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