What is aeration and why it’s important for your lawn

The nearing arrival of summer means that it’s time to undertake the seasonal jobs to maintain lawns and make sure they are healthy, vibrant and ready for the months ahead. Aeration is an important process in growing strong and vibrant grass as it allows air, water and nutrients to penetrate the grass root, so it’s important that this process is carried out to achieve lush, thick lawns.

What is aeration?

Aeration involves piercing the soil beneath the grass with small holes to allow for air, water and nutrients. These elements are vital in helping grass roots to grow deeply whilst producing strong, vigorous and sprightly grass. Aeration is mainly undertaken to alleviate soil compaction as even slightly compressed soil can obstruct the important elements from reaching the grass roots. This means that grass will struggle to maintain its health during hotter weather and heavy rainfall, meaning grass left with increasingly compact soil is at risk of losing its quality and gradually dying out.

How to recognise a lawn that needs aerating and the best time to do it

You should aim to aerate your lawn at least once annually, to maintain the penetration of water and fertilisers to the grass root. However, lawns that are regularly used, such as football pitches or community fields, or those that have a spongey feel should be aerated more often to help grass maintain its strength and vibrant colour. Early spring and autumn, which are prime growing seasons, is the optimum time to aerate a lawn. During this period, grass can recover more quickly and can better fight off the stress of the aeration process.

What can I use to aerate a lawn?

The Billy Goat, we have a range of powerful aerators that help to maintain and encourage a flourishing lawn. For the ultimate experience, Billy Goat’s Plugr 25 Hydro Drive Series aerator provides a superior performance and a combination of productivity, operator comfort, variable hole density and is remarkably low maintenance. With the best-in-class controls and in ground steering, the 25 Hydro Drive Series also offers exceptional manoeuvrability and ease in operating.

It also offers The Patent Pending EZ Drop ™ tine system which comes complete with a one-step tine engagement lever. This allows tines to quickly engage when the lever is depressed, but it is also able to rapidly disengage once the lever has been released, so it can pass over any obstacles during aeration so the process can be smooth and uninterrupted.

For smaller lawns, the Billy Goat 18 Series aerator offers a smaller design but supplies just as much power. The model comes equipped with reciprocating cam tines that propel the unit forward and drive cores up to 7cm deep, meaning water, air and nutrients will be able to travel a sufficient depth to the grass root. With this smaller design, it also offers a lightweight feel so it can be easily maneuvered around lawns and can reach in smaller, more narrow spaces.

With the ability to cover up to 4 acres an hour, the Billy Goat Towable 60 Series aerator is ideal for maximising large lawn aerations – helping to save time whilst efficiently penetrating the grass root. With the addition of swivelling tine assemblies, this model operates with ease and is able to provide a quality aeration pattern of up to 4cm deep. The Towable 60 Series can also be mounted onto a standard tow bar or category 1, 3-point hitch and can run behind any type of tow vehicle, with the ability to run up to 8 km/h – offering a powerful and timely solution for aerating larger patches of lawn.

For the ultimate in lawncare, Billy Goat provides the right tools to help you create and maintain a healthy, vibrant lawn.

Scarify to promote healthy and revitalised lawn

Scarifying is one of the necessary tasks to undertake to ensure lawns stay healthy. It can be an effective process, when done at right time of year, as it removes thatch and other debris from your lawn. Thatch (dead grass) builds up over time and stops any light, air, moisture, or nutrients from reaching the grass root, restricting growth and stimulating an unwelcome flourish of weeds and moss. This is why eliminating it is vital in helping to keep a lawn thriving. 

The scarification process can be quite harsh on a lawn, leaving it looking patchy and neglected initially due to the rough process of collecting dry, dead thatch. Because of this, it is best to scarify in the autumn months or now, during the spring, when grass growth is at its peak, allowing lawns to recover quickly.

Whilst intensive scarifying should be undertaken between September and October, when the soil is still warm, to get a lawn looking its best for summer, the coming weeks will be an opportune time to conduct some light scarifying before the warm weather arrives, to remove the layer of thatch that may have built up over the winter. It is also best to combine scarification alongside other maintenance jobs, such as overseeding and fertilisation to ensure the best results.

Despite its seemingly harsh effects, scarifying is extremely useful and supplies a multitude of benefits to your lawn. For example, the scarification process helps to improve surface draining, so you can be sure lawns won’t suffer from being waterlogged. The removal of thatch also gives grass efficient ventilation, allowing air and nutrients to reach the root more easily, promoting better growth and overall condition and limiting the risk of any diseases occurring.

To get your lawn looking the picture of health, Billy Goat’s versatile range of scarifiers takes the hard work out of transforming a lawn. The PR Series is designed to withstand the most demanding use and all manoeuvre effortlessly to remove any matted thatch from turf in 20” passes, saving you time and avoiding the strenuous work of using a regular rake.

With their power supplied by Honda, the PR550 Power Rake and PR550H Power Rake are the perfect tools to help renovate even the largest lawns, and with their reduced vibrations, they improve operator comfort and handling. These models are also self-propelled and come with several optional accessories, including a spring tine reel, which removes thatch from areas where objects, like sprinkler heads, may cause concern. Both models can also be converted into an overseeder and vertislicer, providing several lawncare solutions in one tool.  

The CR550HCEU Compact Power Rake is a smaller model, but still has the power of Honda to get the job done. With its smaller design, the compact power rake can effectively remove thatch from smaller areas. This model also comes with optional accessories, such as a vertislicing reel, which can help improve drainage and overseeding which may have been compromised due to the build-up of thatch.

Billy Goat has all the tools to help you get the job done quickly and easily – leaving you with a lawn looking like new.

A seasonal schedule to help you plan out your groundskeeping year

The beginning of the year is a good opportunity to take stock and think about the seasonal jobs for the year ahead and to make sure that you have the right equipment lined up to tackle them.

To help you plan, we’ve split the most common groundscare jobs into seasons, with recommendations for the machinery you’ll need. Get your equipment lined up now, so as each season rolls around, you’re ready. With the seasons often arriving early or late nowadays, it’s always better to be prepared in advance.


We all look forward to the arrival of spring, and this is the season when lawncare becomes a priority again. To get lawns primed for the summer, now is the time to aerate and overseed. Heavy rainfall over the winter months can lead to a waterlogged lawn in need of aeration. An aerated lawn means that grass will be healthier, and your lawn will look thicker and more lush.

We’ve got some powerful aerators to help growth and help to create better conditions for the exchange of air and water in the soil, improving the penetration of water and fertilisers. The ultimate tool for the job is Billy Goat’s Plugr, which drives cores up to 2.75” deep even in hard soil conditions, yielding great results. 

Now is the ideal time to reseed lawns, to thicken sparse areas and repair any damage that winter may have done. Billy Goat’s OS901 Overseeder with exclusive Auto Drop™ technology is the perfect machine for the job, with super simple operation and high germination rates. If you haven’t used an aerator before seeding, make sure to rake the surface to create a fine soil layer for the seeds to incorporate into.


The summer sunshine may put turf under strain and areas of water-stressed or scorched grass may need replacing, especially if you are caring for a golf course. Our Sod Cutter is the perfect partner to help you remove areas of damaged turf neatly, to allow for a seamless finish. Our SC18 Series Sod Cutter  features specially designed wheels that are ideal for softer touch, bent grass and shallow cut applications. Our Sod Cutters are also an invaluable tool for cutting irrigation channels and for flatwork.

If street clean-up is part of your remit, a Leaf & Litter Vacuum like our QV Series will come in very handy. It’s the world’s quietest vacuum so won’t disturb passers-by, and its exclusive Dust Sock technology dramatically reduces dust in dry summer conditions.


Autumn is an ideal time to conduct lawn maintenance and to prepare it for the colder, wetter months. The temperature is ideal for grass seed regrowth too. September and October are the best months for scarifying your lawn, to remove any dry, dead thatch or scorched grass before the frosts come. Scarifying and aerating are both vital processes to maintain a healthy lawn and give great results when done at the most opportune time of year. Our PR Series power rake efficiently removes matted thatch from turf in 51 cm passes, and its rugged design withstands the most demanding use. This machine can be converted to an overseeder or vertislicer with optional accessories, making it an incredibly versatile lawncare machine.

As leaves begin to fall, a Lawn & Leaf Vacuum will be extremely useful to keep paths, pavements and playgrounds clear. We have a wide range of vacuums to suit your scale of job, with different models available for hard surface or turf applications.


Lower temperatures and leaf debris can pose a problem to pathways which need to be kept clear. Leaf matter can be particularly slippery if it is left to compact and rot. Leaf blowers are worth their weight in gold at this time of year for groundscare professionals so are worth investing. As well as being great for shifting leaves, the Billy Goat Leaf Blower will also give you the power to deal with light snowfall later in the season too.

Our range of Force Wheeled Blowers are the world’s most powerful and versatile, suitable for every scale of job, from domestic to community. Our F18 Series is the ultimate in volume and power, with a 15.2 cm discharge with air velocity of just below 320 km/h. It blows and pushes debris faster than with any other blower in our range. There are two models in the series, both of can clear 2,000m2 in under 30 minutes. The F1802SPV model is even self-propelled to increase productivity. Both models are equipped with professional Vanguard® V-Twin engines with a three year engine warranty.

Whatever your groundscare needs, Billy Goat has you covered all year round, no matter what the seasons bring. Our machinery is world class and capable of tackling any job.

Ground care for the winter months

Morning frosts have already begun, and it won’t be long until we are faced with the freezing temperatures of winter. Whilst this is a relatively quiet period for ground and estate maintenance, it’s good practice to tackle a number of jobs in the coming weeks before everything becomes too frozen. For example, take a survey of the estate and note any branches that are encroaching on buildings and structures, and cut them back now. This will also prevent heavy snow gathering on them and causing them to break, which may cause damage to buildings, but also to the tree itself.

Falling temperatures and falling leaves can play havoc with paths, so make sure that they are kept clear – there is nothing festive about a broken ankle! If you are investing in a leaf blower it is a good idea to go for a powerful wheeled version as it will also be able to tackle light coverings of snow too. Billy Goat’s range of Force Wheeled Blowers are the world’s most powerful and versatile, and cover all requirements from residential, to commercial to municipal. With the patented ‘Aim n Shoot’ technology, that allows you to direct the airflow where you need it most, and fingertip control, it’s incredibly easy to use.

The F9 Series is ideal for medium size maintenance contractors and large property owners. This F902H model is built to clear 2,000m2 from leaves in only 45 minutes. It is backed by a 3-year Honda engine warranty

The larger F13 Series is perfect for professional use, providing considerable power and productivity. This Honda powered force blower is a favourite for full size landscapes, schools, parks departments, cemeteries, resorts and golf and estate properties. It is available in a push and a self propelled version and will enable you to clear 2,000m2 of ground in under half an hour.

The F18 Series is the ultimate in volume and power! A 15.2 cm discharge with air velocity of just below 320 km/h blows and pushes leaves and debris with more force so you can clean up faster than with any other blower in the Billy Goat line up. There are two models in the series, both of can clear 2,000m2 in under 30 minutes. The F1802SPV model is even self propelled to increase productivity. Both models are equipped with professional Vanguard® V-Twin engines with a 3-year engine warranty.

Billy Goat has something for all of your ground care needs this winter, so take a look at the range of products available to help you clean up your world!

The value of scrubland and how to look after it

If you work in groundscare, it is likely that you will work in scrubland at some point, but what exactly is it? Scrub can technically be described as a ‘successional habitat’. This means that it is temporary and transitioning from one habitat, usually open grassy areas, to another, generally woodland. In less scientific language, it could be referred to as thickets or a brambly mess. Scrubland can consist of just a few small patches of nettles and brambles, or it can be more densely packed with young trees or gorse bushes. For these reasons, and due to differing factors, such as soil type and topography, scrubland can have a huge variety of hugely varying animal and plant communities living within it.

In fact, scientists agree that scrub is one of the most critical habitats in the UK, with over 450 rare and threatened species of plant, insect and bird associated with it and depending upon it for survival. It may not be the prettiest, but it certainly is important.

Over the years the amount of scrubland in the UK has depleted for a variety of reasons such as the adoption of more intensive agricultural practices taking over traditional scrub grazing land. Native species have evolved to flourish in the mixed rural landscapes that have developed, and scrub is a still a vital component in this, providing shelter and food.

There still comes a point, though, when scrub will require an element of management. It’s important that before any work is conducted a site survey is carried out to ascertain what wildlife is present. Knowing this will allow you to properly work around it, including when best to carry out the work, to avoid hibernating animals, for example.

When drawing up your plan of action, think about keeping a variety of old and young scrub. This will ensure that you continue to provide variety and diversity, making it appealing to a wider range of species. It’s a good idea, too, to create a plan that sees you managing scrub at a low level at regular intervals rather than a severe and heavy-handed approach less frequently.

Make sure that you maintain a direct link to the surrounding habitats, as this creates wildlife corridors that are vital for species to explore the landscape.  Make sure that you control invasive species such as Japanese knotweed and rhododendron, as they have very little value for wildlife and will happily take over the site if allowed, causing you more problems in the long run.  

There are a range of techniques that can be employed to control scrub when necessary, and one of them is to use a brushcutter. Brushcutters are ideal for cutting through overgrown bush and fields and for clearing through dense scrub. Billy Goat brushcutters have rigid 66 cm mowing decks, combined with heavy duty spindles and strong engines. The ergonomic controls make them easy to use in even the harshest environments.

The BC2600HEBB | BC Series – Pivoting Deck has been engineered to glide over uneven terrain, like scrub, as its pivoting brush deck hugs the ground for a close cut. This improves traction keeping the weight of the machine firmly on its extra wide tyres. It comes with a Tuff Torq™ variable hydrostatic transmission featuring fully automatic Enhanced Traction Control (ETC), offering superior traction in wet or uneven conditions and can cut saplings and brush at a rate of an acre per hour.

If you’re after a fixed deck, the BC2600ICM | BC Series – Fixed Deck is a great option, providing excellent stability in deep vegetation.  The mechanical transaxle, featuring three speeds forward and one reverse, and powered by a Honda engine, is ideal for clearing meadows and fields or cutting paths and trails wherever dense brush and weeds present a clean-up challenge. The heavy-duty blade spindle is reinforced on four sides to tackle the toughest cutting conditions, including thick brushes, grass and weeds over 180 cm tall, and saplings up to 5 cm diameter.    

Billy Goat brushcutters can help you to manage scrubland responsibly, and with ease.

Creating biodiverse cities

Creating ecologically diverse areas in urban surroundings is important for city planners who are looking to create a sustainable environment for city-dwellers, visitors and wildlife. It is becoming ever more important for cities to demonstrate their eco-credentials, rather than simply paying lip service and greenwashing their schemes. In fact, urban environments can provide an excellent opportunity to create wildlife corridors and habitats.

One of the best, and easiest, ways to do this is by creating a wildflower meadow. The best thing about preparing the ground for wildflowers is that it the poorer the soil, the better the growth – there aren’t many times in life that minimal effort equals maximum results, so make the most of it! But do it now before the frosts arrive in order to reap the rewards in spring.

If you are planning on sowing seeds into an established lawn you’ll get a lovely, naturalistic display. This is an easy method that simply requires an overseeder. We have a range at Billy Goat, all equipped with the exclusive Auto Drop™ feature. Auto Drop™ starts and stops seed drop automatically with bale engagement and disengagement. You can select the correct drop rate easily to fit your needs, meaning that you can make your meadow as flower heavy or light as you wish. The OS500 Series can be easily converted to a power rake for removing thatch, making it an extremely versatile machine and an excellent investment. The OS900 Series overseeders are self-propelled with intuitive operator controls, which means fatigue is reduced.

If you’re planning to remove the grass before seeding you’ll need a sod cutter – it would be backbreaking to try and attempt it with a spade! Our SC18 Series offers two units: one with paddle-style drive wheels for better grip in wet and dry conditions, and one with knobbly wheels which were designed specifically for golf applications – a wildflower patch on a golf course would be a beautiful touch.

Scarify and aerate for healthy lawns

September is one of the best times to conduct lawn maintenance and to prepare it for the colder, wetter months of winter as the temperatures are ideal for grass seed regrowth and weeds are at low levels.

Scarifying and aerating are both vital processes to conduct in order to keep lawns healthy, and they are simple and effective tasks to complete, provided they are done at the right time of year and that you follow a few rules. This month we’ll go through the processes and give some advice on lawn maintenance.

Scarifying removes thatch (dead grass) and other debris such as moss from a lawn to improve its health. As thatch builds it restricts growth of new grass and encourages moss and weeds to take over in its place, leading to unsightly lawns. Light scarification can be performed in spring, but the heavier duty work is best done now, with soil temperatures perfect for recovery and grass seed germination if overseeding. It can appear to be a harsh process, making lawns look patchy and unloved following the process, but if done properly your lawn will soon thank you by transforming into a picture of health and vitality.

A scarifying rake can be used, but to achieve the best results and to avoid serious backache, a power rake such as the Billy Goat Power Rake efficiently removes matted thatch from turf in 20” passes, and its rugged design withstands the most demanding use.

After scarifying the lawn, the next step is aeration. A lawn should be aerated at least once annually to relieve compacted soil. When soil becomes Compacted it prevents proper circulation of air, water and nutrients, all of which are vital for a healthy lawn. Aeration helps to relieve this issue by making holes throughout the lawn to allow air to circulate around the roots, encouraging them to grow stronger, thus creating a healthier, happier lawn. Machine aerators such as Billy Goat’s mechanical and towable aerators make light work of the task and are streamlined to get the job done to the highest standard.

Your lawn may need a little help recovering after both of these processes. Adding some high nitrogen fertiliser and lawn grass seed will help combat any stress and disease and will fill in any patchy areas.

Whatever your autumn land care requirements, Billy Goat has the right tools to help you get the job done.


Get ahead for autumn

It might feel a little early to be thinking about preparing for autumn already, but it’s worth thinking about how you’re going to tackle those seasonal jobs when September and October come around. Being prepared will mean you’re ready to embrace the change of the seasons and will mean you can relax on these last days of summer, knowing you’re organised.

Fall (or autumn as we Brits call it) is so-called because deciduous trees let go of their leaves. Those leaves need to be dealt with and here at Billy Goat have some hardworking solutions to make light work of the job! August is a great time to start thinking about which pieces of clean-up and debris collection machinery you need when autumn arrives.

When it comes to choosing the right piece of kit to help clean up your property and grounds, Billy Goat has plenty to offer, with solutions on a domestic and commercial scale. Our powerful land clearance machines are suitable for not only lawns and parks but also hard surfaces such as car parks, pavements and driveways to remove leaves, grass and debris. The machine you need depends on the area of land you’re taking care of, the level of debris and your budget. At Billy Goat, we’ve got something suitable for everyone and every space.

In autumn, debris collection and removal are the most common tasks. The best machine to use initially is a force blower. Billy Goat offers a range of force blowers, from manoeuvrable domestic blowers to robust commercial units to take on any task. The F6 Series is lightweight and easy to push, whereas the F13 and F18 Series are ideal for professional use. All of the blowers are self-propelled to reduce fatigue meaning you can get the job done faster.

Use the force blower to gather leaves and debris into one area. It’s easiest to start in the corners, blowing towards the centre of the area, working inwards. Try to work with, rather than against the direction of the wind.

After using a force blower to gather the debris, the next step is removal. Once again, Billy Goat has vacuum solutions for all needs and property sizes. Our vacuums feature powerful suction and easy operation and most are self-propelled. The light Little Billy is ideal for residential use at 51cm/20” wide. It features simple height adjustment and an 105litre collection capacity making it the perfect match for domestic gardeners.

The KV Series is built for smaller commercial jobs, with a width of 69cm/27” and a 5-blade impeller with serrated edges, it maximises suction and tackles debris with ease. They are also available with an integrated chipper, in case clearing branches is on your autumn maintenance list.

The MV and QV Series are ideal for larger properties and commercial sites, as well as streets and festivals. At 74cm/29” wide, these machines can pick up litter, bottles and other debris without a problem. These vacuums are fitted with durable front castors to suck up rubbish with ease and they are fitted with QUIETVAC™ for quieter operation too.

Whatever your autumn land care requirements, Billy Goat has the right tools to help you get the job done.


Gardens of inspiration to explore this summer

After months in lockdown, we’re excited to get outdoors and explore the grounds and gardens that are reopening after being closed throughout spring. As well as being the perfect day out for anyone interested in horticulture and gardening, exploring parks, gardens and stately grounds gives us inspiration and ideas we can take back home.
To help you plan the perfect day out, we’ve rounded up some of our favourite gardens that have reopened.

Alton Towers, Staffordshire

Alton Towers is of course best known as a theme park but did you know it has over 500 acres of stunning, landscaped gardens to explore as well?

The gardens at Alton Towers are open and ready to welcome back visitors. Tickets need to be pre-booked online as they are limiting visitor numbers, following coronavirus guidelines.
The elegant gardens that surround the theme park are full of imagination and variety – a treat for anybody who appreciates green-fingered creativity. These gardens were first created in the eighteenth century and visitors today can enjoy the mature trees and established flora of the garden as it was first imagined by the Earl of Shrewsbury.

A fine collection of statues and fountains can be found in the grounds, as well as magnificent conservatories and decorative fountains. Take a recommended walking route around the gardens to see all they have to offer and to make sure you get to all the best viewpoints.

National Trust Places

The National Trust has reopened many of its 200 gardens and parks now, some on a pre-booking basis, so do check before you go.

Here are three of the places that are open and some of our favourite gardens to visit at this time of year.

The gardens at Anglesey Abbey near Cambridge were designed so that a different area of the garden would flourish each season, so there is always something special to see when you visit, no matter the time of year. Gardeners, landscapers and groundspeople will appreciate the thoughtful design – there are tree-lined avenues and clever use of symmetry and circular shapes to draw the eye in the formal gardens. At this time of year, The Dahlia Garden is stunning, with a rainbow of colour sweeping around the border.

Cothele, in Cornwall, is another one of our favourite National Trust places to visit in the summer months. It boasts terraces planted with hydrangeas and roses, a stunning cut flower garden and lily pad-strewn ponds. Make sure to take a stroll around the orchard, under the shade of apple, pear and cherry trees.

Further north, Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Water Garden are wonderful to visit. The water garden is unique and was granted World Heritage Status in 1986. The river Skell has been channelled into canals, cascades and ponds, creating a tranquil waterscape, surrounded by lush sweeping lawns.

RHS gardens

Four of the RHS gardens – Wisley, Harlow Carr, Hyde Hall and Rosemoor have reopened under a pre-booking system. Some areas within the gardens like glasshouses and play areas remain closed if it is difficult to maintain social distancing. The RHS shops and Plant Centres in these gardens have reopened too.

RHS Wisley is one of our favourites, with 240 acres of gardens it’s a true sight to behold and you can easily while away a day exploring. We aren’t the only ones – RHS Wisley is visited by 1.2 million people each year. The gardens are diverse with different planting and gardening styles at every turn. With a huge plant collection and over 100 years of gardening history, it has something for everyone and there’s something different to see every time to visit.

Explore from home

If you still prefer to stay at home, or if the great British weather hinders plans for days outdoors, you don’t have to miss out! The RHS are doing virtual tours of the four gardens they have reopened, so you can explore them from the comfort of your own sofa.

You can explore the flourishing Cottage Garden at Wisley, see the roses in bloom at Rosemoor’s Shrub Rose Garden or see the colourful foxgloves at Hyde Hall. The RHS has done a wonderful job of capturing their gardens, so you can immerse yourself in their inspiring beauty without leaving the house. There is something for everyone, whether you want to see unusual planting schemes, unique garden design or beautiful blooms!

With the guidelines changing regularly, make sure you check before you visit any garden, and book a visiting slot where required. Go and soak up some inspiration if you can – this time of year is perfect for enjoying these impressive, grand gardens.

Learning in lockdown

Coronavirus and lockdown have caused a standstill in so many ways and while domestic gardens have been thriving what has happened to public spaces, sports pitches and other grounds?

These areas still need maintaining but reduced income streams of places like National Trust and private houses that usually open to the public has resulted in furloughed grounds and maintenance teams. Parks have remained maintained in some areas but inevitably team sizes have been reduced. Naturally, this has varied from council to council but there are certainly experts out there currently unable to be taking care of their patches, gardens and grounds.

Many professional gardeners and grounds teams often say that their garden at home gets somewhat neglected – perfectly understandably as it could seem a bit of a busman’s holiday. So, this downtime right now is a chance to get on top of things, but also a chance to broaden your skillset.

If you’re thinking of furthering your qualifications there are whole host of organisations offering training, qualifications and accreditation in horticulture and grounds maintenance all available online – from the comfort and safety of your own home. Even better, at the moment there are significant discounts available too. Here’s our round up!


Online courses in horticulture and grounds maintenance



When it comes to horticulture there’s no better organisation to offer advice and expert opinion than the RHS (the Royal Horticultural Society).

The RHS website is an amazing resource of free advice and videos for learning but they also offer qualifications, workshops and work-based training programmes. If that wasn’t enough, there is also an online degree-level qualification for a Masters in Horticulture.


The British Academy of Garden Design

If it’s designing a garden that you are interested in knowing more about then the BAGD has three levels of qualification.

  • Certificate – covers the basics in garden design and encourages you to design your own garden
  • Diploma – gives an advanced knowledge and understanding of garden design skills as well as the techniques require for being a professional garden designer
  • Postgraduate diploma – aimed at those seeking to set up their own garden design business. Helps develop an in-depth understanding of garden design skills and principles.


Garden maintenance

This course from Stonebridge covers the following modules to give a well-rounded overview of all garden basics – Planning and Managing a Garden; Furnishings and Machinery; Feeding Plants; Weed Control; Weedicides; Natural Pest Control; Chemical Pest Control; Turf Care; Irrigation; Maintenance of Plants.


Managing Notable Gardens

This course gives an insight into the behind the scenes basics of running a public garden, beyond the planting and horticultural maintenance. Examine factors such as conservation management plans; the role of public and interested parties; funding and grants; creating new features and gardens; maintenance and management; staffing and training.


Certificate in Arboriculture

Learn all about the culture and care of trees from establishment to maintenance. This course covers areas such as tree identification, and techniques for planting, maintaining and managing trees.


Machinery & Equipment

One of our favourites! This course will give you the confidence you need to not just use your tools and machinery, but to also maintain them and keep them in the best shape possible. The course covers the selection of tools and machinery, through to the operation and maintenance. Modules include Engine Operation; Hydraulics; Machinery Components; Hand Tools; Power Tools; Tractors; Equipment Maintenance; and Specific Workplace Requirements.


Turf and Grounds

For those looking to further their knowledge and qualifications in grounds maintenance look no further than The GMA (previously known as the IOG).

The Grounds Management Association is the go-to for all things grounds! From grassroots greenkeepers to those maintaining world class pitches, the GMA has it all. Its courses are extensive and they have options for everyone and offer Grounds Maintenance training for Football, Cricket, Rugby Union and Rugby League. Find out more here: https://portal.iog.org/education/courses/search


Advanced Certificate in Horticulture and Grounds Management

Develop your skills and knowledge in the care and maintenance of parks, gardens and turf facilities. Modules include Pest, Diseases and Weed Control; Turf Maintenance; Tree and Shrub Maintenance; Soils Management; and Irrigation.


Advanced Certificate in Turf Care Management

Learn how to select the right turf grass for various situations and applications as well as how to maintain, renovate and repairing turf.



Grounds teams are increasingly having to help the organisation and business that they work for to meet its green targets. Permaculture and self-sufficiency are key ways of doing this. This course introduces the basic concepts of Permaculture, exploring topics such as weather systems, water cycles, topography, soil-plant interactions and forest ecology, and creating balanced and productive garden growing systems.


Irrigation Management

Discover the complexities of watering! Find out new ways to optimise water efficiency, as well as draining, fertigation and the different systems and designs available.