Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by SDF250, Feb 17, 2001.

  1. SDF250

    SDF250 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 87

    how many of you went to school for landscaping and what books did you have for what classes ?
  2. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,876

    I've taken several classes on turf, chemical applications, etc. But the majority of what I know was either learned from other landscapers who were older than me, or self taught. Equal amounts of each I guess.

    As for learning plants, nothing beats going to a nursery on a slow day and looking around for several hours. This is how I learned 80% of what I know of plants. I'd walk around for hours, looking at tags, making drawings and writing down the names (so I could later go home and look up the specifics about that plant), asking questions to the workers, learning the common AND botanical names of each plant, etc. Even if you aren't planning on doing landscaping installs, it's a good idea to know your plants and trees. And a book won't be able to tell you what is really being used in your area. But a local nursery will. Tip - make it a large nursery.

    Pruning I learned from employees (one in particular who was incredible at it) and from the Ortho "All About Pruning" book. Just the first 15 or 20 pages are gold.

    For turf, I learned a lot of it from experience. The rest I learned from classes and talking about problems to a local turf store called "The Professional Turf Center", who are like the local gods of turfgrass management. There is also a great book called "Turfgrass Management" by Turgeon. It's the best in the industry. But it's like $80. So I bought mine on eBay for $7. It's a bore, but it's got good info in it.

    That covers the most important aspects of our business. Things like mowing, clean-up, leaf raking, weed pulling, etc. don't require education.

    As for other books, I have a hoard of them. Anything by Ortho that starts with "All About..." is killer. I have them all. Also, the Sunset Garden Books are invaluable. Sometimes I read just the glossary alone. It's got incredible stuff in there. Ours is called the Western Garden Book. But the title changes depending on which part of the US you are in. I'd say this book is a must have.

    Be careful when choosing landscaping books. A lot of them are meant for homeowners, etc. Take time to look through them before you buy.
  3. Acute Cut

    Acute Cut LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 980

    I recently asked a similar question. It was on the Landscaping forum though. Are you looking for landscaping or lawn cert?

    Search threads in the landscaping if that is what you want.

    If lawns are what you are looking for then i personally would suggest you look at

    Go to certification. You can get the cert without joining the "club". I have heard that the club isnt worth the money, but the cert is helpful. I personally am enrolled and am loving it every day!

    BUSHMASTER LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 519

    I had four years of horticulture,and lots of o.j.t which is the best teacher plus many books..
  5. LoneStarLawn

    LoneStarLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,415

    joining the plcaa is worth the money..No matter what you get from it you can use the membership as a tax deduction.

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