During their first year, students receive hands-on training in four areas of major concentration, along with plant health care and plant records practices. Each rotation is six weeks in duration, or approximately 200 hours. There are also opportunities to take part in special projects around the Garden as they occur throughout the year.

Skills Tests

At the end of each rotation, students are evaluated and tested on their mastery of horticultural skills covered in the rotation, such as planting, propagation, watering, pruning, perennial maintenance, and fertilization techniques.

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Rotation Areas Skills Learned and Utilized Location
Enid A. Haupt Conservatory How to plant for indoor displays and exhibitions. Maintenance of conservatory plants and tropical collections, grooming, watering, syringing, misting, soil preparation and amending. Specific culture for succulents and cacti, aquatics, tropicals, and/or others. Conservatory
Nolen Greenhouses Climate control systems: heating, cooling, humidity, shade, and ventilation. Basic techniques: fertilizing, soil mixture preparations, repotting, pricking, transplanting. Crop production: seeding and cutting propagation, forcing bulbs, growing annuals, and container growing. Nolen Greenhouses
Outdoor Gardens How to plant for outdoor displays: spacing, grooming, weeding, watering, edging, espalier, and staking. Learn to plant and grow annuals, perennials, and bulbs for seasonal display. Outdoor gardens and collections
Turf, Grounds and Arboretum Maintain turf areas: irrigation, edging techniques, fertilizing (equipment and type of fertilizer), weed control, leaf raking and blowing. Trimming hedges, pruning techniques, tree and shrub planting. Various gardens and collections

Special Projects May Include:

Aquatic Planting Introduction to Tree Climbing Plant Sale
Bulb Planting Invasive Species Management Rose Pruning
Composting Irrigation Topiary Planting
Ecological Research Mapping Tree Transplanting
Glasshouse Exhibitions and Collections Nursery Management Turf Renovation
Greenhouse Management Ornamental Pruning Vegetable Gardening
  Plant Health Care Workplace Safety