Online ExpertTrack in Nature & Environment

Gardening for Beginners: The Basics and Beyond

4.5 (64 reviews)

Learn how to care for plants with easy-to-follow gardening techniques aimed at both new and experienced home gardeners.

Created by

BBC Gardeners' World MagazineBBC Gardeners' World Magazine

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Discover how to grow plants indoors and outdoors irrespective of budget or space

Plants add beauty to any space, whether it’s a garden, balcony, or windowsill. Learning to grow and nurture your own flowers, fruit and vegetables, or houseplants brings many mood-boosting benefits and can help benefit the wider environment, bringing in more birds, bees, and butterflies.

Newbie gardeners can often feel daunted by the amount of jargon out there but this easy-to-follow ExpertTrack from BBC Gardeners’ World will give you the confidence and knowledge you need to help plants stay healthy and thrive.

Expert home gardening tips for you to grow plants in any environment

To help you begin gardening at home, this ExpertTrack covers the fundamentals of how to grow plants and the environments each type requires to thrive.

You’ll explore the science of how plants grow and how they change through the seasons. With practical tips and techniques to try at home, you’ll be equipped with the green-fingered skills to grow your plants to perfection.

Learn the best techniques for sowing seeds, watering plants, and more

If you’re not sure what your plants need, it’s very possible to accidentally kill them with kindness. This ExpertTrack will guide you through the needs of different plant types and how to adapt your cultivation techniques accordingly.

You’ll look at the entire lifecycle of caring for plants, from sowing seeds and feeding them to pinching, pruning, and deadheading.

Prevent disease and pests from damaging your plants

Plants are exposed to a variety of different elements, insects, and environments, and with them come diseases and pests.

This course will teach you preventative methods to protect your plants, as well as what to do if something goes wrong.

Learn from the experts at BBC Gardener’s World Magazine

BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine is the UK’s best-selling gardening title and is the go-to online destination for millions of gardeners each month.

Working with the top names in gardening, the brand caters for complete beginners and seasoned experts alike, providing the know-how they need to create a beautiful garden.

Key skills you will learn

  • Identify the different parts of plants, their different forms and their function in supporting growth.
  • Investigate how the structure and composition of soil and compost are fundamental for plant health.
  • Understand the growth cycles of different plant types and the key maintenance the gardener needs to give them.
  • Assess the different growing conditions experienced by plants and adapt cultivation techniques accordingly.
  • Apply basic methods of raising new plants – from sowing seeds, to dividing and taking cuttings.
  • Appreciate that plants have different needs from ourselves and that it’s possible to kill plants with kindness
  • Appreciate the need to observe plants regularly to nurture and respond to their needs.

Experience required

This ExpertTrack is designed to appeal to all kinds of gardeners, so no previous experience is required to benefit from these courses.

Whether you’re a first-time gardener, on a limited budget, or a failed grower, this ExpertTrack will help you build the skills to cultivate beautiful greenery in no time.

Getting started

This course is for anyone who wants to learn how to garden at home. It is aimed at all would-be home gardeners irrespective of budget, your own growing space, or ultimate goals.

ExpertTrack course overview

  • Course 1

    4.4 (35 reviews)

    Build your gardening skills and knowledge and learn the best environments and techniques to nurture your plants.

    1 test

    2 weeks

    4 hours per week

    • Week 1

      How plants grow
      • Welcome to the course
      • Back to basics: what's in a plant?
      • How a plant grows itself
      • What will you grow?
    • Week 2

      Where and when plants grow
      • Assess your conditions
      • Understanding seasons
      • Climate, outdoor and indoor environments
      • Understanding your soil
  • Course 2

    4.7 (29 reviews)

    Level up your gardening skills to master the basic methods for growing new plants and protect them from disease and pests.

    1 test

    3 weeks

    4 hours per week

    • Week 1

      Keeping your plants alive
      • Watering plants
      • Feeding plants
      • Protecting plants
      • Pinching, training and thinning
      • Pruning, trimming and deadheading
    • Week 2

      Growing new plants
      • Why raise new plants
      • Growing plants from seed
      • Growing plants from cuttings
      • Dividing plants
      • Layering plants
    • Week 3

      How to avoid common gardening problems
      • Has something gone wrong?
      • The gardener and plant problems
      • Pests, diseases and root causes
      • What you've learned

Prove you're job ready

Highlight the new, job-relevant skills you’ve gained and supplement existing qualifications with a hard-earned, industry-specific digital certificate – plus one for every course within your ExpertTrack.

  • Learn the latest in your chosen industry or subject.
  • Complete each course and pass assessments.
  • Receive certificates validated by the educating organisation.
  • Impress employers with learning outcomes you can add to your CV.
  • Make your career dreams a reality.

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How ExpertTracks work

Join an ExpertTrack to master new skills in your chosen specialist area. Work through a series of topic-focused courses at your own pace, and pass the final assessment to earn a digital certificate award which proves your expertise.

Join a free 7-day trial

Decide if the ExpertTrack is right for you with free access to the full suite of courses and assessments for a week.

Keep learning for $39/month

Pay a monthly subscription fee of $39 for as long as it takes you to complete the ExpertTrack. You can learn at your own pace and cancel at any time.

Earn digital certificates

Receive a certificate for every completed course and pass the final assessment to earn a digital certificate.

Become an expert

Use your specialist training to progress further in your career or build expertise in areas you’re passionate about.

World-class learning with BBC Gardeners' World Magazine

The UK’s No.1 gardening magazine. Providing garden and plant inspiration, seasonal advice and practical projects.

Meet your instructor

I've gardened since I was a child and went on to train in horticulture, education and journalism. Growing plants is part of my life, and I'm passionate about sharing my knowledge and experience

Learning on FutureLearn

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Map your progress

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  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

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After your free trial you can:

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ExpertTracks are a series of online courses designed to help you master new skills in specialist areas. You pay a monthly subscription fee which includes access to all courses within the ExpertTrack, as well as assessments and the final digital certificate.

Each ExpertTrack comes with a 7-day free trial period. You may cancel your subscription at any time and your subscription will automatically cancel when you finish the courses and assessments in your chosen ExpertTrack.

Yes. All of our ExpertTracks come with a 7-day free trial. You may claim one free trial period per ExpertTrack.

You have seven days before you will be charged your first monthly subscription fee. When you join an ExpertTrack you automatically receive a 7-day free trial period. You can cancel at any time during the trial period and no payment will be taken from your account.

Please see our full refund policy here.

No, all of our ExpertTracks consist of fully online courses. This means you can take an ExpertTrack from anywhere in the world.

No. ExpertTracks are designed for you to master new skills in a specialist area. You will earn a digital certificate that proves your learning, but it does not carry accreditation.

If you’re looking for certified or accredited courses, many of our microcredentials offer university credit or professional certification.

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