By Daniel Fuller
Do you feel stuck in your current job? Do you ever wonder if there is another path for you? Over the last two months we have looked at many career options in this beautiful industry, but as we know our industry is vast and there is always room to plant more dreams. So, let’s dig into more interesting pathways you can take in the amenity horticultural landscape.
For those with a passion for both sports and horticulture, sports turf management might be your best bet. You’ll find yourself nurturing the lush, vibrant grass that athletes rely on, ensuring it’s always in perfect condition. For most of us, it’s the closest we’ll ever come to hallowed ground.
Natural Resource Management (NRM)
NRM professionals play a vital role in preserving our natural resources. They work to maintain and restore ecosystems, controlling weeds, building habitat and providing food sources for a range of organisms.
If you want to make a positive impact on the biodiversity crisis, this may be the sector for you.
Water is life, and irrigation specialists hold the key to optimal plant health. They design and manage irrigation systems, making sure plants receive just the right amount of water they need. If you’ve never tried your hand at irrigation, you’ve no idea how convoluted this topic can be, and how helpful a specialist in this field is.
Small engine mechanic
Our landscapes rely on a myriad of small engines to keep things running smoothly, including (but not limited to) mowers, hedge trimmers, brush cutters and chainsaws. Small engine mechanics ensure that our horticultural equipment stays in good shape.
This role may not be suitable for plant-lovers as you will likely be indoors all day. But it’s perfect for mechanically-minded people who love to tinker and figure out “why won’t this machine work like it’s supposed to?”
If your heart blossoms at the sight of vibrant blooms, floriculture could be your calling. Floriculturists aren’t the florists who arrange the flowers, but are the horticulturists who grow them, cut them, and send them to the florists who distribute them to the end client.
Whether you’re working on an existing farm or start your own, there are plenty of flowers you can grow from natives to exotics.
Garden pests, be gone! Pest controllers in the horticulture field are the ultimate defenders of plants, ensuring they thrive pest-free. Whether it’s snails, aphids, or other notorious garden invaders, pest controllers use their expertise to manage and protect the green treasures in our landscapes.
Be prepared to use a lot of chemicals unless you’re working for a company that focuses on other methods.
Specialised knowledge is a valuable thing. After you’ve spent a few years (or decades) perfecting your craft in a horticultural niche, or you’ve gained a formal qualification in agronomy, you can offer your wisdom to growers and business owners.
There are almost an unlimited number of specialties that a consultant can focus on, but it just depends on whether your target clients see value in your offering.
An agronomist, or business consultant, working with growers would help them to get the best return on their investment through higher yields. They might do this by providing technical expertise or collaborating with extension services, as well as tracking data and analysing it.
In conclusion, just as a good garden thrives in diversity, so do the careers in this industry. You can choose one path and nurture it for a lifetime, or you can meander through various sectors.
Whether you’re looking for a role where you can work hands-on, literally with your hands in the dirt, or you’d rather tinker in a shed behind the scenes, or want to share your expertise with plant people and be paid handsomely for it, your next career step could present new challenges and rewards you haven’t yet considered.
Sports turf management requires a high skill level to keep the turf in good condition and safe for sports use (Image: 12019 Pixabay)