Organic Land Care Certificate Program

The Rutgers Cooperative Extension Organic Land Care Certificate Program provides education to landscapers and land care providers on organic practices for promoting healthy soil, enhancing biodiversity, and reducing polluted runoff from managed landscapes.

The core of the program is a 5-day course designed for professional landscapers, property managers, public works employees, groundskeepers, and landscape architects.

More than 20 university and industry experts teach the course and share their experience of how to successfully transition a landscape to organic management and add organic services to a business.

Certificate program requirements include:

  • Attendance at the 5-day training course
  • Passing an optional exam based on course content

Participants that pass the exam receive a certificate of completion and are listed on this website as having completed the Rutgers Cooperative Extension Organic Land Care Certificate program requirements.


Credits and Certificates

  • Pesticide recertification credits
  • NJ Certified Fertilizer Applicator Credits
  • NOFA AOLCP credits
  • The NJDEP Natural Turf and Landscape Management Certificate

Additional Program Details

Photo: teaching organic land care
  • Additional field trainings are offered throughout the year giving program participants the opportunity to see organic land care in practice and learn hands-on skills from Extension professionals and practitioners.
  • All who complete the program should also have a pesticide applicator license because commercial application of pest control products requires a license regardless of product type (organic or conventional).
  • It is the responsibility of program participants to notify RCE of any changes in contact information including website, phone, and email address.

Course curriculum includes the following topic areas:

  • Organic Land Care Principles
  • Soil
    • Physical, Chemical and Biological Aspects of Soil
    • Soil Testing and Interpreting Results
    • Using Soil Amendments, Compost, and Compost Tea
  • Using and Applying Mulches
  • Landscape Alternatives to Lawns
  • Pest and Disease Management for Trees and Shrubs
  • Water Resource Protection
    • Water Conservation and Management Technology
    • Rain Gardens and Rainwater Harvesting for Landscapes
  • Lawns
    • Low Maintenance Grass Species/Variety Selection
    • Installing and Renovating Lawns
    • Lawn Maintenance: Proper Mowing and Fertilization Practices
    • Lawn Pest and Disease Management
  • Proper Planting and Plant Care
  • Sustainable Landscape Design
  • Wildlife Management
  • Using Native Plants in the Home Landscape
  • Organic Land Care Business Practices: Marketing, Outreach, and Client Communication

  1. Rutgers
  2. Executive Dean of Agriculture and Natural Resources
  3. School of Environmental and Biological Sciences