Jason Bowes

Victorian Citrus Farms, VIC

HILA Employment Category: Nursery Supervisor

Nurseries supervisors oversee the propagation and growth of a wide variety of horticulture plants in both production horticulture and amenity horticulture environments. The work can involve the cultivation of trees, shrubs, and ornamental and flowering plants and includes a range of activities.

In the Sunraysia region, Jason Bowes supervises a 20-acre fruit tree nursery at Victorian Citrus Farms in Red Cliffs, Victoria.

Jason is dedicated to producing up to 300,000 commercial citrus, mango and avocadoes trees to the highest standard and health status, in a suite of protected cropping environments including hot houses and shade house layouts.

Initially focusing on producing trees for the retail market for Bunnings and other retail nurseries, Jason has helped Victorian Citrus Farms expand to double its size.  Today, the trees are sold commercially to horticulture growers who plant them in their field to produce fruit for local and international consumers.

Jason manages the whole nursery which employees eight permanent staff and 15 casual workers. His main duties see him monitoring and looking after the seedlings and trees, ensuring they have enough water and nutrients among other things.

Core tasks

  • Preparing relevant media and containers, beds and growing environment before planting.
  • Selecting seeds, bulbs and cuttings, and planting them in containers, beds and relevant growing environments.
  • Budding and grafting vegetative material onto root stock.
  • Watering plants manually and controlling automatic watering operations.
  • Managing hydroponic systems.
  • Applying pesticides to control pests, diseases, weeds and nutritional and environmental plant disorders.
  • Keeping records of soil mixtures, water and nutrient data, plantings, treatments, losses and yields.
  • Selecting plants and packaging them for presentation and delivery.
  • Advising customers on plant care and appropriate plants for local conditions.
  • Planning sales area layouts and visual merchandise presentation.

Study pathways

  • Certificate III in Production Nursery – ACH3116
  • Certificate IV in Nursery Operations – AH40620
  • Diploma of Nursery Management – AHC50820
  • Certification III in Production Horticulture – AHC30620
  • Certificate III in Horticulture – AHC30716

Training Recommended

  • Maintain work health and safety processes
  • Supervise work routines and staff performance
  • Lead team effectiveness
  • Forklift licence
  • Chemical certificates