LATITUDE | FROM THE GROUND UP with Jamie Trsek & Erin Gray

LATITUDE | FROM THE GROUND UP with Jamie Trsek & Erin Gray

LATITUDE | FROM THE GROUND UP: All the dirt on soils, site preparation and plant establishment 

Join horticulturists Jamie Trsek and Erin Gray of Botanical Academy in this interactive workshop and deep dive into planting fundamentals as part of the AILA Latitude CPD program. 

This 4-hour online workshop will provide practical advice and tools to support landscape architects to maximise successful planting outcomes. Whether you are new to the profession or want to deepen your understanding of soils and plant requirements, this workshop will provide you with a horticultural foundation that you can apply to any site.  

Target Audience: 

Ideal for emerging landscape architects in their early to mid-careers. 

Learning outcomes will be in these four key pillars: 

1. Soil - soil profiles, texture and type; how to identify different soil types and their impact on plant success. 
2. Site preparation - potential site challenges in relation to soil and how to ameliorate these. 
3. Planting requirements & plant establishment - planting techniques and inputs, to assist with your planting and specifying. 
4. Plant selection considerations - environmental considerations, including site environmental conditions and biodiversity. 

This workshop will assist you if you: 

- Attend site inspections 
- Prepare tender specifications 
- Create plant lists and select plants for landscape designs 
- Would like to increase the plant success rate in your landscape designs 

Workshop overview:

Pre-work: identifying soil types through a soil particle test  

Participants will take a soil sample and test it to determine the percentages of sand, silt and clay. Observations will be recorded in a table and findings discussed during the workshop (in Part 1), with reference to implications for site preparation and plant selection. 

Part 1: Introduction to soils - physical properties for planting 

- Soil profiles - understanding how plants, water and air will act in the soil. 
- Soil texture - inorganic mineral components. 
- Soil type - behaviour of different soil types and impact on plants. 
- Pros and cons of different soil types, for plant success. 
- Soil Structure - how soil holds together and how water moves through it. 

Part 2: Site preparation 

- Chemical components of soil - what you need to know to maximise successful plant establishment. 
- Soil amelioration - amendment options if soil is inappropriate for planting. Soil salinity - causes and remedies. 
- Taking soil samples for testing. 

Part 3: Planting requirements and plant establishment 

- Planting techniques - correctly interpreting plant labels/descriptions to achieve the best outcomes for the site. 
- Timing of planting - understanding seasonal factors and plant responses. Establishment needs of juvenile plants. 
- Fertiliser - considerations, different types, correct application. 
- Mulch - understanding organic and inorganic mulches and how these suit different planting situations. 

Part 4: Plant selection considerations 

- The benefit of incorporating environmental considerations, as well as aesthetic considerations, when selecting plants.  
- Other site environmental factors to consider, when selecting plants. Examples of plant selection matrices. 
- Biodiversity considerations - how this increases overall plant health. 



Pre-work will be made available to registrants one week prior to the workshop. 
Participants will be provided with a comprehensive workbook to accompany the workshop, in PDF. 
Workbooks will include presentations, as well as additional exercises, references and links. 


The workshop is divided into four parts. Each part is comprised of a 45-minute workshop, followed by 15 minutes for questions and break time. 


This latest LATITUDE workshop will run from 9am-1pm AEDT online on Zoom. Places are limited so be sure to register your spot before we sell out.







AILA Member Price



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Workshop Presenters: 


Jamie Trsek, Horticulturalist

Jamie has over 25 years of experience in the horticulture industry, including retail and wholesale nurseries and revegetation of degraded landscapes at mining sites. 

Her passion for plant propagation was born out of 10 years as the Production Manager for Rhodoglen Nursery, then 7 years running her own wholesale nursery, specialising in bare root trees. 

As a natural and entertaining communicator, Jamie now combines contract propagation services to the nursery industry with horticultural teaching. She has been teaching and inspiring the next generation of horticulturists in the Certification II in Horticulture, for the past 6 years. 

Jamie is the co host of the light-hearted and accessible gardening podcast, Garden Hoes Australia and gardens in the Dandenong Ranges

Erin Gray, Horticulturalist

After 10 years in local government and corporate projects, Erin formally pursued her love of gardening, studying horticulture at the University of Melbourne’s Burnley campus. She worked for a Melbourne-based landscape architecture firm for almost 9 years, before moving to a small farm in regional Victoria.
Erin now combines her ‘day job’ in marketing and communications with her flower farm. She grows a range of perennial and annual flowers and foliage, supplying Victorian florists on a wholesale basis. She is a keen advocate of regenerative gardening, with minimal tilling and a ‘soil first’ focus. Her favourite part of flower farming is growing uncommon flowers and foliage to support florists in promoting the use of local flowers.

Important information


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All AILA Events are subject to our Delegate Conditions. Please review these before completing your event registration.


COVID Guidelines

AILA is committed to the health and safety of our members, guests and staff, as such we have a COVID Safety Plan in place for face to face, or hybrid online/face-to-face events.  If you are feeling unwell and are unable to attend the event, please contact your event manager.  All event attendees are required to follow the government's physical distancing guidelines of 1.5m between yourself and others, practice good hygiene.  Attendees are encouraged to download the COVID App so you are traceable should someone you or someone you have been in contact with contracts COVID-19.

Thursday, 07 March 2024
9:00 am to 1:00 pm

8 CPD Points

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