Learn hydroponic systems for use in your own home!
This course is a great introduction to hydroponics and hydroponic systems. Hydroponics can be used by gardeners to produce vegetables and herbs in small spaces such as balconies and apartments as well as in greenhouses for out-of-season production of certain crops.
Instead of soil, plants are grown in a sterile medium, such as rockwool, perlite or sand. The medium provides a means of support only and does not add to the plants’ nutrient requirements. All the nutrients taken up by the plants in this system are added artificially through a nutrient solution. Solutions vary according to the type of crop grown.
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- A course for home gardeners with limited space or a passion for applying technology.
- Learn the theory behind this space efficient method of growing.
- Start any time, work at your own pace, grow anything from vegetables and berries, to cut flowers and herbs.
- Course Duration: 100 hours of self-paced study
This course is a good starting point for those who have little experience in horticulture or hydroponics and whose main interest is in growing AT HOME. Unlike our other courses, this course is NOT intended for commercial growing in any way. You will learn the theory behind hydroponic culture, as well as receive first hand practical experience as you set up your own basic hydroponic system.
There are 12 lessons in this course:
Basic Chemistry and Plant Nutrition - atoms, elements, nutrient deficiency symptoms
Nutrient Solutions - calculating formulae, hydroponic nutrition, preparing nutrient solutions
Types of Systems A - classification of hydroponic systems, ingredients of hydroponic systems, rockwool.
Types of Systems B - what makes up a system, 16 hydroponic ideas, NFT, solution dispensation.
Plant Problems in Hydroponics - pests and diseases, nutritional and environmental problems, water and plant relationships, pH.
How a Plant Grows - growth, nutrient solutions, preparing a solution, mechanisms of nutrient uptake, photosynthesis.
Plant Culture - controlling environmental features, post harvest storage.
Hydroponic Vegetable Production - how to grow vegetables hydroponically.
Hydroponic Cut Flower Production - growing flowers in hydroponics, carnations.
Soil Media vs Nutrient Film - berries, indoor plants, types of media, NFT.
Greenhouse Operation & Management - solar energy applications in horticulture, greenhouse management.
Special Assignment - a report on how to improve your present hydroponic venture, or a report on planning a new hydroponic venture.
Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.
What is Hydroponics?
A HYDROPONIC SYSTEM COMPRISES THE FOLLOWING COMPONENTS:
This is a KEY FACTOR, because it influences everything else.
If the system is indoors, then the environmental conditions are being controlled. The temperature may fluctuate less than normal. Wind may be reduced etc.
If the system is outside it will be exposed to rain which may dilute nutrient solution etc.
Pest and disease problems are reduced by keeping the system isolated from those problems in doors, raised off the ground or in isolated locations.
Outdoor systems may be dug in by dogs, cats or other animals.
The Container or Bed
The roots (as well as the nutrient solution and medium) need to be contained by something.
You may have gravel, sand or perlite contained by bags, pots or tubs.
You may have rockwool fibre or scoria contained in a raised bed built from timber, metal or concrete.
You may use polystyrene boxes, hanging baskets, prefabricated fibreglass tanks etc.....the list of possibilities is endless.
Watering/Nutrient Application Equipment
Nutrient can be applied dry on the surface and then watered in or mixed with water and applied as a nutrient solution.
Solution may be applied automatically at predetermined times or as required.
It may be applied at the bottom of the media and allowed to move up via capillary action, or alternatively at the top and allowed to filter down. It may be pumped on, or moved manually or by gravity. Excess may be collected and reused, or allowed to be lost after passing through the media.
This is not always included.
When growing tall plants or creeping plants (eg: Tomatoes, cucumber, Chrysanthemum, Carnation, Roses etc), the root medium may not be strong enough to support the plant....or perhaps it might be necessary to control the plant and make it more manageable.
A trellis of wire mesh, strings or stakes may be necessary to just prevent the plants from falling over and being damaged.
The media which the roots grow in affects your decisions about all of the above. You must consider rooting media with respect to it's ability to hold water, air, nutrients, support the plant etc.
We hope we have provided you with enough information on the course, but if you do have questions for the tutors, then please click here.