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Home Hydroponics

Course CodeAHT107
Fee CodeS1
Duration (approx)100 hours
QualificationStatement of Attainment

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.

Save yourself time, hassle and money. Learn from the experts and save yourself costly mistakes!

  • 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.

Lesson Structure

There are 12 lessons in this course:

  1. Basic Chemistry and Plant Nutrition - atoms, elements, nutrient deficiency symptoms
  2. Nutrient Solutions - calculating formulae, hydroponic nutrition, preparing nutrient solutions
  3. Types of Systems A - classification of hydroponic systems, ingredients of hydroponic systems, rockwool.
  4. Types of Systems B - what makes up a system, 16 hydroponic ideas, NFT, solution dispensation.
  5. Plant Problems in Hydroponics - pests and diseases, nutritional and environmental problems, water and plant relationships, pH.
  6. How a Plant Grows - growth, nutrient solutions, preparing a solution, mechanisms of nutrient uptake, photosynthesis.
  7. Plant Culture - controlling environmental features, post harvest storage.
  8. Hydroponic Vegetable Production - how to grow vegetables hydroponically.
  9. Hydroponic Cut Flower Production - growing flowers in hydroponics, carnations.
  10. Soil Media vs Nutrient Film - berries, indoor plants, types of media, NFT.
  11. Greenhouse Operation & Management - solar energy applications in horticulture, greenhouse management.
  12. 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:

The Location

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.

Trellising

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.

Root Media

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.

 



Meet some of our academics

John Mason Parks Manager, Nurseryman, Landscape Designer, Garden Writer and Consultant. Over 40 years experience; working in Victoria, Queensland and the UK. He is one of the most widely published garden writers in the world; author of more than 70 books and editor for 4 different gardening magazines. John has been recognised by his peers being made a fellow of the Institute of Horticulture in the UK, as well as by the Australian Institute of Horticulture.
Dr. Lynette MorganBroad expertise in horticulture and crop production. She travels widely as a partner in Suntec Horticultural Consultants, and has clients in central America, the USA, Caribbean, South East Asia, the Middle East, Australia and New Zealand.
Diana Cole B.A. (Hons), Dip. Horticulture, BTEC Dip. Garden Design, Diploma Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development, PTLLS (Preparing to Teach in the Life Long Learning Sector), P.D.C. In addition to the qualifications listed above, Diana holds City & Guild construction qualifications and an NPTC pesticide spraying licence (PA1/PA6). Diana runs her own landscape gardening business (Arbella Gardens). Active in many organisations including the British Trust for Conservation Volunteers.
Yvonne SharpeRHS Cert.Hort, Dip.Hort, M.Hort, Cert.Ed., Dip.Mgt. Over 30 years experience in business, education, management and horticulture. Former department head at a UK government vocational college. Yvonne has traveled widely within and beyond Europe, and has worked in many areas of horticulture from garden centres to horticultural therapy. She has served on industry committees and been actively involved with amateur garden clubs for decades.


Check out our eBooks

Commercial HydroponicsLearn to grow vegetables, fruit, cut flowers, herbs and other plants hydroponically. A classic, republished with new images, a new layout and revised text. Contains unique advice on growing 102 different plants hydroponically! 74 pages
HerbsHerbs are fascinating plants, mystical and romantic. They have a rich history dating back centuries. Used by monks, apothecaries and ‘witches’ in the past, herbs are undergoing a revival in interest. They are easy to grow, scented, culinary and medicinal plants. In a formal herb garden or peppered throughout the garden, herbs rarely fail! Find out how they are used as medicines, for cooking, perfumes and more. This book has nine chapters covering the following topics: an introduction to herbs, cultivation, propagation, pest and diseases, herb gardens, an A-Z plant directory, using herbs, features for herb gardens, herbs in pots - 113 colour photos 61 pages
Fruit, Vegetables and HerbsHome grown produce somehow has a special quality. Some say it tastes better, others believe it is just healthier. And there is no doubt it is cheaper! Watching plants grow from seed to harvest and knowing that the armful of vegies and herbs you have just gathered for the evening meal will be on the table within an hour or two of harvest, can be an exciting and satisfying experience.
Plant Pests & DiseasesThis is a great guide to understanding, identifying and treating problems in your garden. Discover how to systematically examine and determine what is wrong with plants. Read about all of the main types of pests, diseases, and other problems that can occur, from frost damage to viruses. 197 pages