The ACS Course "HYDROPONICS I" is based upon the following curriculum documentation. It was originally written to cover everything you see here; but has over the years been revised and expanded beyond this on several occasions.

Click here to see an outline and enrolment details for this course.

ADVANCED HYDROPONICS

 

Module code

Ht342

 

ASF Level

6

 

Discipline Group Code

1101505

 

Nominal duration

100 hours

 

Module Purpose

Successful completion of this module will develop the learner's technical skills to independently plan and grow different crops in hydroponic systems.

 

Pre-requisites

Core units/modules need to be successfully completed before commencing this module.

Previous studies in horticulture or plant science at certificate or higher level (eg. HtO10 or Sc001) or equivalent.

 

Relationship to Competency Standard

All tasks shall comply with relevant practices and procedures set out by industrial awards and relevant Australian standards.

 

This course relates to sections from the Rural Training Council of Australia National Competency Standards for Amenities Horticulture

* Floriculture; including: HRT12, FLR117, FLR118, FLR119, D15, HRT18.2.

 

Content

Focus should be on the learning outcomes and not on content. Some topics may not require in-depth teaching in this module as they will be addressed fully elsewhere.

 

In achieving the learning outcomes, the following topics should be addressed:

* hydroponic systems

* hydroponic materials (media, etc.)

* hydroponic equipment

* nutrition management

* hydroponic greenhouse management

* hydroponic crops

 

Assessment strategy

(refer to Document 1, section 5.1)

 

Assessment method

The learning outcome may be assessed through:

* essays;

* short answers;

* definition of terminology;

* practical tasks;

* sketches;

* photographs;

* log book extracts;

* examinations.


Conditions of assessment

Assessment is based on successful completion of all set tasks, assignments and any other assessment methods listed above. An examination will consolidate lessons to assess the learning progress of students. It will also act as a method of ensuring students meet the outcomes.

 

Learning Outcome 1

 

Learning Outcome

Explain different hydroponic systems.

 

Assessment Criteria

1.1 Compare the differences between open and closed hydroponic systems.

1.2 Differentiate between different types of hydroponic systems, including:

*NFT *Aeroponics *Aggregate culture

*Rockwool *Manual systems *Automatic systems.

1.3 Compare the different characteristics, including:

*Establishment costs *Operational costs *Cultural practices

*Appropriate plant varieties for the system,

of three different hydroponic systems inspected by the learner.

1.4 Compile a resource file of forty sources of information regarding hydroponics,

including:

*Publications *Suppliers of seed and/or planting stock

*Industry associations *Hydroponic equipment *Hydroponic nutrients.

 

Conditions and method of assessment

The learner will require access to different systems to investigate, as a basis for satisfying some of the assessment criteria.

Relevant standards or extracts will be made available to students for reference during lessons.

 

Assessment methods will include:

* written assignments;

* illustrations;

* examinations;

* a catalogued resource file.

 

Learning Outcome 2

 

Learning Outcome

Select appropriate media for specified hydroponic crops.

 

Assessment Criteria

2.1 Collect samples of different types of hydroponic media available in a specified

locality.

2.2 Compare the characteristics, including:

*Physical properties *Chemical properties *Unit cost,

of different hydroponic media (from 2.1).

2.3 Select appropriate media to suit the cultural requirements of six specified types of

plants.

2.4 Develop guidelines for growing a specified crop in three different types of media.


Conditions and method of assessment

The learner will collect samples of four different types of media; test the characteristics of those samples; and submit small quantities of those samples.

 

Relevant standards or extracts will be made available to students for reference during lessons.

 

Assessment methods will include:

* media samples;

* written assignments;

* examinations.

 

Learning Outcome 3

 

Learning Outcome

Describe the equipment used in hydroponic systems.

 

Assessment Criteria

3.1 List equipment commonly used in hydroponic crop production.

3.2 Compare alternative equipment used in hydroponic systems, including:

*Two types of pH meters *Two types of EC meters

*Three types of NFT channel *Two types of nutrient tanks

*Two types of pumps *Two types of controllers.

3.3 Develop a procedure for the operation of equipment used to control the

characteristics of hydroponic nutrient solutions.

3.4 Develop a procedure for the operation of equipment used to control the supply

of hydroponic nutrient solutions.

3.5 Develop a routine maintenance program for hydroponic equipment, in a

specified system.

 

Conditions and method of assessment

The learner will contact (and preferably visit) at least two different suppliers of

equipment, in order to inspect and evaluate equipment alternatives.

Relevant standards or extracts will be made available to students for reference

during lessons.

 

Assessment methods will include:

* written assignments

* examinations

 

Learning Outcome 4

 

Learning Outcome

Determine the management of nutrition in hydroponic systems.

 

Assessment Criteria

4.1 Compare the differences between plant nutrient requirements in hydroponics

with that of soil culture.

4.2 Compare the formulations of three commercially available hydroponic nutrient

mixes.

4.3 Explain the reasons for keeping some components of concentrated nutrient solutions

separated until ready for dispensing in a diluted form.

4.4 Determine the unique aspects of nutrient requirements, for six different specified

plants.

4.5 Determine appropriate nutrient solutions to use, at different growth stages, for four

different plants.

4.6 Describe factors that can cause different responses to the same nutrient, in the same

plant.

4.7 Explain the significance of plant tissue analysis in determining a nutrient program.

4.8 Develop guidelines for the management of a nutrient solution in a specified

hydroponic system.

 

Conditions and method of assessment

Relevant standards or extracts will be made available to students for reference

during lessons.

 

Assessment methods will include:

* written assignments

* examinations

 

Learning Outcome 5

 

Learning Outcome

Explain the management of a greenhouse in the production of a hydroponic crop.

 

Assessment Criteria

5.1 Compare different greenhouses, with respect to:

*Temperature control *Set up cost *Ongoing costs

*Humidity control *Light transmission *Suitability for different crops

5.2 Explain the operation of different environmental control equipment in a greenhouse,

including:

*Heating *Cooling *Ventilation *Light control.

5.3 Develop criteria for selecting greenhouse crops for a specified hydroponic system in

the learner's locality.

5.4 Evaluate the viability of growing six specified crops hydroponically in a greenhouse,

including:

*A vegetable *A fruit *A cut flower *A herb.

 

Conditions and method of assessment

Relevant standards or extracts will be made available to students for reference

during lessons.

 

Assessment methods will include:

* written assignments

* examinations

Learning Outcome 6

 

Learning Outcome

Plan the establishment of hydroponic facility to satisfy specified criteria, both commercial and

cultural.

 

Assessment Criteria

6.1 Determine criteria for selecting an appropriate hydroponic system for a specified crop

and site.

6.2 Determine the components required to build two different specified hydroponic

systems.

6.3 Design a hydroponic system for a specified situation.

6.4 Estimate the cost of constructing a specified hydroponic system.

6.5 Develop a work schedule for the installation of a specified hydroponic system.

6.6 Develop guidelines for starting up a new, specified hydroponic system.


Conditions and method of assessment

Relevant standards or extracts will be made available to students for reference during lessons.

 

Assessment methods will include:

* plans/illustrations;

* written assignments;

* examinations.

Learning Outcome 7

 

Learning Outcome

Develop a management plan for a hydroponic facility.

 

Assessment Criteria

7.1 Determine crops which have commercial potential in hydroponics for three different

specified localities.

7.2 Prepare hydroponic production flow charts for six different crops, observed by

the learner, in two or more specified systems.

7.3 Produce a log book extract recording the growing of three different types of crops,

in an hydroponic system, managed by the learner.

7.4 Analyse the unit cost of production for the crops grown in 7.3.

7.5 Determine factors affecting the profitability of five different crops grown in

hydroponic systems observed by the learner.

7.6 Develop marketing strategies for three specified hydroponic crops, in the learners

locality.

 

Conditions and method of assessment

The learner will require:

* access to different operating hydroponic systems to observe stages of production;

* access to facilities to grow and log the production of three different crops in a system.

Relevant standards or extracts will be made available to students for reference during lessons.

 

Assessment methods may include:

* samples of student work (i.e. produce, or photographs of produce);

* log book extracts;

* illustrations or photographs;

* written assignments

* examinations

 


Delivery of the Module

 

Delivery strategy

(refer to Document 1, section 6.1)

 

Resource requirements

(refer to Document 1, section 6.2)

Specific requirements for this module which are supplied to the student:

* all manuals to complete this module and to meet competencies;

* notes appropriate to the topic of study.

 

Specific resources for this module which the learner will provide:

* writing materials;

* living plant material to perform set tasks;

* hydroponic materials and equipment to perform set tasks.

 

Occupational Health & Safety Requirements

(refer to Document 1, section 11)

Learners must be aware of relevant Workplace Health and Safety issues in all situations and are required to demonstrate safe working practices at all times. The work area must comply with current Workplace Health and Safety legislation.