Outdoor Plant Production (Crops I)

Course CodeBHT112
Fee CodeS2
Duration (approx)100 hours
QualificationStatement of Attainment
  

Learn to Grow Horticultural Crops


  • Study Fruit, Vegetables, Berries, Nuts and other Horticultural Crops
  • Work on a fruit farm, start a business or develop your self sufficiency
  • Broaden your horticultural skills
  • Learn from highly qualified horticulture tutors who know the industry, plants and growing techniques well. Benefit from their decades of experience
  • Self paced, flexible, 100 hour course
 
 
This course started live as a Crops course developed by John Mason in 1980. Over the years it has been revised and upgraded many times with input from over 20 horticulturists in both the UK and Australia.

In 1995 it was revised to satisfy curriculum for a nationally accredited Advanced Diploma in Horticulture (Australia). In 2003 it underwent a further major revision to align with an RHS Diploma in Horticulture Module "Outdoor Plant Production".

Today's course is very much up to date and an excellent foundation for any type of outdoor plant production.


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Lesson Structure

There are 10 lessons in this course:

  1. Crop Production Systems
    • To explain different cropping systems and their appropriate application for the production of different types of crops
  2. Organic Crop Production
    • To evaluate and explain organic plant production, and the requirements in at least two different countries, to achieve organic certification.
  3. Soils and Nutrition
    • To understand the function of soils and plant nutrition in outdoor cropping systems.
  4. Nursery Stock Production
    • Describe the commercial production of a range of nursery stock.
  5. Tree Fruit Production
    • Describe the commercial production of a range of tree fruit crops.
  6. Soft Fruits Production
    • To develop an understanding of the techniques used to produce a range of soft fruits.
  7. Vegetable Production
    • To develop an understanding of the techniques used to grow a range of vegetables.
  8. Cut Flower Production
    • To develop an understanding of the commercial production of outdoor cut flowers.
  9. Herbs, Nuts and Miscellaneous Crops
    • To develop an understanding of the commercial production of herbs, nuts and other miscellaneous crops.
  10. Crop Production Risk Assessment
    • To understand the risks that may occur in outdoor crop production.

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.

Aims

  • Explain different cropping systems and their appropriate application for the production of different types of crops.
  • Evaluate and explain organic plant production, and the requirements in at least two different countries, to achieve organic certification.
  • Explain the function of soils and plant nutrition in outdoor cropping systems.
  • Describe the commercial production of a range of nursery stock.
  • Describe the commercial production of a range of tree fruit crops.
  • Explain techniques used to produce a range of soft fruits.
  • Explain techniques used to grow a range of vegetables.
  • Explain the commercial production of outdoor-grown cut flowers.
  • Describe the commercial production of herbs, nuts and other miscellaneous crops.
  • Identify the risks that may occur in outdoor crop production.

How are Crop Plants Grown?

The main systems used for commercial cropping are:

Row cropping – the most commonly used production system; used to grow vegetables and herbs, cut flowers, fruit and nut trees, field-grown nursery stock. Advantages of row cropping include ease of access for machinery and people during planting, crop maintenance and harvesting. This system enables good water management (i.e. it is suitable for trickle irrigation systems) and weed control (using mulches between plants and mowing between rows).  

Broad acre – most commonly used for large scale vegetable, oil seed, fibre, herb and grain production. Also used for cut flowers, turf growing, and large-scale orchards (e.g. fruit grown for canning and juicing).  This is commonly known as Agronomy. If this is what interests you; we also offer an Agronomy course. See http://www.acs.edu.au/courses/agronomy-576.aspx

Hydroponics – a specialised and intensive system most commonly used to grow leafy vegetables, tomatoes and strawberries. Can be used to grow many other crops including cut flowers and root vegetables.

Containerised systems – This involves growing plants in pots or other containers (eg bags, baskets, veneer tubes), commonly used for growing nursery stock; both in the open, and under cover.

Trellising systems – used for supporting and training deciduous and vine fruits.

Hedging – used for tree and berry fruits, and nuts. Also used for growing nursery stock plants (to provide cutting propagation material).


Monoculture vs. Mixed Culture

Monoculture farming involves growing one type of crop or raising one type of animal. This system has been widely practised in recent years, and is favoured by many growers because it potentially gives good economic returns. By only growing one crop farmers are able to specialise and refine their growing techniques, and to concentrate their efforts in developing markets and investing in specialised equipment.
Mixed culture farming involves growing a variety of crops or animals. Until the Industrial Revolution and the advent of chemical fertilisers, all farmers made their living through mixed culture farming, and nowadays many growers are turning back to this system. This system has several important benefits:
  • In most cases it is more environmentally sustainable than monoculture farming. Growing a wide range of different plants for different purposes can significantly enhance the land’s productivity over a period of time. This means that as well as growing several different cash efficient crops at any given time, the farmer grows other plants such as windbreaks and companion plants to improve the farm’s sustainability.
  • Farmers are buffered against economic loss caused by market over/under supply or by the loss of one crop from pest/disease attack or unfavourable growing conditions
  • Crops can be spread over the whole year, allowing better use of resources (such as farm equipment) and better management of labour and finance.



WHO BENEFITS FROM DOING THIS COURSE?

  • Those who work on a crop growing farm, or would like to start a business or be more self-sufficient
  • Thow who would like to broaden their horticultural skills
  • Learn who would like to learn from highly qualified horticulture tutors who know the industry, plants and growing techniques well. Benefit from their decades of experience.



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Credentials

Member of the Institute of Horticulture Careers Advisory Bureau
Member of the Institute of Horticulture Careers Advisory Bureau

Member Nursery and Garden Industry Association
Member Nursery and Garden Industry Association

ACS is recognised by the IARC
ACS is recognised by the IARC



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  Rosemary Davies

Leading horticultural expert in Australia. Rosemary trained in Horticultural Applied Science at Melbourne University. Initially she worked with Agriculture Victoria as an extension officer, taught horticulture students, worked on radio with ABC radio (clocking up over 24 years as a presenter of garden talkback programs, initially the only woman presenter on gardening in Victoria) and she simultaneously developed a career as a writer. She then studied Education and Training, teaching TAFE apprentices and developing curriculum for TAFE, before taking up an offer as a full time columnist with the Herald and Weekly Times and its magazine department after a number of years as columnist with the Age. She has worked for a number of companies in writing and publications, PR community education and management and has led several tours to Europe. In 1999 Rosemary was BPW Bendigo Business Woman of the Year and is one of the founders and the Patron, of the Friends of the Bendigo Botanic gardens. She has completed her 6th book this year and is working on concepts for several others. Rosemary has a B Ed, BSc Hort, Dip Advertising & Marketing
  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 Morgan

Broad 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.
  Maggi Brown

Maggi is regarded as an expert in organic growing throughout the UK, having worked for two decades as Education Officer at the world renowned Henry Doubleday Research Association. She has been active in education, environmental management and horticulture across the UK for more than three decades. Some of Maggi's qualifications include RHS Cert. Hort. Cert. Ed. Member RHS Life Member Garden Organic (HDRA) .
  Organic Gardening
For decades farmers have relied upon chemicals to control pests and diseases in order to produce saleable crops. In the ornamental, vegetable and fruit gardens reliance on chemical controls has also been the mainstay for many gardeners.
  Capsicums and Chillis
Growing and Using Capsicuma -very hot to sweet, cultivar descriptions, recipes, biology, cultivation, etc
  Commercial Hydroponics
Learn how to grow vegetables, fruit, cut flowers, herbs and other plants hydroponically. This classic is now re-published with new images, a new layout and revised text. A must have resource for anyone who wants to grow hydroponically.
  Fruit, Vegetables and Herbs
Home 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.