Certificate In Hydroponics

Train for a business or career in hydroponic farming, supplies or services. Expert tutors led by John Mason, author of the best selling book, Commercial Hydroponics

Course Code: VHT013
Fee Code: CT
Duration (approx) Duration (approx) 600 hours
Qualification Certificate
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Hydroponic Distance Education Certificate

  • Learn to apply horticultural knowledge to hydroponic culture
  • Discover opportunities for business and employment; building contacts within industry
  • Self paced, 600 hour course, guided by an international team of expert tutors


What Skills and Knowledge are Needed for Success in Hydroponics?

Industry experts often quote the 20/80 rule : 20% hydroponic skill, 80% general horticulture skill. A common reason for failure is not knowing enough basic horticulture!

“A great course for those with some general horticultural knowledge – all aspects of hydroponics are covered in this well-rounded course from growing to marketing!” - Adriana Fraser Cert.Hort., Cert.Child Care, Adv.Cert.App.Mgt., Cert 1V Assessment and Training, Adv.Dip.Hort, ACS Tutor.

Course structure

This subject has 30 lessons, each requiring about 12-15 hours of study:

1.  Introduction to Hydroponic Technology

2.  Plant Growth Requirements – Light , artificial light, light balances

3.  Plant Growth Requirements - Nutrition- nutrient requirements, deficiencies, toxicities, pH, conductivity, salinity, growth regulators

4.  Plant Growth Requirements - Temperature

5.  Hydroponic Growing Systems  - basic concepts and designs, site considerations.

6.  Growing Media - types, properties, uses.

7.  Hydroponic Nutrient Solutions - nutrient formulae, preparing solutions.

8.  Hydroponic Equipment - componentry, nutrient delivery, pumping, testing

9.  Growing Structures - Design and Construction - types

10. Environmental Control A - Heating, Cooling

11. Environmental Control B - Lighting, Shading.

12. Environmental Control C - Carbon Dioxide Enrichment

13. Plant Culture In Hydroponics A - trellising, pruning, pollination, transplanting.

14. Plant Culture In Hydroponics B

15. Aggregate Culture

16. Nutrient Film Technique (NFT) Culture

17. Rockwool Culture

18. Other Techniques - wick systems, flood & drain, bag culture, aeroponics, etc.

19. Irrigation - Soil Requirements

20. Irrigation Systems

21. Plant Propagation - seed & cutting propagation & tissue culture

22. Market Gardening - Cut Flowers

23. Market Gardening - Vegetables

24. Other Plants In Hydroponics - herbs, grasses, indoor plants

25. Pest and Diseases - identifying the problem, pests and diseases in hydroponics

26. Weeds - identification and control

27. Managing A Commercial Hydroponics Farm - crop scheduling & selection standards

28. Management - Organisation and Supervision

29. Marketing - Promotion and Selling

30. Special Project -Prepare a detailed report of at least 2,000 words, plus photos or diagrams, on a particular aspect of technology which you have studied that significantly assists growing.


Exams: There are two exams for the course - one after Lesson 15 and another after Lesson 30.


General Course Objectives:

1. To provide a sound basis of knowledge in horticultural principles as they apply to the culture, use and management of plants in various production situations.

2. To provide new and existing employees who are unable to undertake on campus training with the opportunity to gain appropriate knowledge in the field of plant culture, use and management.

3. To prepare employees for supervisory and managerial positions in the field of plant culture, use and management.

4. To provide horticultural business owner/operators (or those contemplating ownership) with appropriate training to apply technical skills to the management of the physical, financial and human resources in which they have made, or will make, a substantial investment.

5. To provide an understanding of modern technology and its application to growing plants, with emphasis being placed on hydroponics production of commercially valuable plants.

 

What Can Be Grown?

Just about anything can be grown in hydroponics, from fruit and vegetables to herbs and indoor plants. Even animal feed can be produced hydroponically.

Certain Crops are more widely grown hydroponically though. These include:

  • Lettuce and other salad greens
  • Cucumber
  • Tomato
  • Capsicum
  • Mint and other herbs
  • Carnation
  • Rose
  • Orchids

This course is relevant to it all these, and a lot more.

How Will You Grow?

One of the first choices is whether to use water culture, aggregate culture or rockwool. All three are viable and used successfully with a large variety of crops in many different parts of the world.

Your choice should take into consideration the following: 

  • What is the cost of each and how readily available are materials in your area?
  • Is rockwool made/sold locally? If not, what freight charges are involved in having it delivered?
  • Is there a local source of sand or gravel which can be used, or do you need to pay high cartage costs?
  • What types of plants will you grow?
  • Some plants require better aeration than others. Some systems provide better aeration than others, for example NFT systems.

What Will the Roots Grow in?

There are three main groups of hydroponic media, based on their origins:

 1. Media derived from rock or stone
 2. Media derived from synthetics
 3. Organic media

Media is the term given to the solid material(s) used to replace soil in aggregate culture and rockwool culture.
Hydroponic media must fulfill the following criteria:

  • They must be chemically inert.
  • They must be chemically stable.
  • They must be clean.
  • They must drain sufficiently otherwise roots can receive too little oxygen.
  • They must have adequate water-holding capacity.
  • They must have adequate air-holding capacity
  • Buffer capacity should be good – this is the ability of the media to resist changes in pH.
  • It is preferable that cation exchange capacity is at least moderate to good.


Tips for Growing Hydroponic Fodder

Fodder crops have been successfully grown under intense cultivation using hydroponics. Hydroponic fodder may have some advantages:

  • It can be produced under controlled conditions (eg. inside a greenhouse) all year round, and during abnormal conditions such as drought or extreme cold.
  • It makes more efficient use of water supplies.
  • Protein content of hydroponic food may be significantly higher than the same plants grown in paddocks.
  • Plants may be grown in tiers (with artificial lighting), allowing much greater production per unit area.
  • Growth rates can be accelerated, allowing greater production per unit area, per year.
  • Hydroponic production can be designed to need less manpower.

The main disadvantage of hydroponic fodder cropping is that the establishment costs can be relatively high. Though hydroponic fodder production is not yet widely practiced, it has been used successfully for growing a variety of fodder plants including oats, wheat, rye, barley and sorghum.

 

WHY CHOOSE THIS COURSE?

Students choose this because it is our longest and strongest course on hydroponics. If you want to learn the most over the longest period of time; this could be ideal. If you are just starting out with learning about hydroponics and want to get up to speed as much as possible; and if you have the time to do this -it may be a very good choice.

 
 
Since 1999 ACS has been a recognised member of IARC (International Approval and Registration Centre). A non-profit quality management organisation servicing education.

ACS Distance Education holds an Educational Membership with the ATA.

Principal of ACS Distance Education, John Mason, is fellow of the CIH.

Member of Study Gold Coast Education Network.

ACS Global Partner - Affiliated with colleges in seven countries around the world.

Member Nursery and Garden Industry Association.

ACS is a Preferred Member Training Provider with the Australian Institute of Horticulture. ACS students meeting AIH criteria can join AIH as a Category 2 student member.

Principal of ACS Distance Education, John Mason has been a member of the International Scociety of Horticultural Science since 2003


How can I start this course?

You can enrol at anytime and start the course when you are ready. Enrolments are accepted all year - students can commence study at any time. All study is self paced and ACS does not set assignment deadlines.

Please note that if a student is being assisted by someone else (e.g. an employer or government subsidy), the body offering the assistance may set deadlines. Students in such situations are advised to check with their sponsor prior to enrolling. The nominal duration of a course is approximately how long a course takes to complete. A course with a nominal duration of 100 hours is expected to take roughly 100 hours of study time to complete. However, this will vary from student to student. Short courses (eg. 100 hrs duration) should be completed within 12 months of enrolment. Certificates, Advanced Certificates and Awards (eg. over 500 hours duration) would normally be completed within 3 -5 years of enrolment. Additional fees may apply if a student requires an extended period to complete.
If a student cannot submit their assignments for 6 months to ACS, they should advise the school to avoid cancellation of their student
registration. Recommencement fees may apply.

Simply click on the ENROL OPTIONS button at the top of this screen and follow the prompts.

You can see the course price at the top of this page. Click 'enrolment options' to see any payment options available.

You can pay by Credit Card, PayPal, Afterpay or bank transfer.

Yes! We have payment plans for most courses. Click 'enrolment options' to see the available payment plans.
We also have Afterpay that will allow you to pay for your course or payment plans in four instalments (if you are in Australia).


What do I need to know before I enrol?

There are no entry requirements that you need to meet to enrol in our courses, our courses are for everyone.
If you are under 18, we need written permission from your parent/ guardian for your enrolment to continue, we can arrange that after you have enrolled.

You don’t need to purchase any additional resources to complete our courses.

We aim to teach you the essentials without you having to purchase any specific computer program.
We recommend that you have access to a word processing program, such as Microsoft Word or Google Docs, so that you can easily complete and submit your assignments.

You sure can. We are here to help you learn whatever your abilities.

Yes, if you are enrolling in a Certificate or Advanced Certificate, you might be eligible for credits if you have evidence of your previous studies or relevant experience. More information is here.

We recommend that you are able to browse websites, send emails and conduct online research. You will need to be able to type and submit your assignments.
If you have limited computer skills, we can make special arrangements for you.

This is possible, it depends on the institution. We recommend that if you would like to use our courses that you contact the institution first. Our Course Handbook is a good resource for this.

Our courses are written in English and we only have English speaking academic staff. If you can read and complete your assignments in English, our courses are ideal for you.

Our courses are designed to build knowledge, hands on skills and industry connections to help prepare you to work in the area, running your own business, professional development or as a base for further study.

This course is aimed at providing you with a solid understanding in your selected discipline. It has been designed to take 600 hours, which includes your course reading, assignment work, research, practical tasks, watching videos and more. When you complete the course, will have a good understanding of the area/ industry you want to work in.

It’s up to you. The study hours listed in the course are a rough guide, however if you were to study a short course (100 hours) at 10 hours per week, you could finish the course in 10 weeks (just an example). Our courses are self-paced, so you can work through the courses in your own time. We recommend that you wait for your tutor to mark and return your assignment before your start your next one, so you get the benefits of their feedback.

The course consists of course notes, videos, set tasks for your practical work, online quizzes, an assignment for each lesson (that you receive feedback from your tutor from) and ends in an exam (which is optional, if would like to receive the formal award at the end), using our custom built Learning Management System - Login.Training.

Our courses are designed for adults to gain professional development and skills to further their careers and start businesses.

Our custom online learning portal allows you to conduct your learning online. There may be practical tasks that you can do offline. You have the option of downloading your course notes or print them to read later.

There is also the option to pay an additional fee for printed course notes and or USB (availability limited to location and deliverability).

Yes, if you don’t have access to the internet, you can receive the course as paper notes or on a USB stick for an additional fee. We can also make alternative arrangements for you to send your assignments to us.

We offer printed notes for an additional fee. Also, you can request your course notes on a USB stick for an additional fee.

Yes, your tutor is here to help you. Simply post any questions you have in your login.training portal or contact the office and we can pass on a message to your tutor.

We are more learning focussed, rather than assessment focussed. You have online quizzes to test your learning, written assignments and can complete an exam at the end of the course (if you want to receive your certificate). You will not receive a pass/ fail on your course work. If you need to add more details on your assignment, we will ask you to resubmit and direct you where you need to focus. If you need help, you can ask your tutor for advice in the student room.

Each module (short course) is completed with one exam.

Exams are optional, however you must sit an exam if you would like to receive a formal award. You will need to find someone who can supervise that you are sitting the exams under exams conditions. There is an additional cost of $55 (AUS) $50 (O/S) for each exam.
More information is here

There are practical components built into the course that have been designed to be achieved by anyone, anywhere. If you are unable to complete a task for any reason, you can ask your tutor for an alternative.

When you complete the course work and the exams (6 exams) and you will be able receive your course certificate- a Certificate. Otherwise, you can receive a Letter of Completion.

You can bundle the short courses to create your own customised learning bundle, Certificates or Advanced Certificates. More information is on this page.

Yes, our courses are built to be applicable for people living anywhere in any situation. We provide the fundamentals, and each student can apply their own unique flair for their own interests, region and circumstances with the one-on-one guidance of a tutor. There is also a bit of student directed research involved.

Employers value candidates with industry skills, knowledge, practical skills and formal learning. Our courses arm you with all of these things to help prepare you for a job or start your own business. The longer you study the more you will learn.

ACS has an arrangement with OAMPS (formerly AMP) who can arrange Professional Indemnity from Australian and New Zealand graduates across all disciplines. Ph: 1800 222 012 or email acs@oamps.com.au.


Who are ACS Distance Education?

ACS Distance Education have been educating people for over 40 years.

We are established and safe- we have been in education for over 40 years.
We are focused on developing innovative courses that are relevant to you now and what you will need to know in the future.
We are focused on helping you learn and make the most of your experience.
You can enrol at any time, you can work on your course when it suits you and at your own pace.
We are connected to many industry bodies and our staff participate in continuous improvement and learning activities to ensure that we are ahead of what learning is needed for the future.

Our courses are not accredited by the Australian Government. However many of our courses are recognised and held in high regard by many industry bodies.

Our courses are written by our staff, who all have many years experience and have qualifications in their speciality area. We have lots of academic staff who write and update our courses regularly.


How do I enrol my staff/ sponsored students?

Yes, you can do a request for a bulk enrolment and request an invoice on our Invoice Request Form

We can prepare an invoice, quote or proforma invoice. Simply complete your details on our Invoice Request form

We can arrange bulk discounts for your course enrolment, please get in touch with us to discuss your needs.

Yes, we have many students who are in locked facilities, such as prisons or hospitals. We can cater by also offering paper notes at an additional cost.


What if I have any more questions or need more information?

We can assist you to find the right course for your needs. Get in touch with us via email (admin@acs.edu.au) call on +61 7 5562 1088 or complete our course advice form.


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Course Contributors

The following academics were involved in the development and/or updating of this course.

John Mason (Horticulturist)

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.

Marie Beermann

Marie has more than 10 years experience in horticulture and education in both Australia and Germany. Marie's qualifications include B. Sc., M. Sc. Hort., Dip. Bus., Cert. Ldscp.

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.





Tutors

Meet some of the tutors that guide the students through this course.

Jacinda Cole

Jacinda has expertise in psychology and horticulture. She holds a BSc (hons) in Psychology and a Masters in Psychology (Clinical) and also trained in psychoanalytic psychotherapy at the London Centre for Psychotherapy. In horticulture she has a Certificate in Garden Design and ran her own landscaping and garden design business for a number of years. Jacinda also has many years experience in course development and educational writing.

Lynette Morgan

Dr Morgan has a broad expertise in horticulture and crop production, and a keen appreciation of the global scene. 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.

Yvonne Sharpe

Over 30 years of experience in horticulture, education and management, Yvonne has travelled 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.

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