Hydroponics II - Hydroponics Management 100 Hours Certificate Course
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Hydroponics II - Hydroponics Management 100 Hours Certificate Course
Hydroponic Management (Hydroponics II) course online. Even more in - depth than Hydroponics I, Hydroponics II takes a closer look at a few plant species in particular.
Hydroponic grower trials attempt to simulate conditions under which a crop might be grown commercially, but on a much smaller, and less costly scale.
They often compare the success of growing a number of different plants, or groups of plants. There are many different variables that can affect the success or failure of a hydroponic crop. These fall into different categories, including:
- Type of system
- Nutrition supplied
- Water supplied
- Plant cultivar being grown
- Environmental conditions (eg. Temperature, light, air quality)
- Exposure to pest and disease
- Cultural Management (eg. Pruning, spacing, harvest time, etc).
Learning Goals: Hydroponic Management (Hydroponics II) BHT213
- Determine and explain factors that influence the growth of a crop.
- Design and conduct a trial to evaluate the commercial prospect of growing a chosen hydroponic crop
- Determine appropriate harvest and post harvest treatments for different types of hydroponic crops.
- Determine an appropriate procedure for hydroponic production of a commercial tomato crop in any given location.
- Determine an appropriate procedure for hydroponic production of a commercial capsicum crop in any given location.
- Determine an appropriate procedure for hydroponic production of a commercial Lettuce, Salad Greens and Foliage Herb Crops in any given location.
- Determine an appropriate procedure for hydroponic production of a commercial cucurbit crop in any given location.
- Determine an appropriate procedure for hydroponic production of a commercial strawberry crop in any given location.
- Determine an appropriate procedure for hydroponic production of a commercial cut flower rose crop in any given location.
- Determine an appropriate procedure for hydroponic production of a commercial cut flower carnation crop in any given location.
- Determine an appropriate procedure for hydroponic production of a commercial cut flower Orchid crop in any given location.
Lesson Structure: Hydroponic Management (Hydroponics II) BHT213
There are 11 lessons:
1 How the Crop Plant Grows
- Plant Growth Factors
- Understanding How a Plant Grows in Hydroponics: Roots, Stems, Leaves, Reproductive Parts
- Controlling the Growing Environment: Light levels, Air temperatures, Root zone temperature, Relative humidity and vapour pressure deficit, Water, Plant nutrients, Heating and ventilation systems, Thermal screens, Blackout, Shading, Lighting equipment, Link to external weather station, Ability of systems to record data
- Controlling Plant Growth: Stopping, Spacing, Disbudding, Trimming, Training, Growth control - Chemical and cultural for ornamental crops, Pest, disease and disorder control: (chemical and cultural), Cultural controls
- Plant Troubleshooting: Diseases, Pests, Environment and physiological disorders, Nutrition, Pollination, Floral initiation, Fruit growth, Flower and fruit development problems
2 How to Run a Small Evaluation Trial
- What is a Hydroponic Trial?
- Running a Crop Trial: Basics of setting up a comparison trial, Running the trial: records and recording, Evaluating the trial
- Research Methodology - An Overview: Experimentation, Steps for collection of data
3 Harvest and Post Harvest
- The Importance of Harvest and Post-Harvest Management
- Understanding Harvested Ctop Physiology: Ripening of fruit, Respiration, How and when to harvest, How to prepare salad mixes from harvested hydroponic produce
- Harvesting and Grading Vegetables
- What is Considered Within a Grading Standard?
- Fruit Grading Systems: Mechanised grading, Fruit grading in the USA, Grading equipment
- Harvesting Cut Flowers: Stage of growth, Shelf life, Post-harvest treatments, Grading standards for cut flowers, Conditioning cut flowers for market, Packaging
- Marketing: Send to markets, Wholesalers, Supermarkets, Local retailers, Export, Contract
- Growing Hydroponic Tomatoes
- Growing Capsicums (Bell Peppers) in Hydroponics
6 Lettuce, Salad Greens and Foliage Herb Crops
- Hydroponic Salad Greens: Lettuce, Celery, Endive, Spinach
- Hydroponic Herb Production: Basil (sweet), Majoram, Mint, Sage, Thyme
7 Cucurbits (Cucumber and Melons)
- Hydroponic Cucumber Production:
- Hydroponic Melon Production
- Hydroponic Pumpkin Production
- Hydroponic Strawberry Production
- Hydroponic Roses Production
- Hydroponic Carnations Production
- Hydroponic Orchids 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.
Excerpt From The Course
How to prepare salad mixes from harvested hydroponic produce
Chlorination levels and washing of produce
Salad greens should be harvested early in the morning to obtain turgid tissue (with a high water
content). Leafy greens harvested during warm greenhouse conditions are often slightly wilted at the
time of harvest and will have a greatly reduced shelf life. It is important that where-ever greens such
as herbs, lettuce etc. are to be cut, that a very sharp knife is used for this purpose (i.e sharpened on
a regular basis and cleaned after each day’s harvest). A sharp blade minimises cell damage and the
resulting oxidation of cellular fluids after harvest. A lettuce cut by a sharp knife with a slicing motion
will have a storage life approximately twice that of a lettuce but with a chopping action. Shelf life of
lettuce is much less if a dull knife is used rather than a sharp one.
After harvesting into clean field bins, the salad greens should be cooled to below 5 C before
processing into salad mixes. In cases where a cooler is not available, the harvested product should
be immediately placed into cool water – adding ice cubes, cooler packs or crushed ice to the
washing water will serve this purpose. Most salad greens, apart from those which can suffer chilling
injury, such as basil, should be given this treatment. Care needs to be taken when cut basil is to be
part of a salad mix as it is temperature sensitive and should not be washed or stored below 10 C, as
it will discolour and go black once packaged. Basil and cilantro should not be incorporated into salad
mixes that will be stored under refrigeration (below 7 – 10 C) as it will blacken in the salad mix.
Salad greens should be washed in cool water as soon as possible after harvest. This water needs to
be chlorinated to kill the microbial life on the leaf surfaces which would later cause fungal growth and
tissue discoloration. Washing the cut product removes sugar and other nutrients at the cut surfaces
that favour microbial growth and oxidation. Water should be chlorinated with 0.2 ml per litre of
chlorine. Any leaves which need to be further cut should be done so before washing. After the
chlorinated wash (at below 5C), the leaves should be rinsed twice in fresh, clean, chilled water and
water in wash tubs replaced frequently.
After washing and rinsing, any free moisture on the leaves must be removed – centrifugation is
generally used, although air blast driers can also be used for this purpose. Many smaller salad
processors use `salad spinners’ either hand or electric powered to remove the moisture from the
leaves. Excess moisture left on the leaf surface will result in condensation within the salad pack and
the growth of moulds, bacteria and other problems during storage.
After drying, mixes can be combined and packaged into bags or punnets and cooled to 2 – 3 C,.
The faster the product is cooled down to a storage temperature of 2 – 3 C, the longer the shelf life
will be. Prepacked salads typically only last 2 – 3 days at 25 C, but can last in excess of 8 days at 1
– 3 C. Packaged product should not be shipped or transported until it has reached the required 1 –
3 C and delivered under refrigeration where ever possible.
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