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Hydroponic Supply & Consultancy - An Introduction 100 Hours Certificate Course


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Hydroponic Supply & Consultancy - An Introduction 100 Hours Certificate Course

Price: £325.00Course Code: VHT119
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Hydroponic Supply & Consultancy - An Introduction 100 Hours Certificate Course

This Hydroponic course would be suitable for:

  • Hydroponic Shop Managers and Staff,

  • Hydroponic Equipment and Materials Manufacturers and Suppliers

  • Other working alongside a hydroponic power supply

If you plan on studying this course, ensure that you only study Hydroponics I or Home Hydroponics. The difference is that Home Hydroponics has a less intensive academic load and is geared for more personal use, while Hydroponics I is a more broadly based course.



Learning Goals: Hydroponic Supply and Consultancy
  • Understand the nature and scope of hydroponics and hydroponic systems
  • Compare a range of hydroponics systems
  • Understand plant nutrition requirements and interpret nutrient solution labels
  • Compare different types of growing media for use in different systems
  • Describe the components needed for different types of systems
  • Explain the basic management of nutrient solutions in a hydroponic system
  • Become familiar with methods of climate control and equipment required
  • Develop awareness of common pest and disease problems in hydroponics and products to control them
  • Describe means of controlling plant deficiencies, toxicities and system pH levels
  • Review methods for controlling problems to maintain system and plant health


Lesson Structure: Hydroponic Supply and Consultancy

There are 10 lessons in this course:

1   Hydroponics – Nature and Scope

  • Introduction to Hydroponics: What's Needed in Hydroponics?, Advantages of Hydroponics, Basic System Components, Other Equipment, Types of Hydroponics System
  • Hydroponics - A Global Industry in the 21st Century
  • Hydroponics - Is it as Good as Growing Plants in Soil?
  • Directory of Supliers 
  • International Societies
  • Suggested Further Reading

2  Types of Hydroponic Systems

  • Introduction
  • What Makes up a System?: The Location, The Container or Grow Bed, Watering/Nutrient Application Equipment, Trellising, Root Media
  • Two Simple Systems
  • Types of Hydroponic Systems: Solution Culture, NFT Systems, Alternative Layouts for NFT, Aggregate or Media Culture, Rockwool Culture
  • Historic, Hobby and Lesser Used Systems: Gericke Method, Bengal Method, Wick Method, Sand culture, Bucket and Gravity Feed, Hanging Basket Method
  • Methods of Solution Dispensation: Closed System, Open System, Drip Irrigaton Systems, Sub Irrigation and Ebb and Flow Systems
  • Techniques: Drip, Slop, Wick, Misting, Dry Fertilisation, Capillary, Injector or Proportioner System, Organic Soil-less Mixes

3    Introduction to Plant Nutrition and Understanding Nutrient Labels

  • Inroduction
  • Plants: Plant Growth Factors
  • How Plants Grow: The Structure of a Plant, Roots, Stems, Leaves, Reproductive Parts
  • Mechanisms of Nutrient Uptake
  • Plant Nutrients for Growth: Macronutrients (major elements), Micronutrients (minor elements)
  • The Role of pH in Plant Growth: What is pH?
  • Understanding Hydroponic Nutrient Formulae: Elements, Writing Chemical Names, Nutrient Solutions, What Does a Plant Need?
  • Symptoms of Nutrient Deficiency 

4    Introduction to Growing Media

  • Growing Media
  • NFT System Choices: Capillary Matting
  • Types of Media (For Aggregate Culture): Vermiculite, Sand, Gravel, Perlite, Pumice and Scoria, Expanded Plastics, Scoria, Expanded Clay, Rockwool
  • Organic Media: Sawdust, Peat Moss, Coir Fibre (coconut fibre), Composted Bark, Other Substrates 

5    Basic Hydroponic Systems and Components

  • Introduction: Choosing the Right Sized System
  • Materials for NFT Systems
  • NFT Cannel Size and Solution Volume
  • NFT Channel Slope
  • NFT Delivery and Drainage
  • Sizing Tanks and Nutrient Reservoirs
  • Materials for Substrate Systems: Concrete, Metal, Timber, Plastic
  • Irrigation Design: Pumps and Pipes
  • Specific Materials for Use with Aggregate Systems: Sand, Gravel Aggregates
  • Materials for Use with Rockwall
  • Materials for Use with Sawdust
  • Aeroponics

6    Nutrition Management

  • Introduction
  • Fertiliser Salts for Formulations
  • Nutrient Formulations
  • Nutrient Formulation Stock Solutions
  • Nutrient Formulation: Formulas for different systems, Stage of growth - growth vs. bloom formulas
  • Making up Hydroponic Stock Solutions from Fertiliser Salts
  • Adjusting Nutrient Solutions Using Electrical Conductivity Measurments: Conductivity, Conductivity and Hydroponics, Adjusting the pH

7    Climate Management Equipment

  • Introduction: Greenhouses, Growing Plants in a Greenhouse, Other Growing Structures
  • Equipment for Environment Control: Environmental Control, Environmental Factors That Influence Plant Growth
  • Plant Needs
  • Temperature Control: Heat Loss, Heaters, Principles of Temperature Control
  • Light Factors: Photosynthesis
  • Artificial Light
  • Horticultural Maangement in a Greenhouse: Plants and Water
  • Culture and Management of Some Greenhouse Crops: Pollination, Fruit Cracking, Ventilation, Types of Fans, Optimum Growth Requirements for Certain Plants, Greenhouse Benches, Greenhouse Cooling, Fog, Carbon Dioxide (CO2), Plants that respond to CO2, Automation

8    Common Pests and Diseases

  • Introduction 
  • Pest & Disease Control Measures: Good Hygiene, Integrated Pest Management (IPM)
  • Common Pest & Diseases
  • Pests: Aphids, Thrips, Whitefly, Caterpillars, Leaf Miners, Mites, Mealy Bugs, Scale Insects, Leafhoppers, Slugs and Snails, Flies, Other Pests
  • Common Diseases: Botrytis – Grey Mould, Mildew Diseases, Rusts, Rots, Bacterial Diseases, Viruses, Nematodes

9    Deficiencies, Toxicity and pH Control

  • Nutrient Deficiencies & Toxicities: Nutrient Mobility and Deficiencies, Other Modes of Detection, Nutrient Toxicities
  • Controllers: Salinity Controllers
  • Nutrients & pH: pH Controllers

10   Troubleshooting Systems

  • Introduction
  • EF (CF) & Nutrient Solution Levels: EC and TDS meters
  • Maintaining Nutrient Levels
  • Nutrient Solution Management
  • Nutrient Temperatures
  • Organic Hydroponic Nutrient Solution Problems
  • Water in Recirculating Systems
  • Water in Run-to-Waste Systems
  • Water Treatments

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.

The quality of this course is second to none, from the in-depth learning you will get to the expert individual mentoring you will receive throughout your studies. The mentors for this course are: 
Yellow rosesSusan Stephenson
BSc in Applied Plant Biology (Botany) Univ. London 1983.
City and guilds: Garden Centre Management, Management and Interior Decor (1984)
Management qualifications in training with retail store. Diploma in Hort level 2 (RHS General) Distinction. 
Susan Stephenson is a passionate and experienced horticulturist and garden designer. She has authored three books, lectures at 2 Further and Higher Education Colleges, teaching people of all ages and backgrounds about the wonders of plants and garden design, and tutors many students by correspondence from all over the world.
Susan studied botany at Royal Holloway College (Univ of London) and worked in the trading industry before returning to her first love plants and garden design. She is therefore, well placed to combine business knowledge with horticulture and design skills. Her experience is wide and varied and she has designed gardens for families and individuals. Susan is a mentor for garden designers who are just starting out, offering her support and advice and she also writes, delivers and assesses courses for colleges, introducing and encouraging people into horticulture and garden design.
In 2010, Susan authored a complete module for a Foundation degree (FDSC) in Arboriculture.
Susan holds the RHS General with Distinction. She continues to actively learn about horticulture and plants and (as her students will tell you) remains passionate and interested in design and horticulture.
Steven Whitaker course tutorSteven Whitaker
Diploma in Garden Design (Distinction) – The Blackford Centre, Gold Certificate of Achievement in Horticulture, Level 2 NVQ in Amenity Horticulture, Level 1 NOCN Introduction to Gardening, – Joseph Priestly College, BTEC Diploma in Hotel, Catering and Institutional Operations (Merit), Trainer Skills 1, & 2, Group trainer, Interview and Selection Skills – Kirby College of Further Education
Steven has a wealth of Horticultural knowledge, having ran his own Design and Build service, Landscaping company, and been a Head Gardener. His awards include five Gold awards at Leeds in Bloom, two Gold awards at Yorkshire in Bloom and The Yorkshire Rose Award for Permanent Landscaping. Steven has worked with TV’s Phil Spencer as his garden advisor on the Channel 4 TV Programme, “Secret Agent”. 
He is qualified to Level 2 NVQ in Amenity Horticulture and has a Diploma in Garden Design which he passed with Distinction. Steven’s Tutor and Mentor was the Chelsea Flower Show Gold Award-winning Garden Designer, Tracy Foster. He also works for a major Horticultural Commercial Grower in the field of Propagation and Craft Gardening. Steven lives in Leeds where he is a Freelance Garden Designer and Garden Advice Consultant. 


Excerpt From The Course

Hydroponic Services are a Big Industry

Understanding hydroponics is essential to anyone who works in the industry whether in sales, marketing, system design and installation, or growing produce. Even those who sell components online or part time will benefit from a sound understanding of what successful hydroponics involves.   

Anyone who grows hydroponically, hobbyist or commercial grower, needs to buy equipment and materials not only to build their system; but also to operate it. Hydroponic suppliers are the shops and manufacturers who provide these things that are needed to grow hydroponics.

So, what is hydroponics? Hydroponics can simply be said to be the process used to grow plants without soil. It literally means ‘working water’. The grower is taking ‘control’ of the plant's root environment, and losing the benefit of 'mother nature's' finely-tuned mechanisms which normally control that part of the plant's environment. A hydroponic grower provides the optimal levels of food and water that plants need for growth in the form of nutrient solutions. They can also control the environment in a variety of ways to influence plant growth, such as by providing artificial light, humidity, or by manipulating temperatures.

Hydroponics is not an easier way to grow plants! It is a more controlled way of growing plants!

Although all the various components of a hydroponics enterprise can be bought ready made and imported to the site for use, some components such as grow beds or benches for NFT channels, reservoir tanks, sump tanks and crop support can be made on site. It very much depends on the grower's budget and the availability of materials. Other components such as pumps and pipes will need to be purchased but these can be installed by the grower to save on outside labour costs if required. The choice of materials required will also be governed by the type of system to be installed.

A wide variety of different components can be used to create a hydroponics system. These include specially constructed tanks which could suit commercial grade systems as well as small home systems, through to plastic barrels or bottles for introductory and backyard systems. Some growers recycle materials for use in homemade systems but they should not use anything which has been in contact with poisonous chemicals, anything which has been painted, or anything which has corrosive metal parts since these might all harbour harmful residues. Plastics such as PVC which are safe for use with drinking water are best. Other plastics may degrade and break down over time releasing harmful chemicals.

Choosing the Right Sized System

 Obviously, the size of the system a grower chooses will be dictated by factors such as the amount of available space, the amount of produce they wish to harvest, material costs, construction costs, running costs, maintenance costs, and so forth.

If they only intend supplying produce for themselves, family, or friends, then clearly a small system is all that is needed. If they are looking to sell produce, then they might need to have a good idea of how much they can realistically offload for profit without having wastage.


Course Info
How Do Our Tuition Fees Compare?Full time classroom based Further Education Courses - Approx. £5,000 per year - Part-time classroom based Adult Education Courses - Approx. £7.00 per hour - N.B. classroom tuition means you learn at the pace of the class. One-to-one private tuition - from £15.00 per hour - ADL one-to-one tution fees - From £340 per 100 Hour Course = Average of £3.40 per hour - N.B. one-to-one tuition is tailored to your own individual learning availability and pace.
Course StartBegin your learning at any time.
Course Prerequisite None - Our course levels are an indication of the depth of learning you should receive. They do not describe the level of difficulty.
Course Qualification (Study Option A)Endorsed Qualification from TQUK - Training Qualifications UK, an Ofqual Approved Awarding Organisation - Completed written assignments and final evaluation per course/module to be taken.
Course Qualification (Study Option B)Certificate of Attainment from ADL - Completed written assignments only - no final evaluation.
Comparative Credits InformationUK Course Credits: 10 - U.S. Credit Hours: 3 - when compared to regulated courses.
Course Duration and DeadlinesCourse hours given are a guide only. You will be encouraged to work at your own pace to learn as much as you can, with no assignment deadlines or end date by which you must complete your course by. You are in control!
Study SupportPersonal tutor/mentor support from industry relevant professionals throughout your whole course. Mentors are contactable by e-mail, telephone and through the Moodle online classroom. They provide assistance with your course material, plus discuss, explain and give advice when needed. They will also mark and grade your assignments, plus provide constructive and helpful feedback vital to your success.
Suitability for Self Employment and Small BusinessesOur courses are ideal for sole traders and small business owners and their staff. Customer confidence in what you can do will determine how successful you are in getting clients. Doing the job right using the correct knowledge and skills, leads to repeat business and referrals to friends, family and work colleagues. Completing one or more of our courses for the service you have to offer, will give you the tools to achieve this and grow your business.
Recognition of Your Course By EmployersWe aim to achieve the correct balance between your qualification being recognised and providing you with the in-depth learning, to empower you to succeed. If you can demonstrate that you have the level of knowledge and transferable skills necessary to an employer, you should stand out from someone who has only received a superficial understanding of what's required - Select study option A when enrolling, so an employer can check the status of the awarding organisation for your qualification on the Ofqual Register.
Recognition of Your Course By UniversitiesAs you will see on our Testimonials page, previous students have used their qualification from us to get into university. However each one will have its own entrance criteria and acceptance may also depend on your other qualifications and experience. We can approach up to three universities on your behalf with details of our course before you enrol, so you will know whether it will be accepted as part of their application process. Please complete our contact form and we will begin the process.
Designing Your Own QualificationBundle up your choice of related courses to form your own qualification. Our Advanced Certificates (4 courses), Diplomas (6 courses), Advanced Diplomas (8 courses) and Higher Advanced Diplomas (12 courses), are used to differentiate between the in-depth knowledge and skills you will acquire in your chosen area of study. e.g. Advanced Certificate in Turf Care Management, which includes individual courses: Turf Care, Sports Turf Care, Turf Repair and Renovation and Turf Grasses.
How Can I Enrol?Online by selecting your study option, learning materials, plus payment option and then clicking the Enrol Now button - By contacting us for an application form - By telephoning us on 01227 789 649 (International: 0044 1227 789 649). Lines open 9am till 5pm Monday to Friday, excluding Bank Holidays and between Christmas and New Year.
How Can I Get a Pro-forma Invoice for my Employer?Contact us with details and we will email your employer an invoice. We will need: employer's name, address, telephone number, email address and contact name. We will also require your name, telephone number, email address, date of birth and the course and code you wish to enrol for.

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