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Hydroponics I


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Hydroponics I

Price: £340.00Course Code: BHT224. CLD
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( Roman Melnikov, 17/07/2017 ) Q:

Hello! What level of English is needed for the course. Russia

( 17/07/2017 ) A:

Hello Roman and thank you for getting in touch.

You only need a good level of English, because our courses are about acquiring the knowledge and skills in relation to Hydroponics, not how good your grammar and spelling is. Providing your English is at a standard where you can understand what you are reading and you are able to submit written assignments that can be understood by your tutor, then you should have no problems.

I am going to email you a small section from the background reading, so that you can see if you are comfortable with the level of English used in the course material. I hope that you find it helpful. 

( Nadeem Aburabia, 23/11/2013 ) Q: To whom it may concern, Was just wondering if this is I course I could take from Egypt. Thats where I am at the moment. If I may also inquire how I would get the book, if it is possible to take the course. I look forward to hearing from you, and would appreciate your help. Thank you, Nadeem Aburabia
( 25/11/2013 ) A: Hello Nadeem, You may take any ADL course from anywhere in the world and that rule applies to our Hydroponics course. Your course material is available online to you, including any extra reading material that the course may have.

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Hydroponics I

Hydroponics I course online. This course is the next step for those who want to start making a living from Hydroponics. It takes you into production systems and commercial growing, which is perfect for the person who wants to start earning income from this method of horticulture.


Learning Goals:  Hydroponics I BHT224
  • Discuss the nature and scope of hydroponics systems
  • Describe how plants grow and their nutrient requirements in a hydroponic system
  • Compare a range of hydroponic systems
  • Explain the basic management of nutrient solutions in a hydroponic system
  • Understand the horticultural techniques used to maximise cropping in hydroponics, including treatment of plant disorders and the implementation of production schedules
  • The ability to produce a hydroponic vegetable crop
  • Understand the methods used to produce a cut flower crop hydroponically
  • Compare growing media and systems and understand the differences
  • Understand the operations and management of a greenhouse and hydroponic system
  • Plan a hydroponic enterprise


Lesson Structure: Hydroponics I BHT224

There are 10 lessons:

1  Introduction

  • hydroponic systems
  • global industry
  • comparision to growing in soil
  • resources and contacts.

2  How a Plant Grows

  • plant structure
  • biochemistry
  • biochemical cell processess
  • mechanisms of nutrient uptake
  • photosynthesis; minerals and nutrients
  • the role of pH in plant growth
  • hydroponic nutrient solutions
  • preparing nutrient solutions.

3  Hydroponic Systems

  • location
  • equipment
  • systems
  • soilless mixes
  • rockwool
  • rockwool manufacture
  • rockwool properties
  • development of propagating blocks
  • propagation applications
  • recommended practices for propogation
  • nutrient film techniques
  • alternative layouts for NFT
  • methods of solution dispention, closed and open systems; techniques.

4  Nutrition & Nutrition management

  • understanding nutrient formulae
  • atoms, elements & compounds
  • chemical names
  • what does a plant need
  • calculating formulae
  • mixing nutrients
  • symptoms of nutrient deficiency
  • recommendations
  • adjusting the pH
  • using electrical conductivity measures
  • conductivity
  • conductivity and hydroponics.

5  Plant Culture

  • flow charting the crop
  • controllers
  • salinity controllers
  • pH controllers
  • post harvest storage
  • cooling
  • drying
  • canning/bottling
  • controlled atmosphere storage
  • relative humidity
  • vacuum storage
  • freeze drying
  • freezing
  • pest and diseases in controlled environments
  • fungi, common funal problems
  • cultural controls
  • current legislation
  • biological and integrated pest management
  • beneficial agents
  • economic thresholds
  • methods of introduction
  • major pests, diseases and disorders of crops identified
  • problem solving and identification of illness
  • difficult to diagnose problems
  • leaf hoppers; thrip; virus; bacteria; caterpillars; harlequin bugs and more.

6  Hydroponic Vegetable Production

  • commerical cultivation of vegetables
  • propagation
  • temperatures required for seed germination
  • optimum monthly temperatures for vegetable growth
  • harvesting vegetables
  • growing vegetables hydroponically
  • vegetable families
  • fresh-cut herbs in hydroponic culture
  • nutrient solution
  • materials and handling
  • notes on selected crops.

7  Hydroponic Cut Flower Production

  • growing flowers in hydroponics
  • carbon dioxide
  • automation
  • flower varieties
  • indoor plants.

8  Solid Media vs Nutrient Film

  • growing media
  • NFT system choices
  • header tank or direct pumping
  • construction materials
  • solution delivery
  • capillary matting
  • channel width and length
  • slope
  • temperature
  • types of media
  • vermiculite; sand; perlite; expanded plastics; scoria; expanded clay
  • organic media; sawdust; peat moss; coir fibre; composted bark
  • indoor plants
  • plant directory
  • transplanting a pot grown plant into a hydroponic 'culture pot'.

9  Greenhouse Operation & Management

  • growing crops in greenhouses
  • solar energy
  • greenhouses
  • nature of active solar heating systems
  • examples of solar greenhouse facilities
  • greenhouse management
  • what you can grow
  • greenhouse and other growing structures
  • environmental factors that influence plant growth
  • plant needs
  • temperature control
  • heat loss
  • heaters
  • light factors
  • artificial light
  • horticultural management in a greenhouse
  • greenhouse benches
  • greenhouse cooling
  • fog.

10 Special Assignment

  • plan a hydroponic enterprise.


Your learning experience with ADL will not only depend on the quality of the course, but also the quality of the person teaching it. This course is taught by Susan Stephenson and Andy Patterson. Your course fee includes unlimited tutorial support throughout from these excellent teachers. Here are their credentials:

Susan 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.

Susan is a Professional Associate and exam moderator and 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.

She also supervised the Area Arboriculture Team and was Exhumations Officer€“ in charge of collecting discovered remains and arranging identification (if poss) and interment of same.


Andy Patterson
PGCE Biological Sciences; Doctor of Naturopathy (pending); Registered Nutritional Therapist; Permaculture Design Consultant (PDC); BSc(Hons) Ecology;


Andy has been a biology and science teacher since 2002, and a natural health therapist since 1998. His original degree was in Ecology and is well experienced in the Life Sciences generally, from biology, medicine and clinical sciences to horticulture, ecology and the environment. he divides his time between a therapy clinic; teaching, tutoring & lecturing. Andy is a passionate believer in the power of education to transform people’s lives, and gives 100% support to helping students achieve their goal. 

Andy has worked as a Biology lecturer in a number of post age 16 colleges, and 11-18 year age schools across the country during a 13 year career. This has included work as an Assessor for exam boards, 1 on 1 tutoring, working with small groups and whole classes. He worked on an award winning national Nuffield- STEM initiative using innovative educational techniques to develop sustainability awareness with KS3 school children. He has also managed a large vocational science area in a busy college and developed a successful Premedical curriculum which has helped many students on to successful medical careers


Excerpt From The Course


For many years it has been considered that all plants require around 20 nutrient elements for their growth, and some plants might require a few more which others don't need. Less than ten elements are known to be used in large quantities, and these are what make up the bulk of any nutrient being fed to plants growing in hydroponics. The remaining nutrients are generally supplied in either tiny quantities, or not supplied at all (it is assumed that dust in the air or impurities in the system will supply these tiny quantities of minor nutrients. This is however not always the case, and minor nutrient deficiencies can have drastic effects on the crop produced (even though they are only needed in small amounts).

Recent research has actually found that up to 93 elements in fact are needed to maximise the flavour in fruit and vegetables. (Potassium and magnesium are particularly important to the flavour of strawberries, though many other nutrient elements also have a contributing effect.)

Atoms, Elements and Compounds

Atoms are the basic building blocks of our world. Everything you see, touch and feel (including yourself) is made up of atoms. If you split any object or substance (solid, liquid or gas) up and continued splitting it, you would eventually get down to having microscopic particles which are atoms.

  ‑ There are 103 different types of atoms.

  ‑ 92 different types of atoms occur naturally.

  ‑ Each different type of atom is called a different 'Element'.

  ‑ Around 50 different elements have been used by plants. (With many they are important to one type of plant but not all types of plants.)

  ‑ Just less then 20 different elements are important to all plants. (These are the nutrients we add to our nutrient solution.)

  ‑ Different types of elements join together to form 'compounds'.

  ‑ 'Nutrient salts' are a type of compound which is commonly used in hydroponics to supply nutrient elements to plants.

Atoms are made up of smaller particles which are held together by electrical or magnetic forces. Each atom is in effect like a mini solar system with a cluster of particles called "electrons" orbiting it. The nucleus has a positive electrical charge and the electrons have negative electrical charges. The charges of the electrons balance out or neutralise the charge of the nucleus. In effect then, unless an imbalance occurs (eg. an electron is gained or lost by an atom), the electrical charge remains nil (it is balanced).

Elements differ one from the other in terms of atomic weight. By knowing the atomic weights of different parts (different elements) of a nutrient salt, we can calculate the proportion of the total weight of that salt which is the proportion of the total weight of that salt which is made up of the element we are wanting to feed the plant with.

EXAMPLE:  Ammonium sulphate (also called Sulphate of Ammonia)

This is composed of the following:

  ‑ Two atoms of nitrogen

  ‑ Eight atoms of hydrogen

  ‑ One atom of sulphur

  ‑ Four atoms of oxygen

...The two atoms of nitrogen are what we want to feed the plant, but we have to feed it everything else as well, because that is the most convenient way to apply nitrogen.

...Only 21.3% of the total weight is actually nitrogen. The rest of the weight is made up of hydrogen, sulphur and oxygen.

An alternative form of nitrogen sometimes used is Ammonium nitrate. This chemical salt has a larger proportion of nitrogen though (35%). If ammonium nitrate were used instead of ammonium sulphate, less of the chemical would need to be applied to feed the plant with the same amount of nitrogen.

Writing Chemical Names

The different elements have been given standard letter abbreviations. Chemical compounds or nutrient salts can be written using these abbreviations.




Course Info
Course StartAnytime, Anywhere
Course Hours100
Recognised Issuing BodyTQUK - Training Qualifications UK, an Ofqual Approved Awarding Organisation.
Course CodeBHT224.Hyd
Course PrerequisiteNo, start at anytime
Course QualificationLevel 4 Certificate in Hydroponics I
Exam Required?Finalised with an exam/test
UK Course Credits10 Credits
US Course Credit Hours3 Credit Hours
Study SupportYou'll be allocated your own personal tutor/mentor who will support and mentor you throughout your whole course. Our tutors/mentors have been specifically chosen for their business expertise, qualifications and must be active within their industry. Tutors are contactable by e-mail, telephone and through our Moodle Student Support Zone online. Tutors are there to provide assistance with course material, discuss, explain and give advice and support throughout the whole programme. Their feedback is vital to your success.



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