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Home Vegetable Growing
Home Vegetable Growing 100 Hours Course
Learn About Home Vegetable Growing
Home Vegetable Growing Online Course
Learn how to grow delicious, fresh, healthy vegetables simply at home with our Home Vegetable Growing Online Course
Grow your own delicious vegetables!
You will learn such things as how to build a veggie garden, cultivation and planting, the main vegetables, how to make compost, pest, disease and weed control, hydroponic and greenhouse growing, herbs and uncommon vegetable varieties, watering and irrigation systems, harvesting, storing and using vegetables.
Lesson Structure: Home Vegetable Growing AHT102
There are 8 lessons:
- Cultivation and Planting
- Review of Major Vegetable Varieties
- Pest, Disease and Weed Control
- Hydroponic and Greenhouse Growing
- Lesser Grown Varieties and Herbs
- Harvesting, Storing and Using Vegetables
Learning Goals: Home Vegetable Growing AHT102
- Identify a range of different vegetables
- Determine sources and significance for information on vegetable growing
- Describe the planting and cultivation of a range of different vegetables.
- Describe production of some of the varieties of vegetable which are widely and commonly grown by home gardeners.
- Evaluate and determine treatments for a range of common pest, disease and weed problems that affect vegetables
- Determine and describe methods for producing a range of vegetable crops out of season.
- Describe production of some of the varieties of vegetable which are less commonly grown by home gardeners.
- Determine and describe ways of managing the water needs of vegetables in a home garden.
- Describe when and how to harvest different types of vegetable crops.
- Describe a range of methods for storing and using vegetables after harvest.
Practical (Set Tasks)
- Compile a resource file of organisations related to home vegetable growing
- Compile reviews of sixteen different vegetables suitable for growing at home
- Carry out basic soil tests on two different soils
- Obtain or make up a propagating mix
- Make a vegetable garden
- Identify weed species in a vegetable garden and suggest control methods
- Make notes about pests and diseases in a home vegetable garden
- Contact several chemical suppliers and obtain brochures or technical information sheets on weedicides and pesticides appropriate for use on vegetable crops
- Contact a few greenhouse companies and obtain both literature and current prices
- Either write to or visit a company (or companies) which supply irrigation equipment.
- Obtain catalogues, brochures, etc
- Try drying, bottling or freezing a vegetable you have not preserved before.
- List 20 different vegetables with information about their culture and harvest
UNDERSTANDING THE IMPORTANCE OF WATER IN THE VEGETABLE GROWING PROCESS!
Always start with the water!
WHEN TO WATER
Plants will need more water in hot, dry or windy conditions, but it is also easier to use water incorrectly at these times.
Naturally you’ll need to water your plants more often when it’s hot but good watering involves more than turning on the sprinkler every couple of days or standing around with a hose each evening.
TESTING TO SEE IF IT NEEDS WATER
One of the biggest problems in gardening is not watering when it is needed.
Not only can plants suffer from not enough water, they can also suffer when they are watered too much and too frequently.
A simple technique of pushing your finger into the soil can help determine if the soil needs watering. If the finger comes out dry, then it most probably is time to water. If the finger comes out moist and cool, then it could forgo the watering till a little later.
The Dos and Don’ts of Watering
• Avoid watering in the evening – Although this often a pleasant activity, evening watering isn’t a good idea as it encourages fungal diseases on plants. The water droplets remain on the plants overnight, providing the perfect conditions for the spread of many common fungal diseases, including black spot on roses.
• Don’t water in the middle of the day – Some foliage burns in strong sunlight if water remains on the plant. African violets, gloxinias and newly planted seedlings are particularly susceptible to foliage burn.
• Don’t spray plants lightly with water each day – The water is unlikely to penetrate down to where the roots need it. Over time, the roots will only grow in the top couple of centimetres of soil, where they are subjected to the extremes of heat and cold.
• Don’t apply water faster than it can be absorbed – It will simply run off the surface.
• Don’t waste water by using sprinklers on windy days.
• Don’t position a sprinkler where the water will be sprinkled on roads, driveways, etc.
• Do water early in the morning – The water will have a chance to soak deeply into the soil before the sun gets too hot, and water on the foliage will have evaporated before the hottest part of the day reducing the risk of foliage burn.
• Do water deeply – This encourages the roots to grow downwards, giving a healthier and stronger plant. This reduces the likelihood that the plants will suffer from water stress, particularly if you are unable to water for a few days in very hot weather (e.g. if you are away on holidays).
• Do add plenty of organic matter to soils before planting. This helps improve soil structure allowing better water penetration into the soil, as well as improving the ability of the soil to hold water.
• Do use mulch – This will make a big difference to the amount of water you need to apply. Evaporation of water from the soil can be reduced by up to 70% or more. Be careful though, that you do not use too thick a layer of mulch, as the mulch can act like a sponge when you water soaking up a lot of water preventing it from reaching the soil beneath. Some mulching materials, particularly fine materials such as sawdust, can also pack down creating a barrier to water penetration. Use a mixture of coarse and fine materials, and periodically check, using your fingers, to see if the water is penetrating the mulch.
• Think about installing a drip irrigation system. Micro-jets and drippers use much less water than sprinklers and hand watering.
• To take care when applying fertilisers dissolved in water in summer, as they are more likely to burn the foliage in hot weather.
• If you are going to use a sprinkler, use one that produces large drops rather than fines ones which are more readily blown around in the wind, and are more readily evaporated.
Other Ways to Reduce Watering Needs
• Group plants with similar watering requirements together. This allows you to only provide the amount of water all of a groups require, rather than the level of watering the most water hungry of the plants require.
• Avoid cutting your lawn too low (less than 2-3cm), as the grass won’t have enough leaf material to protect itself from burning.
• Use timers on irrigation systems to ensure they are turned off in case you forget that they are on.
• When washing your car, try and wash your car on your lawn so that the water from the car washing can also water the lawn). Wet the car first, then turn the hose off (either at the tap or at the nozzle), then soap down the car. Do one section of the car at a time to prevent the car detergent from drying. Once you have finished “soaping up”, turn the hose back on, and wash the car down.
• Use a broom and shovel to clean your hard surfaced areas (e.g. road gutters), rather than washing them down with water from a hose (which can waste more than 1000 litres of water per hour).
• Create windbreaks using plants or permeable materials such as trellis, or picket fences to reduce the effects of drying winds.
• Don’t over fertilise your plants, including lawn. This encourages a lot of growth, which increases the water needs of the plants, and results in soft growth that is more easily damaged by mowing and/or harsh conditions.
• Add wetting agents (found in a garden centre), to your garden beds. This helps improve water penetration into and through the soil, reducing water lost through evaporation and runoff.
• Soil wetting agents, and water storing granules, can be added to potting mixes to reduce the need for watering containerised plants. Be sure the size of any container is suitable for the plant/s in them. If the container is too small, they will require very frequent watering. If the container is too large then you might be wasting water (the plant roots only fill a small amount of the media in the container). Containerised plants can also be lightly mulched to reduce evaporation losses from the media.
• Reduce the amount of lawn you have by replacing it with beds of plants with low water requirements, or choose lawn species that have good drought tolerance. Reducing the need to water your lawn can save you a lot of water. You can also allow your lawn to “brown off” during hot, dry conditions. It will generally regrow very quickly once conditions improve (higher rainfall, cooler temperatures).
• Fixing, or replacing worn or leaky hoses, nozzles, sprinkler heads, timers, etc. can save quite a lot of otherwise wasted water.
• Use part circle (e.g. quarter, half, three quarters, or adjustable radius) sprinkler heads to reduce waste from watering areas that don’t need it (e.g. paved areas).
• Selective pruning of very leafy plants after the spring growth flush can reduce the water needs of the plant during summer (the less foliage the less water lost through the leaves). This needs to be done carefully to avoid damage to the plant.
A watering system can mean the difference between your garden thriving or struggling. It can also reduce the time you spend bucketing or hosing water onto your plants.
Have a good look over your garden. Think about the things that required so much time watering last year, or the plants that suffered most because you never got around to watering them.
Every garden is different. For some people, it’s the lawn that suffered most; for others it’s the pot plants on the veranda; and for others it may be the vegetable garden.
Target those problem areas for an irrigation system that can deliver regular water. You’ll be delighted at how much difference regular watering makes.
DIFFERENT GARDENS NEED DIFFERENT WATERING SYSTEMS
The type and design of the irrigation system you choose for a garden bed will depend on a number of factors:
• The type of soil – Sandy soils will readily absorb water, whereas clay soils can only absorb a small amount of water at a time. Sprinklers and sprays usually work well in sandy sites, but you will probably need to install micro sprays or drippers for clay garden beds.
• The layout of the garden bed will determine where you can install irrigation outlets. Placing a sprinkler right next to tree or bushy shrub will prevent an even distribution of water.
• Established plants may not need any additional irrigation.
• Areas under trees may need extra water.
• Garden beds with annual plants and vegetable seedlings will need to be kept from drying out.
• Some plants, particularly roses, are prone to fungal diseases. Do not direct water onto the leaves of these plants.
For Hanging Baskets
Hanging baskets are very prone to drying out, especially when they are exposed to the sun and wind. Because sprinklers and sprays will wash out the potting mix, it is best to water them with micro sprays or drippers.
Tubs and Pot Plants
Like hanging baskets, pots are best watered with micro sprays or drippers.
Different sprinklers have different features.
• Costs vary.
• Pop up sprinklers will slip back into the ground after use. These can be a blessing in areas with lots of people walking or running around.
• Depending upon specifications, sprinklers can be adjusted to send the water at varying angles and at variable arc.
• Different materials provide varying levels of durability.
• Some sprinklers will only operate when there is sufficient water pressure.
Designing Your System
The number of fittings you can attach to your irrigation system will depend upon how much water flows through each fitting. Calculate the flow rate through your tap (see below), divide this by the flow rate through the type of fitting you want to use, and this will give you the number of fittings you can attach to each pipe.
NEVER put different types of fittings (e.g. sprinklers and drippers) on the same pipe. The different flow rates will mean that one or other of the fittings will not work at its optimum level. If you require different types of fittings, use a separate pipe.
If you need to have more than one pipe, you will need to install a manifold at the tap. This is simply a mechanism for turning the different pipes on and off.
Remember, if the water has to flow up hill, you will lose water pressure, which will simultaneously lower the flow rate. The flow rate will also be lowered if you operate other taps when you are irrigating.
Alternatively, if the water is flowing down hill, the water pressure will increase. If the flow rate is higher than what is required for your system, you will need to be careful you don’t turn the tap on too hard as this may cause the fittings to break apart.
How to Calculate Flow Rates
• Turn off all taps around the house.
• Place a 10 litre bucket under the tap.
• Turn the tap on full.
• Time how many seconds it takes to fill the bucket.
• Divide the time taken by ten to give you the rate (litres per second) that water flows through your tap.
Dripper or Spray?
Drippers take a long time to water a garden area. Water from sprays can evaporate and/or be blown away by the wind.
Micro-irrigation systems are easy to install yourself.
Use high density polyethylene (HDPE) pipe. This is flexible and easy to cut and join together. This type of material is best suited for use with micro sprays and drippers. Its flexibility makes it ideal for irrigating pots and hanging baskets.
There are some disadvantages to using HDPE pipe and fittings:
• Above-ground fittings are easily damaged.
• Pets and other animals can ruin fittings trying to get water.
• Sunlight can cause some plastic heads to go brittle.
• Reach may be limited.
• Small pipes may become clogged (this problem can be minimised by including a filter).
• Small pipes may be cut by spades, secateurs, picks etc.
When installing a new micro irrigation system, lay the pipe in the trench. Before you install the fittings, run water through the system. This will straighten the pipe and ensure that fittings will be correctly positioned.
Assessment is based on a combination of completing all assignments and sitting for a final short one and a half hour exam, in your own location.
If you don’t cope well with exams then you may elect to undertake a project instead. This is a popular option.
In addition, most modules have a Set Task at the end of each lesson placed before the assignment. This is an opportunity to undertake practical work to help you acquire knowledge and skills and practical experience. This ADL feature is an added bonus not found at most online schools. Set Tasks are not required for assessment.
Some courses also have optional Self-Tests which are available on our online learning platform. These are not available by correspondence or by USB, and do not form part of your overall grade.
How our courses work
- Choose Your Learning Method
You choose how you would like to receive your course material, i.e., Online, USB or Correspondence. The choice is yours. You may also work on online or offline.
- Tutor Allocation
Every student is assigned their own dedicated tutor who is an expert in their subject area. They provide as much or as little individual contact as you require. You can contact your tutor whenever you need – your hours are not limited.
- Feedback and Assignments
Tutor Feedback is an essential component in helping you understand the subject matter. Tutor feedback is given in the form of notes written on the assignment. We encourage you to contact your Tutor where help with clarification and understanding of course material may be required.
Your assignments are located at the end of each lesson. You submit them for marking whenever you are ready. There is no time limit.
- Set Tasks and Self-Tests
Most modules have a Set Task at the end of each lesson before for the assignment. This is where you get the opportunity to undertake practical work to help you acquire knowledge, skills and practical experience. Many modules also have short Self-Tests.
Once all assignments have been completed you may then elect to sit for a one and half hour exam in your own location. If you prefer not to take the exam you do have the option to undertake a project instead.
Once the exam or project part of the course is completed, your Certificate is then processed. Please allow approximately 4 weeks for this.
- Design Your Own Qualification
ADL offers students the flexibility to self-design their own qualification – bundling together a combination of 100-hour modules into a qualification higher than a certificate.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Due to our years of experience and wide range of online courses, here are a list of our FAQs and Answers asked by Students.
Q. Do I need to buy text books?
A. No, you are not required to purchase expensive text books for any of our courses, since each module has been written by highly qualified tutors and writers, and our courses are updated on a regular basis, adding new information, methods and knowledge. You are supplied with all “essential” references. Extra books are always useful though, especially for special projects. Tutors will advise you what to buy if you decide you would like to have extra reading material, but it is not essential. Check out our eBookstore if you’re looking for a starting point.
Q. What sets the Academy apart from other institutions?
A. A unique feature of our courses is that we combine knowledge of the subject matter with practical tasks (set tasks, found at the end of each lesson). So you get to do practical components in each lesson. The benefits of this approach are immense: – your skills and knowledge are developed to a much higher level not normally found at other distance learning institutions.
Q. How do the practical exercises (set tasks) work?
A. The practical component of each lesson can be in the form of : Field Research, Networking and Analysis, Conducting Surveys, Growing, Collecting, Photographing and Processes.
Q. Can I pay by instalments?
A. Yes, you can view all available payment options here.
Q. Are there any hidden costs?
A. There are no hidden extras – the tuition fee covers all course material, unlimited tutor support, assignment marking/feedback and any text books where specified and exams. The only extras are for the public examinations fees for the ICB Bookkeeping course and the RHS (Royal Horticulture Society) exams.
Q. Are your courses up-to date?
A. Our courses are continually updated. The course content is rapidly updated and improved without the red tape and bureaucracy experienced at other educational institutions.
Q. Do you have a Cancellation policy?
A. We have a cancellation policy that is fair and equitable. For further details please click here.
Q. What Recognition do you have?
A. The Academy for Distance Learning has various forms of recognition:
These include TQUK (Training Qualifications UK) – an Ofqual Awarding Organisation – ADL is an approved TQUK Centre.
IARC – International Approval Registration Centre, approved member. Accredited Training Provider for ICB (Institute of Certified Bookkeepers) and Approved Distance Learning Provider for the RHS (Royal Horticultural Society) and many more. Our graduates come from many parts of the world and have used our qualifications for successful employment and progression onto higher education. To view our full list of recognition and memberships please click here,
Q. Will I have any opportunity to engage with other students?
A. We have a Student Community group based on facebook! If you don’t have a facebook account already, you could make one just for talking with fellow students on the group.
Q. Why should I enrol with the Academy for Distance Learning?
A. Here at the Academy our students are our priority – we treat every student as a unique individual. This philosophy allows us to nurture those who are “slow and steady” learners rather than letting them fall through the cracks, while catering for those who are in a hurry to complete.
Q. Can I study from anywhere in the world?
A. Our courses are available to anyone, anywhere in the world from the comfort of your own home. The course content is relevant to any country, culture or economy.
Q. Completing the course- how long will it take?
A. Completion of modules varies from student to student. Many factors come into play such as work commitments and family life- there are always distractions. Some students work quicker than others. For a 100 hour module many students will take up to 3- 6 months, others take less time and some are even longer. It’s all up to you. There is no pressure to complete or deadline to finish. Naturally, longer courses will take more time.
Q. What learning formats are there?
A. Your enrollment comes with the Online Classroom study option by default. For a small additional cost you also have the options of USB or Correspondence.
USB: Your course is sent to you on a USB stick, so that you can carry it in your pocket. Ideal for those with unreliable internet connections. This option is an additional £5/module
Correspondence: You download the course content and then print your own copy to your requirements. You can then bind the lessons to suit your needs.
Q. Assessment – how does it work?
A. For each 100 hour module you are assessed by assignments (at the end of each lesson) and a final one and a half hour exam (or you may elect to complete a project instead of sitting the exam) – the choice is yours – you sit for the exam in your own location, or you can visit us in Canterbury, England to sit the exam if want to. Exam fees are included in the tuition fee you paid. You can read more about the examination process here. At the end of each lesson, there is an assignment. You submit it to the academy who then submits it to the tutor for marking, comments and feedback. Our policy is to have a grade for you within 5 to 7 days.
Q. How many assignments do I need to complete for each module?
A. At the end of each lesson, there is an assignment – so if a course has say, 10 lessons there would be 10 assignments. The number of lessons per module varies from module to module. See the course content from our website for further details.
Q. When do I have to hand in my first assignment?
A. There is no deadline for handing in the first assignment. Submit when you are ready. There are some students who hand in assignments within the first couple of weeks of enrolment – while there are others who submit their work 6 months later. It’s all at your own convenience to suit you. Everyone has different work and home commitments and we cater to these needs.
Q. I am having difficulty attending workshops/industry meetings, what can be done?
A. If your course requires attendance at workshops, conferences, or industry meetings; alternative arrangements can be made in your country; however, there may be an additional expense. We can appoint an appropriately qualified person anywhere to work through curriculum documentation supplied by us, to satisfy the requirements set down in a course.
Q. What qualification will I receive?
A. For individual modules, you would receive a Certificate (providing you complete all assignments and the exam). If you just want to complete the assignments only, then a Letter of Achievement would be awarded. For more details on qualifications awarded please click here.
Q. Is there a next level to progress to?
A. Yes – you can progress from one module to a combination of many modules and to higher qualifications i.e. Advanced Certificates, Diplomas and Higher Advanced Diplomas. Read more about course levels here.
Q. Can I customize my diploma/higher qualification?
A. Not all educational institution’s certificates /diplomas meet everyone’s needs. The opportunity to design your own diploma at the Academy (subject to our approval) is an added bonus, not found at other colleges. It’s a very popular option and widely used by many students. You quite simply choose the appropriate number of related modules needed to complete the qualification and submit them to us for approval as a custom diploma.
Q. What do I get when I complete the course? Will I receive a transcript?
A. At the completion of a 100-hour Certificate course and providing all assignments and exam have been completed, you will receive a Certificate and Transcript. The Transcript will list your GPA. Each 100-hour module is worth 3 credit hours.
Q. Do I have to sit for an exam?
A. Exams are optional but need to be undertaken in order to receive the Certificate or higher qualification. Exams are one and a half hours long. You appoint an adjudicator (subject to our approval) to supervise the exam. You sit for the exam in your own location. Its that simple.
Q. I don’t cope well with exams – what can I do?
A. If you feel you don’t cope well with exams you may elect to undertake a Project (set by the tutor) instead of sitting the exam. Many students prefer this option as they find researching the material for the project sharpens their research skills.
Q. If I don’t sit for the Exam do I still get a qualification?
A. If you don’t sit for the exam but complete the project alternative, you will still receive your endorsed qualification. If you don’t sit for an exam or complete a final project, providing you have completed all the assignments you will be awarded a Certificate of Achievement.
Q. Do I have to sit for the exam at the Academy?
A. No – whilst you are more than welcome to come to our location in Canterbury, U.K. and sit the exam in our classroom; the more popular option is to sit for the exam in your own location. You appoint an adjudicator to supervise the exam. Click here for more information on that process.
Q. Our tutors – who are they?
A. We only employ tutors who have are currently active in their industry with at least 5 years of real-world experience. Not only are they highly qualified but also experienced, knowledgeable, and professional- experts in their chosen fields from all parts of the world.
Q. Can I contact my tutor at any time?
A. Yes- you have unlimited access to tutors. We strongly encourage students to develop a dialogue with their Tutor. This is why we encourage students to submit their first assignment fairly quickly at the beginning of the course.
Every Academy student is assigned a tutor who supports you throughout your course and beyond. Your tutor is there to guide and facilitate your learning and provides as much or as little individual contact as you would like. When you submit your coursework the tutor will give you feedback that helps you develop your ideas and provides motivation. For those who do like to have interaction with other students, the ADL discussion forum connects you to students from all over the world.
Q. How do I contact my tutor?
A. You have direct contact with your tutor by email through the Online Classroom. Alternatively, you can write, fax, email, or phone the academy. Leave a message if your tutor isn’t available and they will phone, write or fax back; whatever suits you.
Q. If I don’t understand a question or a lesson may I contact the tutor?
A. You may contact a tutor as often as you like. There is no additional charge or restriction on this service. Contact can be made via the Student Zone, email, or by phone.
Q. Practical work – How is this done?
A. To find out more about this part of the course please visit the section on How Our Courses Work here.
What your tuition fees include
There are no hidden extras
FAQ - RHS Theory Qualifications
If you require further details about any of the RHS industry recognised qualifications please, call one of our friendly RHS Course Advisors on +44 (0)1227 789 649 or email: email@example.com
Q: When can I Enrol/Start My RHS Course With ADL?
A: Anytime, Anywhere. There are no enrolment deadlines.
Q: I live Overseas. Can I Study From Overseas?
A: You can study any of the RHS theory qualifications overseas. All courses are offered in English. You will need to email RHS Qualifications direct to arrange sitting for your examination overseas.
Q: Is There a Time Limit for Completing an RHS Qualification?
A: At present there are no time limits. However, RHS is contemplating in the future, the introduction of course time-lines.
Q: Are There Any Entry Requirements (Pre-Requisites)?
A: The RHS Theory courses do not require prerequisites, previous experience or any knowledge of horticulture. You just need passion for all things horticulture.
Q: What Course Should I Start With First? I Am New To RHS Qualifications.
A: We highly recommend that you start with Level 2 – Principles of Garden Planning, Establishment and Maintenance.
Q: What Does ADL Course Material Include?
A: Includes Power Point Presentations, Videos and written course lessons.
Q: When Do Exams Take Place?
A: Exams are held on fixed dates in February and June of each year. You should register as a candidate at least 3 months before these dates, so please do not leave exam registration to the last minute
Q: Where Do I Take My Exams?
A: UK: You take the exams at the RHS Wisley Centre, located between Cobham and Ripley in Surrey or at other authorised RHS centres around the UK.
Overseas: please email RHS qualifications direct for centre information.
Q: Exam Pass Marks?
A: Module – pass 50%. Commendation 70%.
Qualification: 50% pass for all modules.
Commendation awarded for all modules.
Each question carries a value of 10 marks.
Q: I’m Not Happy With My Exam Results?
A: You have the opportunity to re-sit your exam at the next opportunity.
There are no restrictions on the number of re-sits you can take. The highest mark you achieve will remain.,