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Hydroponics 600 Hours Diploma
Learn About Hydroponics
Hydroponics Online Course
This hydroponics online course provides an understanding of modern technology and its application to growing plants, with emphasis on hydroponic production
Understand how to grow plants without soil.
This course comes with a complimentary copy of Commercial Hydroponics, as some of the lessons involve set reading from this EBook
Lesson Structure:Diploma In Hydroponics VHT013
This subject has 30 lessons, each requiring about 12-15 hours of study:
1 Introduction to Hydroponic Technology
- Set Reading
2 Plant Growth Requirements: Light, artificial light, light balancers
- Artificial Lighting
- Lighting Equipment
3 Plant Growth Requirements:Nutrition- nutrient requirements, deficiencies, toxicities, pH, conductivity, salinity, growth regulators
- How Plants Grow
- Similarities between Soil and Hydroponic Growing: Chemistry, The Atomic Nature of Matter, The Structure of Atoms
- Hydroponic Nutrient Formalae
- Mixing Nutrients
- Plant Nutrition – The Nutrient Elements
- Major Elements
- Minor Elements
- Total Salts
- Diagnosis of Nutritional Problems – including Table : Nutrient Deficiencies
- Choosing the Right Fertiliser
- Natural Fertilisers
- A Look at Organic Fertilisers
- Temperature Requirements
4 Plant Growth Requirements:Temperature
- Temperature Requirements
- Set Reading: Commercial Hydroponics ‑ Ch. 2
5 Hydroponic Growing Systems:Basic concepts and designs, site considerations.
- Commercial Systems:
- Simple Systems
- Dug in Aggregate Bed
- Automated Systems
- The Bentley System
- What makes up a System
- Horticultutal Rockwool – Australian Experiences
- Development of Propagating Blocks
- Propagation Applications
- Recomended Practices for Propagation
- Benefits of using Rockwool Propagating Blocks
- Limitations experienced in the use of Rockwool Propagating Blocks
6 Growing Media:Types, properties, uses.
- Set Reading: Commercial Hydroponics Chapters 6, 7 and 8
7 Hydroponic Nutrient Solutions:Nutrient formulae, preparing solutions
- Dutch Recommendations for Nutrient Solutions
- Example of Standard Formala to be Mixed with Rainwater
8 Hydroponic Equipment:Componentry, nutrient delivery, pumping, testing
- Salintary Controllers
- pH Controllers
- Set Reading
9 Growing Structures:Design and Construction – types
- Growing Plants in a Greenhouse
- The Greenhouse System
- Types of Greenhouses
- Greenhouse Checklist
- Commonly used Grennhouse Designs
- Shape of Structures to Maximise Light Transmission
- Siting Greenhouses
- Plant Needs
- Problems with Greenhouses
- Horticultural Management in a Greenhouse
- Common Fungal Problems
- Plants and Water
- Water Excess
- Water Defficiency
- Greenhouse Irrigation Methods
- Culture and Management of some Greenhouse Crops
- Optium Growth Requirement for Certain Plants
- Greenhouse Benches and Beds: Shelving or Staging, Ground Beds, Raised Beds, Pot Crops, Flooring, Guttering, Doors
- Principles of Temperature Control
- Solar Energy Applications in Horticulture
- Nature of Solar Energy
- Active Systems
- Nature of Active Solar Heating Systems
- Selected Solar Greenhouse Facilities 1 Air Based Systems
- Selected Solar Greenhouse Facilities 2 Water Based Systems
- Set Reading: Commercial Hydroponics Chapters 9 and 10, Optional reading
10/11 Environmental Control A:Heating, Cooling and Environmental Control B – Lighting and Shading
- Environmental Control
- Environmental Factors that Influence Plant Growth
- Measurment of Environmental Factors
- Temperature Control
- Heat Loss: Table
- Localised Heaters
- Cooling (Ventilation)
- Light Factors
- Artificial Light
- Set Reading: Commercial Hydroponics Ch 10
12 Environmental Control C:Carbon Dioxide Enrichment
- Methods of CO2 Injection
- Carbon Dioxide
- Effects of Carbon Dioxide
- Standard Night Temperatures at which Greenhouse Flower Crops are Grown
13 Plant Culture In Hydroponics A: Trellising, pruning, pollination, transplanting
- Fruit Set Management
- Controlling Plant Growth
- Growth Control
- What is Hydroponic Trial?
- Running a Crop Trial
- Research Methodology
14 Plant Culture In Hydroponics B
- Post Harvest Storage
- Hydroponics Pests and Diseases
- Plant Viruses – Their Detection and Diagnosis
- Virus Control
- Environmental Problems
- Common Environmental Problems
- Set Reading: Commercial Hydroponics Ch.11 Plant Culture
- Optional Reading
15 Aggregate Culture
- Set Reading: Commercial Hydroponics Chapter 7
16 Nutrient Film Technique (NFT) Culture
- Set Reading: Commercial Hydroponics: Chapter 5
17 Rockwool Culture
- Set Reading: Set Reading: Commercial Hydroponics: Chapter 5
18 Other Techniques:Wick systems, flood & drain, bag culture, aeroponics, etc.
- Set Reading: Commercial Hydroponics Chapter 8
19 Irrigation: Soil Requirements
- Objective of Irrigation
- Irrigation – The Wide View
- The Value and Feasibility of Irrigation
- Soil and Water
- Transpiration and Wilting Point
- Measuring Water Available to Plants
- Naming the Soil
- Improving Soils
- Soil Characteristics and Problems: Chemical Properties, Soil pH, Table
- Internal Drainage
- Rooting Dephs of Selected Plants
- Irrigation Calculations
- Set Reading:
20 Irrigation Systems
- Types of Pumps: Pumping Mechanisms
- More on Types of Pumps:
- When a Centrifugal Pump fails to Operate
- Measuring Pressure: With a Bourdon Gauge, Head of Water
- Calculating Discharge or Flow
- Friction Loss in Systems
- Water Hammer
- When to Irrigate
- Signs to Look For
- Estimating Water Needs
- The Water Requirements of Turf Grasses
- A Feel-Test for Estimating Soil Moisture Level
- Selecting the Best Irrigation System
- More on Trickle Irrigation
- Maintaining a Trickle Irrigation System
- Conventional Sprinkler Systems
- Travelling Sprinklers
- Special Applications
- General Maintenance of Watering Systems
- How to Improve the Quality of Water from any Source
- Problems of Water Quality and their Remedies
- Design and Operation
- Scheduling Irrigation
- Sprinkler Spacings
- Designing and Considering Sprinkler Performance
- Electrical Factors
- Electric Automatic Systems
- Design Considerations
- Set Reading
21 Plant Propagation:Seed & cutting propagation & tissue culture
- Plant Propagation Techniques
- Sexual Propogation of Plants
- Asexual (Vegetative) Propogation of Plants
- Genotype v Phenotype
- Types of Cuttings
- Stock Plants
- Hormone Treatment of Cuttings
- Other Chemical Treatments
- Other Treatments to Improve Cutting Success
- Using Artificial Light in Plant Propagation
- Production Systems
- Growing Media
- Quantities of Potting Soils
- Prpoagating Media
- Mixes/Substrates for Striking Cuttings/Starting Bed
- Using Fertilisers in Propagation Mixes
- Nutrition Management
- Factors Affesting Fertiliser Application
- Efficiences in Cutting Production
- Example of Estimating Cost of Cutting Productions
- Rules to Maintain Sanitation
- Tissue Culture
- Tissue Culture Procedures:
- Environmental Conditions
22 Market Gardening:Cut Flowers
- A – Z Directory of Specific Information for Flower Crops
- Judging Flowers
- Set Reading: Commercial Hydroponics – Ch.14
23 Market Gardening:Vegetables
- Hydroponic and Greenhouse Growing
- Growing Hydroponic Tomatoes
- Growing Capsicums (Bell Peppers) in Hydroponics
- Hydroponic Salad Greens
- The Brassicas
- The Legumes
- The Potato
- Other Crops
- Tropical Vegetables
- Less Commonly Grown Vegetables
- Storing Vegetables
- Planting Vegetables
- Hybrid Seed
- Storing Seed
- Sowing Seed Outdoors
- Sowing Seed Indoors
- Transplanting Seedlings
- Buying Seedlings
- Transplanting Crowns, Offsets, Tubers, Etc.
- Some Useful Suggestions on Planting
- Sowing and Transplanting Guide
- Set Reading – Commercial Hydroponics Chapter 12
24 Other Plants in Hydroponics
- Set Reading: Commercial Hydroponics Ch. 13, 15
25 Pests and Diseases
- Pest, Disease and Disorder Control (Chemical and Cultural)
- Cultural Controls
- LAW in Relation to Chemical Use
- Diseases A – Z
- Plant Viruses – Detection and Diagnosis
- Pests A – Z
- Environmental Problems
- Common Environmental Problems
- Set Reading: Commercial Hydroponics Ch. 17
- Some Common Groups of Weeds
- Weeds in Turf
- Methods of Controlling Weed Problems
- Some Turf Weedicides (Herbicides)
- Commonly Used Commercial Formulations
- Weed Control in Greenhouses
- Recommended Weedicides for Use in a Nursery
- Safety Procedures When Using Agricultural Chemicals
- Types of Herbicide Chemicals
- Encyclopedia of Common Weeds
27 Managing a Commercial Hydroponics Farm
- Physical Layout of the Workplace
- Layout of Shop
- The Importance of Harvest and Post Harvest Management
- Understanding Harvested Crop Physiology
- Harvesting and Grading Vegetables
- What is Considered Within a Grading Standard
- Harvesting Cut Flowers
- Managing a Market Garden
- Deciding What To Grow
- Crop Scheduling
- Set Reading: Commercial Hydroponics Ch. 16
28 Management – Organisation and Supervision
- Giving Directives and Introducing Change
- Orders and Instructions
- Organisational Structures
- Record Keeping
- Work Scheduling
29 Marketing – Promotion and Selling
- Fruit Grading Systems
- Grading Equipment
- Public Relations
- Press Releases
- Types of Customers
- Keys to Improving Sales
- Key Strategies For Selling
- Marketing Your Produce
- Market Research
- Areas of Market Research
- Sources of Data
- What Do You Need To Research?
- Marketing Tips
30 Special Project
- You will undertake a research project on hydroponics (any aspect that you wish), plus write a report on your research and your findings. The final report should be around 3-5 pages long, and include a title page and a bibliography or list of references.
Learning Goals: Diploma In Hydroponics VHT013
- Discuss the range and scope of hydroponics
- Explain the role of light in plant growth and ways to provide it
- Identify the nutritional requirements of plants and how these can be met hydroponically.
- Discuss the effects of temperature and plan growing strategies for different temperature conditions.
- Identify different hydroponics systems and evaluate their qualities.
- Investigate the varieties and properties of different growing media.
- Identify nutrient requirements for different situations and describe solutions that will provide them.
- Describe and explain the use of the equipment used in hydroponics systems.
- Compare and select growing structures for different growing situations
- Explain the role of heat and light control and methods of achieving them
- Explain benefits and manipulation of carbon dioxide to promote plant growth
- Discuss a range of cultural practices for hydroponics and design and conduct a trial to evaluate the commercial prospect of growing a chosen hydroponic crop.
- Determine different hydroponics practices, including careful planning of crop production.
- Describe methods of aggregate culture
- Describe the uses and applications of NFT
- Understand the uses of rockwool in hydroponics
- Describe other techniques of hydroponic growing, including aeroponics
- Explain the properties of soil and their behaviour when irrigated (NOTE: Whilst this lesson primarily relates to irrigation and soil requirements, much of the material covered is also directly related to growing plants hydroponically)
- Identify and describe the components and design of various irrigation systems
- Explain various methods of propagating plants
- Describe methods of hydroponically producing cut flowers for the cut flower market
- Describe methods of hydroponically producing vegetables for the market
- Describe the range of commercial plants produced hydroponically
- Identify potential pests and diseases, and describe methods to control them (An integral part of successful plant culture, be it hydroponic or otherwise, is the ability to recognise and control the pests and diseases which affect the health and productivity of crops)
- Consider needs for weed control and how to achieve it
- Plan to manage a commercial hydroponics enterprise
- Outline key strategies for managing a business and effective supervision
- Identify marketing and market research strategies relevant to your business
- Use your knowledge of hydroponics and business to carry out a special project
Practical (Set Tasks)
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 protected]
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.,