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Hydroponics I 100 Hours Certificate Course
Learn About Hydroponics I
Hydroponics Online Course
This Hydroponics Online 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.
Lesson Structure: Hydroponics I BHT224
There are 10 lessons:
- hydroponic systems
- global industry
- comparision to growing in soil
- resources and contacts.
2 How a Plant Grows
- plant structure
- 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
- soilless mixes
- 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
- adjusting the pH
- using electrical conductivity measures
- conductivity and hydroponics.
5 Plant Culture
- flow charting the crop
- salinity controllers
- pH controllers
- post harvest storage
- controlled atmosphere storage
- relative humidity
- vacuum storage
- freeze drying
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- light factors
- artificial light
- horticultural management in a greenhouse
- greenhouse benches
- greenhouse cooling
10 Special Assignment
- plan a hydroponic enterprise.
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
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.
Excerpt From The Course
UNDERSTANDING HYDROPONIC NUTRIENT FORMULAE
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.
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.,