Home Hydroponics

Course CodeAHT107
Fee CodeS1
Duration (approx)100 hours
QualificationStatement of Attainment

Learn how to grow plants hydroponically at home!

Hydroponics can be used by gardeners to produce vegetables and herbs in small spaces such as balconies and apartments as well as in greenhouses for out-of-season production of certain crops. It can cost a little more to set up; but being largely automated, once established the hydroponic garden can in some respects involve less work for greater rewards. It doesn't involve the heavy lifting of other forms of gardening and that aspect alone has made it particularly useful for disabled or less mobile home gardeners.

Instead of soil, plants are grown in a sterile medium, such as rockwool, perlite or sand. The medium provides a means of support only and does not add to the plants’ nutrient requirements. All the nutrients taken up by the plants in this system are added artificially through a nutrient solution. Solutions vary according to the type of crop grown.

This course is a good starting point for those who have little experience in horticulture or hydroponics and whose main interest is in growing AT HOME. Unlike our other courses, this course is NOT intended for commercial growing in any way. You will learn the theory behind hydroponic culture, as well as receive first hand practical experience as you set up your own basic hydroponic system.

  • A course for home gardeners with limited space or a passion for applying technology.
  • Learn the theory behind this space efficient method of growing.
  • Start any time, work at your own pace, grow anything from vegetables and berries, to cut flowers and herbs.
  • Course Duration: 100 hours of self paced study

Lesson Structure

There are 12 lessons in this course:

  1. Basic Plant Nutrition
    • Understanding the chemistry atoms and elements
    • Nutrient deficiency symptoms
  2. Nutrient Solutions
    • Calculating formulae
    • Hydroponic nutrition
    • Preparing nutrient solutions
  3. Types of Hydroponic Systems A
    • Classification of hydroponic systems
    • Ingredients of hydroponic systems
    • Rockwool.
  4. Types of Systems B
    • What makes up a system
    • 16 hydroponic ideas
    • NFT
    • Solution dispensation.
  5. Plant Problems in Hydroponics
    • Pests and diseases
    • Nutritional and environmental problems
    • Water and plant relationships
    • pH.
  6. How a Plant Grows
    • Growth
    • Nutrient solutions
    • Preparing a solution
    • Mechanisms of nutrient uptake
    • Photosynthesis.
  7. Plant Culture
    • Controlling environmental features
    • Post harvest storage.
  8. Hydroponic Vegetable Production
    • How to grow vegetables hydroponically.
    • Types of Vegetables to grow
  9. Hydroponic Cut Flower Production
    • Growing flowers in hydroponics
    • Carnations.
  10. Soil Media vs Nutrient Film
    • Berries
    • Indoor plants
    • Types of media
    • NFT.
  11. Greenhouse Operation & Management
    • Solar energy applications in horticulture
    • Greenhouse management.
  12. Special Assignment - a report on how to improve your present hydroponic venture, or a report on planning a new hydroponic venture

Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.


What is Hydroponics?

Hydroponics is the process used to grow plants without soil and literally means ‘working water’. The grower is taking ‘control’ of the plant's root environment, and losing the benefit of ‘mother nature's’ finely-tuned mechanisms which normally control that part of the plant's environment. So therefore when you remove the soil from a plant and take control of its roots, it is essential that you have a good understanding of how it grows.

Hydroponics is not an easier way to grow plants! It is a more controlled way of growing plants! However it is not a magical way to grow plants either. Anybody can grow plants in soil with reasonable success, but to grow plants in hydroponics, you must understand how the plant grows, so that you can control the light and the temperature, water, oxygen and nutrients in the root zone. These elements are all vital elements in the health and growth of the plants growing in the system. 

 

How Can This Course Benefit You?

This course aims to develop a solid grounding in the principles of soilless cultivation of plants in a HOME hydroponics situation.

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