Work in Hydroponics or Start a Hydroponic Business
- Learn to grow plants commercially in hydroponics
- Learn about the equipment and materials used in both amateur and professional hydroponics
- Discover the nature and scope of this industry and the career and business opportunities it offers.
- Develop networking, resources, business and technical skills, building a foundation for success in the hydroponic industry.
1. To provide a sound basis of knowledge in horticultural principles as they apply to the culture, use and management of plants in various production situations.
2. To provide new and existing employees who are unable to undertake on campus training with the opportunity to gain appropriate knowledge in the field of plant culture, use and management.
3. To prepare employees for supervisory and managerial positions in the field of plant culture, use and management.
4. To provide horticultural business owner/operators (or those contemplating ownership) with appropriate training to apply technical skills to the management of the physical, financial and human resources in which they have made, or will make, a substantial investment.
5. To provide an understanding of modern technology and its application to growing plants, with emphasis being placed on hydroponics production of commercially valuable plants.
This subject has 30 lessons, each requiring about 12‑15 hours of study:
1. Introduction to Hydroponic Technology
2. Plant Growth Requirements – Light , artificial light, light balancers
3. Plant Growth Requirements ‑ Nutrition‑ nutrient requirements, deficiencies, toxicities, pH, conductivity, salinity, growth regulators
4. Plant Growth Requirements ‑ Temperature
5. Hydroponic Growing Systems ‑ basic concepts and designs, site considerations.
6. Growing Media ‑ types, properties, uses.
7. Hydroponic Nutrient Solutions ‑ nutrient formulae, preparing solutions.
8. Hydroponic Equipment ‑ componentry, nutrient delivery, pumping, testing
9. Growing Structures ‑ Design and Construction ‑ types
10. Environmental Control A ‑ Heating, Cooling
11. Environmental Control B ‑ Lighting, Shading.
12. Environmental Control C ‑ Carbon Dioxide Enrichment
13. Plant Culture In Hydroponics A ‑ trellising, pruning, pollination, transplanting.
14. Plant Culture In Hydroponics B
15. Aggregate Culture
16. Nutrient Film Technique (NFT) Culture
17. Rockwool Culture
18. Other Techniques ‑ wick systems, flood & drain, bag culture, aeroponics, etc.
19. Irrigation ‑ Soil Requirements
20. Irrigation Systems
21. Plant Propagation ‑ seed & cutting propagation & tissue culture
22. Market Gardening ‑ Cut Flowers
23. Market Gardening ‑ Vegetables
24. Other Plants In Hydroponics ‑ herbs, grasses, indoor plants
25. Pest and Diseases - dentifying the problem, pests and diseases in hydroponics
26. Weeds ‑ identification and control
27. Managing A Commercial Hydroponics Farm ‑ crop scheduling & selection standards
28. Management ‑ Organisation and Supervision
29. Marketing ‑ Promotion and Selling
30. Special Project -Prepare a detailed report of at least 2,000 words, plus photos or diagrams, on a particular aspect of technology which you have studied that significantly assists growing.
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
Design and conduct a trial to evaluate the commercial prospect of growing a chosen hydroponic crop
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 used of the equipment used in main hydroponics systems
Compare and select growing structures for different growing situations
Explain the role of heat and light control and methods of achieving them
Determine different hydroponics practices, including careful planning of crop production
Explain benefits and manipulation of carbon dioxide to promote plant growth
Describe methods of aggregate culture
Describe the uses and applications of NFT
Understand the uses of rockwool in hydroponics
Explain the properties of soil and their behaviour when irrigated
Describe other techniques of hydroponic growing, including aeroponics
Explain various methods of propagating plants
Identify and describe the components and design of various irrigation systems.
Describe the range of commercial plants produced hydroponically
Identify potential pests and diseases, and describe method to control them
Describe methods of hydroponically producing cut flowers for the cut flower market
Describe methods of hydroponically producing vegetables for the market
Discuss a range of cultural practices for hydroponics
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
THE ACS TEAM APPROACH
ACS was founded by John Mason in 1979 as Australian Horticultural Correspondence School.
Right from these very early times, we've always believed that the best education only comes when the student is learning from the experience of a whole range of industry experts (rather than just a single teacher).
Every ACS course is a work in progress, continually evolving, with new information being added and old information being updated by our team of internationally renowned professional horticulturists.
Over the decades more than 100 horticulture experts from across the world have contributed to these courses, bringing their individual knowledge and experiences from as wide afield as England and Spain to Australia and America.
While may colleges and universities focus on providing courses that relate only to the country where they are based, ACS has always strived to make it's courses relevant to all parts of the world; any climate, economic or cultural situation. This has been achieved by involving a large number of professionals in the course development.
When it comes to tutoring, marking papers and mentoring students, the team approach is just as strong as with our writing. ACS students have the ability to obtain advice and support from staff across the world, with horticulture tutors located in the UK, Australia (both the north and south) and New Zealand.
The ACS team approach and global focus to both course content and student support, ensures our graduates have a unique and "real world" skills set. This unique approach is highly regarded by our colleagues in horticulture.
Contributors to ACS Courses over the years have included:
John Mason -former parks director (Melton, Essendon and Heidelberg), Landscape Designer (Playgrounds and recreation Association of Victoria), Nurseryman, President Australian Institute of Horticulture (Victoria), Committee International Year of the Child (Australia), Author ove over 40 books, Editor Garden Guide Magazine, Editor Your Backyard Magazine.
Maggi Brown - Education officer, Henry Doubleday Research Association (UK), gold medal winner Chelsea Flower Show, Garden consultant.
Adriana Fraser - Horticultural Consultant, TAFE Lecturer, Project Manager - Parks and Gardens, Horticultural writer.
Iain Harrison -Garden Manager Fibremakers, Garden Consultant, Lecturer Swinburn TAFE
Katie Freeth - Manager Commonwealth War Graves (France), Horticultural Consultant (France & UK), Board member Institute of Horticulture, and International Federation Parks & Recreation Administration
Tony Bundock -Horticulture Businessman, Consultant, Head of Horticulture Dept. TAFE
Jim Davis -Horticulture Businessman, Lecturer TAFE (NSW), Principal VCAH Burnley College
Dr Lyn Morgan -author and internationally renowned hydroponics consultant (New Zealand)
Dr Valeria Astorga -horticultural consultant, lecturer (Spain, Peru, Australia)
Alison Bundock -Editor (Kangaroo Press; Southern Cross University), Technical Writer (APM), Consultant
Rosemary Davies -Horticultural concultant, journalist, media personality (Victoria)
Exams: There are four exams for the course; one after lesson 7, another after lesson 15; a third after lesson 22 and the final at the conclusion of the course.
The 20/80 Rule
"80% of the knowledge required by a commercial hydroponic grower is general horticulture; 20% is hydroponics".
Hydroponic ventures will often fail because this rule is not recognised. People often come to hydroponics with a fascination for the technology; learning all about the technology ....but without the horticultural knowledge and skills; the technology alone will not be sufficient.