HYDROPONIC MANAGEMENT (HYDROPONICS II)

Course CodeBHT213
Fee CodeS2
Duration (approx)100 hours
QualificationStatement of Attainment

LEARN TO MANAGE HYDROPONIC SYSTEMS 

Develop your capacity to make informed decisions regarding the management of commercially significant hydroponic crops. This course was developed to cover key issues which have been identified as recurrent problems for many experienced growers. It is suitable for anyone who has either completed hydroponics I, or alternatively, has significant prior experience.  Gain skills in:

  • harvesting
  • post harvest treatment
  • packaging
  • grading standards
  •  tomatoes, capsicums, salad greens, cucurbits, strawberries, roses, carnations & orchids
 
Our tutor Dr Lyn Morgan (a commercial consultant) has found one of the most common needs for hydroponic growers is to know how to properly conduct a trial to determine what to grow and how to grow it -and in doing so avoid costly mistakes.Develop your capacity to make informed decisions regarding the management of commercially significant hydroponic crops. This course was developed to cover key issues which have been identified as recurrent problems for many experienced gowers. It is suitable for anyone who has either completed hydroponics I, or alternatively, has significant prior experience.
 

  • Learn to grow commercial hydroponic crops
  • Study by distance education
  • Improve a business, start a business, extend your horticultural and farming skills
  • Course developed by John Mason (author of Commercial Hydroponics) and Dr Lyn Morgan (NZ Hydroponic consultant and author)

Course Structure

There are eleven lessons as follows:

1. How the Crop Plant Grows

  • Understanding how a plant grows in hydroponics
  • Plant growth factors
  • Roots, Stems. Leaves, Reproductive Parts
  • Manipulating and controlling growth
  • Light Levels, Air Temperature, Root Zone Temperature, Relative Humidity, Carbon Dioxide and Oxygen, etc
  • Heating and Ventilation Systems
  • Thermal Screens
  • Blackout, Shading and Lighting Equipment
  • Day Length Manipulation
  • Irrigation and Nutrition Control
  • Links to Weather Station
  • Controlling Plant Growth: Stopping, Spacing, Disbudding, Trimming, Training
  • Growth Control: Chemical and Cultural
  • Pest and Disease Disorder Control
  • Intercropping
  • Plant troubleshooting
  • Resources
  • Fruit set management
  • Pollination issues
  • Flower initiation
  • Flower and fruit development

2. How to Run a Small Evaluation Trial

  • What is a Hydroponic Trial
  • Running a Crop trial
  • Setting up a Comparison Trial
  • Records and Recording
  • Evaluating the Trial
  • Research Methodology
  • Experimentation
  • Steps for Collecting Data

3. Harvest and Post Harvest

  • Importance of Harvest and Post Harvest Management
  • Understanding Harvested Crop Physiology
  • Ripening of Fruit
  • Respiration
  • How and When to Harvest
  • Preparing Salad Mixes from Harvested Hydroponic Produce
  • Prevention of Bruising and Post Harvest Rots
  • Packaging
  • CA and MA Storage
  • Chilling Damage and Storage Te3mperatures
  • Harvesting and Grading Vegetables
  • Grading Standards
  • Fruit Grading Systems
  • Mechanised Grading
  • Grading Equipment
  • Harvesting Cut Flowers; stage, shelf life.
    Post Harvest Treartments for Flowers
  • Grading Standards for Flowers
  • Conditioning and Packaging Flowers
  • Marketing: wholesale, supermarket, export, contract, local retailers, etc.

4. Tomatoes

  • Growing Hydroponic Tomatoes
  • Growing conditions
  • Nutrition
  • Suitable Systems
  • Culture
  • Problem Management

5. Capsicum

  • Growing Capsicums; Bell Peppers in Hydroponics
  • Growing conditions
  • Nutrition
  • Suitable Systems
  • Culture
  • Problem Management

6. Lettuce, Salad Greens and Foliage Herb Crops

  • Lettuce
  • Celery
  • Chicory
  • Endive
  • Parsely
  • Spinich
  • Basil
  • Marjoram
  • Mint
  • Sage
  • Thyme

7. Cucurbits (Cucumber and Melons)

  • Growing Hydroponic Cucumbers
  • Growing conditions
  • Nutrition
  • Suitable Systems
  • Culture
  • Problem Management
  • Other Cucurbits in Hydroponics; Marrow, Zucchini, Melon, Watermelon, Pumpkin

8. Strawberries

  • Growing Strawberries in Hydroponics
  • Growing conditions
  • Nutrition
  • Suitable Systems
  • Culture
  • Problem Management

9. Roses

  • Growing Roses in Hydroponics
  • Growing conditions
  • Nutrition
  • Suitable Systems
  • Culture
  • Problem Management

10. Carnations

  • Growing Carnations in Hydroponics
  • Growing conditions
  • Nutrition
  • Suitable Systems
  • Culture
  • Problem Management

11. Orchids

  • Growing Orchids in Hydroponics
  • Growing conditions
  • Nutrition
  • Suitable Systems
  • Culture
  • Problem Management
  • Harvest and Post Harvest for different Orchid Genera

Prerequisite: Hydroponics I or significant experience.

Aims

  • Determine and explain factors that influence the growth of a crop.
  • Design and conduct a trial to evaluate the commercial prospect of growing a chosen hydroponic crop
  • Determine appropriate harvest and post harvest treatments for different types of hydroponic crops.
  • Determine an appropriate procedure for hydroponic production of a commercial tomato crop in any given location.
  • Determine an appropriate procedure for hydroponic production of a commercial capsicum crop in any given location.
  • Determine an appropriate procedure for hydroponic production of a commercial Lettuce, Salad Greens and Foliage Herb Crops in any given location.
  • Determine an appropriate procedure for hydroponic production of a commercial cucurbit crop in any given location.
  • Determine an appropriate procedure for hydroponic production of a commercial strawberry crop in any given location.
  • Determine an appropriate procedure for hydroponic production of a commercial cut flower rose crop in any given location.
  • Determine appropriate hydroponic production for commercial cut flower carnation crops.
  • Determine appropriate hydroponic production of a commercial cut flower Orchid crop in any given location.

 
HOW TO REDUCE YOUR RISK
 
The best way to reduce risk for any crop is to do a small scale test run (trial) before putting any significant money or time into growing a large scale crop.
 
Good hydroponic grower trials should aim to simulate the conditions under which a crop might be grown commercially, but on a much smaller, and less costly scale.
 
They often compare the success of growing a number of different plants, or groups of plants.
 
There are many different variables that can affect the success or failure of a hydroponic crop. These fall into different categories, including:
 
  • Type of system
  • Nutrition supplied
  • Water supplied
  • Plant cultivar being grown
  • Environmental conditions (eg. Temperature, light, air quality)
  • Exposure to pest and disease
  • Cultural Management (eg. Pruning, spacing, harvest time, etc).
  • A useful trial is generally designed to compare one type of factor, and in order to do this effectively, all but that one type of factor must be kept the same.
 
 
 
 
What this Course Can Do for You 
 
This course will expand your understanding of managing a hydroponic crop.
You may already know a lot about hydroponics, or horticulture; but there is a big difference between producing enough vegetables, fruit or flowers to satisfy your own needs; and growing produce at a cost that is well below the price you can sell it for.
  • This course can provide a foundation for becoming more productive.
  • For anyone new to hydroponics, it can enlighten you about commercial possibilities for hydroponics.
  • For anyone experienced with hydroponics, it can show you ways to improve your productivity and reduce your risk of crop failure. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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