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Duration (approx) 100 hours
Qualification Statement of Attainment

The Ultimate Introduction to Growing Crops

Learn how to grow a wide range of crops including nuts, fruits, berries, herbs vegetables and cut flowers.

  • Gain skills and knowledge necessary to grow and sell many different crops.
  • Study in your time and at your own pace.
  • Friendly, expert tutors.

This course "Provides a thorough knowledge framework in outdoor production of outdoor plants".

Learn about site and crop selection, soil management, cut flowers, vegetables, berries, nuts, herbs, tree fruits, other crops, managing a market garden and more.

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Discover How To Grow All Sorts of Crops

This course is a comprehensive introduction to crop growing which covers a huge amount of ground. Learn about different types of crop systems, how to establish and nurture crops, and techniques used in traditional and organic growing systems. 

Discover growing methods for a wide range of different types of crops from nursery plants and trees to nuts, vegetables, fruits and cut flowers.

See how soil is related to production yield and quality, how organic methods can be applied to any crop and which types of systems are better suited to particular crops.

It is a course of exceptional value to anyone interested in growing food plants.

What you can expect

Gain skills and knowledge necessary to grow and sell many different crops.

Study in your time and at your own pace.

Friendly, expert tutors.

"Provides a thorough knowledge framework in outdoor production of outdoor plants".

Learn about site & crop selection, soil management, cut flowers, vegetables, berries, nuts, herbs, tree fruits, other crops, managing a market garden and more.


This course has ten lessons.

  1. Crop Production Systems
  2. Organic Crop Production
  3. Soils and Nutrition
  4. Nursery Stock Production
  5. Tree Fruit Production
  6. Soft Fruits Production
  7. Vegetable Production
  8. Cut Flower Production
  9. Herbs, Nuts and Miscellaneous Crops
  10. Crop Production Risk Assessment
  • Explain different cropping systems and their appropriate application for the production of different types of crops.
  • Evaluate and explain organic plant production, and the requirements in at least two different countries, to achieve organic certification.
  • Explain the function of soils and plant nutrition in outdoor cropping systems.
  • Describe the commercial production of a range of nursery stock.
  • Describe the commercial production of a range of tree fruit crops.
  • Explain the techniques used to produce a range of soft fruits.
  • Explain the techniques used to grow a range of vegetables.
  • Explain the commercial production of outdoor-grown cut flowers.
  • Describe commercial production of herbs, nuts and other miscellaneous crops.
  • Identify the risks that may occur in outdoor crop production.

 DURATION:  100 hours


How are Crops Grown Outside

There is many different ways (systems) for crop production. These systems vary in how they are managed and the plants they are used to grow; from place to place. Some crops are grown in a number of different systems in a locality; while others, tends to be grown using variations of the same type of system.

Common types of crop growing systems include:

Broad Acre Cropping 
This involves crops being grown in large paddocks, as a monoculture. The intention is that the crop variety being grown across the area is one variety.
By doing this, it becomes possible to do everything you need to do on a large scale. The same harvesting equipment, fertilizing programs and anything else, can apply to dozens of acres at the same time; which can create efficiencies of scale. It can also create vulnerabilities of scale too though. This is used for some vegetable, as well as oil, fibre and grain crops

Row cropping
This is common practice for growing many vegetables, herbs or cut flowers. It is similar to broad acre farming, but often on a smaller scale, with plants grown in long raised beds.

Hydroponic Production
This involves growing plants without soil; often in beds filled with an inert material like gravel or channels. Hydroponics is more common inside greenhouses, where annual rainfall may interfere with managed nutrient solutions; but in drier climates, it can often be a good choice for growing produce; because it can make more efficient use of water.
It is an intensive system most commonly used to grow leafy vegetables, tomatoes and strawberries. Can be used to grow many other crops including cut flowers and root vegetables.

Container Growing
This is most commonly used to produce nursery stock outdoors; but in cold climates, large containers are sometimes used to grow plants that can be placed outside in summer, and moved under cover in winter. Citrus for instance, have been grown this way in England, France and other places for hundreds of years.

This is used to support and train deciduous and vine fruits. 

Hedging is sometimes used for tree and berry fruits.It is also used for growing nursery stock plants (to provide cutting propagation material). 



This course is relevant to any type of growing system, mentioned above, or anything else.


Comment from a graduate of this course:

"I’ve been really happy with the course, and the tutors and feedback that I have had. I will be willing to recommend the course to any of my friends and colleagues."

M. Simpson


Opportunities After Study

This course can be used as part of a larger qualification or studied by itself. It will be of benefit to people who wish to start up a market garden business or for those wishing to gain employment in farming enterprises. It is suited to:

Market gardeners



Hobby farmers

Business entrepreneurs





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Courses can be started anytime from anywhere in the world!

Meet some of our academics

Maggi BrownMaggi is regarded as an expert in organic growing throughout the UK, having worked for two decades as Education Officer at the world renowned Henry Doubleday Research Association. She has been active in education, environmental management and horticulture across the UK for more than three decades. Some of Maggi's qualifications include RHS Cert. Hort. Cert. Ed. Member RHS Life Member Garden Organic (HDRA) .
Diana Cole (Horticulturist)Horticulturist, Permaculturist, Landscaper, Environmentalist. Holds a Diploma in Horticulture, degree in geography, permaculture certificate and various other qualifications. Between 1985 and 94, Diana was a task leader with the British Trust for Conservation Volunteers. Since 2001 she has been chairperson of the Friends of Mellor Park (with Stockport MDC). From 2005 she has worked exclusively in horticulture as proprietor of her own garden design and consultancy business in and around Derbyshire; and at the same time as part time manager of a small garden centre. Diana has been an enthusiastic and very knowledgeable tutor with ACS since 2008.
Yvonne Sharpe (Horticulturist)Started gardening in 1966, studied a series of horticulture qualifications throughout the 1980's and 90's, culminating in an RHS Master of Horticulture. Between 89 and 1994, she worked teaching in horticultural therapy. Founded the West Herts Garden Association in 1990 and exhibited at Chelsea Flower Show in 1991. In 1994, Yvonne joined the staff at Oaklands College, and between 1996 and 2000 was coordinator for all Amenity Horticulture courses at that college. Since leaving Oakland she has been active as a horticultural consultant, retail garden centre proprietor and sessional lecturer (across many colleges in southern England). In 2000, she also completed a Diploma in Management.

Check out our eBooks

Farm ManagementThe Farm Management ebook is a valuable piece of equipment for any farming student or current farmer. Improve your farm management skills or learn new skills and techniques. The topics covered within this Farm Management ebook include 1/ Scope and nature of the farm industry, 2/ The farm site, 3/ Production systems, 4/ Managing livestock, 5/ Managing pasture, 6/ Managing crops, 7/ Managing equipment and materials, 8/ Computer applications, 9/ Farm structures and buildings, 10/ Financial management, 11/ Marketing, 12/ Farm planning, 13/ Staff management, 14/ Water management and 15/ Diversification.
Starting a BusinessBusinesses don't need to fail! This is concise, easy to read, and alerts you to all of the things that commonly make a difference to business success or failure. Seven chapters are: “A Reality Check”, “The Product or service”, “Managing a Business”, “How to Find Customers”, “How to Make a Sale”, “Delivering the Product or Service”, “Pitfalls to Avoid”.
Starting a Nursery or Herb FarmIt's often amazing how much can be produced, and the profit that can be made from a few hundred square meters of land. To work efficiently and profitably, a nursery or herb farm must be both well organised and properly managed. As with any business, it is essential to be confident enough to make firm decisions as and when needed. This e-book is your ticket to a fragrant future.
Fruit, Vegetables and HerbsThe Fruit, Vegetables and Herbs ebook is ideal for students, professionals and home gardening enthusiasts alike. Fruit, Vegetable and Herbs provides an overview in techniques to produce food in the garden. Topics covered within this course include 1/ Food from the garden, 2/ Deciding what to grow, 3/ Successful growing, 4/ Fruits, 4-1/ Deciduous fruit trees, 4-2/ Citrus fruits, 4-3/ Tropical fruits, 4-4/ Berries, 4-5/ Nuts, 4-6/ Vine crops, 4-7/ Using produce, 5/ Vegetables, 6/ Mushrooms, 7/ Special growing techniques