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Duration (approx) 100 hours
Qualification Statement of Attainment

Learn how to make your own vegetable garden at home

  • Understand the principles of growing vegetables at home.
  • Learn how to get a healthy crop.
  • Watch plants grow from seed to harvest!

Harvest your crop and know that the armful of vegetables you have just gathered for the evening meal will be on the table within an hour or two!

An exciting and satisfying experience with the added benefits of knowing that you and your family are eating the freshest, healthiest chemical free produce.

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Learn how to grow and harvest vegetables at home

Knowing how to grow your own vegetables can save you money as well as help you to become self-sufficient. And on top of that is is fun too! 

  • Grow vegetables all year round.
  • Learn what to grow, when, how and where.
  • Self paced study guided by UK and international expert horticulturists.


Course Duration: 100 hours.

Start Date: Start at any time - study at a pace that suits you, and with full tutor support for the duration of your studies.

Lessons: The course comprises 8 lessons as detailed, below.

  1. Introduction
    • Ways of growing vegetables
    • Understanding plant names
    • Resource guide
  2. Cultivation and Planting
    • Different growing methods (organic gardening, hydroponics, permaculture etc)
    • Vertical gardening and its types
    • Planting methods (seeds, transplanting or offsets, crowns tubers etc)
    • Understanding soil and nutrition
    • Soil pH
    • Composting
  3. Review of Major Vegetable Varieties
    • Conditions favourable for planting
    • Cultivation practices of commonly grown vegetables
    • Brassicas (Broccoli, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Radish, turnip etc)
    • Legumes (Beans, Pea etc)
    • Lettuce
    • Onion
    • Potatoes
  4. Pest, Disease & Weed Control
    • Natural control methods
    • Cultural control method (mulching, crop rotation, resistant varieties etc)
    • Physical control methods (traps, repellent devices etc)
  5. Hydroponic and Greenhouse Growing
    • Growing vegetables in greenhouses
    • Type of greenhouse
    • Greenhouse problems
    • Hydroponics
    • Type of hydroponic growing systems
    • Nutrient solutions and pH
    • Cultivation of tomato
  6. Lesser Grown Varieties and Herbs
    • Crop scheduling
    • Cultivation of less commonly grown varieties
    • Amaranth
    • Artichoke
    • Asparagus
    • Cassava
    • Chicory
    • Common Mint
    • Dandelion
    • Endive
    • Fennel
    • Garlic
    • Ginger
    • Horseradish
    • Okra
    • Rhubarb
    • Yams
    • Sweet potato
    • Taro and many more
  7. Irrigation
    • The do’s and don’ts of watering
    • Ways to reduce water needs
    • Different watering systems
    • Designing water system
    • Micro-irrigation
    • Cultivation of other vegetables
  8. Harvesting, Storing & Using Vegetables
    • Harvesting
    • Storing Vegetables
    • Preserving and processing
    • Bottling
    • Pickles
    • Sauces
    • Freezing
    • Blanching
    • Methods of freezing different vegetables


  • Compile a resource file of organisations related to home vegetable growing.
  • Compile reviews of sixteen different vegetables suitable for growing at home.
  • Carry out basic soil tests on two different soils.
  • Obtain or make up a propagating mix.
  • Make a vegetable garden.
  • Identify weed species in a vegetable garden and suggest control methods.
  • Make notes about pests and diseases in a home vegetable garden.
  • Contact several chemical suppliers and obtain brochures or technical information sheets on weedicides and pesticides appropriate for use on vegetable crops.
  • Contact a few greenhouse companies and obtain both literature and current prices.
  • Either write to or visit a company (or companies) which supply irrigation equipment.  Obtain catalogues, brochures, etc.
  • Try drying, bottling or freezing a vegetable you have not preserved before.
  • List 20 different vegetables with information about their culture and harvest.

Grow Vegetables for Food, Decoration and Amenity in your Home Garden

The most obvious reason to grow vegetables or herbs is to harvest and use them, but that isn't the only reason. Vegetables and herbs can also make a very attractive looking garden!

Using herbs and vegetables for better visual impact is simply a matter of plant selection and arrangement. In the past, vegetables were grown in separate beds, with each variety planted in neatly spaced rows. These days few householders have the space or time to devote to this style of gardening, so it makes sense to grow edible plants alongside ornamental varieties. For example, a bed of edible and ornamental plants could include perennial lettuces as edging plants, climbing peas on tripods, clumps of rainbow chard and leafy parsley for colour and texture, backed by a screen of sweet corn. There are endless possibilities of combinations – a task made easier each season’s release of exciting new compact and colourful varieties.

Vegetables and herbs can also be used to improve the backyard environment. Planting green manures and using organic mulches and composts will improve soil fertility and help to control erosion. Problem soils, such as excessively wet or dry soils, can also be improved by choosing varieties adapted to those conditions.

In a small but important way, growing vegetables will increase the biodiversity of your garden – the veggie patch will be a haven for bees, birds, lizards and other animals in need of food, water and shelter.

Can You Be Self Sufficient on an Average Home Site?

It’s possible to provide for many of your needs, but you may need to modify your expectations.

If you want every luxury that modern society can offer, then you are going to need more than what your garden can give you, but if you are prepared to be only part self sufficient or to live with less, then go for it.

What you produce from your garden will depend on the amount of space that you have. Obviously the larger the property, the more potential you will have to produce a large variety of crops. Large properties can support a range of fruit trees, vines, vegetables, herbs, grains and even hay and straw, as well as animals and chickens. The smaller the property, the more thought you will need to give to what you do and don’t grow. Ask yourself what would I like to produce? Then take it from there.

What can you make using produce from your garden?

Turning the produce into preserves and other usable items can be as much fun as the actual growing. For those who are looking to be self sufficient this is an extension of growing your own food, and a necessity to help you through winter and early spring, when fresh produce can start to dwindle.

You could consider making the following from your own produce:

  • Preserves
  • Chutney
  • Dried foods
  • Oil
  • Soap
  • Cloth
  • Fertiliser / compost
  • Mulch
  • Seed (for next year’s planting)
  • Fruit juices
  • Wine


You can start the course at any time.

It is studied by distance learning, so you can study in the comfort of your own home. But this doesn't mean you are all alone in your studies.  Our highly qualified and friendly tutors are there to help you every step of the way.  If you have any questions at all, they are always happy to help.


  • You can start the course at any time and study at your own pace.
  • Fit your studies around your own busy lifestyle - we provide full tutor support for all the time you are studying.
  • Study where you want to - online studies offer the flexibility for you to determine where and when you study.


"Great course, tutor was really good with explaining and marking. [She] gave me new ideas for my garden and hints for it too. Learning so many new things about growing different vegetables, how to grow them and what to do. All about soils and garden plots."
Kathryn Crossfield - Home Vegetable Growing 


Enrol - Go to “It’s Easy to Enrol” box at the top of the page and enrol now.

Get Advice - submit your questions to our specialist Horticulture and Home Gardening tutors - or, phone us on (UK) 01384 442752 or (International) +44 (0) 1384 442752.

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

Capsicums and ChillisCultivars, growing at home or commercially, how to use them, recipes for different cultures, lots of photos.
Growing and Using BrassicasBrassicas or Crucifers are plants belonging to the Brassicaceae family. The group includes many popular vegetables including cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, brussels sprouts, asian greens, radish and kale. Important condiments including mustard and wasabi are also brassicas. This book explores these and other brassica vegetables, and the differences between them in terms of how to grow them and how to use them. This well illustrated eBook is packed full of useful information, including tips and recipes.
Organic GardeningFor decades farmers have relied upon chemicals to control pests and diseases in order to produce saleable crops. In the ornamental, vegetable and fruit gardens reliance on chemical controls has also been the mainstay for many gardeners.
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