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Duration (approx) 600 hours
Qualification Certificate

Professional Training In Commercial Hydroponics

  • Develop a solid foundation of knowledge in hydroponics.
  • Learn about the design and setting up of different hydroponic systems.
  • Learn about valuable horticulture crops such as cut flowers and vegetables.
  • Study nutrient composition and management.
  • Learn about planning a hydroponic operation - selecting sites and crops, and matching a system with the selected crops.
  • Learn about managing systems, water control, and nutrient control.
  • Study Core Modules in Hydroponics and select specialist Elective Modules for your chosen area of speciality.


Core ModulesThese modules provide foundation knowledge for the CERTIFICATE IN COMMERCIAL HYDROPONICS VHT089
Elective ModulesIn addition to the core modules, students study any 3 of the following 13 modules.

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Commercial Hydroponics training - learn about site and system selection and management, and much more.

  • Develop in-depth knowledge of different hydroponic techniques.
  • Develop your understanding of different standards of nutrient formulation.
  • Learn about controlling nutrient level concentrations.
  • Develop knowledge of different methods of disease and pest control.
  • Learn about site layout and system components.
  • Study 3 Core Modules in Hydroponics and select a further 3 Elective Modules in areas of particular interest - gain knowledge and a qualification attuned to your personal goals.

Controlling the  Growing Environment

There are many elements to consider in the growing environment, including the crops being grown, and systems being used. The following are three examples:

Light levels

Light is the source of energy for plants. Light energy combined with carbon dioxide and water is required for the process of photosynthesis. Therefore, it is important to ensure the maximum light intensity possible is provided to achieve optimum plant growth, particularly during lower light times of the year. The design of the growing structure and the orientation as well as natural light levels and shading determine the light intensity.

Other factors effecting light include the frame itself, if timber is used for the frame it must be painted white to reflect the light, the covering material, glass transmits up to 89% of light, polyethylene 84% and fibreglass starts high but quickly diminishes as the material hazes from the UV rays. The covering material accumulates dust and grime, which reduce the light intensity by up to 20%. Therefore it is essential, that after the hottest part of the summer, the glass is cleaned.  Plant density, growing system – multi levelled or single level and training method also determine the amount of light available for each plant and should be taken into consideration for each season.  High light levels can be just as damaging as low radiation levels and often some form of shading is needed in summer for even high light crops, depending on the local climate.

Root zone temperature 

Just as in soil, hydroponic growing substrates typically run temperature conditions a few degrees lower than that of the air.  However, hydroponic crops are grown in limited volumes of media which has the ability to warm faster than soil and this should be taken into consideration in warm climates where root overheating can cause growth problems.

In solution culture systems such as NFT and Aeroponics the nutrient can over heat rapidly during the day and may need some form of cooling.  Conversely in winter, solution or root zone heating with a warmed nutrient solution can boost growth, particularly when air temperatures are being run on the cool side.  Cool season crops such as lettuce benefit from solution warming in winter, but in tropical climates, solution cooling can mean economic crops of lettuce can be produced at air temperatures much higher than ideal.  Root zone temperatures should always be monitored and adjusted for hydroponic crop production.

Day length manipulation

The purpose of day length manipulation is to control flower growth. Flowers such as chrysanthemums are grown for an initial period under short night conditions to develop a plant of suitable size to support large flowers and tall stems, and then the plants are grown under long night conditions to induce flower growth and development.
Short night treatment simply entails turning on the lights in the late afternoon, to extend the day into the evening, or they may be turned on during the night to break the dark period.

After a period of short nights and the plant is established, a period of long nights must be introduced to initiate flowering. During winter the nights may be long enough, however, during summer, it will be necessary to cover the plants in late afternoon and remove the cover in the morning. Automatic equipment operated on a timer is available to perform this operation.

Develop expert knowledge for working in commercial hydroponics

Study the Certificate in Commercial Hydroponics to gain knowledge that you can apply in a commercial environment.

  • Develop your knowledge of site and crop selection.
  • Learn about different systems, their components, their management and selecting the right systems for the crop being produced.
  • Learn about managing systems, environments, crop growth and much more.

You can enrol on the Certificate in Commercial Hydroponics at any time. You study by distance learning with the help and support of our specialist Hydroponic tutors.

Is this the right course for you? If you have any questions or would like help in choosing the right course to meet your goals - please get in touch with our specialist Hydroponic tutors today. They will be pleased to help!


Courses can be started anytime from anywhere in the world!

Meet some of our academics

Dr Lynette Morgan (Horticulture)Lyn worked with Rivendell Mushroom Farm between 1986 and 88; and then as a research assistant and technician for a few years while undertaking university studies. In 1991 she graduated from Massey University with a Bachelor of Horticultural Science (Hons) which covered broad horticultural sciences, as well as nursery vegetable and fruit production. Throughout the 90's she worked in both the nursery industry and horticultural crop production, before establishing her own business "Suntec" which has built an exceptional international reputation providing consulting services; particularly in hydroponic crop production. Dr Morgan has a broad expertise in horticulture and crop production, and a keen appreciation of the global scene. She travels widely as a partner in Suntec Horticultural Consultants, and has clients in central America, the USA, Caribbean, South East Asia, the Middle East, Australia and New Zealand.
John Mason (Horticulturist)Horticulturist, Nurseryman, Landscaper, Garden Writer, Parks Manager and Consultant. Over 45 years experience; working in Australia and the UK. He is one of the most widely published garden writers in the world; author of more than 100 books and editor for 4 different gardening magazines. John has been recognised by his peers being made a fellow of the Institute of Horticulture in the UK, as well as by the Australian Institute of Horticulture.
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.

Check out our eBooks

Growing StrawberriesStrawberries are a significant large crop in many countries and a popular crop for home gardeners the world over. More than 3.5 million tonnes of strawberries were produced in 75 countries in 2005 and by 2010 the world’s top 10 producers harvested almost 3 million metric tonnes, this extended to global production of over 4.5 million tonnes by 2012; a growth of almost 13% in 5 years. Although the United States, Turkey, Spain, Mexico the Netherlands, remain amongst the top producers, other countries are steadily increasing their production with Greece and Egypt increasing their production level by over 30% between 2007 and 2014, Chile too is an emerging and increasing producer.
Getting Work in HorticultureExplore what it is like to work in horticulture; how diverse this industry is, how to get a start, and how to build a sustainable, long term and diverse career that keeps your options broad, so you can move from sector to sector as demand and fashion changes across your working life.
Commercial HydroponicsThe Commercial Hydroponics ebook is ideal for students, professional horticulturalists and those who want to build a strong foundation knowledge in hydroponics. The commercial hydroponics ebook explains how to set up a commercial hydroponics system, including growing techniques and equipment that you will need. The topics covered in this book include an introduction to hydroponics, site considerations, alternatives, plant nutrition, nutrient film technique culture, rockwool culture, aggregate culture, other techniques, hydroponics equipment, greenhouse operation, plant culture in hydroponics, Vegetable crops, berry and other fruit crops, flower crops, other crops, managing a commercial hydroponic farm and a troubleshooting guide.
OrchidsA colourful guide for students, home gardeners and orchid enthusiasts. The first part deals with growing orchids, and the second covers dozens of orchid genera, and hundreds of cultivars. Explore orchids as cut flowers, container plants, indoor plants and outdoor garden plants, in both tropical and temperate climates, across the world.