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Duration (approx) 100 hours
Qualification Statement of Attainment

Learn How to Grow Your Own Vegetables at Home

  • Understand the principles of growing vegetables at home.
  • Learn how to get a healthy crop.
  • Watch plants grow from seed to harvest!
  • Learn home vegetable growing from our expert tutors who are happy to help you every step of the way through this useful course.

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

  • Grow vegetables all year round.
  • Learn what to grow, when, how and where.
  • Self paced study guided by UK and international expert horticulturists.
  • Our tutors are there to help you every step of the way as you learn more about growing your own veggies.

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!You will learn such things as:

  • How to build a vegetable garden. 
  • Cultivation and planting.
  • The main types of vegetables.
  • How to make great compost.
  • Pest, disease and weed control.
  • Hydroponic and greenhouse growing.
  • Herbs and uncommon vegetable varieties.
  • Watering and irrigation systems.
  • Harvesting, storing and using vegetables.


The course comprises 8 lessons, as follows:

1.  Introduction

2.  Cultivation and Planting

3.  Review of Major Vegetable Varieties

4.  Pest, Disease and Weed Control

5.  Hydroponic and Greenhouse Growing

6.  Lesser Grown Varieties and Herbs

7.  Irrigation

8.  Harvesting, Storing and Using 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 vegies 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 vegies for better visual impact is simply a matter of plant selection and arrangement. In the past, when almost every house was on a quarter-acre block, vegetables were grown in separate beds in the backyard, 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

ACS student comments:
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 






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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

Food PreservingA great supplement for students of nutrition, self sufficiency or even horticulture, the Food Preserving ebook is a great introduction into all things preserving.
Cucumbers Pumpkins Marrows and other CucurbitsThe Cucumbers Pumpkins Marrows and other Cucurbits ebook will provide you with a guide in everything that you will need to know about these very useful plants. Learn more about the different and sometimes unusual varieties that are available of these plants. This is the complete guide to this plant family as each section will provide you with the ideal growing conditions, culture, planting, pest and disease problems, harvest, varieties and some great ways to eat the fruit.
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.
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