Horticultural Crops Courses

Aquaponic Production BHT319

What is Aquaponics?

   Aquaponics is the integration of hydroponics with aquaculture technologies. Hydroponics is the horticultural process of growing plants in mediums other than soil. Aquaculture is the culture of aquatic organisms (such as fish and crustaceans) for commercial purposes under controlled or partly controlled conditions.   Develop technical skills to grow plants in aquaponics systems. ACS Student Comment: I am loving the course! I have learned so much and can't stop reading the material. My tutors give me great feedback. I believe this has been one of the most rewarding and valuable learning experiences. Not only do I look forward to doing my classes everyday, I'm also learning great information for something I am truly passionate about. I believe the layout of each lesson is very helpful and I am surprised how much information I learn from just reading a few pages. I graduated from an online national high school and was so happy when I found this school. I am very satisfied with this type of education. The school has been so helpful and nice! I am also very satisfied with the staff at this school. Anytime I have a question they have been right there to help me along the way. The support is great and it makes my learning experiences even better. Chloe Blumm, USA, Aquaponics Production course

This course is a good starting point in learning all aspects of aquaponics.


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Berry Production BHT309

Learn about Berry Growing - Small commercial to larger grower or backyard enthusiast.

  • What berries to grow in your climate and soil conditions.
  • How to care for berries
  • How to prune berries
  • How to harvest berries
  This Berry Growing course is aimed at the professional grower as well as the backyard enthusiast.   Grow berries for the table or to sell - this course is equally applicable to the backyard enthusiast or to the commercial grower. Covering all aspects of the propagation, care and cultivation of common (and uncommon) berry fruit; with the opportunity to specialise to some degree in one type of berry.

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Bush Tucker Plants BHT328

Australian Bush Tucker Plants

Learn about identifying, growing and using Australian indigenous plants for food.   This is a growing industry - there is a mounting interest currently in using Australian bush tucker plants in restaurants, cafes and in preserves.   Use the knowledge gained from this course to:
  • Promote Australian native plant foods
  • Introduce bush tucker food into a restaurant or cafe
  • Produce preserves or other foods using native bush tucker plants
  • Teach others about bush tucker plants

There are many Australian plants that are edible, and even some that are in very high demand as foods throughout the world. The Aborigines lived off the land before white civilization came to Australia. Plants contributed significantly to their diet.

There are many different types of bush tucker foods:

  • Nuts and seeds (eg. Acacia, Macadamia, bunya nuts)
  • Drinks (eg. hot teas, infusions of nectar laden flowers, fruit juices)
  • Flavourings (eg. lemon scented myrtle)
  • Berries (eg. Astroloma, some Solanum species)
  • Fruits (eg. quandong, Ficus macrophylla, Syzygium)
  • Vegetables
  • Wattle seeds ground to produce ‘flour’
  • Plant roots ground to produce a paste or flour.

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Certificate In Horticulture (Organic Plant Growing) VHT002

Study organics PLUS the fundamentals of horticulture.

For those that want to:
  • Work in organics
  • Have a solid qualification in organics and horticulture
  • Work as a horticulturist using organic methods
 This 600 hour accredited course focuses on the mainstream fundamentals of horticulture in the first half of the course and leads on to organic plant growing methods in the second half. This combination is rarely offered through other institutions.

Organic growing is the way of the future.

Understanding established methods of plant growing and how main stream horticulture deals with this eg. the pesticides, herbicides, fertilisers and general growing methods used, is of fundamental importance for a shift to organic growing.

To be truly informed, you need to know all the traditional and 'accepted' methods of plant growing as well as organic methods. This knowledge enables you to make informed and important decisions (for example) during farm conversion and understand what impact 'conventional' farming has on the land you farm, and on the health of the community and the ecology. At the very least it will enable you to understand, and convey to others, why you prefer organics as your chosen method of plant culture.

This course is similar to other VHT002 horticulture certificates in its introductory (core) units, but devotes 50% of the course to topics specifically related to organic growing. The Core Units comprise fifteen lessons covering: Introduction to Plants, Plant Culture, Soils and Nutrition, Plant Identification and Use & Pests, Diseases and Weeds. A fantastic course for the Horticulturist who sees organic growing as the right way to grow.

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Commercial Organic Vegetable Growing VHT241

Grow Organic Vegetables Commercially using Sustainable Organic Farming Techniques   For the small to large serious organic grower   Learn to grow Organic Vegetables on a small or large scale for commercial purposes. The demand for organically grown vegetables is currently a major growth area in commercial horticulture. This course is a good starting point in learning all aspects of organic vegetable production.   A growing interest in more environmentally sustainable gardening methods offers the chance to provide the general public the quickest, safest and most enjoyable organic garden practices.   This course will lead you through these practices and guide you to develop and maintain your plot, large or small.      

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Commercial Vegetable Production BHT222

Learn to grow vegetables commercially. Become more productive - Become more profitable:

  • Learn how to grow a range of vegetable varieties
  • Small or large enterprise
  • Study soils and conditions suited to vegetable crops
  • Study a range of vegetable pest and disease problems
  • Learn how to market your produce
  • Start, manage, or seek work on a vegetable market garden.
Develop skills and knowledge required for commercial vegetable production, whether as a row crop, broad acre crop, greenhouse or hydroponic crop. Learn to produce all types of vegetables -from main varieties like lettuce, tomato, pea, bean, potatoes, carrot, brassicas and corn, to less major varieties such as garlic, rhubarb and parsnip. There is a focus on crops such as Rye, Sorghum and Barley in this too.

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Culinary Herbs VHT242

Know how to grow and use herbs for cooking: Study the growing requirements and use of culinary herbs   A great course for the beginner to herb growing and their culinary uses.   Eight lessons cover common and less common herbs used for cooking.

Learn how to identify and successfully grow dozens of edible herbs. Develop your skills and experience the delights of cooking adventurous new recipes with herbs. Learn drying and other methods of preserving the flavour (eg. herb oils, salts, vinegars).

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Cut Flower Production BHT221

  Do you want to work in the dynamic and rapidly expanding cut flower industry?
  • Set up a cut flower business?
  • Start with a backyard flower business?
This course will develop a sound foundation for working in the cut flower industry giving you bot the horticultural, business skills and confidence to move forward in this lucrative industry sector.

ACS student comment: "I am enjoying my course and it has given me an understanding of what I need to do once I have completed my course. I find the course to a valuable learning experience. I am able to do it in my own time (I have young children) and the learning is interesting." Melanie Sumpter, Australia, Cut Flower Production course

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Greenhouse Cut Flowers VHT239

Learn how to make a success of growing cut flowers in a greenhouse!

  • Learn more about greenhouses and how to better manage, light temperature and humidity for plants grown inside
  • Explore and compare the commercial and horticultural differences between different types of flowers
  • Start a business - Be better at your job - Improve your career prospects

A course for commercial cut flower growers who are concerned exclusively with greenhouse production. International trade in cut flowers has grown over recent decades. In most countries, developed or in development, it is now possible to get the most popular types of cut flowers almost any time of the year.

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Herb Culture - BHT114

Understand the Herb Industry

Set up a herb farm or retail herb enterprise - sell herb plants or herb products or both. Develop a sound understanding on how to propagate, grow and care for herbs.

  • Set up a herb farm
  • Set up a herb property that attracts tourists
  • Or establish a large herb garden for your own pleasure
A growing interest in more environmentally sustainable gardening methods offers the chance to provide the general public the quickest, safest and most enjoyable organic garden practices. This course will lead you through these practices and guide you to develop and maintain your plot, large or small.   This is designed to develop a solid grounding in herb growing and the herb industry. An average student will take around 100 hrs. Half of the course deals with general herb culture, including identification, soils, mulching, feeding, watering, propagation, pest & disease control, harvest, storage, processing, companion planting, nursery management and herb farming. The remainder of the course involves detailed studies of major groups of herbs such as: mints, thymes, lavenders, scented geraniums, garlic, roses, artemisias and parsley. Comment from Students in Herb Culture Thanks ACS, studying with you has been truly rewarding, because of your understanding, helpfulness and devotion to all students. I will certainly use the chance to study again with you! (Lerni)

(The course) has helped me achieve a ‘greener’ thumb. I now have lots more success with my garden. Beforehand, my thumb was the furthest from ‘green’ you could get! (Janice)

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Herb Products Manufacturing

Learn to Operate a Business that Manufactures Products made from Herbs.

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Home Fruit Growing AHT104

Learn how to grow fruit at home!

Have you always wanted to grow your own fruit at home, but weren't sure where to start?

Start here, learn the basics of fruit growing and begin growing your own fruit at home!

You will learn how to:

  • Grow fresh fruit, berries and nuts efficiently and economically
  • Choose the best fruits for your situation
  • Raise soil fertility
  • Control pests and diseases naturally without using dangerous chemicals

Both cool and warm climate fruits are covered, and throughout the course you are given the option to focus your study on the types of fruits you are most interested in.

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Home Hydroponics AHT107

Learn how to grow plants without soil in your own home!

This course is a good starting point for those who have little experience in horticulture or hydroponics and whose main interest is in growing AT HOME. Unlike our other hydroponics courses, this course is NOT intended for commercial growing in any way. You will learn the theory behind hydroponic culture, as well as receive first hand practical experience as you set up your own basic hydroponic system.

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Home Vegetable Growing AHT102

Grow your own healthy veggies!

Learn to grow your own vegetables with us and the reap the delicious rewards of your harvest!

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

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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Hydroponic Business -Supply and Consulting

Learn online to manage a business in hydroponics; supporting growers with services or supplies.

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Hydroponics I - BHT224

Get Serious about Hydroponics

Develop your technical skills to plan and grow different crops in hydroponic systems.

This is a serious grounding for working in the hydroponic industry and concentrates on the most valuable crops, such as cut flowers and vegetables. Written and taught by leading international experts including John Mason, author of Commercial Hydroponics (now in it's 8th printing) and Dr Lyn Morgan, author and commercial hydroponic consultant. Hydroponics is the art of growing plants without soil. It is the perfect way to avoid heavy, back breaking work, such as digging. Pests, diseases and weeds are generally much easier to control. Over the past few decades hydroponics has proven an ideal method for commercial growers as well as small backyard enthusiasts looking for an alternative way of producing plants.

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Hydroponics II BHT213

A hydroponics course for the experienced

  • For Experienced Hydroponic growers OR
  • For Anyone who has already completed Hydroponics I

A growing interest in more environmentally sustainable gardening methods offers the chance to provide the general public the quickest, safest and most enjoyable organic garden practices. This course will lead you through these practices and guide you to develop and maintain your plot, large or small.

  • Developed by international hydroponic experts Dr Lyn Morgan (NZ) & John Mason (author of "Commercial Hydroponics")
  • “Even more in - depth than Hydroponics I, Hydroponics II takes a closer look at a few plant species in particular. This course will especially suit inclusion in a “Design your own Certificate” study option.” - Tracey Morris Dip.Hort., Cert.Hort., Cert III Organic Farming, ACS Tutor.
Study Hydroponics -Distance Education School -Home Study Course Course developed and supported by: John Mason: Author of the best selling book "Commercial Hydroponics" Dr Lynn Morgan PhD, renowned international hydroponic consultant and author.
  • ACS has been teaching hydroponics since the early 1980's and provides a unique network of support services from bases in both the UK and Australia.

“Even more in - depth than Hydroponics I, Hydroponics II takes a closer look at a few plant species in particular. This course will especially suit inclusion in a 'Design your own Certificate' study option.” - Tracey Morris Dip.Hort., Cert.Hort., Cert III Organic Farming, ACS Tutor.

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Hydroponics III (Managing Systems)

ADVANCE YOUR SKILLS AND KNOWLEDGE FROM HYDROPONICS I AND II.   This hydroponics course is aimed at those working or seeking to work in the industry at system management level.   You will learn how to describe different approaches to cultural operations in hydroponics and demonstrate an awareness of the similarities and differences between organic and hydroponic produce and techniques. There are a number of different hydroponic methods and systems which can be used successfully both on a small scale and commercially. In commercial ventures, the choice of system will often be dictated by factors such as crop to be grown, the local climate, weather conditions, proximity to skilled labour, availability of materials, and so forth.   RECEIVE TUTOR SUPPORT THROUGHOUT YOUR STUDIES

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Mushroom Production BHT310

Mushroom Growing   Ever wanted to grow mushrooms and didn’t know where to start?   Learn mushroom growing relevant to anywhere in the world.     Here is a comprehensive eight lesson course covering how to grow mushrooms on either a small or large scale. Emphasis is placed on the Agaricus species (the Champignon), though other commercially important edible fungi are also considered. Growing, harvesting, marketing, storage, pest and diseases and even ways of cooking and using mushrooms are covered.

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Nut Production BHT219

Learn to Grow Nuts by Distance Education

For the enthusiast or commercial grower.

A detailed study on nut growing with the opportunity to specialise, to some degree, according to your interests.

How to grow nuts

Nuts can be grown in most parts of the world - there are species suited to a variety of climates.Nuts are an exceptionally valuable food crop that can be harvested and stored for long periods and can also be processed into a variety of products. These characteristics make them particularly useful for commercial growers, for the home gardener, or those striving towards self sufficiency.

“Most nut crops have one big advantage over other crops -they don't deteriorate so fast if harvest or marketing is delayed. Whether grown as a main crop, or supplementary crop; nuts are well worth learning more about" John Mason, Horticultural Author and Principal, ACS

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Protected Plant Production BHT223

What is Protected Plant Growing?     Learn how to grow crops in greenhouses, shade-houses, cloches and other protected environments. Applicable to hydroponics, propagation, nursery, production of cut flowers, vegetables, herbs, berry fruit, etc.  Develop a broad understanding of practices and processes environmental controls and plant growth within a protective environment, together with a practical knowledge of plant husbandry techniques.   Grow Plants in Greenhouses   For those working or looking to work in greenhouses. Successful completion of this course/module will develop your broad understanding of practices and processes involved in successful protective plant cropping.  

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Temperate Fruit Production -BHT218

  Learn to Grow Fruit  and Study Orchard Management

Are you serious about fruit growing? Think that you may have good opportunities if only you knew more?

  • Start an orchard
  • Work in the commercial fruit industry
  • Small or large scale
  • Learn all the best practices associated with growing fruit crops
  • Understand marketing and value adding
This eight lesson course starts by introducing the fruit growing industry, and moves through most of the skills needed for successful fruit growing in a serious way. Topics covered include management, soils, planting, irrigation, pruning, cultural practices (including pest control), pome and stone fruits, and various vines, fruit trees and nuts.

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Viticulture - BHT220

  Work In The Viticulture Industry

Have you always had a passion for growing grapes or owning or managing a vineyard? Or do you already work in this field and would like to extend your knowledge?

This course covers all aspects of vineyard management and grape growing and give you the confidence to forge ahead with your passion.

  • Learn vineyard  management techniques
  • Work in a vineyard
  • Set up a vineyard
Ten lessons covering the history of viticulture, the current state of the industry, wine and table grapes, dried grapes, cultural practices (trellising, soils, planting, pruning, irrigation, pests & diseases); vineyard design, improving quality, harvest & post harvest procedures, wine making, marketing and more.   Learn to select the right vineyard site and the right grape varieties. ACS student comments: "[The course] gave me extra knowledge of the industry that I am currently working in. It covered all aspects of the industry. I liked the way you had to work through each lesson/category i received excellent feedback from my tutor. I enjoyed the viticulture course, it has given me extra knowledge that i will use." James McKelvey, Vineyard Manager, Aust - Viticulture course.

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Warm Climate Fruit Production - BHT217

Study Tropical Fruits
  • Learn How to Grow Tropical Fruits 
  • Set up a Tropical Fruit Orchard
  There are hundreds of different tropical fruits. Start here to explore their potential and learn how to grow them. This is a course designed for people who want to have a successful warm climate orchard, to develop skills in the establishment and management of commercial fruit production for warm climates. Similar to the temperate fruit course, but adapted to cover tropical and sub-tropical conditions. The course includes sections on Avocados, Pineapples, Macadamias, Paw Paws, Cashews, and lots more.

"Tropical Fruits can provide food all year round: an amazing resource for both the commercial orchardist or home owner who is trying to become more self sufficient. This course is unique; developed and taught by highly qualified horticulturists with a wealth of experience -enrol and learn from the experts.” - John Mason Dip.Hort.Sci., Supn.Cert., FIOH, FAIH, FPLA; Garrden author, consultant, educator for over 40 years.

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Warm Climate Nuts BHT308

Learn to grow warm climate nuts!

This course is for the grower who wants to learn more about warm climate nuts.

For most people, a nut is a type of food and a delightful food at that! Strictly speaking, not all nuts are edible. This course, however, is only concerned with edible nuts and in particular, the ones that are grown more extensively around the world in warm climates.

The tropical nut trees are dependent on your locality and conditions can vary quite considerably even in tropical areas, for example certain tropical areas may experience frosts. However there are so many varieties worth trying that it is worth learning about them all!

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Wine Science (Oenology) BHT258

Learn to be a good wine maker - or better wine maker
  • Study wine science
  • Understand the processes and methods
  • Growing good grapes is only the beginning

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