Category: Industry Training Courses Industry Training Courses
Published: 14 November 2021 14 November 2021

Technical Management Course for Greenhouse and Hydroponic Systems

Industry Training 2

This is a 5-day practical and theoretical course that will enable participants to understand detailed principles of commercial hydroponic and greenhouse crop production.


Graeme Smith Consulting deliver a packaged "Technical Management Course for Greenhouse and Hydroponic Systems" training course, to interested protected cropping entities in your local area under the stewardship of (your local company TBA).

This highly detailed course is suitable for any international locations wishing to fast-track their knowledge of protected cropping and hydroponic systems and can be adapted to local requirements if required.

Course Content

Course content can be composed of 13 topics at certificate V level to be delivered over 4.5 days (approx 3 topics per day)

Each module includes both theory (classroom) and practical elements (local greenhouse workshops)

Selected modules include:

  1. Workbook
  2. Supplementary notes on key subjects
  3. Practical demonstrations and calculations

Technical Presenters

Course technical presenters will include:

Program Responsibilities

Graeme Smith Consulting is responsible for:

Course Fees

Graeme Smith Consulting fees for course delivery (maximum 5 days):

AUD$ POA (+ GST/VAT if applicable)

plus reasonable travel and accommodation expenses for two (Aust/Local/Aust)

Maximum Students

The above offer is limited to a maximum of 15–20 students per course. Extra students may incur additional fees.

Local Area Facilitator Responsibilities (Company TBA)

Local area facilitators are assigned for each course and are responsible for the following:

  1. Suitable location for course delivery (hall, meeting room, etc for up to 22 people)
  2. Food or drinks for students (if offered)
  3. Introductions to suitable locations for delivery of practical elements (greenhouse or hydroponic farm, etc)
  4. Projection screen
  5. Whiteboard
  6. Workbook (inc printing of contents)
  7. Datashow projector
  8. 240V AC power outlets and extension cords
  9. Any necessary transport (e.g. to local greenhouse for practical demonstrations etc)
  10. Miscellaneous consumables (pens, name tags, etc)
  11. Suitable visas and accommodation for the two presenters


The course consists of the following 13 topics to ensure sound greenhouse and hydroponic principles are understood by all participants.

 Other topics that could be covered (time permitting) could include the following:

The above 8 topics could be considered by newer entrants into the hydroponic and greenhouse industry.

Course Suitability

The course is developed for greenhouse or hydroponic growers with a number of years growing experience, or grower managers or crop advisors, and has been developed for Certificate IV level. However we also encourage newer industry entrants if they wish to fast track their knowledge base.


A brief description follows on the subjects covered in each topic (attached)


Greenhouse Plant Physiology

Explores the way light, temperature and humidity interacts with horticultural crops and there connection to greenhouse plant physiology and environmental management inc:

Water Quality, EC and pH

Participants will be able to assess water quality, characteristics of different treatment systems and their application, and understand the principal factors involving EC and pH inc:

Greenhouse Environmental Management

Participants will be able to understand the principal factors affecting environmental management principles, systems and their management inc:

Plant Structure, Nutrition and Nutrient Management

Participants will be able to assess plant structure, photosynthesis, nutrition, characteristics of different root-zone factors and their application, and understand the principal factors involving Nutrient Management (including basic formula calculations):

Irrigation, Media Manager

Explores the impact irrigation strategies have on growing media and crop production (includes EC, pH, Water Content and Drain%) inc:

Media Types and Characteristics

Participants will be able to assess media types, characteristics, and their application, and understand the principal factors affecting their selection inc:

Crop Registration and Plant Balance, a Professional Approach to Growing.

Explores the monitoring, recording and responding approach to good crop balance (includes “reading” a crop and tools to change balance) inc:

Common Greenhouse Pests, Diseases, and IPM

Participants will be able to assess common pests and characteristics of different diseases, and understand the principal factors involving Integrated Pest Management and how to implement bio-controls to control common greenhouse pests (ie. spider mites, whitefly, thrips, fungus gnats, aphid, russet mite, broad mite, caterpillars, etc. inc:

CO2 Enrichment of Greenhouses

Explores the benefits, costs, geometry and equipment required to correctly enrich a greenhouse with carbon dioxide for maximum crop growth and quality inc:

Recirculation, How to Convert to a Closed System

Explores how to convert a media based free-drainage system to a closed recirculation system. Demonstrates how growers can easily save 40% on water use, 60% on fertilizer use, maintain a balanced root-zone nutrition and become environmentally sound and responsible inc:

Greenhouse Crop Protection Principles

Understand basic principles of crop spraying (calculate volume, speed and pressure) for high volume, low volume and ultra-low volume systems and a suitable vertical and horizontal spray system for greenhouses crops inc:

Implement a Hydroponic Maintenance Program

Monitor plant health, monitor the Hydroponic environment, monitor the nutrient solution, perform routine maintenance checks, maximising greenhouse efficiency and energy conservation inc:

NFT Systems

Explores best practice model for modern Nutrient Film Technique (NFT) systems


Location, Siting and Layout of Greenhouse Systems

Participants will be able to assess a site for suitability for hydroponic growing, and design a basic site layout plan.

Greenhouse Structures and Environmental Management

Participants will be able to assess different greenhouse structures and their integration to environmental management.

Basic Hydroponic Systems and Components

Participants will be able to identify basic hydroponic system types and their application, and understand the principal factors affecting hydroponic systems.

Quality Assurance, OH&S, IT and Production Plans

Participants will be able to assess QA and OH&S programs, appreciate the management benefits of Information Technology and develop their own Production Plan

Tomato Plant Management, Physical and Cultural Requirements.

Explores best-practice techniques for best production (includes crop management planning, pollinating, de-leafing, truss pruning, cluster treatment, tying up, layering, picking, etc.)

Implement a Plant Establishment Program

Explores crop selection, plant populations, seedling propagation and marketing requirement

New Greenhouse Investment and Technology Considerations

Explore typical greenhouse technology, their costs and why they are used. Compare typical system prices for 1,000 and 10,000m2, and a Cost of Production worksheet for growers to calculate their costs versus income (i.e. profit and/or loss expressed in both $/kg and $/m2).