Hydroponics at Home!
Hobby Hydroponics is a fascinating subject; learn how you can do this at home.
This course is a good starting point for those who have little experience in horticulture or hydroponics; whose main interest is in growing AT HOME. Unlike our other 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.

Learn to Grow Plants with Hydroponics at Home!

Hydroponics can be both fun and productive for the hobby gardener. It allows people with disability to garden without doing heavy work; and people with limited space to garden. Even people living in a high rise unit or small home with a tiny courtyard, can still grow a lot of vegetables fruits and flowers for their own use with an intensive hydroponic garden.

This is a 100 hour, self paced course, with tuition from highly qualified international experts.

  • A course for home gardeners with limited space or a passion for applying technology.
  • Learn the theory behind this space efficient method of growing.
  • Grow anything from vegetables and berries, to cut flowers and herbs.
  • Start any time, work at your own pace.

Course Structure

There are 11 lessons in this course:

  1. Basic Chemistry and Plant Nutrition - atoms, elements, nutrient deficiency symptoms; Nutrient Solutions - calculating formulae, hydroponic nutrition, preparing nutrient solutions
  2. Types of Systems A - classification of hydroponic systems, ingredients of hydroponic systems, rockwool.
  3. Types of Systems B - what makes up a system, 16 hydroponic ideas, NFT, solution dispensation.
  4. Plant Problems in Hydroponics - pests and diseases, nutritional and environmental problems, water and plant relationships, pH.
  5. How a Plant Grows - growth, nutrient solutions, preparing a solution, mechanisms of nutrient uptake, photosynthesis.
  6. Plant Culture - controlling environmental features, post harvest storage.
  7. Hydroponic Vegetable Production - how to grow vegetables hydroponically.
  8. Hydroponic Cut Flower Production - growing flowers in hydroponics, carnations.
  9. Soil Media vs Nutrient Film - berries, indoor plants, types of media, NFT.
  10. Greenhouse Operation & Management - solar energy applications in horticulture, greenhouse management.
  11. Special Assignment - a report on how to improve your present hydroponic venture, or a report on planning a new hydroponic venture.


  • Describe the nature and scope of hydroponic growing in a hobby situation.
  • Explain basic plant nutrition chemistry in order to describe the composition and function of hydroponic nutrients.
  • Differentiate between a variety of fertilisers and hydroponic nutrients, and suggest how these might be used appropriately in the growing of different types of plants in a hydroponic garden.
  • Compare options for media and systems, in order to choose what is appropriate to a specific home situation.
  • Design a hydroponic system suited to a particular home situation
  • Diagnose common ailments in a hydroponic system, make a determine appropriate action.
  • Describe the course of a hydroponic crop in a home situation from initial planting to harvest, and treatment of the harvested crop.
  • Differentiate between solid media and nutrient film hydroponic techniques, and the way in which plants may be treated differently in each.
  • Plan the production of a sequence of vegetable and herb produce for household use from hydroponic production.
  • Determine appropriate methods for hydroponic cut flower production in a home situation.



Gericke Method
Named after Dr W.F. Gericke, who was the founder of this method in the 1940’s, the Gericke system involved waterproof tanks of nutrient solution covered with a wire frame which supports plants. The plants roots pass through the wire frame into the nutrient solution beneath. Aeration is provided by leaving a gap between the wire frame and the surface of the nutrient solution beneath. Cotton wool or some other type of covering is placed over the wire frame to protect roots from light as well as to provide further support to plants. 

Bengal Method
Originally developed by the West Bengali government in the 1940’s, this method involves growing plants in troughs containing a mixture of five parts gravel to two or three parts sand. Nutrients are applied dry to the surface of the beds and either watered in manually or automatically by specialised spray equipment.  

Wick Method
This method involves using a lamp wick or glass wool wick to keep the plants roots moist. The plants are suspended over the wicks in trays supported by some type of litter. The wicks are spliced to provide enough water and nutrient to all areas of the root zone. A constant flow of nutrient solution passes up the wick one end of which is inserted into the nutrient reservoir situated beneath.  Wick methods typically have problems with insufficient and uneven transport of nutrient up the wick and into the growing medium, particularly in times of high water demand.

Sand culture
Sand represents one of the simplest and oldest types of hydroponic culture. A basic system may involve placing sand beds directly onto a rock surface or hard earth, however these systems leach nutrients and can become waterlogged in wet weather.  The drip method has been applied to sand culture. As with water culture, a continuous drip of solution is supplied to the plants which this time are housed in a waterproof sand bed. As the nutrient soaks through the bed it is harnessed in a sump and pumped back to the reservoir.

The continuous flow method can also be applied to sand and works well on a small scale. A pipe from a reservoir provides a continuous flow onto a vessel supported on a stand which contains sand and the plants. The solution drains out into a basin beneath.

The wick method can also be employed. In this instance, an upper container has the plant and sand culture in it along with a wick which passes to a lower container in which the nutrient solution is stored.  

Bucket and Gravity Feed 
Not a commercial method but useful for the home grower, this involves attaching a bucket to a gravel bed using a flexible hose. The bucket is filled with nutrient solution whilst on the ground and then raised above the bed and hooked onto a post attached to the bed, or wall. The solution flows into the bed. Once empty, the bucket is placed back at ground level and the solution flows out of the bed back into it. The cycle can then be repeated.

Hanging Basket Method
Shallow trays of aggregate or some other media are suspended over tanks over nutrient solution and regularly dipped into them, often by pulley systems.


Where this Course Can Lead

Your ability to understand and practice hydroponics effectively will grow as you move through this course. You will interact with leading experts as your tutors, and learn more from the feedback they give you; and as this all develops, your awareness of what is possible will grow. The course will give you the opportunity to  explore new ideas, try out new ways of growing plants, and connect with others who are involved with hydroponics.

Every graduate from this course will emerge with a different set of experiences, having explored the world of hydroponics in ways that are particular to their own interests and needs.

You may use what you learn to become more productive with the equipment you have already been using; or it may provide the knowledge and awareness you need to make better choices about setting up new systems.
New opportunities to utilise hydroponics will gradually become evident; and the stage will be set for you to continue growing your capacity to grow all sorts of things hydroponically.