Sign up today for winter greenhouse online courses

Greenhouse growers can sign up for Greenhouse and Horticultural Lighting, Biological Control for Greenhouse Growers (English or Spanish) and Floriculture Root Zone Management during November.

Sign up today for winter greenhouse online courses

Greenhouse businesses are looking to the spring production season of 2018. Sign up now for the winter sessions of three self-paced courses in Michigan State University Extension’s Online College of Knowledge greenhouse series: Greenhouse and Horticultural Lighting, Biological Control for Greenhouse Growers and Floriculture Root Zone Management. This award-winning series serves as an excellent resource for greenhouse growers new to the industry or those who want to learn more about other areas of greenhouse crop production or pest management.

These non-credit courses in the series are pre-recorded and registrants have three months to complete the course: Dec. 1, 2017, to Feb. 28, 2018 for English courses, and January to March 2018 for the Spanish biocontrol course. Students in the course will take a pre-test and a final exam to gauge their learning on the topics. Registrants also can complete the optional self-assessment quizzes to engage with the material throughout the course. Each course is $129.

There are three scholarships for each of the four courses for those interested but do not currently have the financial means to take it. The cost of the course will be reduced to $39.99 for scholarship winners. Interested greenhouse growers should see the registration websites below for more details. Registration for all three English courses ends Nov. 30, 2017. Registration for the new Spanish Biological Control for Greenhouse Growers ends Dec. 31, 2017.

Greenhouse and Horticultural Lighting

The Greenhouse and Horticultural Lighting Course is intended for greenhouse and ornamental plant growers and others interested in learning about the fundamental concepts about how plants respond to light quality, quantity and duration. It provides introductory to moderately-challenging content based on experiments performed at MSU and Purdue University. The units in the course cover photoperiod, photoperiodic lighting, light quality, quantity and duration, and factors that should be considered when replacing or installing new lamps.

To date, a total of 166 people have taken this course from 20 countries, including 28 U.S. states and 14 counties of Michigan. These participants represented 37.3 million square feet of greenhouse production. In the most recent session, which ended August 2017, 92 percent of course participants said they would recommend the course to another individual! As a result of the course, 67 percent of people intended to make a crop production change.

Register for Greenhouse and Horticultural Lighting. Read more about this course in the MSU Extension article, “Registration for online greenhouse and horticultural lighting course now open.”

Biological Control for Greenhouse Growers

MSU Extension partnered with Raymond Cloyd from Kansas State University Extension to offer an online course on biological control pest management. It is intended for greenhouse growers and others interested in learning about the challenges and opportunities associated with a biological control pest management program. The content of the course covers introductory materials to more advanced concepts such as utilizing banker plants.

A total of 159 people have taken the Biological Control of Greenhouse Growers course from 12 countries, including 24 U.S. states and 13 counties of Michigan. These participants represent 59.2 million square feet of greenhouse production area throughout the U.S. and the world. In the most recent session, which ended August 2017, 72 percent of respondents intended to make a change in their pest management practices as a result of the course.

New for winter 2018: Biological Control for Greenhouse Growers will be available in Spanish for the winter 2018 session! Visit the Spanish wesite, Control Biológico para Cultivadores en Invernaderos. The content of the Spanish version of this course will be available to students from January to March 2018.

Register for Biological Control for Greenhouse Growers. Read more about this course in the MSU Extension article, “Register now for biological control for greenhouse growers online course.”

Floriculture Root Zone Management

The Floriculture Root Zone Management course is for beginning level floriculture growers. It covers the fundamental concepts about irrigation water, media and their effects on plant nutrition. The course covers water sources, water quality, water treatment, irrigation methodology and substrate components. The final unit of the course covers the essential elements for plant nutrition, how to select a fertilizer and how to monitor nutrition of greenhouse crops.

In the summer 2017 session of this course, 19 people took Floriculture Root Zone Management from four contries, nine U.S. states and three Michigan counties. These participants represented 2.4 million square feet of greenhouse production. All of the survey respondents said they would recommend this course to someone else, and 90 percent reported they would make a crop production change within the next three months.

Register for Floriculture Root Zone Management. Read more about this course in the MSU Extension article, “Registration for online root zone management course now open.”

Learn more about the courses at the College of Knowledge Online Series website:

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