Learn to manage environmental conditions in a greenhouse including temperature, light, humidity. Grow vegetables, fruits, flowers and other crops in a controlled environment.

Course Code: BHT257
Fee Code: S3
Duration (approx) Duration (approx) 100 hours
Qualification Statement of Attainment
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Manage the Greenhouse Environment

  • temperature
  • light
  • moisture
  • ventilation

Why Study this Course?

  • Manage the environmental conditions better in a greenhouse
  • Increase plant productivity at a nursery, hydroponic farm or other greenhouse enterprise – grow plants faster, better quality
  • Allow growing plant species that might otherwise not be able to be grown successfully in a particular locality.

Lesson Structure

There are 9 lessons in this course:

  1. Types of Greenhouses
    • Greenhouse Designs for Commercial Nursery Production
    • Greenhouse Construction Methods and Materials
    • What Type of Greenhouse is Appropriate for Your Nursery?
    • Siting Greenhouses
    • Greenhouse Benching
    • What Can You Grow?
    • Environmental Control in Greenhouses
    • Computerised Environmental Control
  2. Growing Systems and Equipment
    • How to Grow Plants
    • Measuring Conditions Inside a Greenhouse
    • Environmental Control Systems
    • Getting Plants to Flower Out of Season
  3. Pest and Disease Management in Greenhouses
    • How to Stop Pests and Diseases Entering the Greenhouse
    • Detecting and Controlling Pests and Diseases in the Greenhouse
    • Common Greenhouse Diseases
    • Disease Control
  4. Temperature Management
    • Temperature Control in a Greenhouse
    • Heating Systems
    • Ventilation Systems
  5. Water Management
    • Greenhouse Irrigation
    • Soil and Water
    • When to Irrigate
    • The Nursery Irrigation Program
    • Plants and Water
    • Equipment and Methods
    • Maintenance of Watering Systems
  6. Nutrition Management
    • Irrigation and Nutrition Control
    • Liquid Feed Systems
  7. Managing Light
    • Importance of Lighting in a Greenhouse
    • Artificial Lighting
    • Measuring Light
    • Controlling Light in the Greenhouse
    • Photoperiod Manipulation
    • Growth Rooms
    • Efficient Lighting Control
  8. Managing Gasses
    • Carbon Dioxide Enrichment
    • Pollutant Gases
    • Temperature Control Systems (Ventilation)
  9. Automation and Robotic Applications for Greenhouse Production
    • Automation in Vegetable Nurseries


  • Compare different types of greenhouses to better match the plants to be grown inside the greenhouse to be built.
  • Explain the equipment and measuring devices (manual and automated) used inside a greenhouse to help grow plants more effectively.
  • Explain options for reducing the impact of pests and diseases on plants grown inside greenhouses.
  • Detect and control the temperature within an optimal growing range for plants being grown in a greenhouse.
  • Control water in a greenhouse, including irrigation and humidity.
  • Control nutrient levels in a greenhouse at optimal levels for plant growth and health.
  • Explain how light levels can be maintained in a greenhouse for optimal plant production.
  • Explain how to best manage the air characteristics inside a greenhouse.
  • Explain how greenhouse production can be automated.


Plants in greenhouses may be grown in soil, potting media, or hydroponic media. The roots might be growing in treated or untreated soil, formed into beds, in raised beds filled with imported soil (or media), or in containers/pots. In the case of hydroponics, the roots are in inert media like perlite, NFT, or rockwool.

Soil Culture

In soil culture, also known as in-ground culture, crops are grown on level ground as well as in mounded beds. Soil culture is more often used in growing vegetables (e.g. tomatoes, lettuce, cucumbers, and peppers) rather than ornamental crops such as herbs, roses, freesia, and foliage plants. Soil should be well-drained, fertile have medium to light texture and be high in organic matter. Fumigation of the soil or soil solarisation is a must to reduce the phytosanitary problems originating in soils.

Soilless Culture

Soilless culture cultivation is intensively used in greenhouses to improve control over the growing environment and to avoid uncertainties in the water and nutrient status of the soil. The classification of soilless culture considers the type of substrate and container and how the nutrient solution is delivered to the plant (e.g. drip irrigation, sub irrigation, flowing or mist nutrient solution culture). The accurate control of plant nutrition compared to soil cultures is also one of the most important advantages of soilless culture.


What is Different about this course?

This course is more technical and focussed of creating and controlling an ideal plant growing environment (compared with Protected Plant Production and Greenhouse Cut Flowers).

Greenhouses and environmental equipment used with them, allow us to grow plants faster and better; optimising the environment, and isolating plants from  pest and disease exposure. If used properly more can be produced faster, and of a better quality, per square metre; than what can be produced in an uncontrolled environment. The cost of installing and running a modern greenhouse can be high, but this can be offset by higher productivity per square metre which can be very worthwhile for some high value crops.

Successful greenhouse production of crops involves a mixture of science and technology. Today, we can use computer systems and sensors to help us monitor and control all the environmental variables within the greenhouse growing system. We also have more advanced knowledge about the chemical and physical processes underlying plant growth.

This course exposes students to the world of possibilities for greenhouse crop production by showing them what can be achieved. 

Member of the Future Farmers Network

Alternative Technology Association Member

Member of the Nursery and Garden Industry Association since 1993

Member of Study Gold Coast

Recognised since 1999 by IARC

Course Contributors

The following academics were involved in the development and/or updating of this course.

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