Commercial Organic Vegetable Growing Online Course

Commercial Organic Vegetable Growing Online Course

Duration 100 hrs (12 months)
Exam Optional
Tutor Support Yes unlimited by email
Qualification Certificate

Learn the processes required to tap into the commercial organic vegetable market. This extensive course provides a wealth of knowledge and practical skills and shows you how to market your produce.

Learn all aspects of organic vegetable production.

  • Gain practical knowledge in this growing industry.
  • Enhance your job prospects.
  • Study in your own time at your own pace.

Organic vegetables are crops with a future. The demand for organically grown vegetables is presently a major growth area in commercial horticulture. This course is a great starting point in learning all aspects of organic vegetable production.

Course Aims:

  • Discuss general horticulture and plant taxonomy principles
  • Describe a range of cultivation and planting techniques
  • Explain soil properties, and their relationship to organic plant production
  • Diagnose basic soil nutrient deficiencies
  • Discus major and minor commercial vegetable varieties
  • Describe a variety of pest and disease management principles
  • Explain the use of seed in commercial organic agriculture, including storage, viability, germination, genetic purity, and hybridisation
  • Discuss the principles of greenhouse growing
  • Describe a variety of irrigation methods suitable for organic vegetable production
  • Explain organic weed control methods
  • Explain issues relating to harvesting and marketing of vegetables


Detailed Course Outline

This course is made up a number of lessons or units.  Each of these has self assessment questions, a set task (practical homework) and an assignment which you can upload online.  Click below to read about each of the lessons and what you will learn.

There are 12 Lessons in this course:


  • Organic Growing and it’s definitions
  • Influential people in the organic movement
  • Different ways to grow -permaculture, biodynamics, etc.
  • Organic certification
  • Transition to organic production
  • Management Plan
  • Industry awareness
  • Resources and Networking
  • Understanding Plant Names

Cultivation and Planting

  • Cultivation methods
  • Crop rotation
  • Green manures
  • No dig growing
  • Planting
  • Sowing vegetable seed outside
  • Germinating indoors
  • Transplanting seedlings
  • Crowns, offsets, tubers
  • Crop scheduling
  • Tillage, Ripping, Harrowing, Dis ploughing, etc
  • Tractors

Soils and Nutrition

  • Physical soil properties -profile, texture, etc
  • Chemical properties -pH, cation exchange capacity, buffering etc.
  • Soil water, air, temperature
  • Humus and Organic matter
  • Nutrient elements
  • Organic Fertilizers
  • Animal manure
  • Liquid feeds in an organic system
  • Rock dusts
  • Diagnosing nutritional problems

Soil Management

  • Importance of soil
  • Cultivation techniques
  • Cover crops
  • Green manures
  • Nitrogen fixation
  • Rhizobium bacteria
  • Mycorrhizae
  • Composting
  • Hot heaps vs cold

Review of Major Vegetable Varieties

  • Getting the best from an organic vegetable plot
  • Vegetable Directory -Beans, Beetroot, Broccoli, Sprouts, Cabbacge, Capsicum, Carrot, Cauliflower, Corn, Celery, Eggplant. Lettuce, Onion, Pak Choi, Parsnip, Pea, Potato, Pumpkin, Marrow, Squash, Radish, Spinich Turnip
  • Transplanting Guide

Pests and Disease

  • Integrated Pest Management
  • Allowable Inputs
  • Understanding Pest and Disease
  • Understanding Other Plant Problems
  • Lifecycles
  • Review of common problems
  • Companion Planting


  • Organic seed
  • Seed production -preventing cross pollination
  • Choosing seed plants for vegetable crops
  • Collecting seeds
  • Cleaning and storing seed
  • Seed germination

Greenhouse Growing

  • Types of greenhouses
  • Framing and covering materials
  • What greenhouse is appropriate
  • Siting a greenhouse
  • Benching
  • Greenhouse hygiene
  • Problems with greenhouses
  • Other structures -cold frames, shade houses
  • Environmental controls
  • Heating, Cooling
  • Controlling light
  • Growing media
  • Fertigation in organic systems
  • Carbon dioxide enrichment
  • Irrigation Methods
  • Crops Directory -Tomatoes, Cucumber, Melons, Zucchini

Lesser Grown Varieties and Herbs

  • Growing herbs
  • Review of many culinary herbs-Alliums, Corriander, Mints, Basil, Oregano, Rosemary, Pasley, Savory, Thyme, etc.
  • Review of lesser grown vegetables -Amaranth, Artichoke, Asparagus, Cassava, Chicory, Dandelion, Garlic, Endive, Ginger, Horseradish, Chicory, Mint, Leek, Okra, Pigface, Rhubarb, Sweet Potato, Warrigul Greens, Taro, Yams, etc


  • Irrigation objectives and feasibility
  • Soil and water
  • Understanding classes of soil moisture
  • Soil and transpiration
  • Field capacity
  • Permenant Wilting point
  • Tensiometers
  • When to irrigate
  • Scheduling irrigation
  • When to irrigate
  • Cyclic watering
  • Pulse watering
  • Plant root depth
  • Irrigation type -flood, sprinkler, ytickle etc.
  • Portable, permenant or travelling sprinklers
  • Sprinklet spacings

Mulching and Weeds

  • Understanding mulch
  • Types of mulch materials
  • Rules for using mulch
  • Living mulch
  • Weed Management
  • Preventing weeds

Harvesting and Marketing

  • Harvesting techniques
  • PostHarvest quality considerations
  • Harvesting hints
  • Post harvest treatment of vegetables -field processing
  • Cooling
  • Quality standards
  • Monitoring and reviewing
  • Marketing
  • Business capabilities
  • Market research
  • Target marketing
  • Understanging economics

When you have completed the lessons of your Certificate course, you will be given the option of taking the optional exam. It's okay if you don't want the exam, we still issue your Careerline Certificate. For Advanced Certificates however, the exam is compulsory (per module) and are included in the course fee.

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    Course Tutor

    Agriculture spans a wide variety of specializations.  Who your tutor is will depend on which area of agriculture you are studying.  Upon enrollment you will be assigned your own personal tutor who is there to support you throughout your studies.

    How It Works

    1. Learn Online

    Get access to your course content anywhere, anytime and study at your own pace.

    2. Get Help & Support

    Connect with other like-minded students and get help from the teacher whenever you have a question.

    3. Receive Certificate

    Graduate from your course knowing that you have what it takes to reach your next step.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Can I pay in installments?

    Yes! We offer great payment plans, however full payment up front is the cheapest. You can choose the best payment plan for you from the course page, or call us on 07 55368782 to talk to one of our course consultants for a custom plan.

    Can I study from anywhere in the world?

    We have many international students. Careerline's range of courses are suitable for any one, anywhere in the world.

    Do I get a discount if I enroll in a second course?

    Yes. You may claim a 5% fee discount when you enroll in a second course, and a further 10% off a three-course package.


    Do I have to sit an Exam?

    No. If you are enrolled in a Certificate course (100hrs), the exam is optional. You will be issued with a certificate which proves that you are competent in all units, if you choose not to sit the exam.

    Do you have set start dates?

    There are no set start dates, you may start at any time. Our courses are all self-paced. As our home page says, ‘Courses for Anyone, Anywhere, Anytime’. ‘Anytime’ includes the start time of your choice. However, we do encourage our students to submit assignments on a regular basis. Wherever possible, we suggest developing a study routine.