Root Zone Management

Logo2017_Root Zone Management

Note: The registration period for the summer 2020 course has passed. To be informed by e-mail when the next enrollment period is open, please click to fill out this form. Those interested in the winter 2020 courses can enroll starting November 1, 2020. 

This 2.5-hour class consists of pre-recorded lectures about the fundamental concepts about irrigation water, media, and their effects on plant nutrition. The course covers the latest practical information on root zone management techniques for ornamental crops in a greenhouse.

The course is instructed by Heidi Lindberg, Greenhouse and Nursery Extension Educator with MSU Extension. Dr. Kristin Getter (Academic Specialist, MSU) designed, authored, and updated the course, which was adapted and updated from the original College of Knowledge class developed by Dr. John Biernbaum (Professor, MSU) and later revised by Dr. Dean Krauskopf (retired Educator, MSU Extension).

Students enrolled in this self-paced course will take a pre-test and a final exam to gauge their progress on the topics of the course. Self-assessment quizzes will engage students with the material throughout the course.

Course Content

The 2.5-hours of pre-recorded lecture are divided into three units:

  • Unit 1: Irrigation Water
  • Unit 2: Media
  • Unit 3: Nutrition

Unit 1 covers topics about irrigation water including water sources, water quality, water treatment, and irrigation timing and methodology. Unit 2 discusses the physical and chemical properties of media as well as substrate components and amendments. The third unit covers the essential elements for plant nutrition, how to select a fertilizer, and how to monitor nutrition of greenhouse crops.

Preview: View a preview of the course here.

Cost: The cost is $129 per person.

Course Offerings: This course is offered twice a year (summer and winter).

  • Summer course:
    • Registration period: May
    • Course available to students: June-August
  • Winter course:
    • Registration period: November
    • Course available to students: December-February

Win a $75 gift card! The individuals have paid for the course, completed the pre-test, final exam, and the post-course evaluation, will be entered into a drawing for a $75 gift card! (Available to U.S. residents only)

Financial Need Scholarships: There are three scholarships available for those that are interested in the course but do not currently have the financial means to take it. Greenhouse growers interested in the scholarship will be able to apply for it upon registering by writing a short paragraph about why you feel you should be awarded this scholarship and how you plan to use the information you learn in your business or professional endeavors. The applicants and winners will be kept confidential. The cost of the course will be $39.99 for scholarship winners. Scholarship winners will be notified after the enrollment period has passed.