Controlled Environment Agriculture Center

Research, Instruction & Extension for Producing Crops
With Sustainability, Efficiency & Eco-Friendliness

For ALL STUDENTS regardless of major

Learn how to grow tomatoes from seedling to harvest!  

Whether you’re interested in pursuing a career working in the greenhouse industry, building vertical farms to feed rapidly growing urban populations, or just seeking something that can fill the therapeutic void of that Zen garden you weren’t able to bring to Tucson, we’ve got you covered!!!

What is Hydroponics?

Hydroponics is a specialized method of growing plants in a soil-free solution that provides all the nutrients necessary for growth.

Hydroponics offers an economical, environmentally friendly, and sustainable way to produce food.

By controlling the environment and using hydroponics, we can not only grow crops year-round, but we can do it with 1/10 of the water while producing 10x the yield, with consistent results every single harvest.

Hydroponics is the future, and will play an important component in feeding the 9 billion people we will need to feed by the year 2050. 


PLS 217 Introduction to Hydroponics and CEA (3 units) 

Description: A hands-on emphasis course with 2 hours of lecture and 3 hours of lab (greenhouse time) per week. Topics include past, present and future of CEA and hydroponics, basic plant anatomy and physiology as well as cultural practices, plant protection (insects & diseases), pollination/fertilization and bee management, plant nutrition and disorders, irrigation systems and nutrient solutions, transplant production, greenhouse site selection, structures, control systems and energy conservation, fruit harvesting, grading and storage as well as marketing and economics of CEA and hydroponics.

Course Prerequisites: PLS 130 or approval of the instructor. Knowledge of basic math, English, physics and chemistry (Chem. 103A and/or Chem. 104A equivalent) are helpful. 

Email Dr. Tollefson!! - If you're serious about the course, these will be waived.

Typical structure: 3 hours laboratory, 2 hours lecture 

Usually offered: Fall

Curriculum:

Cover Sheet, Contents, and Disclaimer

Chapter 1-Controlled Environment Agriculture and Hydroponics: Past, Present & Future

Chapter 2- The Plant 

Chapter 3- How to Grow Greenhouse Crops

Chapter 4-Plant Protection: Insects and Diseases

Chapter 5- Basic Principles of Hydroponics  

Chapter 6- Transplant Production 

Chapter 7- Pollination, Fertilization & Bee Management

Chapter 8- Fruit Harvesting, Grading & Storage

Chapter 9- Plant Nutrition & Nutritional Disorders

Chapter 10- Fertigation Systems & Nutrient Solutions

Chapter 11- Greenhouse Site Selection

Chapter 12- Greenhouse Structures

Chapter 13- Greenhouse Control Systems

Chapter 14- Greenhouse Energy & Resource Alternatives "Greening" the Greenhouse

Chapter 15- Greenhouse Marketing, Economics & Business Plans