BE/PLS 217


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. 

BE/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. Stacy Tollefson!! - If you're serious about the course, these will be waived.

Typical structure: 3 hours laboratory, 2 hours lecture 

Usually offered: Fall