Nov 22, 2019
MSU Extension Now Offering Online Greenhouse Courses

Registration is now open for the winter sessions of three self-paced courses in Michigan State University Extension’s Online College of Knowledge greenhouse series: Greenhouse and Horticultural LightingBiological Control for Greenhouse Growers and Floriculture Root Zone Management.

The courses serve as an excellent resource for greenhouse growers new to the industry or those who want to learn more about other areas of greenhouse crop production or pest management. All courses are now available in English and Spanish.

The non-credit courses in the series are pre-recorded and registrants have three months to complete them: Dec. 1, 2019 to February 29, 2020.Each course is $129 and there are three scholarships per course available to those with financial need.

Students in the course will take a pre-test and a final exam to gauge their learning on the topics. Registrants also can complete the optional self-assessment quizzes to engage with the material throughout the course.

Registration for all courses ends Dec. 15, 2019.

Greenhouse and Horticultural Lighting

The Greenhouse and Horticultural Lighting Course is intended for greenhouse and ornamental plant growers and others interested in learning about the fundamental concepts about how plants respond to light quality, quantity and duration. It provides introductory to moderately-challenging content based on experiments performed at MSU and Purdue University. The units in the course cover photoperiod, photoperiodic lighting, light quality, quantity and duration, and factors that should be considered when replacing or installing new lamps.

To date, a total of 251 people have taken this course from 27 countries, including 36 U.S. states and 17 counties of Michigan. According to survey respondents,  the topics that were reportedly most helpful were the sections on “high-intensity lighting” and “how to estimate daily light integral in your greenhouse.”

This course is also available in Spanish.

Biological Control for Greenhouse Growers

MSU Extension partnered with Raymond Cloyd from Kansas State University Extension to offer an online course on biological control pest management. It is intended for greenhouse growers and others interested in learning about the challenges and opportunities associated with a biological control pest management program.

The content of the course covers introductory materials to more advanced concepts such as utilizing banker plants. The course is available in English and Spanish.

A total of 297 people have taken the Biological Control of Greenhouse Growers course from 15 countries, including 38 U.S. states. As a result of the course, 60% incorporated new natural enemies into their biological control program and 80% reported increased crop quality.

Floriculture Root Zone Management

The Floriculture Root Zone Management course is for beginning-level floriculture growers. It covers the fundamental concepts about irrigation water, media and their effects on plant nutrition. The course covers water sources, water quality, water treatment, irrigation methodology and substrate components.

The final unit of the course covers the essential elements for plant nutrition, how to select a fertilizer and how to monitor nutrition of greenhouse crops. The course is available in English and Spanish.

The areas of the course that were participants reported were the most helpful to them were the sections on ‘physical and chemical properties of media/substrate’ and ‘how to choose a fertilizer.’

Join the prestigious group of growers and register yourself or an employee for one of the three online courses. Invest in yourself today!

Register for all of the courses at


— Heidi Lindberg, Greenhouse and Nursery Extension Educator: West Michigan;  Michigan State University Extension