Academic Catalog


Foothill College Course Outline of Record

Foothill College Course Outline of Record
Heading Value
Units: 3
Hours: 2 lecture, 3 laboratory per week (60 total per quarter)
Advisory: Completion of or concurrent enrollment in HORT 15.
Degree & Credit Status: Degree-Applicable Credit Course
Foothill GE: Non-GE
Transferable: CSU
Grade Type: Letter Grade Only
Repeatability: Not Repeatable

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Demonstrate skill required to maintain greenhouse and nursery facilities
  • Identify major types of growing structures and their respective roles in commercial plant production.


Commercial greenhouse and nursery management as related to the production of plants in California. Emphasis is on greenhouse and nursery operations. Class will focus on organization, management, and production practices used in large and small-scale commercial greenhouse plant production and nursery operations of all sizes. Retail outlets will be addressed as part of the nursery production sequence. Operations and the utilization of technology will be emphasized through use of on-campus facilities and observation of off-site operations.

Course Objectives

The student will be able to:
A. organize, schedule, and implement skills and practices used in the production of various plant crops.
B. maintain greenhouse and nursery facilities including pest control, irrigation system management and operational systems.
C. identify and select greenhouse components such as framing, glazing and structural materials.
D. demonstrate management of greenhouse environment through programming of control systems.
E. demonstrate the development and care of horticultural crops in a greenhouse and nursery environment.
F. grow greenhouse and nursery crops from preparation of media to planting and cultural management.
G. recognize the use of greenhouse and nursery operations in different cultures.

Course Content

A. Introduction to crop production
1. Business practices related to crop production
3. Schedule crop production
4. Harvesting
5. Marketing/merchandizing
6. Shipping requirements
B. Greenhouse and nursery maintenance
1. General maintenance of structures
2. Analysis of greenhouse operational systems
3. Irrigation troubleshooting
C. Growing structures & commercial plant production
1. Greenhouse technology
2. Evaluation of structural materials
3. Framework
D. Greenhouse control systems
1. Environmental control systems
2. Software and hardware components
E. Growth and care of greenhouse and nursery crops
1. Irrigation techniques
2. Nutritional analysis
3. Methods of fertilizer application
4. Types of container media and methods of preparation
5. Identification and control of pests
6. Responsible decision making as part of integrated pest management program
F. Development and care of horticultural crops
1. Media preparation
2. Planting
3. Specific production methods
4. Crop development
5. Plant care
6. Cultural requirements
7. Harvesting
8. Technologies for optimizing post-harvest quality
G. Greenhouse operations internationally
1. Greenhouse development and use in different cultures
2. Plant production by different cultures around the world

Lab Content

A. Greenhouse mechanical and cultural setup.
1. Greenhouse sterilization
2. Fertilization equipment setup
3. Computer control setup
4. Zone setup
B. Plant propagation.
1. Starting seeds
2. Dividing plants
3. Cuttings
C. Plant production management.
1. Maintain proper cultural conditions
2. Maintain pest control
D. Plant marketing strategy.

Special Facilities and/or Equipment

Horticultural laboratory, greenhouse, nursery, lath house and related horticultural facilities and equipment. Students provide pruning shears with sheath, work boots, leather gloves and clothing for fieldwork.

Method(s) of Evaluation

A. Exercises related to facilities and crop planning
B. Practical skills labs
C. Production of greenhouse and nursery crops
D. Final examination

Method(s) of Instruction

A. Lectures.
B. Discussions.
C. Lab activities.
D. Field trips.
E. Assigned reading activities.
F. Self-guided research.

Representative Text(s) and Other Materials

Nelson, Paul V. Greenhouse Operation and Management. 7th ed. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 2011. (recommended only)

Although this text is older than the suggested "5 years or newer" standard, it remains a seminal text in this area of study.


Types and/or Examples of Required Reading, Writing, and Outside of Class Assignments

A. Reading assignments will include reading approximately 20-30 pages per week from assigned text. Supplemental reading will be provided in hand-out form or through reference to on-line resources.

B. Writing assignments include:

1. Topical white papers

2. Production reports

C. Lectures will address reading topics and experiences of instructor. Classroom discussion and demonstrations in support of lecture topics will be provided.



Ornamental Horticulture