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Course Description

Sustainable Urban Crop Production examines the growth and development of plants used for food, as well as, the factors that affect productivity. Production practices required to grow food sustainability in typical or challenging urban environments will be highlighted along with tools, techniques, and practices to grow productive urban crops.

Designed For

Designed for urban community gardeners, co-operative associations, municipal planners, and environmental advocates wishing to identify the potentials and constraints for gardens in the urban environment.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the course, the learner should be able to:

  1. Describe how plant structure relates to plant function in all stages of growth;
  2. Understand basic soil structure and chemistry, select appropriate water or soil tests and interpret professional laboratory soil and water test results;
  3. Integrate cultural practices with environmental factors to determine the ideal growing environment for horticultural crops;
  4. Identify the best irrigation systems to use based on environment, crop and efficient water use; and
  5. Compare the growth requirements, health and vigour of the major plant groups such as root crops, fruits, vegetables and herbs, and select appropriate crops based on available growing environment.

Course Topics

  • Plant anatomy and physiology
  • Chemical and physical properties of soil
  • Sustainable soil amendments 
  • Plant nutrition
  • Irrigation: Types of Irrigation, soil moisture, drainage 
  • Environmental factors that affect growth: carbon dioxide, temperature, light, moisture
  • Growing crops in containers
  • Pest management


Assessment Item Weight
Online Discussions (2 x 5%) 10%
Quizzes (6 x 10%) 60%
Assignments (2 x 15%) 30%
Total 100%


Ontario Agricultural College; Department: Department of Plant Agriculture
Royal Botanical Gardens

Applies Towards the Following Certificates

Technical Requirements

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*Course details are subject to change.


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