AP1A22-Principles of Horticulture

Module Provider: School of Agriculture, Policy and Development
Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Spring term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2017/8

Module Convenor: Prof Paul Hadley

Email: p.hadley@reading.ac.uk

Summary module description:
This module provides an overview of the production of field and protected fruit and vegetable crops in the UK.

To provide knowledge of the principles of horticultural production used by specific sections of the horticulture industry. Content includes: location of crop production in relation to climatic and edaphic factors; principles of soil cultivation, mineral nutrients, improving the nutritional status of soils; crop establishment and factors affecting crop establishment; principles of crop rotation; effects of spacing and spatial arrangement on crop growth and yield; light interception in annual and perennial crops in relation to yield. Irrigation of field crops; intensive production methods; training methods for fruit crops; production methods for protected crops; prediction of crop maturity, harvesting, storage and maturity of horticultural produce.

Assessable learning outcomes:
By the end of the module it is expected that the student will be able to:
•Describe the importance and location of specific sectors of the horticulture industry in the UK and the reasons (eg climate, soil type, proximity to markets) which account for this.
•Understand the principles of soil cultivation, mineral nutrition and improving the nutritional status of soils.
•Provide an account of the principles of horticultural production currently used by the industry.

Additional outcomes:
Self learning will be encouraged through additional reading of recommended texts.

Outline content:
The horticultural industry in the UK; location of crop production in relation to climatic and edaphic factors.
Introduction to fruit crop production:
The importance of soft fruit crops for UK horticulture; plant propagation; production systems and Spanish tunnels; strawberry and raspberry crop types and cultivars.
The importance of fruit breeding in development of new varieties; fruit storage and long-distance transport; quality attributes and marketing. Tree fruit crops with emphasis on tree physiology and its influence on production methods; rootstocks, grafting and budding; planting systems; pruning and training methods; flowering, fruit set, fruit thinning and harvest.
Introduction to vegetable crop production: Climate of the UK in relation to vegetable production. Principles of soil cultivation and of mineral nutrition; Mineral nutrition of vegetables. The raising of vegetable crops from seeds; seed sowing and factors affecting seedling emergence; transplanting techniques. Intensive growing and the use of crop rotation; bed systems and plant spacing; early season production; continuity of supply.
Introduction to protected cropping: greenhouse design. The use of substrates in protected crop production. Hydroponic techniques.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
Lectures and directed reading. Practical work

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 20
Practicals classes and workshops 12
Guided independent study 68
Total hours by term 100.00
Total hours for module 100.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 60
Report 40

Other information on summative assessment:

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convenor will apply the following penalties for work submitted late, in accordance with the University policy.

  • where the piece of work is submitted up to one calendar week after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for the piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

  • The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at: http://www.reading.ac.uk/web/FILES/qualitysupport/penaltiesforlatesubmission.pdf
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

    Length of examination:
    A two hour examination.

    Requirements for a pass:
    A mark of 40% overall.

    Reassessment arrangements:
    By examination in August/September

    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
    1) Required text books:
    2) Specialist equipment or materials:
    3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
    4) Printing and binding:
    5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
    6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

    Last updated: 31 March 2017

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