Horticulture involves the study of how to grow plants and their care and maintenance. It is a practical subject and students are expected to participate fully in the outdoor work on the allotments.

There are range of units in Horticulture all authorised by SQA and which earn the students SCQF credit points. The units offered to students depends on their experience and those students who have not studied horticulture before will be offered units mostly at Level 4. However for those students who have already taken horticulture for a year or two and who have passed some units there are units at Level 5 allowing a good progression and gaining more SCQF credit points at Level 5.

Horticulture 2016-2017

NPA Horticulture SCQF (GL2C44) 3 National Unit credits at Level 4

This course is open to any student who has completed their Broad General Education and has an interest in gardening and working outdoors.

From the start of the new timetable in June students will be preparing their allotments and working towards completing the outcomes required for the unit Use of Hand Tools in Horticulture. Students will be required to show that they can work sensibly and safely before progressing. Once they have passed this unit students are able to move onto the Horticulture Course.

The Horticulture course is made up of 3 units:    Plant propagation          (H1YK 10) 1.0 credits

                                                                                    Allotment gardening      (H1X4 10) 1.0 credits

                                                                                    Soft landscaping           (H1XB 10) 1.0 credits

For each unit students will be assessed on successful completion of practical tasks such as planting out seedlings, preparing your allotment or taking cutting. There will also be written tasks which need to be completed successfully. In order to pass each unit students will need to be seen to have carried out each of the necessary tasks to a suitable level of competency and provided all the required written evidence required.

Plant Propagation

During this unit you will investigate the different methods of carrying out propagation. Firstly we will be revising sexual and asexual reproduction in plants and the implications these have for successful propagation. We will then be propagating plants by taking stem tip cuttings, root cuttings, leaf cuttings, hardwood cuttings and division. Later on we will be using seeds to produce new plants and growing them on. To be successful in this unit you will need to carry out plant propagation techniques and produce viable offspring according to the instructions given. These plants will then need to be cared for and maintained correctly. You will also have to show that you can select suitable stock plants and tools and equipment necessary for the different propagation techniques and clear away everything properly afterwards.

There will also be written tasks to ensure that you fully understand the advantages and limitations of the different methods. These will be completed and kept in your folio. Near the end of the unit there will be short written test on this work.

Soft Landscaping

This Unit is designed to develop your skills in soft landscaping. You will learn how to select and use the correct tools and equipment, plant out and care for a range of fruit and vegetables. This will involve your work on your allotment which you will need to prepare correctly, plant out and then care for by weeding and watering. You will also need to be able to identify a range of tools and equipment used in soft landscaping and state their uses. This will be assessed by a written test near the end of the unit in March. 

Allotment Gardening

This Unit is designed to develop your skills in growing a range of fruit and vegetables from planting to harvest, on your allotment. You will select, plant out and care for a range of fruit and vegetables.

You will be required to find out about the fruit and vegetables you are going to grow and decide where and how to plant them. Once you have planted them you need to show that you can care for them and eventually harvest them correctly. Written work will be assessed using your folio where you will make notes about the different crops and how to grow them. Your practical work will be assessed by checklists which the teacher will keep to record your successful completion of the practical tasks required.

How to Succeed


In order to be successful in this course students need to make sure they attend every lesson and behave in a sensible and safe manner at all times. You need to look after the equipment you are borrowing, including the overalls and boots, putting them away carefully at the end of the lesson. It is important to follow instructions carefully and to ask for help when needed. Written work needs to be neat and tidy and your work should be stored in your personal Folio. Part of the Folio is the diary which you need to keep up to date, recording the tasks you have completed and the tools you used.

In order to be awarded the Course Award you will need to pass all three units.




Horticulture for students who have already successfully completed some units.

Home and Allotment Gardening                  H1JS 11         (6 SQCF points at Level 5)

Planting and Maintenance                           H1JD 11         (6 SQCF points at Level 5)


Home and Allotment gardening

This Unit will enable the candidate to gain the skills needed to maintain a home garden or an allotment.


1 Describe the scope, sources of information and the terminology used for the production of food crops in home and allotment gardening.

2 Explain the basic cultural requirements to produce vegetable/salad crops and soft fruit

3 Plan a cropping programme for a home or allotment garden.

4 Cultivate a plot and grow a representative sample of vegetables, salads and soft fruit.

Planting and Maintenance

On completion of this Unit candidates will have a general knowledge and practical skills involved in, site preparation, planting and aftercare.


1 Prepare site prior to planting.

2 Plant in accordance with good horticultural practice.

3 Provide initial aftercare and long term maintenance to planted areas.

 There is a written assignment to help you fulfil all these outcomes. This can be downloaded below:

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