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Educators' Guide for Pedagogy and Assessment

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Unit: 1. Plant and Soil Science


Learning Outcome: 1. I can understand the life cycle and morphologies of different organs of crop/ornamental plants' roots and shoot systems.

1 I can label different organs of crop/ornamental plants' roots and shoot systems.
Crops/ornamental plants: e.g.

  • Allium genus: onion or garlic,

  • Apiaceae family: carrot,

  • Cucurbitaceae family: zucchini,

  • Solanaceae family: potato or tomato or aubergine or green pepper,

  • Asteraceae family: Jerusalem artichoke

  • Brassica genus: broccoli or cauliflower or cabbage or Brussels sprout;

  • Ornamental Plants: petunia or poinsettia

Organs: leaf; stem; root; flower; seed; fruit.
2 I can describe plant body tissues, transport system and plant cell components.

  • Plant body Tissues: parenchyma; collenchyma; sclerenchyma;

  • Introduction to transport system: xylem; phloem;

  • Plant Cell Components: cell membrane; nucleus; cytoplasm; 
    chloroplasts; vacuole; cell wall; mitochondria.

3 I can outline the stages of the life cycle of a named crop species.
Life cycle: seed; germination; seedling; growth; flowering; pollination; fruiting; seed dispersal.
1 I can explain the morphologies of different crops/ornamental plants.
Different crops/ornamental plants:

  • Monocot: onion or wheat;

  • Dicot: cabbage or carrot or bean.

Morphology: structures of root, stem, leaf, flower, fruit, seed

Learning Outcome: 2. I can undertake a season’s growth of different groups of vegetables

4 I can outline the production of the most commonly grown vegetables in the Maltese Islands.
Commonly Grown Vegetables: e.g.: potato, tomato, green pepper, aubergine, garlic, onion, spring onion, gourds, zucchini, basil, squash, pumpkin, cucumber, lettuce, spinach, endive, cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprout, broccoli, kohlrabi, globe artichoke, Jerusalem artichoke, celery, parsley, carrot, beetroot, pea, broad bean, runner bean.
Production: soil preparation; spacing; sowing/transplanting; irrigation.
5 I can outline fruits' and vegetables' nutritional features.
Fruit and vegetable nutritional features: sugars; proteins; fats, vitamins; minerals; fibres.    
2 I can predict possible future trends in the local consumption of fruits and vegetables.
Future trends: organic production versus non-organic production; fruits and vegetable consumption.
1 I can sow/transplant the number of plants/seeds needed for a specific land area according to your calculations.

Calculate area of plot;
Calculate number of seeds/plants needed according to respective spacing.

2 I can practise routine work that is required for the production of a crop/ornamental plant using appropriate health and safety equipment.
Routine work: using appropriate health and safety equipment; tray preparation; seeding/sowing; tray tag marking; watering; transplanting; laying of irrigation pipes; using a hoe; weeding; harvesting.

Learning Outcome: 3. I can apply a suitable fertiliser using the appropriate technique.

6 I can indicate the appropriate nutrient/s for specific production objectives. 
Nutrient: Macro; Micro;
Production Objective: fast leaf growth; fast fruit growth; leaf and fruit turgidity; healthy flowering.
Deficiency symptoms: stunting; total leaf chlorosis; interveinal chlorosis; leaf edge chlorosis; blossom end rot; tip burn; leaf purpling; loss of leaves; yellow spots; poor root growth.
Fertilisers: straight; compound; organic; inorganic; foliar; water soluble; slow release. 

3 I can discuss the advantages and disadvantages of manure use in vegetable production.
Advantages: e.g. nutrients, aeration, humus, drainage, water retention;
Disadvantages: e.g. pathogens, nutrient leaching, bad odours, weeds, storage difficulties.

4 I can explain the hazards and risks in your working environment. 
Hazards: e.g. sharp objects, tools and machinery, fuel, electricity, direct sunlight, not wearing the appropriate PPEs, pesticides and fertilisers, lifting heavy objects, dust, heights;
Risks: e.g. cuts, burns, injuries, infections, poisoning, electric shock, heat stroke, back pains, eye irritation, respiratory problems.

  • Act 27 of 2000 - Occupational Health and Safety Authority Act;

  • LN 44 of 2002 - Work Place (Minimum Health and Safety Requirements) Regulations, 

  • LN 35 of 2003 - Protection against Risks of Back Injury at Work Placement Regulations, 

  • LN 36 of 2003 - General Provisions for Health and Safety at Work Places Regulations, 

  • LN 121 of 2003 - Minimum Requirements for the use of Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations, 

  • Malta's National Action Plan for Sustainable Use of Pesticides (2013-2018).

3 I can apply the proper fertiliser to reduce a given deficiency in a vegetable plant using appropriate health and safety equipment.
Identification of deficiency;
Choosing the suitable fertiliser;
Applying the fertiliser.

Learning Outcome: 4. I can understand the purpose and methods used for soil analysis.

7 I can describe the process, tools and materials required to take and analyse soil samples.
Process: zigzag pattern; depth of sample;
Tools: auger; hand drill; spade; soil test kit;
Materials: labelled bags; marker. 
8 I can define the parameters that are commonly determined in soil sample analysis.
Parameters: pH; sodium; chloride; nitrogen; phosphorus; potassium; conductivity; calcium.
5 I can select plants that are the most suitable for specific soil parameters according to the results of a soil sample.
Soil Parameters: pH; sodium; conductivity.


Learning Outcome: 5. I can understand the soil factors which contribute to healthy plant growth. 

9 I can describe how biotic and abiotic soil factors can effect plant growth.
Soil types: The Maltese soils within the world reference base for soil resources.

Biotic: e.g. bacteria, mycorrhizae, earthworms, pathogens;
Abiotic: e.g. pH, soil water, soil texture, soil structure, temperature, nutrient availability, organic matter, porosity, drainage.                  
10  I can list activities which can improve the soil fertility.
Activities: mulching; tilling; liming; fertilisation; addition of organic matter; crop rotation; soil topping; increasing sand content.

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