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Sample question from Level 2 Plant Growth
by Janet Prescott - Tuesday, 17 April 2018, 11:34 PM

R2104 Feb ‘17

Q1 a) Name ONE plant example that produces fine seeds which are sown indoors (1 mark)

b) Describe how to prepare a container prior to sowing fine seed. (6 marks)

c) State THREE methods of avoiding diseases during seed germination. (3 marks)

This question relates directly to 2.1 of the syllabus:

2.1 Describe the process of growing seeds in containers.

For EACH of the following plants, identify suitable containers and growing media; describe the method of sowing; pricking out; potting off; aftercare: Begonia semperflorens Cultorum Group (fine seed), Lactuca sativa (medium seed), Cucurbita pepo (large seed).

Describe methods of avoiding pest and disease problems, to include: clean water, hygienic conditions (containers, sterile growing media and growing environment), sowing density.

For part a) you need to remember to give the full botanical name of the plant example. There is an example given in the syllabus which you could use. It is important to learn any plant examples provided in the syllabus as questions could be asked directly about these. For this question other appropriate examples are also acceptable.

For part b) a longer answer is required as it is a description. For any practical task it is important to go through the stages in a logical order. The examiner’s comments suggested the following:

·        Suitable container e.g. half or full seed tray or half pot

·        Clean, sterile equipment

·        Sterile growing media

·        Suitable growing media e.g. John Innes seed or loam-less peat or peat alternative based

·        Over fill container with growing media

·        Tap down to settle growing media

·        Level off

·        Firm with firming/presser board

·        Sieve fine layer of growing media on surface

·        Pre-soak container


As the question asks you for preparation prior to sowing, no detail of the sowing would be given any marks. It is very easy to waste time answering things that aren’t required for the question. A useful way of remembering what is required is to underline or circle key words in the question before you answer them.


Part c) clearly shows where the marks are awarded with the number of methods required in bold and capitals. There are three distinct methods included on the syllabus: clean water, hygienic conditions and sowing density. Other appropriate methods were also accepted. Shorter answers are required for ‘state’ than they are for ‘describe’ and suggested answers included:

·        Sowing seed thinly to avoid diseases e.g. damping off

·        Provide good air flow/ventilation

·        Practice good hygiene

·        Use of clean water