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Another level 2 exam commentary, for Garden Planning
by Janet Prescott - Thursday, 13 June 2019, 7:16 PM

From R2113 June ‘18


a)       Name FOUR distinct methods used to advance the productive season of outdoor food crops. [4 marks]

b)      Describe TWO of the methods named in a) with the aid of a clearly labelled diagram for EACH.     [6 marks]

This question relates to the following part of the syllabus:

2.6 State the methods used to advance and extend the productive season of outdoor food crops including:  the use of polythene, mulches, fleece, ‘enviromesh’, low tunnels, cloches and cold frames. 

State the methods used to warm soil to allow early sowing; to protect crops against spring frosts and bring on tender vegetables for planting out; and to allow late crops to continue under protection.


This question is an example of one where it is really important to read the whole question before starting your answer. The second part of this asks for a clearly labelled diagram, and some of the methods are easier to draw and label than others. The methods suggested in the examiners’ comments are:

·         Cloche

·         Black polythene

·         Low polythene tunnel

·         Cold frame

·         Hot bed

·         Forcing pot

Greenhouses and walk in polythene tunnels were not given any marks, as the question is about outdoor food crops.

For part b) the examiners’ comments suggest the following description:

Low polythene tunnel has clear polythene stretched over metal hoops or a frame which is dug into the soil or weighted down. This helps to warm the soil, protects the crop from cold winds and provides frost protection to young plants.

When drawing diagrams make sure they are clear and well labelled. From the description above you can pick out parts that need labelling – clear polythene, metal hoops, and how it is secured into the ground.  The crop that it is being used for could also be included in the description and diagram.