Horticulture Training Centre
The Horticulture Training Centre is a resource used for the delivery of education, training and technology programmes for horticulture students from Level 2 Diploma through to our Foundation Degree. The centre is also used to evaluate and demonstrate horticulture technologies to new and existing growers. HTC comprises of:
- The Protected Crops Unit
- The Hardy Ornamental Nursery Stock Unit
- The Biosecurity Unit
The first two units are used for edible and ornamental crop production. There are six compartmented computer controlled glasshouses, Dutch light glasshouses, polytunnels and a standing out area for hardy ornamental species. A range of irrigation systems are used including the traditional overhead watering system, nutrient film technique, trickle tape system and various ebb and flood systems supplied by mains and bore hole water supply.
The Biosecurity Unit is a quarantine facility. All incoming plants are isolated for a fixed period to ensure they are free of pests and diseases before entering the main growing units.
Technologies currently being investigated at the Horticulture Training Centre include:
- Peat alternatives as a growing medium
- Biofumigants for weed and disease suppression
- Techniques to accelerate the production of high value ornamentals
- Precision irrigation techniques
- Extended season production of cut flowers and foliage species
The centre is also currently being equipped to demonstrate the latest renewable energy technologies i.e. wind turbine, biomass boiler and solar panel.