The Rhizosphere

The rhizosphere is the area in the soil around the plant roots. It consists of soil, insects, microbes, and roots. Some soil fauna, such as spiders and their relatives, the mites, are not true insects and are called arachnids. They have eight legs. Spiders do not eat plants they eat insects that hurt the garden. Other creatures, such as slugs and snails, are also found in the soil and feed on plants. Microbes are organisms that are too small to be viewed without a microscope and include...

Soil

Soils are often described by their predominant minerals, such as sand, silt, or clay. Water drains quickly from sandy soils they also tend to be low in nutrients. Clay soils are higher in nutrients but do not drain well and can be quite sticky. Soils that have a balanced mix of sand, silt, and clay particles are called loams. When a loam soil is mixed with 3 -5 organic matter, it has the ideal texture for cultivation of a garden because it provides adequate drainage and nutrients. Soils with...

Harvest And Postharvest

Crops are grown with one ultimate purpose in mind the harvest. Harvest can begin shortly after planting if you consider that when you thin root crops such as carrots, you can eat the small baby carrots. Leafy greens such as lettuce or spinach can be harvested leaf by leaf as needed for salads. Chives and other herbs are also harvested as needed throughout the growing season. Year-round harvest can be achieved with careful planning. Crops are planted continually, every three weeks or so, to...

Horticultural Professions

Colorado State University Flower Garden

Some folks garden to grow good food, others grow gardens for the flowers. Some delight in a green, freshly cut lawn or an early spring blooming orchid in a sunny living-room window. Some like the fact that the garden adds value to their real estate. There are even those that turn their passion for gardening into a profession. There are quite a few options for the horticulturist, as described below. A degree in horticulture can provide additional opportunities. Horticulture degrees are offered...

Origins Of Horticulture

The origins of horticulture are vague because the first acts of plant cultivation by humans predate historical records. Archaeological data indicate that the cultivation of plants on a large and detectable scale coincided with global climate changes approximately 10,000 years ago. The warmer, wetter weather that followed the end of the last ice age caused changes in sea level, increased edible plant diversity, and caused human migrations into new areas. This large-scale cultivation event is...

Propagation From Cuttings

Horticulture Cuttings

Plants produced from cuttings will be clones of the parent plant. Clone is the Greek word for twig and describes plants that are reproduced without the benefit of sexual Figure 3.3 Stem cuttings from a woody ornamental Pyracantha that have developed adventitious roots. Cuttings taken from the same plant will be genetically identical to the parent and to each other. Figure 3.3 Stem cuttings from a woody ornamental Pyracantha that have developed adventitious roots. Cuttings taken from the same...

Composting How to Make Black Gold

Home Remedies For Aphids

Compost, the black crumbly material that remains after decomposition of plant residues and animal manures, is worth its weight in gold to the organic or sustainable grower, but it must be of good quality. Compost heaps can be made directly on the ground or in containers. A source of microbial inoculation, such as soil or commercially available compost starter, is also required. A proper mix of carbon and nitrogen in the starting materials is very important. Straw and dried leaves are high in...

Planning Your Garden

First, you need to determine your hardiness zone by consulting the United States National Arboretum site listed in the Further Reading section. This will narrow your choice of perennial plants to those that can survive the winter in your area. Plants that are native to the region where they are cultivated are already adapted to the soil and climate and require less work than exotic plants. If you have a passion for an exotic plant that has requirements completely different from what your...

Horticultural Methodology

Over the years, humans have compiled an impressive compendium of horticultural techniques through trial and error. The earliest written records of horticultural practices are from the first millennium B.c. in China, Mesopotamia now called Iraq , and Egypt, followed by Greece and Rome. Some of the practices mentioned in these ancient writings include the use of iron tools manure applications crop rotation double cropping large-scale irrigation projects pollination, pruning, and grafting of fruit...

Commercial Horticulture

Next time you eat a french fry, think about where the potato came from. Most of us are completely dependent on commercial horticulture to supply us with seeds, plants, produce, flowers, herbs, and all the products that are derived from them. We expect high-quality products at an affordable price. So what do you think are the biggest challenges to commercial horticulture and what can be done about them Two of the greatest concerns are the access to good quality natural resources water and soil....

Proposed Geographic origins of Edible Domesticated Plants

South American Banana Crop

Near East, Egypt, and the Mediterranean - apple, cherry, date, fig, grape, olive, pear, plum, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, caraway, leek, carrot, hazelnut, melon, garlic, lettuce, pea, onions, beet, chard, pistachio, almond, dill, parsley, poppy, lentil, carob, and flax Mountains of Central and Western China - apricot, peach, cucumber, adzuki bean, water chestnut, wasabi horseradish, ginger, cinnamon, and bamboo Southeast Asia and the Pacific Islands - grapefruit, orange, lemon, lime,...

Drip Irrigation

Circular Drip Irrigation

The water found in the pores of the soil is called the soil solution and carries dissolved nutrients as well as microbial life. Water is necessary to transfer soluble nutrients to all parts of the plant and must be present in sufficient quantities for the elongation of plant cells that contribute to growth. In waterlogged soils, water molecules displace the soil air that contains oxygen. This causes lower respiration rates in the roots and can actually decrease the ability of the plant to take...

Greenhouse Crops

Greenhouse Controlled Environment

One way to decrease the need for soil and water resources is with greenhouse production Figure 6.2 , although not all crops may be suitable for this. Greenhouse crops such as tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, peppers, herbs, and strawberries are grown with hydroponics. Technically, the term hydroponic describes plants grown in water that has been amended with soluble nutrients, but now it is also often used to describe plants grown in some type of sterilized material to give the roots a place to...

Plant Collectors

One of the more adventurous horticultural professions is that of the plant collector. The earliest recorded expedition was by the Egyptian queen Hatusu Hatshepsut in approximately 1495 B.c. The sought-after plants in this trip were those that produced frankincense and myrrh, used in Egypt for embalming, incense, cosmetics, and medicine. The live trees were transported from the Land of Punt coastal Somalia, Eastern Sudan, Eritrea via the Red Sea, Gulf of Suez, and the Nile River. Botanical...

Propagation Of New Plants From Seeds

Temperature Propagation Fire

Seeds are dormant, embryonic plants developed from fertilized ovules. All seeds contain an embryonic stem, an embryonic root, and meristems. The seed is surrounded by a protective seed coat. In addition, monocot plants have a single large nutritious cotyledon, whereas dicots have two nutritious cotyledons. The cotyledons supply food to the seedling until it begins photosynthesis. The most important factors for seed germination are a properly prepared seedbed, consistent moisture, and adequate...