9.5 Effects of temperature, RH, atmospheric gases, ethylene and light
Hartman, H. T., Kester, D. E., Davies, F. T. and Geneve, R. L. (2002) Plant propagation principles and practices(6th Edition) Eastern Economic Edition
Janick, J. (1986) Horticultural Science (4th Edition) Freeman and Company
Jeffrey, C. (1982) An introduction to plant taxonomy (2nd Ed) Cambridge University Press
1.0 ORIGINS OF HORTICULTURE
The concept of horticulture is part of agriculture.
The word agriculture (agri- field; culture- tillage) means tillage of the soil leading to the production of crops.
Agriculture can be traced back to the Neolithic Age (9 000-7000BC), when man changed from being a hunter and a gatherer to managing or manipulating individual species of plant and animal.
Horticulture is a concept that later started in the 17th Century. In literature, the term first appeared in 1631 by Peter Lauremberg as ‘horticultura’.
In English, horticulture was first mentioned in “The New World of English Words” by Phillips E. in 1678.
The word is derived from the Latin names ‘hortus’, which means garden; and ‘colere’ meaning to cultivate.
Horticulture is part of agriculture concerned with garden crops, as contrasted with agronomy (field crops, mainly grains and forages) and forestry (forest trees and products)
Garden is derived from Anglo-Saxon term ‘gyrdan’ which means to enclose.
Garden crops traditionally include fruits, vegetables, and all plants grown for ornamental purposes, as well as spices and medicinal plants.
Horticulture deals with intensively cultivated crops, which are of high value to warrant high input of labour and capital.
Crops have also been separated using custom e.g. tobacco and potatoes may be classified as agronomic crops despite their characteristics.
DEFINITION OF HORTICULTURE
The division of agriculture which relates to the culture of those plants commonly known as fruits, vegetables and ornamental plants [Schilleter and Ritchley, (1940)Textbook of general horticulture. McGraw-Hill Book Company, New York and London]
The intensive cultivation of plants [Halfacre R. G. and Barden, J. A. (1979), Horticulture. McGraw-Hill, USA]
The branch of agriculture concerned with intensively cultivated plants, directly used by people for food, for medicinal purposes, or for aesthetic gratification [Janick, J. (1986) Horticultural Science (4th Ed.). W. H. Freeman and Company, USA]
It is part of plant agriculture that is concerned with so-called garden crops [Hartman H. T., Kester, D. E. and Davies, F. T. (1990)]
RELATIONSHIPS OF HORTICULTURE TO AGRICULTURAL BRANCHES
Olericulture: It is the division of horticulture concerned with the science and art of vegetable production
Pomology: It is the division of horticulture concerned with the science of fruit production.
Nursery culture: It is the branch of horticulture that is concerned with production of young fruit trees, ornamentals and vegetable seedlings
Landscape design: It is the branch of horticulture that deals with the planning and planting of outdoor environment to produce the most desirable relationships between landforms, buildings and plants to best meet people’s objectives for function and beauty.