WHAT IS HORTICULTURE?
Horticulture is the science and art of producing, improving, marketing, and using fruits, vegetables, flowers, and ornamental plants. It differs from botany and other plant sciences in that horticulture incorporates both science and aesthetics.
Flowers and ornamental plants enrich our homes and communities, and contribute to our sense of well-being. Horticulture impacts our lives on a daily basis by providing nutritious fruits and vegetables, offering visual enjoyment, and promoting recreational activities.
CLASSES OF HORTICULTURE
Horticulture is classified into the following;
- Arboriculture is the study of, and the selection, plant, care, and removal of, individual trees, shrubs, vines, and other perennial woody plants.
- Turf management includes all aspects of the production and maintenance of turf grass for sports, leisure use or amenity use.
- Floriculture includes the production and marketing of floral crops.
- Landscape horticulture includes the production, marketing and maintenance of landscape plants.
- Olericulture includes the production and marketing of vegetables.
- Pomology includes the production and marketing of pome fruits.
- Viticulture includes the production and marketing of grapes.
- Oenology includes all aspects of wine and wine making.
- Postharvest physiology involves maintaining the quality of and preventing the spoilage of plants and animals.
KEY POINT: *Plants help remove chemicals and bacteria from water in the ground*
PLANTS AND THE ENVIRONMENT
The environment shapes plants, but plants also influence the environment. They store carbon, fix nitrogen and produce oxygen. They shape weather patterns, provide flood defense, purify water, provide food, and offer solace and inspiration.
Plants make oxygen. One of the materials that plants produce as they make food is oxygen gas. This oxygen gas, which is an important part of the air, is the gas that plants and animals must have in order to stay alive. When people breathe, it is the oxygen that we take out of the air to keep our cells and bodies alive. Plants reduce pollution by reducing the amount of carbon dioxide in the air and giving off oxygen – just what we need to survive! This is called photosynthesis.
Trees and plants absorb sound and help with noise pollutions. For people who live near a motorway or railway, planting trees can prevent some of the noise from roads and trains disturbing homes.