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Notes on 1. Introduction to Horticulture

Notes on 1. Introduction to Horticulture

Source: Introduction to Horticulture by N. Kumar

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Origin and Definition:

  • ‘Horticulture’ term was first appeared in 17th century writings.
  • ‘Horticulture’ derived from Latin "Hortus" (garden) and "cultura" (cultivation).
  • Modern horticulture: Science and practice of growing fruits, vegetables, ornamental plants, spices, and medicinal plants.
  • Horticulture focuses on "garden crops" (fruits, vegetables, spices, etc.).
  • Horticultural crops features:
    • Highly perishable, utilized fresh.
    • Intensive cultivation with high inputs (capital, labor, technology).
    • Rich in vitamins and minerals.
    • Can be aesthetic or ornamental.
  • Horticultural focus on intensive cultivation of high-value, perishable crops.
  • Horticultural crops are rich in vitamins, minerals, and aesthetic appeal.

Divisions of Horticulture:

  • Pomology: Study of fruit crops, classified as woody (trees, shrubs, vines) or herbaceous (prostrate or upright).
  • Olericulture: Study of vegetable crops, classified as annuals, biennials, or perennials.
  • Floriculture: Study of ornamental plants, including cut flowers, potted plants, and landscape plants.
  • Landscape Horticulture: Design, construction, and maintenance of landscapes.

Fruit Crops:

  • Classified by plant type (woody/herbaceous), growth habit (deciduous/evergreen), temperature requirements (temperate/subtropical/tropical), and humidity tolerance (arid/semi-arid/humid).
  • Examples: Apple, pear, mango, litchi, strawberry, banana.

Vegetable Crops:

  • Classified by plant part harvested (roots, stems, leaves, flowers, fruits, seeds).
  • Examples: Tomato, potato, carrot, spinach, cauliflower, beans.

Additional Notes:

  • Horticulture also includes arboriculture (study of trees) and postharvest management of crops.
  • Horticultural practices like propagation, pruning, and harvesting require specialized skills.
  • Horticultural science plays a vital role in food security, nutrition, and environmental sustainability.

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