Horticulture: Principles and Practices / Edition 4

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Now in its fourth edition, Horticulture: Principles and Practices continues to explore horticulture as a science, an art, and a business, meeting the practical information needs of everyone involved in the discipline – from the small urban gardener/hobbyist to the large-scale producer. Hailed by many as the leading text of its kind and the best introductory horticulture book available today, this new edition is completely updated to include the latest developments and newest technologies. New features include two sets of sixteen-page color inserts, over 150 new photos, and Industry Highlights provided by twelve horticulture experts. The color inserts are directly and effectively tied to the text and are referenced throughout.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780131592476
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall
  • Publication date: 6/1/2008
  • Series: Alternative eText Formats Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 4
  • Pages: 816
  • Sales rank: 502,973
  • Product dimensions: 8.40 (w) x 10.90 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Meet the Author

George Acquaah is Professor and Chair of the Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources at Langston University. A well-known researcher, educator, and author in the field, he is the recipient of numerous prestigious awards for excellence in research, teaching, and publishing, including the USDA Award for Excellence in College and University Teaching in the Food and Agricultural Sciences and the coveted Millennium Award for Excellence in Teaching, presented by the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

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Table of Contents


1. What Is Horticulture?

2. Classifying and Naming Horticultural Products.

3. Plant Anatomy.

4. Plant Growth Environment.

5. Plant Physiology.

6. Breeding Horticultural Plants


7. Biological Enemies of Horticultural Plants.

8. Principles and Methods of Disease and Pest Control.


9. Sexual Propagation.

10. Asexual Propagation.


11. Growing Houseplants.

12. Controlled-Environment Horticulture.

13. Greenhouse Production

14. Growing Succulents.


15. Principles of Landscaping.

16. Nursery Production.

17. Installation of the Landscape

18. Turf Production and Use.

19. Pruning.


20. Growing Vegetables Outdoors.

21. Herb Gardening.

22. Organic Farming.

23. Establishment and Management of an Orchard


24. Floral Design.

25. Terrarium Culture

26. Bonsai: The Art of Miniature Plant Culture

27. Post-Harvest Handling of Horticultural Products

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Horticulture is the area of plant science that caters to the needs of a broad range of people, from the small backyard farmer in the urban area to the large-scale producer. Horticulture's adaptability to the home situation makes it attractive to people from all walks of life, including those who may not wish to study agriculture or be identified as farmers in the way society defines them but are willing to grow and care for plants. Horticulture is thus a popular instructional program and part-time activity indulged in by many people. The horticulture industry, as explained in the text, is making it increasingly more attractive for nonprofessional plant growers to participate in plant culture at various levels and for various needs.

The purpose of this text is to provide a resource for use in instruction in the fundamentals of horticulture and as a reference for hobbyists and professionals. As an instructional text, Horticulture: Principles and Practices is designed for use at the undergraduate level. Emphasis is placed on instruction in the basic principles and practices of horticulture, thereby minimizing regional and national biases.

Horticulture is presented as a science, an art, and a business. However, large-scale production is not described in detail but is adequately discussed as appropriate for this level of presentation. A format with unique features is adopted throughout the text. First, the text is divided into parts, within which related topics are treated as chapters. Chapters on broad topics are subdivided into appropriate modules. Each chapter opens with a stated purpose or objective, followed by a list of expected outcomes upon completionof the chapter. The key words and terminologies encountered in the text are listed next, providing an opportunity for the reader to evaluate his or her understanding of the material in the text. An overview is designed to introduce the subjects to be discussed and to define the scope of presentation. Each subject is discussed under clearly defined headings and subheadings. Key words and terminologies in the text are highlighted in italics and defined or explained. The reader is also frequently referred to other places in the text where certain key terminologies or concepts are presented in detail. The reader is thus able to refresh his or her memory, if need be, to facilitate the learning of the current material. A brief summary at the end of each chapter reviews the main message for emphasis. A list of literature is presented at the end of each chapter to acknowledge the sources consulted by the author in preparing the text and to suggest sources for further information on the topics discussed. If one has difficulty in defining or explaining any terminology or key word, the glossary at the end of the text may be used as a quick reference. Practical activities to enhance the understanding of the material discussed are suggested at the end of the chapters. Finally, the student is provided an opportunity to assess whether the material in the chapter was really understood. The outcomes assessment is conducted at three levels. The first part requires the reader to simply agree or disagree with a statement. The second part is designed to test the understanding of terminologies and concepts and requires the student to provide specific information. Lastly, part three of the outcomes assessment requires the student to think a little harder and to discuss, explain, or describe events, concepts, principles, or methodologies and to communicate effectively in writing.

The presentation includes many photographs, line drawings, and tables to facilitate the comprehension of the material and for a quick reference. The materials included in this textbook were chosen to provide the student and the user a complete introduction to the four general areas of horticulture: ornamental horticulture, fruit culture, vegetable culture, and landscape architecture. Part 1 is devoted to describing the underlying science. The amount of time spent on these chapters depends on the background of the student. The presentation is such that the reader clearly sees the relevance of the science in horticulture. Topics are presented from the point of view of the horticulturist. The chapters take the reader through a review of pertinent topics in plant taxonomy, plant anatomy, plant growth environment, plant physiology, and plant genetics and improvement. The role of these disciplines of science in the horticultural industry and how they are applied or manipulated to increase the performance of plants are also discussed.

Part 2 is devoted to a discussion of how horticultural plants are protected. In this section, the student learns about biological enemies of horticultural plants and the principles and methods of disease and pest control. Part 3 presents a discussion on plant propagation, discussing the characteristics of sexual and asexual methods of propagating plants.

Growing plants indoors forms the theme for Part 4. Horticulture can be conducted in an open area or under a controlled environment where growth factors are manipulated for the optimal performance of plants. The student learns how the greenhouse is designed and used in the production of plants. Hydroponics is discussed in some detail. In this section, the student is instructed in the science and art of growing plants in containers in the home and office.

Part 5 discusses growing plants outdoors, including detailed coverage of the installation, use, and maintenance of plants in the landscape. A discussion on the establishment and maintenance of a lawn, as well as pruning and landscape maintenance tools, is also presented.

Part 6 focuses on the culture of plants for food, especially in the home garden. Selected garden crops and herbs are discussed. Methods of growing fruit trees and small fruits are presented, and a selected number of small fruits are discussed in detail.


I am very grateful to Jeanne Bronson, whose persistence inspired me to undertake this project. The following reviewers provided valuable input for the preparation of this second edition: Monte R. Anderson, Wilmington College; Michael E. Compton, University of Wisconsin; and Curt R. Rom, University of Arkansas. I extend sincere thanks to Mr. Larry Acker of Langston University for providing all the black and white photos; also the management of the TLC Greenhouse of Edmond, Oklahoma; the Homeland Store of Guthrie, Oklahoma; and the Oklahoma State University horticulture greenhouse, for graciously providing the subjects for those photos. Similarly, I thank Mr. Isaac Sithole for providing a dozen sketches that were later refined for line drawings. Deep appreciation is extended to Ms. Gail Latimer and Mr. Brent Pannell of the Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources at Langston University for their clerical assistance. Finally, I thank Nana Nyame for his guidance, support, and help throughout the entire project.

George Acquaah

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