From - Plant Encyclopedia and Gardening wiki
Jump to: navigation, search

Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture

Education, Horticultural. In the United States and Canada, instruction in horticulture is part of the publicly maintained colleges of agriculture. In Canada, these colleges are provincial rather than national or established by the Dominion. The Canadian colleges of agriculture are: Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, Truro, N. S.; Quebec, Sainte Anne de Bellevue (only in part provincial); Ontario, Guelph; Manitoba, Winnipeg; Saskatchewan, Saskatoon; British Columbia, in plan at the university being established at Victoria.

In the United States, general horticultural education is mostly a part of a national system of professional and applied education of collegiate grade or name. There is a college of agriculture in every state in the Union, being part of a national system with cooperation and aid from the State. (For list, see Experiment Stations, p. 1195.)

There is little development, as yet, in North America of the training-school idea on either a private or a public basis, and relatively few institutions or establishments in which persons are trained for gardening," as they are trained in the Old World. There is no recognized apprentice system for gardeners. The whole subject, therefore, needs to be considered quite by itself and not in comparison with systems or methods of education in horticulture in other and older countries; and it is necessary to understand something of the system of publicly endowed industrial education, of which instruction in horticulture is a part. The general nature of these institutions in both Canada and the United States may be understood from a brief discussion of the hind-grant institutions in the latter country.

The public industrial education of the United States, of college grade, is founded on the Land-Grant Act of 1862. By the terms of this great instrument, every state received from the federal government 30,000 acres of land for every representative that it had in Congress, the proceeds of which are to be used for "the endowment, support, and maintenance of at least one college where the leading object shall be, without excluding other scientific and classical studies, and including military tactics, to teach such branches of learning as are related to agriculture and the mechanic arts, in such manner as the legislature of the states may respectively prescribe, in order to promote the liberal and practical education of the industrial classes in the several pursuits and professions in life." This endowment has been supplemented by subsequent direct federal appropriations, to further the objects for which the original grant was made. On this foundation, all the forty-eight states comprising the Union have established colleges of agriculture and the mechanic arts, about half of them separate institutions and about half of them connected with or part of state universities or other general institutions. The states themselves have supplemented and extended the proceeds of the land-grant. These and the Canadian colleges represent many types of organization and method. Their purpose is increasingly to train young men and women broadly by means of agricultural and country-life subjects. They are now exerting great influence in re-directing rural civilization. They are rapidly putting agricultural and rural subjects into educational form, and are demonstrating that such subjects may have training and even cultural value equal to that of historical subjects.

The agricultural colleges contain many departments, and horticulture is usually one of these departments, coordinate with the others. Some of these departments, aside from the work in the fundamental arts and sciences, are as follows: agricultural chemistry, agronomy, entomology, plant physiology, plant pathology, bacteriology, plant-breeding, soils, farm crops, farm management (the principles of business as applied to farming), horticulture, pomology, floriculture, forestry, animal husbandry, poultry husbandry, veterinary, dairy industry or dairy husbandry, home economics, farm mechanics and engineering, rural economy or agricultural economics, landscape gardening or landscape art, drawing, rural education, meteorology, and extension teaching. It will be seen, therefore, that horticulture is only one contributing part in an educational establishment for the teaching of agriculture in a broad way.

Aside from these publicly endowed or maintained institutions, there are a few other regular colleges that teach horticulture with other work, but they have not made great headway, although the subject may assert itself strongly in some of them in the future. There are two or three training-schools, one for women. More training-schools will be needed.

The students in agriculture in the colleges of agriculture number many thousands, in some cases 1,000 and more in one institution. They come from all walks and conditions of life, and from city and country alike. Some of them, of course, have strong inclinations for horticulture, and soon specialize in that subject. The full course of instruction is four years, following college entrance requirements, and the student at graduation receives a diploma carrying Bachelor of Science or a similar degree. In many of these institutions, post-graduate work in a variety of subjects is provided, leading to a master's degree or even to a doctor's degree.

The first institutions to develop horticulture as a separate subject appear to have been those in Michigan, under W. W. Tracy, Chas. W. Garfield and successors, Mr. Tracy having been instructor in horticulture as early as 1867; New York (1874) and in Ohio under W. R. Lazenby; and in Iowa (1876) under J. L. Budd. The instruction by means of horticulture has now grown to great importance in many of the colleges, the staffs comprising, in some cases, as many as fifteen to thirty persons.

The horticultural work in the colleges.

We may now consider the horticultural teaching work of these colleges in more detail.

In the early days of such instruction, the horticulture was set "over against the agriculture, and these two comprised the main applied groups. The breaking-out of the group of horticulture was really the beginning of the broadening of these institutions and of their more perfect articulation with the conditions before them.

Horticulture, as understood in these colleges, comprises fruit-growing, flower-growing, vegetable-gardening, together with the nursery and glasshouse subjects naturally associated with them. With the further differentiation of the curriculum, horticulture tends to be split or separated into its three main parts, with separate units or teacherships for each, but this division has not yet proceeded far in most of the institutions. If this division is ever carried to its conclusion, the name "horticulture" as an educational unit may pass out.

In the colleges, horticulture is regarded as a phase of the general agricultural field. For the most part, the student approaches the subject from the point of view of farming by means of fruits or vegetables or even of flowers. The strictly amateur phase is incidentally emphasized as a rule, and this undoubtedly is one of the weaknesses of the American horticultural instruction. The amateur attitude, however, will appear more markedly as the country develops and matures. The present attitude very well represents the development that America is now making, as expressed particularly in the great orchard interests. The gardeners, as a group, have had relatively little touch with these institutions in the way of dictating or even influencing their development. So far as institutions are concerned, the gardening phase of horticulture is well expressed where the great collections are, as at the Shaw or Missouri Botanical Gardens. Arnold Arboretum, New York Botanic Gardens, and others; and these institutions will also produce highly trained specialists in small numbers in related scientific lines.

The content of the work in the land-grant colleges varies greatly, depending, of course, on the constituency of the particular college as well as on the staff. Naturally, in the states in which horticultural interests are large, the work will express itself strongly in the college. Some of the courses in horticulture now offered in different colleges of agriculture may be displayed, showing how the subject is divided and what is considered to be the content of the instruction.

These examples are chosen only to show the kind and the range of representative courses, and the writer makes no comment on them. Other courses might be chosen from the catalogues, but these are sufficient for illustration. In some cases, practically the same subject is entered twice: this represents the way in which the subject is phrased in different institutions. Some of the courses in landscape work that are given by departments of horticulture are also included.

Elements of horticulture. — Fruit-growing, vegetable-gardening and ornamental planting, with special reference to the farm home.

Gardening. — A personal and informal course for lovers of plants and gardens. The course consists of actual work with identification and growing plants, supplemented by conferences and informal discussions. Attention is given to garden literature and history, planning of grounds.

Cultivated plants. — The relationship and classification of certain economic and ornamental plants of the temperate zone; identification of species; examination of living plants and herbarium specimens.

Evolution of horticultural plants.—History, botanical classification, and geographical distribution of cultivated plants; modification under culture; theoretical causes and observed factors that influence variation, particularly food-supply, climate and cross-fertilization.

Amateur floriculture.—Window-gardening; growing of flowers on the home grounds; containers; potting soils; fertilizers; preparation and planting of flower-beds; propagation and culture of plants suitable for window and garden.

Commercial floriculture.—Studies in the propagation and culture of the leading florist crops. As facilities permit, students are assigned space in the greenhouses for practical experience in the growing of roses, carnations, chrysanthemums, violets, sweet peas, and other plants. Discussions on diseases, insects, botany, and the packing, handling, and marketing of cut-flowers and plants for retail and wholesale markets. Classes participate in a required excursion.

Garden flowers.—Designed to acquaint the student with garden plants and to give practical knowledge of the propagation and culture of the annuals, herbaceous perennials, bulbs, and shrubs used for cut-flowers or in ornamental planting.

Greenhouse construction.—The development of the modern greenhouse; types of houses, materials, and methods of construction, installation of heating systems, etc. Laboratory practice in erecting section of cypress and iron frame houses, and in planning and estimating the cost of commercial ranges for flower- and vegetable-production. The class participates in a required excursion.

Greenhouse management,—Studies of the principles and practice of propagation, soils, potting, shifting, watering, ventilation, and fumigation of plants cultivated by florists.

Conservatory plants.—A study of the culture and uses of tropical and subtropical plants grown in conservatories, including palms, ferns, begonias, orchids, etc.

Floral design.—A study of the principles of floral art. Practice in the arrangement of flowers in designs and bouquets, baskets, table decorations, interior decoration, etc.

Greenhouse and garden practice.—Designed to give the student practical knowledge of greenhouse work. Lectures and exercises in greenhouse management, propagation, composting soils, potting, watering, etc.

Investigation in floriculture.—The investigation of problems in the growing of cut-flowers, exotics, and garden flowers; hybridizing; study of varieties. Designed primarily for upper classmen and graduate students.

Elements of landscape gardening.—Reconnaissance surveys and mapping, with special reference to the methods used in landscape gardening; detailed study of selected designs of leading landscape gardeners; grade design, road design and field work.

General design.—Field notes; examination of completed works and those under construction; design of architectural details, planting plans, gardens, parks and private grounds; written reports of individual problems.

Civic art.—The principles and applications of modern civic art, including city design, city improvement, village improvement, and rural improvement.

Trees and shrubs.—Plant material important to landscape gardening; landscape value of each plant with respect to adaptability to the soil and situation and the use of the plant in design.

Advanced landscape design.—Real estate subdivisions and a complete set of plans, including a sketch plan, general plan, report, detailed study of architectural features, grading plans, planting plans, set of specifications, and estimate of cost.

Landscape practice.—Interpretation of topographic maps and their relation to landscape design; calculation of cut and fill; quantities of material; preparation of grading plans and working drawings.

Exotics.—Temporary decorative plants used in landscape gardening.

Plant materials.—This course aims to make the student familiar with the character of the trees, shrubs and herbaceous perennials used in ornamental work, and with the methods of propagating them.

Decorative and bedding plants.—Tropical and subtropical plants used in decorative work in the conservatory; tender plants used in outdoor bedding.

Home vegetable-gardening.—A study of vegetables and their production for home use. The planning and management of the garden, special crop requirements, factors influencing quality, and control of pests, will be considered. The laboratory work consists of actual practice in the garden. The starting of early plants in hotbeds and frames, intercropping and succession-cropping to secure largest yields from small areas, are studied. Each student assumes charge of his own plants and carries them through to the end of the term.

Commercial vegetable-gardening.—The principles of vegetable- growing as applied in commercial production; the scope of the industry and its opportunities; choice of location; equipment; management. The vegetable crops are considered singly, as to their adaptation, culture, special requirements, varieties, enemies, marketing, and profits. The laboratory work includes exercises in growing plants under glass and in the planting and care of early outdoor vegetables. Each student assumes full charge of his own plantings.

For students specializing or desiring a fuller knowledge of vegetable-gardening, another course is given, throughout the year. Advantage is taken of the opportunity for practice in harvesting, packing, and marketing fall crops. A two-days' excursion to two or three important vegetable-growing centers some time during May constitutes a part of the course. Each student gives a part of his time to a special problem, to be agreed on. Report on this problem is presented in typewritten form.

Vegetable-forcing.—Vegetable-growing under glass. Important forcing crops. Laboratory consists of practical work in crop- production. Each student is assigned a plot in the greenhouse on which he grows vegetables to maturity, assuming full charge except in heating and ventilation. This is supplemented by descriptive studies.

Systematic vegetable crops.—Lectures and descriptive studies dealing with vegetable crops, their origin and botany. Special attention is given to varieties, and their adaptation to different cultural and market conditions. The important commercial types of the different vegetables lire grown in the garden each year, and there is an abundance of first-hand material for the course.

Advanced vegetable-gardening.—The student's time is divided between advanced studies of vegetable crops and their culture and the study of a special problem to be agreed upon. An excursion to two or three important vegetable-growing centers constitutes a part of this course.

Elementary pomology.—A study of the methods of propagation of early care of commercial fruits, including the growing of seedlings, cuttings, and layers; the principles of budding, grafting, pruning, and planting; the soils, varieties, and planting plans for the orchard.

Practical pomology.—A study of the soils and varieties for the orchard; cultivation, cover-crops, fertilization, spraying, pruning, and thinning as practised in orchard management; the picking, grading, packing, storing, and marketing of fruit. This course considers the apple, pear, quince, cherry, plum, apricot, and peach.

Systematic pomology.—A study of the varieties of the different fruits and of nomenclature, with critical descriptions; special reference being given to relationships and classification. Bush-fruits.—A lecture course which considers the grape, raspberry, blackberry, dewberry, currant, gooseberry, and strawberry. The topics discussed are: varieties, planting, culture, picking, grading, packing, and marketing.

Small-fruits and grapes.—The strawberry, raspberry, blackberry, dewberry, currant, gooseberry, grape. History; extent of cultivation; soil; location; fertilizers; propagation; planting; tillage; pruning; insect enemies; diseases; varieties; harvesting; marketing.

Spraying of fruit trees.—A study of the preparation and application of the spray mixtures used m orchard practice.

Nuciculture.—Lectures on the practical and systematic phases of nut-culture, with special reference to the cultivation and improvement of the forms native to the United States.

Subtropical pomology.—A study of citrous and other tropical fruits, with special reference to American conditions. Laboratory work in describing and judging the various fruits.

Plant-propagation.—Grafts; Duds; layers; cuttings; seeds.

Systematic pomology.—A course designed primarily for graduates and students who are preparing to do experimental work. A study of the characters and botanical relationships of the fruits of the United States. Each student is required to collect and mount a number of varieties and species.

Research in pomology.—Original investigation of problems in pomology. A typewritten thesis is required.

The equipment for the horticultural work usually (insists of classrooms, laboratories with tables and sometimes equipped for microscopic work, and herbaria; workrooms in which practice may be had in the mixing of soils, the compounding of spraying materials, the testing of machines, the study of vegetables and fruits, and the like; range of glasshouses; and a number of acres of land for gardens and orchards. Sometimes the orchard area amounts to fifty and more acres. In some colleges the plant-breeding is included with the horticulture; and in some of those that are least differentiated the plant pathology and economic entomology are also included, as also forestry. In the courses detailed above, all these subjects are excluded as horticulture, since they are likely to be handled in regular departments by themselves in numbers of different courses.

The subject of landscape architecture, or landscape gardening, has developed in the institutions in the United States from two sides. When it is an offshoot of colleges or departments of architecture, or when strongly dominated by architectural ideas, it is likely to be known as landscape architecture. In the agricultural colleges, however, the subject has developed mostly from the horticultural or gardening side, and has usually been called landscape gardening. As a part of the curriculum, landscape gardening is given more or less attention in nearly all the land-grant institutions. In three or four of them, however, the subject is now being given special and professional attention, as also at Harvard. Two institutions in this country give a post-graduate degree, Master of Landscape Architecture or Master of Landscape Design.

Other forms of horticultural teaching.

The colleges of agriculture are engaged rather largely in extension work, the extension meaning all educational efforts prosecuted at the homes and on the farms of the people. The extension work is welfare work, and it is properly a necessary part of an institution that is maintained by the people for the service of the people. Some of this extension work is horticultural. It comprises tests and experiments in orchards, gardens, and greenhouses; cooperation with growers' associations; surveys of conditions and industries; the issuing of popular bulletins and other literature; lecture-courses, reading-courses, and much correspondence. See Extension Teaching in Horticulture, page 1199.

The experiment and research work of the institutions is also of course educational, but this effort is reserved for separate discussion. See Experiment Stations, page 1195.

In the public schools, there is now a strong sentiment for the introduction of agriculture. This pertains in all parts of the United States and Canada. This agricultural instruction will be organized eventually on the same basis as other instruction in the common schools. Agriculture will include a great variety of subjects, the horticultural affairs being given their due consideration. This will result in a gradual redirection of the youthful mind toward horticultural and other rural pursuits.

The nature-study movement is widespread and established, and the material of the teaching is largely of plants. School-gardening is growing in popularity and importance. All these subjects are finding their way into normal schools and colleges, in some of which there is definite horticultural work for the training of teachers. Correspondence courses, the rural press, state departments of agriculture, and other agencies and enterprises are also forwarding horticultural education as a part of the general rural betterment.

In the United States and Canada, horticulture is largely a training for citizenship, on the basis of general collegiate education. The Americans have had a continental area to discover and to conquer; they are endeavoring to conquer it by many means, and the most fundamental means is by organizing all industry educationally. The horticultural subjects are important not only in themselves but in their personal appeal, and the organizing of horticultural knowledge into large plans and methods of human training is one of the best privileges of any people. L. H. B.


The above text is from the Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture. It may be out of date, but still contains valuable and interesting information which can be incorporated into the remainder of the article. Click on "Collapse" in the header to hide this text.


External links

blog comments powered by Disqus
Personal tools
Bookmark and Share