The New Student's Reference Work/Horticulture

Hor′ticul′ture, the art of growing fruits, vegetables, flowers and plants for domestic use and for decoration. It applies the known principles of chemistry, physics, plant-physiology etc., and includes vegetables and fruit-growing and floral and landscape-gardening.

Fruitgrowing has developed remarkably within the last 60 years in the United States. Previous to that time it hardly was a separate industry in any large section of the country, but gradually the parts of the country suited to particular kinds of fruitgrowing have been located; for example: the peachproducing areas of Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, Michigan and Georgia, the grape section of New York and Ohio and the semitropical fruit-regions of Florida and southern California. In consequence the various phases of fruitgrowing as a business have become differentiated. Tillage, pruning, spraying, packing, harvesting, transporting etc. have all come to demand special attention. The state experimental stations of the agricultural colleges have been of great service in promoting the development of this industry, especially where they have been able to investigate the different problems of the various localities.

Vegetablegrowing has undergone a somewhat similar development. The growth of large cities created a demand for a great variety of vegetables. With increased transportation facilities it became practicable to send the early vegetables from the south to the towns and cities of the north, and this business has in the last 30 years assumed large proportions. Some important regions for the production of early vegetables are Virginia, North and South Carolina, Florida, Texas and California. The growing of early vegetables under glass is also a business of considerable importance in the vicinity of cities. Horticulture gradually merges into several of the various phases of agriculture.

Floriculture is the third main branch of horticulture. This includes landscape-gardening, which is the art of so growing and disposing of flowers and plants as to create a beautiful landscape effect. Examples of the product of the art are to be seen in our well-kept city parks and in the private grounds of some persons of means throughout the country. Landscape-gardening is really one of the fine arts.

Along with horticulture have developed various allied industries, as that of the nursery, of seed production, preparation of fertilizers, manufacture of baskets and barrels, canning factories etc.