Horticulture is a branch of agriculture that deals with cultivation of fruits, vegetables, and ornamental plants. The word horticulture is derived from the latin words 'hortus' meaning garden and 'colere' meaning to cultivate. Horticulture is both a science and an art of growing plants with improved growth, quality, yield, and with resistance to diseases, insects, stress etc. There are four main classes of horticulture: (i) Pomology (fruit farming), (ii) Olericulture (vegetable farming), (iii) Floriculture (flowers farming), (iv) Landscape gardening.
The term pomology is derived from the latin word ‘pomum’ means fruit and ‘logy’ means study. It deals with development, enhancement of fruit quality, cultivation techniques, regulation of production periods and reduction of production cost of fruits.
Olericulture is the science of growing vegetables. Vegetable farming can be classified into: i) Kitchen or Nutrition gardening ii) Commercial gardening iii) Vegetable forcing.
Kitchen gardening is growing of vegetables in small scale at household. e.g. Beans, Cabbage, Lady's finger, Tomato, Brinjal, Carrot, Spinach etc.
It is the production of vegetables in large scale to be sold in markets.
It is the method of growing vegetables in buildings, green houses, cold farms or under other artificial growing conditions. It is the most intensive type of vegetable growing. e.g. Cabbage, Tomato, Brinjal etc.
It is a framed structure covered with transparent material to grow crops under partialiy or fully controlled environmental conditions to get optimum growth and productivity. It is the fastest growing sector in the agriculture worldwide.
· Disease-free plants can be produced continuously.
· Water requirement of crops is very low.
· Yield is very high compared to outdoor cultivation.
· Limited pesticide is needed.
· It protects plants from uncertain weather.
Floriculture is the art of cultivation of flowering and ornamental plants in garden for beauty or floristry. It is concerned with growing traditional flowers, cut flowers, bedding plants, foliage potted plants, arboriculture trees, turf grass for beautification and value added products like essential oils, pharmaceutical and nutraceutical compounds. Examples: Geraniums (Pelargonium), Busy lizzies (Impatiens), Chrysanthemum and Petunia.
· Flowers are used for decoration purpose.
· They are also used for personal needs and, religious and ceremonial offerings.
· They impart colour and beauty to the garden.
· They increase country’s economy.
Landscape horticulture is the study of designing and constructing landscapes in homes, business firms and public areas.