HORT*1130 Science of Gardening

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The following description is for the course offering in Fall 2021 and is subject to change. It is provided for information only. The course outline distributed to the class at the beginning of the semester describes the course content and delivery, and defines the methods and criteria to be used in establishing the final grades for the course.

This course examines the growth, development and physiology of horticultural species used for food and ornamental aesthetic purposes. The interaction between plants and impact of environmental factors such as light, temperature, CO2 and humidity.

This course is not acceptable for students in the BSC, BSC(Agr) or BSC(Env) programs.


Teaching Assistant:

Emily McFaul mcfaule@uoguelph.ca

Credit Weight:


Course Level:

  • Undergraduate

Academic Department (or campus):

Department of Plant Agriculture



Semester Offering:

  • Fall

Class Schedule and Location:

Please refer to Web Advisor for class schedule and location.

Learning outcomes:

By the end of this course, you should be able to:

  1. Define horticulture and describe some important milestones in the development of gardens and gardening

  2. Describe how plants capture the sun’s energy and converts it into dry matter and allocate dry matter to its various organs

  3. Explain how mineral nutrition, water and the environment impacts plant growth and development

  4. Describe structure and function of various tissues and organs in plants. Explain how these morphological features help plants survive in different environments. 

  5. Differentiate between asexual and sexual reproduction in plants, and describe their importance in propagating horticultural crops

  6. Discuss the role of biotechnology in development of food and ornamental crops

  7. Read and gather information from the scientific literature about various garden species 

  8. Accurately and effectively communicate about a garden plant species in written and graphic form describing its genetic background, growth, development and physiology as well as care and maintenance and potential uses.

Lecture Content:

Topics to be covered in lectures include:

  • What is Gardening?
  • Where did Plants Come From?
  • Plant Types, Families and Evolution
  • Plant Bits and Pieces
  • Plant genetics, mutation and breeding
  • Plant transformation and biotechnology
  • Plant Environment Effects - Light
  • Plant Environment Effects – Water
  • Plant Environment Effects – Temperature
  • Plant Environment Effects – Soils & Nutrients
  • Plant Vegetative Propagation, Tissue Culture and Pruning
  • Plant Pests and Diseases, Weeds and Intergrated Pest Management
  • Beneficial Plants and Postharvest Handling
Labs & Seminars:
There will be no lab component in this course.

Course Assignments and Tests:

Assignment or Test
Contribution to Final Grade







Quiz # 1, UC/EC Bovey Tour 5%  
Quiz # 2, GTI Tour 5%  
Quiz # 3, Arboretum 1 Tour 5%  
Quiz # 4, Arboretum 2 Tour 5%  

Final Exam



Final examination:

Please refer to Web Advisor for class schedule and location.

As this exam is scheduled by the University there is no flexibility to alter the date and time unless you are registered with Student Accessibility Services, SAS, and will require special arrangements scheduled through that office. 

Course Resources:

Recommended Texts::

J.D. Mauseth. Plant & People. Jones and Bartlett Learning (Textbook); the recommended text has been ordered by the bookstore. It is also in reserve in the library.

Lab Manual:


Other Resources:

Important materials such as journal articles, links to readings and videos that support lectures will be posted to Courselink as required.

Field Trips:

There are no scheduled field trips but we may visit greenhouses and gardens on campus. There will be no cost involved.

Additional Costs:

There are no additional costs associated with the course.

Other Resources:

This course will use a variety of technologies including:

  • CourseLink (main classroom)
  • Zoom
  • Teams (via Office 365)

This course is being offered using CourseLink (powered by D2L's Brightspace), the University of Guelph's online learning management system (LMS). By using this service, you agree to comply with the University of Guelph's Access and Privacy Guidelines. Please visit the D2L website to review the Brightspace privacy statement and Brightspace Learning Environment web accessibility standards.

http://www.uoguelph.ca/web/privacy/ https://www.d2l.com/legal/privacy/

Technical Support

If you need any assistance with the software tools or the CourseLink website, contact CourseLink Support. Email: courselink@uoguelph.ca

Tel: 519-824-4120 ext. 56939 Toll-Free (CAN/USA): 1-866-275-1478
Support Hours (Eastern Time):
Monday thru Friday: 8:30 am–8:30 pm
Saturday: 10:00 am–4:00 pm
Sunday: 12:00 pm–6:00 pm
To help ensure you have the best learning experience possible, please review the list of system and software requirements.

CourseLink System Requirements

You are responsible for ensuring that your computer system meets the necessary system requirements. Use the browser check tool to ensure your browser settings are compatible and up to date. (Results will be displayed in a new browser window).


Important materials such as journal articles, links to readings and videos that support lectures will be posted on Courselink.


This course will use Zoom for lectures. Check your system requirements to ensure you will be able to participate.

Technical Skills

As part of your learning experience, you are expected to use a variety of technologies for assignments, lectures, teamwork, and meetings. In order to be successful in this course you will need to have the following technical skills:

  • Manage files and folders on your computer (e.g., save, name, copy, backup, rename, delete, and check properties);
  • Install software, security, and virus protection;
  • Use office applications (e.g., Word, PowerPoint, Excel, or similar) to create documents;
  • Be comfortable uploading and downloading saved files;
  • Communicate using email (e.g., create, receive, reply, print, send, download, and open attachments);
  • Navigate the CourseLink learning environment and use the essential tools, such as Dropbox, Quizzes, Discussions, and Grades (the instructions for this are given in your course);
  • Access, navigate, and search the Internet using a web browser (e.g., Firefox, Internet Explorer); and
  • Perform online research using various search engines (e.g., Google) and library databases.

Contact your course instructor if you need support with any of the above.

Course Policies:

Grading Policies:

Students missing a midterm exam for medical reasons should be prepared to show a doctor's certificate or other supporting documentation for their absence. The final exam schedule is established by the Registrar’s office and can not be altered unless through the Student Accessibility Services (SAS) office.

The text book will serve as the main source of information. Occasionally course material will be posted on the CourseLink website for the course.

Final projects will be penalized 2% per day for being late.

Undergraduate Grading Procedures: https://www.uoguelph.ca/registrar/calendars/undergraduate/current/c08/c08-grds-proc.shtml

Course Policy on Group Work:

There will be no group work assignments.

Course Policy regarding use of electronic devices and recording of lectures:

Electronic recording of classes is expressly forbidden without the consent of the instructor. When recordings are permitted they are solely for the use of the authorized student and may not be reproduced, or transmitted to others, without the express written consent of the instructor.

Other Course Information:

University Policies

Academic Consideration

When you find yourself unable to meet an in-course requirement because of illness or compassionate reasons, please advise the course instructor in writing, with your name, id#, and e-mail contact. See the academic calendar for information on regulations and procedures for Academic Consideration:

Academic Misconduct

The University of Guelph is committed to upholding the highest standards of academic integrity and it is the responsibility of all members of the University community, faculty, staff, and students  to be aware of what constitutes academic misconduct and to do as much as possible to prevent academic offences from occurring.

University of Guelph students have the responsibility of abiding by the University's policy on academic misconduct regardless of their location of study; faculty, staff and students have the responsibility of supporting an environment that discourages misconduct. Students need to remain aware that instructors have access to and the right to use electronic and other means of detection. Please note: Whether or not a student intended to commit academic misconduct is not relevant for a finding of guilt. Hurried or careless submission of assignments does not excuse students from responsibility for verifying the academic integrity of their work before submitting it. Students who are in any doubt as to whether an action on their part could be construed as an academic offence should consult with a faculty member or faculty advisor.

The Academic Misconduct Policy is detailed in the University Calenders:


The University of Guelph is committed to creating a barrier-free environment. Providing services for students is a shared responsibility among students, faculty and administrators. This relationship is based on respect of individual rights, the dignity of the individual and the University community's shared commitment to an open and supportive learning environment. Students requiring service or accommodation, whether due to an identified, ongoing disability or a short-term disability should contact the Student Accessibility Services (SAS), formerly Centre for Students with Disabilities (CSD), as soon as possible.

For more information, contact CSD at 519-824-4120 ext. 56208 or email sas@uoguelph.ca or visit the Student Accessibility Services website: http://www.uoguelph.ca/csd/.

Course Evaluation Information

Your ratings and comments are important.  Course evaluation data are used to assess and enhance the quality of teaching and student learning at the University of Guelph.  Student course ratings and comments are used as an important component in the Faculty Tenure & Promotion process, and as valuable feedback to help instructors improve their teaching effectiveness and to improve the delivery of the course.

Your responses will not affect your grade.  Course evaluation data are distributed to individual instructors after final grades have been submitted to the Registrar, following the completion of each academic semester.

Please be honest, respectful, constructive and thorough.  Instructors and review committees place great value on student course ratings and read all comments provided in course evaluations. It is helpful to provide comments on the strengths of the course, in addition to the areas for improvement.  Please refrain from personal comments unless they relate to teaching and learning.

Click here for the University of Guelph Course Evaluation System