HORT*1130 Science of Gardening

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The following description is for the course offering in Fall 2019 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 (on plant processes) will be emphasized. 

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


Teaching Assistant:

George Austin

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 achievements for the horticultural industry

  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 relate 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, reproduction and mutation
  • Plant Environment Effects - Light
  • Plant Environment Effects – Water
  • Plant Environment Effects – Temperature
  • Plant Environment Effects – Soils & Nutrients
  • Plant Vegetative Propagation – Tissue Culture
  • Plant Vegetative Propagation and Pruning
  • Plant Diseases
  • 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







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::

Preece, John and Paul Read. The biology of horticulture: an introductory textbook. 2nd edition. John Wiley and Sons. N.J. ISBN 9780471465799

On Reserve in the Library Call no. SB318.P74

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.

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

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