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Principles of Horticulture (HORT 262)

UH Hilo Home > Academics > College of Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resource Management > Faculty > Sheldon Furutani

Course description

Introduction to various divisions of horticulture and the relationship of plants to the environment. Plant structure and function. Opportunity for observation and practice of various horticulture technologies. Students are required to participate in a garden project.



Dr. S. Furutani

Office CAB 101A

Office hrs. by appt.

Phone 933-0852 w/voicemail


Course Objective

To familiarize students with the principles of horticulture including: plant structure and function, methods of propagation, soils and their fertility, pest and disease control, and directing plant growth and development. Each student is required to design, plant, maintain and keep an accurate record of a garden plot.

Required Text

McMahon, Kofranek, and Rubatzky. Hartmann's Plant Science. 2002. Prentice Hall.

Lecture Topics

Topics Readings
Introduction Chapter 1
Soil Structure and Plant Nutrition Chapter 8, 9
Plant Structure Chapter 3
Propagation Chapter 14
Plant Growth and Development Chapter 11, 12
Pruning and Training Chapter 13
Crop Improvement Chapter 4
Environmental Effects Chapter 5, 6, 7
Pest management Chapter 10, 15, 16

Class policies

  1. Exams - No make-up exams will be given.
  2. Late assignments - 10% per day late.
  3. Farm Lab Safety - In compliance with farm lab safety, all students are required to wear covered shoes to work on the garden plots and also when participating with other lab exercises on the farm. This is for your safety! Students without proper footwear will not be allowed to work at the garden plots (this is a strict farm policy).
  4. Student Garden - All students enrolled must complete the student garden project for course credit (request for an exception will be reviewed by the instructor).

Garden Plot

This semester, you will be provided a 10 by 20 ft plot to experience growing a garden. Each student must work on a plot individually, no group-work will be allowed. While it is impractical to have every ones favorite plant available for your garden, a few basic seeds will be provided (free of charge) as either seeds or as transplants for longer termed crops. You are therefore, encouraged to bring in favorite plants that have not been provided.

The purpose of the student garden is to gain experience in culturing many different types of plants, thus a monoculture (one crop) system is discouraged, try to plant different types of crops to broaden your growing experience. It would be also wise to plant crops that you wish to like. Remember to make the best use of the space available to you.

Students are expected to maintain their garden throughout the semester; this includes weeding and harvesting of crops. Weedy plots are discouraged since they harbor disease and insect pests, spread weed seeds to your neighbors plot, and needless to say that weedy plots are very unsightly and displays neglect. Weed seeds also carry over to future plantings and make it difficult to maintain.

Students may cultivate their gardens as 'organic gardens' or as 'traditional gardens'. Chicken manure, manure 'teas' will be welcome for those interested. Commercial pesticides, however, will not be allowed in the garden plots for safety reasons. Organic pesticides such as safer soaps are ok. Students will apply their own pest controls.

In the past semesters, students have either grown their crops on beds, on flat even ground or in trenches. Beds had excellent results during rainy weather while trenches are unbeatable during periods of drought. Hint: Students who have used mulch always weeded less compared to those w/o mulch.

Prior to starting your garden it is always a good idea to plan your garden plantings. Planning provides management and full utilization of the garden plot. Long-term plants requiring high sunlight may be situated near the borders while rapid turn over plants can be planted toward accessible areas. Replacement plants can be started ahead of time to replace harvested plants etc., this is all part of the planning process.