How It Works: Science and Technology - Vol. 8

By Wendy Horobin | Go to book overview

Horticulture

Traditionally, horticulture refers to the growing of fruits and vegetables as lood and flowers, flowering shrubs, and trees grown for their beauty.

Commercial horticulture has grown from a hobby or small business to a major industry now very much on a par with many sectors of arable agriculture. Although the land area involved is much smaller than for traditional agricultural crops such as potatoes, wheat, and corn, horticulture demands a higher technological input and an appreciably higher financial investment in the production of each crop.

Because the value of many of these crops is high and their weight slight, a worldwide airfreight industry has been established to meet yearround demands, making obsolete the phrase [in season.] The cut flowers sold in New York City may come from Colombia; the trees and shrubs offered in Oregon may have been grown in Florida. To meet competition from foreign countries, American growers have expanded the use of greenhouses to extend their growing seasons.


High-tech greenhouses

Far from simply providing protection from frost, snow, and other unfavorable weather conditions, greenhouses can be warmed and, more recently, have been equipped with powerful lighting, both to allow tropical plants to be grown in a temperate climate and to permit year-round production of temperate zone horticultural crops.

Greenhouses equipped with artificial lighting not only extend growing seasons but also increase the yield of crops in all seasons. Under 24-hour lighting, for example, the yield of roses can be doubled. However, such lighting is expensive to buy, install, and operate. Research now in progress aims to find the right balance between the costs of lighting and the expected profit and determine when, in the life cycle of the plant, additional lighting offers the most benefit.

While hobbyists often use fluorescent lighting on indoor plants, commercial growers prefer high-intensity discharge lighting—the kind used in street lamps—which is up to 33 percent more

Modern commercial
greenhouses are high-tech
ventures where conditions
can be carefully controlled
to provide the optimum
environment for raising
crops. The crops
themselves are often
bred to exhibit specific
characteristics, such as
hardiness, flower color,
resistance to pests,
increased yield, and out-
of-season cropping times.

-1088-

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How It Works: Science and Technology - Vol. 8
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Contents *
  • Gold 1013
  • Governor 1017
  • Grass-Cutting Equipment 1018
  • Gravity 1020
  • Gun 1023
  • Gyrocompass 1028
  • Gyroscope 1030
  • Hair Treatment 1032
  • Halogen 1034
  • Hang Glider 1037
  • Head-Up Display 1039
  • Hearing 1041
  • Heart 1045
  • Heart Pacemaker 1048
  • Heart Surgery 1049
  • Heat Engine 1053
  • Heat Exchanger 1054
  • Heating and Ventilation Systems 1056
  • Heat Pump 1063
  • Helicopter 1065
  • Hi-Fi Systems 1071
  • High-Speed Photography 1077
  • Holography 1080
  • Hormone 1084
  • Horticulture 1088
  • Hosiery and Knitwear Manufacture 1090
  • Hurricane and Tornado 1094
  • Hydraulics 1100
  • Hydrocarbon 1105
  • Hydrodynamics 1109
  • Hydroelectric Power 1112
  • Hydrofoil 1116
  • Hydrogen 1118
  • Hydroponics 1120
  • Hygrometer 1123
  • Ignition System, Automobile 1124
  • Image Intensifier 1128
  • Immunology 1132
  • Induction 1138
  • Inertia 1142
  • Information Technology 1147
  • Ink 1151
  • Index i
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