Agriscience 2a: Introduction

Course Overview

Units at a glance

Do you have a thumb so green it glows? Are you happiest when surrounded by growing things? If so, you may be planning a future in horticulture or plant science. In this unit, you’ll learn what horticulture is all about, from growing plants to designing garden spaces. You’ll also learn more about the exciting trends in horticulture and plant science, including plant modifications and designing for sustainability. Finally, you’ll learn how to stay safe working in the nursery or garden.

To study plants and to grow them, you need to first identify them. Identifying a plant tells you how it reproduces, where it grows best, and how much sun and water it needs. Identifying a plant also provides information about its growth pattern. In this unit, you’ll learn a number of different ways to identify, classify, and categorize plants. These strategies will help you to understand plants and to choose plants for different uses commercially, in the garden, and at home.

To study plants, to grow plants, and even to grow the products of plants, you need to understand how plants reproduce and how they can be propagated in a laboratoryor garden. You also have to understand what they need to grow, and how plants use light to provide energy. In this unit, you’ll learn many different ways to propagate plants, from seeds to grafting, and you’ll develop an improved understanding of how plants grow.

“The seeds of success.” “Plant a seed of doubt.” “Seed money.” Seeds make a great metaphor for so many of life’s turning points because they are an integral part of our history as humans. Seeds have been bred, exchanged, sold, stored, and even eaten from the earliest settlements of mankind. And while science advances, there may be more precise ways of breeding plants for food or beauty, but still, it all starts from the seed. Together, we’ll follow the journey of seeds, through the process of producing seeds for sale to the history of the seed business in the United States.

Growing plants—in the laboratory, on the farm, in the garden, or even in a flowerpot—requires that the plants have access to a growing medium, typically some sort of soil. With only a few exceptions, you can’t grow plants out of thin air. Soil science is the study of soil as a natural resource, including how it is used and managed. In this unit, you’ll learn about different types of soil, how to improve soil, and why good-quality soil is essential for plant growth. You’ll also learn about other types of planting media and how to use them for container gardening and other applications. With this knowledge, you’ll be able to sustain vigorous and healthy plants of all types.

Course Highlights

Learn about the techniques that contribute to healthy plant growth.
Explore the science behind plants!
Investigate the influence of soil types on agricultural production.
Discover the importance of seeds to food production and culture.

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