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Brenda Wright > Intro. Horticulture Syllabus

INSTRUCTOR: Mrs. Brenda Wright
CREDIT: 1 unit
FEE: None

The Introduction to Horticulture course is designed to be an introduction to the Horticulture pathway. It is recommended as a prerequisite for all other horticulture courses. This course includes organized subject matter and practical experiences related to the culture of plants used principally for ornamental or aesthetic purposes. Instruction emphasizes knowledge and understanding of the importance of establishing, maintaining, and managing ornamental horticulture enterprises.

Typical instructional activities include hands-on experiences with propagating, growing, establishing, and maintaining nursery plants and greenhouse crops; tissue culture techniques; designing landscapes; preparing designs; sales analysis and management; participating in personal and community leadership development activities; planning and implementing a relevant school-to-work transition experience; and participating in FFA activities.

This is a list of core competencies to be completed by all students enrolled. The teacher may select additional competencies based on a local needs assessment.

This course is a component of the following Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources Pathways:

  • Horticulture Pathway

Given the necessary equipment, supplies, and facilities, the student, upon completion of the prescribed number of instructional hours, will be able to successfully complete the following core competencies.

The state competencies listed on the following pages include basic student learning objectives for each unit and lessons within each unit.  Instruction in each lesson should result in each student achieving the objectives for that lesson (unit).  As many units as possible will be completed during the semester as time allows.  The teacher may select additional competencies based on a local needs assessment.

Lesson 1. Exploring the History and Organization of FFA Learning Objectives 

1. Explain how, when, and why the FFA was organized.
2. Explain the mission and strategies, colors, motto, parts of the emblem, and the organizational structure of the FFA.  
3. Recite and explain the meaning of the FFA Creed.
4. Explain the purpose of a Program of Activities and its committee structure.
Lesson 2. Discovering Opportunities in the FFA Learning Objectives
1. Describe how the FFA develops leadership skills, personal growth, and career success.
2. Identify major state and national activities available to FFA members.
Lesson 3. Determining FFA Degrees, Awards, and CDEs Learning Objectives
1. Explain the four FFA degree areas.
2. Identify the FFA proficiency awards.
3. Explain various team and individual Career Development Events.
Lesson 4. Understanding FFA Officer Duties and Responsibilities Learning Objectives
1. Describe the duties and responsibilities of chapter FFA officers.
2. Explain the proper dress and characteristics of a good FFA leader.

Lesson 1. Determining the Benefits of an SAE Learning Objectives
1. Explain the importance of goals and career ladders.
2. Define supervised agricultural experience.
3. Explain the benefits of supervised agricultural experience programs.
Lesson 2. Determining the Kinds of SAE Learning Objectives
1. Explain the difference between entrepreneurship and placement SAEs.
2. Describe research and experimentation SAEs and exploratory SAEs.
3. Explain the characteristics of a good SAE program and student responsibilities.
Lesson 3. Researching Possible SAE Programs Learning Objectives
1. Identify career interest areas in agriculture.
2. Identify skills needed for career success.
3. Explain opportunities for SAE programs.
Lesson 4. Planning Your SAE Program Learning Objectives
1. Identify the steps in planning an SAE Program.
2. Identify the parts of an annual SAE program plan.
3. Discuss the function of a training plan and /or agreement in an SAE program.
Lesson 5. Implementing SAE Programs Learning Objectives
1. Discuss the importance of keeping records on an SAE program.
2. Explain the types of financial records needed to support a chosen SAE program.
3. Identify standards to follow in keeping records on an SAE program.

Lesson 1. Understanding Horticulture Learning Objectives
1. Define horticulture and describe its relationship to science and technology.
2. Identify the three major segments of the horticulture industry.
3. Identify and define activities included in the ornamental horticulture industry.
Lesson 2. Exploring Career Opportunities in Horticulture Learning Objectives
1. List skills you should have to ensure success in a horticulture career.
2. Explain how to prepare for a horticulture career.
3. List examples of horticulture jobs and careers.
4. Prepare a professional job resume for a horticulture job.
5. Demonstrate the ability to successfully complete a job interview.
6. Identify proper interpersonal skills that should be demonstrated while working on a job in the horticulture industry.

Lesson 1. Identify and Properly Use Tools and Equipment Utilized in the Horticulture Industry Learning Objectives
1. Identify hand and power tools used in the greenhouse, turf management and landscaping.
2. Identify equipment and its uses of tools used in the greenhouse, turf management and landscaping.
3. Demonstrate proper safety procedure for utilizing tools used in the greenhouse, turf management and landscaping.
4. Demonstrate proper maintenance and storage procedures for tools used in the greenhouse, turf management and landscaping.

Lesson 1. Classify Ornamental Plants Learning Objectives
1. Describe the system used for naming and classifying plants.
2. Identify the major groups of plants.
3. Describe the differences between annuals, biennials, and perennials.
Lesson 2. Understanding Leaf Anatomy and Morphology Learning Objectives
1. Describe the main parts of a leaf.
2. Describe some major types of leaves.
3. Discuss common vein patterns found in leaves.
4. Explain how a leaf is organized.
Lesson 3. Understanding Stem Anatomy Learning Objectives
1. Describe the functions of a stem.
2. Identify the external structures of a stem.
3. Identify the internal structures of a stem.
4. Distinguish between the different types of specialized stems.
Lesson 4. Understanding Root Anatomy Learning Objectives
1. List the functions of roots in plants.
2. Identify the parts of a root.
3. Identify the two major types of root systems.
4. Recognize a healthy root system.
Lesson 5. Understanding Flower Anatomy Learning Objectives
1. Describe the parts of a flower.
2. Explain the purpose of a flower.
3. List some different types of flowers.
4. Describe the difference between monocot and dicot flowers.
Lesson 6. Understanding Plant Physiology Learning Objectives
1. Describe the process of photosynthesis.
2. Describe the process of cellular respiration.
3. Explain why photosynthesis and respiration are important to us as human beings.
Lesson 7. Understanding Light, Temperature, Air and Water Effects on Plant Growth Learning Objectives
1. Describe the effect of light on plants.
2. Describe a plant’s temperature needs.
3. Explain how the quality of air affects plants.
4. Describe a plant’s water needs.
Lesson 8. Understanding Plant Growth Regulators Learning Objectives
1. Describe the work of plant growth regulators.
2. Explain the functions of several plant hormones.
3. List several commercial uses for plant growth regulators.

Lesson 1. Understanding Sexual Reproduction Learning Objectives
1. Discuss the importance of plant propagation.
2. Explain the difference between sexual and asexual propagation.
3. Identify the major parts of a seed.
4. List the function of each major part of a seed.
Lesson 2. Propagating Plants Sexually Learning Objectives
1. Discuss the importance of sexual propagation of plants.
2. Describe the process of seed germination.
3. Describe the factors involved in planting seeds for transplanting.
4. Explain how to successfully direct seed outdoors.
Lesson 3. Propagating Plants By Cuttings Learning Objectives
1. Explain why plants are propagated asexually.
2. Describe leaf and leaf-bud cuttings and how they are used to propagate plants.
3. Describe the three types of stem cuttings.
4. Explain how root cuttings are prepared for propagation.
5. Identify some of the environmental factors that determine the success of rooting of cuttings.
Lesson 4. Propagating Plants By Division, Separation and Layering Learning Objectives
1. Explain the difference between separation and division in plant propagation.
2. Describe layering and identify four common forms of layering.
Lesson 5. Propagating Plants By Grafting and Budding Learning Objectives
1. Describe how grafting is used to propagate plants.
2. Identify and explain the difference between three common methods of grafting.
3. Explain how budding is used for plant propagation.
Lesson 6. Propagating Plants By Tissue Culture Learning Objectives
1. Discuss the importance of tissue culture.
2. Discuss a tissue culture method of propagation used in the greenhouse industry.

Lesson 1. Properties of Growing Media Learning Objectives
1. Identify the types of growing media.
2. Describe the functions of growing media.
3. Explain the relationship between growing media and plant growth.
Lesson 2. Growing Media Components Learning Objectives
1. Describe the components of soil.
2. List the components of a soilless mix.
3. Compare and contrast the use of soil versus a soilless mix.
Lesson 3. Providing Nutrients for a Horticulture Crop Learning Objectives
1. Name the nutrients needed for plant growth.
2. Describe pH and how it is modified.
3. Describe the components of a fertilizer.
4. Explain the methods of applying fertilizers to horticulture crops.
Lesson 4. Determining the Nature of Soil Learning Objectives
1. Explain how the resources soil provides help in supporting life.
2. Explain the contents of soil.
3. Describe the biological nature of soil.
4. Describe the four ways plants use soil.
5. Describe some horticultural uses of soil.
6. Describe some non-horticultural uses of soil.
Lesson 5. Understanding Soil Texture and Structure Learning Objectives
1. Describe the concept of soil texture and its importance.
2. Determine the texture of a soil sample.
3. Describe soil structure, its formation, and importance.
4. Identify various soil structures.
Lesson 6. Explaining a Soil Profile Learning Objectives
1. Explain the soil profile.
2. Explain how soils within the profile change over time.
3. Distinguish between the major horizons of a soil profile.
Lesson 7. Understanding Moisture Holding Capacity Learning Objectives
1. Explain moisture holding capacity.
2. Explain what determines a soil’s moisture holding capacity.
3. Determine the moisture holding capacity of a given soil profile.
Lesson 8. Understanding Soil Degradation Learning Objectives
1. Describe soil degradation.
2. Explain how construction can result in soil degradation.
3. Identify sources of contamination and explain how they result in soil degradation.
4. Explain soil erosion and how it results in soil degradation.
5. Identify other sources of soil degradation.
Lesson 9. Understanding Soil Erosion and Management Practices Learning Objectives
1. Explain soil erosion.
2. Identify the causes of soil erosion and steps in the erosion process.
3. Explain the ways in which different types of wind erosion occur and the associated problems.
4. Distinguish between the different types of water erosion.
5. Identify urban management practices that reduce soil erosion.
6. Identify horticultural management practices that will minimize soil erosion.

Lesson 1. Understanding Integrated Pest Management Learning Objectives
1. Explain integrated pest management.
2. Explain best management practices.
3. Identify the basic elements of an integrated pest management program.
Lesson 2. Determining the Kinds of Pesticides Learning Objectives
1. Explain plant pests and how they cause losses.
2. Identify the major classifications of pesticides and their use.
3. Identify the major classifications of herbicides and their use.
4. Identify the major classifications of insecticides and their use.
Lesson 3. Using Pesticides Safely Learning Objectives
1. Explain the way pesticides are classified according to toxicity.
2. Identify the types of pesticide exposure.
3. Explain how toxicity is measured.
4. Identify the safety practices that should be followed when applying pesticides.
Lesson 4. Interpreting Pesticide Labels Learning Objectives
1. Explain the purpose of the pesticide label.
2. Identify the information that should be included on the pesticide label.
3. Explain when the pesticide label should be read.
Lesson 5. Applying Pesticides Learning Objectives
1. Identify the categories of pesticides according to time of application.
2. Explain the different areas of application in applying pesticides.
3. Explain how to properly calibrate equipment used in applying pesticides.
Lesson 6. Managing Environmental Impact of Pesticides Learning Objectives
1. Identify the environmental concerns involved with pesticide use.
2. Explain pesticide persistence and its impact on the environment.
3. Explain proper disposal of surplus pesticides and empty containers.
Lesson 7. Identifying and Managing Plant Pests in the Greenhouse Learning Objectives
1. Identify the major categories of pests found in the greenhouse.
2. Discuss pest control techniques used in a greenhouse.
3. Describe the different practices of integrated pest management used in the greenhouse.
Lesson 8. Identifying and Managing Plant Pests in the Landscape Learning Objectives
1. List the major destructive plant insects in the landscape.
2. Describe plant disease control techniques used in the landscape.
3. Name weed control techniques used in landscape beds.


Unit A. Developing Leadership Skills in Agriculture 1 week 
Unit B.  Supervised Experience in Agriculture 1 week 
Unit C.  Exploring the Horticulture Industry  1 week 
Unit D.  Horticultural Mechanics, Machinery Operation and Maintenance  1 week 
Unit E.  Plant Anatomy and Physiology 3 weeks 
Unit F.  Plant Propagation 3 weeks 
Unit G.  Growing Media, Nutrients and Fertilizers  4 weeks 
Unit H.  Integrated Pest Management  4 weeks 

Introductory Horticulture ;
7th edition; H. E. Reiley & C. Shry; Delmar Publishers

Landscaping Principles and Practices; 6th ed.; Jack E. Ingels; Delmar Publishers
Landscape Plants, 1996. Bridwell, F. M.; Delmar Publishers
Introduction to Horticulture--Prentice Hall/Interstate


Lab is a very important part of this class. If we are planning an outdoor lab, be sure to dress appropriately for the weather. Lab will only be canceled due to extreme weather. In addition, you should dress according to the lab activity such as welding, etc.. Attendance is very important because you will not be able to make-up some of the labs.

Appropriate dress for class and lab is very important. You will not be excused from an activity just because you failed to dress appropriately unless it is a danger to your well-being. Your grade will be adjusted accordingly. We are subject to get dirty any day. For shop activities you need jeans, closed in leather shoes or boots, on some occasions a long sleeve cotton shirt, pants must be worn at the waist with a belt. You may bring clothes to change into after class. Outside activities you may wear jeans or shorts depending on the weather, but you will need closed in shoes. Jewelry should be worn sparingly during lab and some class activities. Long hair must be restrained during most activities so bring something to put it up with. These are SAFETY issues so pay attention!

All work, whether to be turned in or kept in your notebook, should be labeled with your first and last name, date, period, page number and chapter. This is for both of us, in study and in grading.

All students will be expected to keep a notebook. It will count enough to make a difference in your nine weeks’ grade. Keep up with it on a daily basis. It should be a 3-ring binder with plenty of loose-leaf paper. Dividers are optional, but recommended to aid in organizing.

Another very important part of your grade will be based on your work ethic. The following qualities make up your work ethic.

1. Participation  5. Positive attitude 
2. Leadership  6. Cooperation
3. Safety 7. Effort
4. Self-control  8. Responsibility

Pay close attention to your work ethic.

After each major unit of instruction, you will be evaluated through testing. Each unit of instruction will also have other methods of evaluation such as projects, hands-on activities, reports (oral and written), homework, and classwork.

Homework is given on a regular basis, but not daily.

Should you miss an assignment, you will have at least five school days to make up the work. Special arrangements may be made for extenuating circumstances. See Student Handbook.

Please refer to the Student Handbook for the school’s policy on attendance, tardies, and early dismissals. These guidelines will be adhered to.


8:45-10:15  Wildlife  Agscience 
10:20-11:50  AgMechanics Planning 
11:50-12:15  Lunch  
11:55-2:10 Agscience Agscience 
2:15-3:45 Planning  Horticulture


Nine weeks grades are calculated as follows:

Major Assessments 60% Minor Asssessments  40% 
Tests  50%  Daily  25% 
Notebook  10%  Homework  5% 
    Work Ethic  10% 

Semester grades are calculated as follows:
Each 9 weeks is worth 40% and the semester exam is worth 20%.

GRADING SCALE: The grading scale is standard across the state.

Each student is expected to do their best and take responsibility for their actions. Safety instructions will be given and if not followed, activities will be limited to classwork. In addition, no extra credit is given at the end of the nine weeks. Keep up with your work!

All students are encouraged to join Blue Ridge High FFA.  It is the student organization for Agriculture students.  Dues are $10.00 which covers National, State and local membership. Membership is for one school term.  Deadline for 1st semester is October 5, 2012 and for 2nd semester February 8, 2013.  For students that don't have Ag. until 2nd semester, I recommend that they go ahead and pay their dues now so that they may participate in activities all year. If there is a problem see Mrs. Wright individually.