Horticulture. Principles and practice of A. Pardossi, G. Prosdocimi Gianquinto, P. Santamaria, L. Incrocci - Edagricole

Book review

Horticulture. Principles and practice

ofA. Crossroads


: Horticulture. Principles and practice
Authors: A. Crossroads


: Edagricole

Publication date

: March 2018

Number of pages:



44.00 euros

Type of paper used:

ecological paper is not used

The book Horticulture. Principles and practice of the Edagricole publishing house that I had the pleasure of reading, deals with the world of horticulture. The book, while addressing the students of the degree courses, can also be approached by those who, with some knowledge of the subject, want to deepen and have knowledge of the facts about the not simple art of horticulture. It is remarkable how the authors managed to find the right balance between the complexity of the subject and the practicality of the work to be done. That is to say the right balance between theory and practice, all told in a clear and complete way making understandable, even for the layman, sometimes complex topics on the life of plants.

The topics covered are innumerable and from the index below, it is clear that the horticulture theme is treated in the round, leaving nothing to chance or improvisation.

We start from an initial analysis of the reference scenario in the world of horticulture, analyzing the diffusion and importance of vegetable crops in the context of the world economy and more particularly in Italy. It was interesting to see how the authors also focused on the more cultural aspects related to horticulture. In fact, we are talking about the more traditional organic and integrated horticulture to move to urban, social and therapeutic horticulture, the so-called orthotherapy, increasingly widespread among the older population groups, among the disabled, the unemployed, immigrants and schoolchildren, as a moment of social aggregation. A truly intriguing picture.

We then move on to examine the various aspects of plant physiology such as photosynthesis, respiration, transpiration, radical absorption, water stress, etc., arguments clearly set out despite their complexity. The conjugation between plant physiology, cultivation techniques and the relationship of plants with the environment in which they live, is certainly a wise approach that allows you to have an all-round vision of the matter.

The difficult topic of genetic improvement, fundamental for providing solutions to the different needs of the countless vegetable species of our country, is addressed by considering: the evolution and importance of biodiversity; the intraspecific categories of greatest interest in horticulture; the goals and objectives that must be achieved with genetic improvement and therefore all the procedures and different methods to operate at their best. An all-round picture.

The next chapter deals with the not simple topic of the propagation of vegetable species. Knowing this technique is a priority in the production of any crop. We therefore talk about how to obtain the plant material for planting crops by describing the different methods of propagation and the requirements that the material to be used must have. In addition to this, it also describes the reference legislation, the care that the propagated plants must have and the company organization, often underestimated, in order for any initiative to be successful.

In this general framework, the themes on open field horticulture and in protected culture could not be missing, as well as the soilless cultivation systems. For each technique, the needs of the different crops are analyzed, such as irrigation, fertilization, the use of plant growth regulators and biostimulants, also describing the different techniques to be adopted for each agronomic practice. A nice job.

Particularly interesting is the chapter dedicated to the physiology and technology to be adopted for vegetables once harvested where all the parameters necessary for the preservation of the product are taken into consideration, including refrigeration with its various techniques.

To complete the picture, the authors have also dedicated ample space to the families of the most important plants for horticulture and precisely we are talking about Apiaceae, of the Brassicaceae, of the Chenopodiaceae, of the Cucurbitaceae, of the Fabaceae, of the Lamiaceae, of the Liliaceae and of Solanaceae. For each family there is a botanical framework, describing the biological cycle, the origin, the morphology and above all, in the case of horticulture, the flower biology and fruiting to better understand the needs of the plant. Obviously there is no lack of cultivation techniques by analyzing the pedoclimatic needs, the production systems and the adversities to which various vegetable species are subject.

Given that the authors have addressed the book above all to undergraduate students, I think it is important to specify that each chapter is accompanied, in addition to an extensive bibliography, also with cards and boxes for in-depth analysis on the various aspects dealt with, with verification questions on what is illustrated. A complete study tool.

To conclude, I can only congratulate the authors recognizing the valuable work done by which in addition to the profound competence of the subject, shines a great love for plants and nature in general. In short, it is a book that I liked and that offers a great deal of ideas. I highly recommend it to all those who want to study and / or deepen the world of horticulture.

Dr. M.G. Davoli


Expected learning outcomes:
Knowledge (to know)
1. Knowledge of agroecosystems and biological systems at the basis of production activities
2. Knowledge of herbaceous cultivation systems
3. Knowledge of the production chains of the main agricultural crops
4. Knowledge of the botanical and biological characteristics of the main herbaceous crops
5. Knowledge of the pedo-climatic needs and of the cultivation areas of the main herbaceous crops
6. Knowledge of the abiotic and biotic adversities of agricultural crops
7. Knowledge of the possible objectives of the genetic improvement of agricultural species
8. In-depth knowledge of the agronomic technique of the different cultivated species
9. Knowledge of the environmental and health implications of production activities
10. Knowledge of the qualitative aspects of the productions of the main herbaceous crops
11. Knowledge of traditional and advanced analytical tools in the agronomic field
12. Knowledge of basic and applied research activities in the agronomic field
13. Knowledge of professional and project activities
Skills (knowing how to do)
1. Knowing how to conceive, plan and manage technical-scientific projects in the agronomic field
2. Knowing how to operate with autonomy and responsibility in the context of projects
3. Knowing how to control the varietal characteristics of crops
4. Knowing how to control agroecosystems by applying rational agronomic techniques
5. Ability to analyze and synthesize
6. Ability to organize and plan
7. Problem solving skills
8. Effective communication skills
9. Ability to interface and implement with other professionals (ecologists, geneticists, economists, etc.)
Behaviors (knowing how to be)
1. Awareness of the ethical and social implications of one's work
2. Awareness of the environmental implications of one's work
3. Awareness of one's responsibilities
4. Awareness of the need for continuous updating and integration of one's technical-scientific training

List of treated species
- microthermic cereals: soft wheat, durum wheat, zootechnical and beer barley, other species (oats, rye, triticale, spelled)
- macrothermal cereals: rice, corn, sorghum, notes on other species (miles, panic, buckwheat, etc.)
- grain legumes: pea, beans of different types, notes on other species (broad bean, lentil, chickpea, lupine, peanut)
- proteoleagine and oilseeds ppd: soy, rapeseed, sunflower, notes on other species (peanut, safflower, flax, castor, sesame, other cruciferous)
- sugar: beetroot (notes on sugar cane)
- notes on cotton and some other fiber plants
- tobacco
- forage for grazing, pasture, meadow, grass. Description and classification of forage systems and forage utilization systems technical cultivation of alfalfa hints on other legumes (clover, sainfoin, vetch, etc.), grasses (fescue, ryegrass, ryegrass) and other forage species (cruciferous , chenopodiacee, etc.).


Aids for teaching and learning:
- video projections of the lessons
- didactic material for in-depth study of some issues
- recommended texts for the study
- ppt presentations of the lessons


Expected learning outcomes:
Knowledge (most important issues)
1. Knowledge on agroecosystems and biological systems at the basis of production activities
2. knowledge of arable crop systems
3. knowledge of production chains for the most important arable crops
4. knowledge of botanical and biological traits of the most important arable crops
5. Knowledge of soil and climate needs and of cultivation areas of the most important arable crops
6. Knowledge of abiotic and biotic diseases of the most important arable crops
7. Knowledge of breeding activity and perspectives for the most important arable crops
8. Deepen knowledge cultivation technique for the most important arable crops
9. Knowledge of environmental and health implications of arable crop production
10. Knowledge of yield quality aspects for the most important arable crops
11. Knowledge of traditional and advanced analytical methods and techniques in agronomy
12. Knowledge of basic and applied research activity in agronomy
13. Knowledge of professional and project activities

Abilities (most important issues)
1. How to develop ideas and projects and how to manage technical and scientific projects on agronomical subjects
2. How to work in autonomy and responsibility in a project
3. How to control cultivar traits of crops
4. How to control agro-ecosystems by adopting rational cultivation techniques
5. How to analyze and synthesize a subject
6. how to organize and plan
7. How to solve problem
8. Communication skills
9. Hoe to interact and implement with other professionals (ecologists, genetists, economists, etc.)

List of species
- Winter cereals: soft wheat, durum wheat, barley for fodder and beer, notes on other species (oat, rye, triticosecale, spelt)
- Summer cereals: rice, maize, sorghum, notes on other species (millets, buckwheat, etc.)
- Grain legumes: pea, common beans, notes on other species (faba bean, lentil, chickpea, lupine)
- Oil crops: soybean, canola, sunlower, notes on other species (peanut, safflower, linseed, castor bean, sesame, other Cruciferae)
- Sugar crops: sugarbeet, notes on sugarcane
- Notes on cotton and other fiber crops
- Tobacco
- Forage crops: Description and classification of forage crops, utilizations, and processing cultivation technique of alfa alfa notes on other forage legumes (clovers, sulla, sainfoin, vetch, etc.) grasses (tall fescue, perennial ryegrass, italian ryegrass) and other species (Cruciferae, Chenopodiaceae, etc)


Means to help teaching and learning:
- Overheads, slides and videos
- Technical and scientific papers
- Reference Books

Verification of learning

The exam is divided into three questions, each of which is assigned a score from 6 to 10. The final grade will be determined by the sum of the three scores. To pass the exam it is necessary to reach the sufficiency in each of the three questions. The evaluation takes into account the relevance and quality of the answers, the ability to make connections with other topics in the program and the property of language.

Verification of learning can also be carried out electronically, should the conditions require it.

Hydrological characteristics of a cultivation substrate

Multiplication by cuttings

Container fertilization

Growth control and hardening of plants in the nursery

Reference texts

text 1 - Principles of Arboriculture. Edited by C. Peano and F. Sottile. EdiSES, Naples

text 2 - General arboriculture. 2012. Edited by Sansavini et al. Pàtron Publisher, Bologna

2 - Lecture notes La Malfa G., Noto G. Romano D. Leonardi C.

3 - Pardossi A., Prosdocimi Gianquinto G., Santamaria P., Incrocci L ,, 2018. Horticulture: Principles and practice. Agricultural Editions of New Business Media - Milan. 371 pp.

4 - Accati Garibaldi, E., 1993. Floriculture Treaty - Edagricole, Bologna.

5 - Bianco V.V., Pimpini F. 1990. Horticulture. Patron publisher. 991 p.

Horticulture. Principles and practice of A. Pardossi, G. Prosdocimi Gianquinto, P. Santamaria, L. Incrocci - Edagricole

Placement test, Audits in progress, open test question, targeted pratices and individual reports.

Oral examination of the knowledge of the subject, based on the results of the tests in itinere

The course aims to prepare students to analyze problems, evaluate possible tools, to achieve the production targets in the open field and protected cultivation of horticultural and floricultural species.
Skills and capabilities:
Management capacity of the farming operations in the open air and greenhouse, depending on the needs of the crop. Evaluate the main means of protection and cropping systems in greenhouses. Choose crops on the base of different climatic conditions properly manage the crops cultivation technique by applying the most appropriate. Choose the most appropriate means of protection properly manage a horticultural crop or ornamental plants in greenhouses.

Importance and distribution of horticultural crops (4 h).
Quality characteristics and nutritional value (4 h).
Analysis of seeds and planting techniques (4h).
Techniques for the production of vegetables and flowers in greenhouses (8 h)
Protection systems and their evolution management of greenhouses (6 h).
Traditional cultivation techniques (4 h).
Fertigation and Hydroponic systems (12 h)
Production planning (14 h).

Video: Introduction To Horticulture Part 2

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