HOS 3020 – Principles of Horticultural Crop Production

3 credits

Fall Semester 2015

MWF Period 3, 9:35-10:25 AM

2316 Fifield


Xin Zhao                                Dr. Mercy Olmstead

Dr. Xin Zhao                                      Dr. Mercy Olmstead

1235 Fifield Hall                                 2135 Fifield Hall

352-273-4773                                    352-273-4772

Email:                          Email:

Prerequisites:          This introductory course is intended for students who have no prior coursework in fruits and vegetables, although participation by those with horticulture backgrounds is encouraged.  It is desirable for students to have some background in plant science, but not necessary.

Texts:  Some of the lectures will be presented in PowerPoint and will be available on the course website, or lecture outlines will be provided in class.

One textbook is recommended for both vegetable and fruit crops portions of the course:

  1. Brian Capon. 2010. Botany for gardeners. Third edition. Timber Press.

One text for the fruit section of the class is required:

  1. D. Jackson, N. Looney, M. Morley-Bunker and G. Thiele. 2011. Temperate and Subtropical Fruit Production. CABI International.

Three textbooks (optional) are recommended for the vegetable portion of the course (on Course Reserve at Marston Science Library)

  1. John M. Swiader and George W. Ware. 2002. Producing vegetable crops. Fifth edition. Interstate Publishers, Inc.
  2. Vincent E. Rubatzky and Mas Yamaguchi. 2012. World vegetables: Principles, production and nutritive values. Second edition. Springer.
  3. Donald N. Maynard and George J. Hochmuth. 2007. Knott’s handbook for vegetable growers. Fifth edition. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

The objective of this course is to provide the student with a basic understanding of the world, U.S. and Florida fruit and vegetable industries. Emphasis will be placed on production regions, biology, soils, nutrition, types of fruits and vegetables, site selection and planting, fruit and vegetable quality factors, propagation, pruning, pollination, flowering and fruit set, horticultural production practices and career opportunities.

Learning Outcomes:

Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Discuss growth and development patterns for fruit and vegetable species.
  • Explain production conditions and practices for fruit and vegetable crops and compare the various cultural systems.
  • Develop management plans for soil fertility, irrigation, and pest control in fruit and vegetable production.
  • Critically analyze data from the fruit and vegetable industries at the regional, national, and global levels.
  • Discuss and evaluate different marketing strategies for fruit and vegetable crops.

Grading and Attendance Policies:

We strongly urge students to attend class on a regular basis. Attendance will be considered at the end of the semester and may affect the final grade. Final grades will be based on the performance of each student relative to the following standard percentages (%):


92-90 A-
89-87 B+
86-83 B
82-80 B-
79-77 C+
76-73 C
72-70 C-
69-67 D+
66-63 D
62-60 D-
59-00 E

The first and the second portions of the course will be evaluated separately and points added together to determine the final letter grade. There will be three exams throughout the semester covering lecture material prior to the exam (90 or 100 points each). There will also be a vegetable section CSA project that will be worth 70 points, as well as a fruit section media project that will be worth 60 points. In addition, there will be 8 unannounced, in-class quizzes in both sections (4 quizzes in the vegetable section and 4 for the fruit section).

The cumulative final exam (125 points) will be at 12:30 PM – 2:00 PM on December 17th, 2015.

Points Possible
Exam #1 90
Exam #2 100
Exam #3 100
Final Exam 125
Vegetable Section CSA Project 70
Fruit Section Media Project 60
Quizzes (5 points x 8) 40
Attendance and Participation 50

Please feel free to discuss your grades with us at any time during the semester.

For information on current UF policies for assigning grade points, see

Requirements for class attendance and make-up exams, assignments and other work are consistent with university policies that can be found at:

Exam Policy:

You must attend all exams.  Students who miss exams will receive a zero for those exams.  Under the circumstance of having a true emergency which does not allow the student to attend the original exams 1, 2, and 3 as scheduled, a make-up exam can therefore be requested.  However, official written documents need to be provided to the instructors about the emergency situation.  Each student can only request a make-up exam once during the semester.  The format of the make-up exam is at instructors’ discretion.

We encourage all of you to participate in the class whether you come from a fruit and vegetable background or not.  Please feel free to ask questions at any time and to discuss any aspect of the course with us.  We are always available by appointment, phone or via email.

Academic Honesty:

As a student at the University of Florida, you have committed yourself to uphold the Honor Code, which includes the following pledge:  “We, the members of the University of Florida community, pledge to hold ourselves and our peers to the highest standards of honesty and integrity.”  You are expected to exhibit behavior consistent with this commitment to the UF academic community, and on all work submitted for credit at the University of Florida, the following pledge is either required or implied: “On my honor, I have neither given nor received unauthorized aid in doing this assignment.”

It is assumed that you will complete all work independently in each course unless the instructor provides explicit permission for you to collaborate on course tasks (e.g. assignments, papers, quizzes, exams).  Furthermore, as part of your obligation to uphold the Honor Code, you should report any condition that facilitates academic misconduct to appropriate personnel.  It is your individual responsibility to know and comply with all university policies and procedures regarding academic integrity and the Student Honor Code.  Violations of the Honor Code at the University of Florida will not be tolerated. Violations will be reported to the Dean of Students Office for consideration of disciplinary action.  For more information regarding the Student Honor Code, please see:

Software Use:

All faculty, staff and students of the university are required and expected to obey the laws and legal agreements governing software use. Failure to do so can lead to monetary damages and/or criminal penalties for the individual violator.  Because such violations are also against university policies and rules, disciplinary action will be taken as appropriate.

Campus Helping Resources:

Students experiencing crises or personal problems that interfere with their general well-being are encouraged to utilize the university’s counseling resources.  The Counseling & Wellness Center provides confidential counseling services at no cost for currently enrolled students. Resources are available on campus for students having personal problems or lacking clear career or academic goals, which interfere with their academic performance.

University Counseling & Wellness Center, 3190 Radio Road, 352-392-1575,

    • Groups and Workshops
    • Self-Help Library
    • Community Provider Database
    • Training Programs
    • Outreach and Consultation
    • Counseling Services

Career Resource Center, First Floor JWRU, 392-1601,

Services for Students with Disabilities:

The Disability Resource Center coordinates the needed accommodations of students with disabilities.  This includes registering disabilities, recommending academic accommodations within the classroom, accessing special adaptive computer equipment, providing interpretation services and mediating faculty-student disability related issues.  Students requesting classroom accommodation must first register with the Dean of Students Office.  The Dean of Students Office will provide documentation to the student who must then provide this documentation to the Instructor when requesting accommodation.

0001 Reid Hall, 352-392-8565,

Tentative Lecture Schedule

Week No. Date Topic
1 Aug 24 Introduction and Course Requirements
Aug 26 Vegetables and the Vegetable Industry; CSA Project Introduction
Aug 28 Classifying Vegetables; CSA Project Work in the Teaching Garden
2 Aug 31 CSA Project Work in the Teaching Garden
Sept 2 Vegetable Growing Conditions and Plant Growth and Development
Sept 4 What to Grow and General Cultural Practices for Vegetables
3 Sept 7 Labor Day (No Class)
Sept 9 Vegetable Seeds; CSA Project Work in the Teaching Garden
Sept 11 Field Planting and Crop Establishment
4 Sept 14 Breeding and Improving Vegetables
Sept 16 IPM and Weed Management (Dr. Peter Dittmar)
Sept 18 Soil Management and Fertilization in Vegetable Production (I)
5 Sept 21 Soil Management and Fertilization in Vegetable Production (II)
Sept 23 Exam 1
Sept 25 Drip Irrigation and Fertigation in Vegetable Production
6 Sept 28 Mulch Use in Vegetable Production (Dr. Josh Freeman)
Sept 30 Controlling Vegetable Diseases and Pests
Oct 2 Vegetable Grafting Lab
7 Oct 5 Vegetable Garden Tour; CSA Project Discussion
Oct 7 Greenhouse Crop Production; Extending the Production Season; Organic Crop Production
Oct 9 CSA Project Presentations
8 Oct 12 World and U.S. Fruit Production
Oct 14 Climate Effects on Fruit and Vegetable Production
Oct 16 Perennial Plant Growth – Differences from Annual Systems
9 Oct 19 Juvenility and Flowering-What Happens Before Flowering?
Oct 21 Hormones and Plant Growth Regulators
Oct 23 Exam 2
10 Oct 26 Flowering and Pollination
Oct 28 Fruit Growth and Development- Types of Fruit
Oct 30 How to Propagate Fruit Crops; Rootstocks and Scions
11 Nov 2 Field Visit- Teaching Orchard- Please dress appropriately.
Nov 4 Pruning, Training and Shaping Fruit Crops
Nov 6 Homecoming (No Class)
12 Nov 9 Fruit Nutrition and Irrigation
Nov 11 Veterans Day (No Class)
Nov 13 Diseases and Pests of Fruit Crops
13 Nov 16 Fruit Quality Factors- What Makes a Good Fruit?
Nov 18 Exam 3
Nov 20 Harvesting and Postharvest Practices
14 Nov 23 Plants in Space! (Dr. Anna-Lisa Paul)
Nov 25 Thanksgiving (No Class)
Nov 27 Thanksgiving (No Class)
15 Nov 30 Cold Hardiness and Dormancy- How Fruit Crops Withstand Winter
Dec 2 Biotechnology of Fruit Crops (Dr. Kevin Folta)
Dec 4 FRUIT PROJECTS DUE – Presentations
16 Dec 7 Career Opportunities in Horticulture – Breeding, Research, Teaching, Extension
Dec 9 Review Session

Cumulative Final Exam: Thursday, December 17, 2015, 12:30 PM – 2:30 PM


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