Enjoy a Career in Gardening with Science

Rob Cotterill Mhort (RHS) MCIHort

Rob is a horticulturist who always knew that gardening was his vocation. He started his career as an apprentice for a parks department, has worked in nurseries and gardens, for landscapers and for horticultural colleges, both in this country and abroad.
He now runs a garden design and maintenance business with his wife in Somerset.
Visit his website www. gardenmaker.co.uk
Rob who believes as I do that a little science knowledge is of great benefit to a gardener writes as follows:

The Appliance of science (in a greenhouse on a wet Wednesday!)
Sheltering from the rain in a customer’s greenhouse recently, I started to think how much easier it is to grow plants when you have a little bit of the background horticultural science.
Horticultural science covers many aspects – chemistry, biology and climatology as well as the more applied science subjects such as the naming of plants, the growing material we plant into, the external shape (the size and shapes of leaves, fruits and flowers) and internal make-up (purpose of roots and shoots and how they work) and plant pathology (identifying pests, diseases and disorders)
All this is background knowledge which can help us when growing our plants.
If we know some science we can optimise the growth of our humble tomato in its greenhouse. For example we should be able to able to identify if the curling leaves are due to over watering, under watering, some viral disease or something else completely.
Because of ‘nomenclature’ or plant naming we know that the tomato is in the same family as the potato, so are those leaf spots due to potato blight, a mineral deficiency or sun scorch?
I needed to do some more “digging” to find evidence and a remedy.
While we could use the large resources of text books and the internet available to us to help identify the issue, my experience of the customer and the growing conditions leads me to thinking that it is a ‘transpiration’