On the one hand, this field of study deals with horticultural products and services such as ornamental plants, tree nurseries, fruit and vegetable cultivation as well as their marketing (horticulture). On the other hand, the focus is on the development, planting and care of gardens, green areas and sports and leisure facilities (landscaping).
Horticulture and landscaping
The gardening and landscaping deals with the most environmentally friendly production and breeding of plants serving the human diet as well as the improvement or beautification of the environment.
The study field at a glance
Degree courses are available at colleges and universities, both as a bachelor's and master's degree program. Most programs are called "Horticulture (Sciences)" or in English "Horticulture". In landscaping, there are some overlaps with landscape architecture and environmental planning. Depending on the focus, the degree programs may have a business or more technical-planning focus.
Contents of the course
The study of horticulture provides a broad base of knowledge in all areas of modern gardening and landscaping, namely in modern processes of production in intensive crops, sustainable use of resources and biological crop protection. Therefore it also leads to the ecological understanding of gardening and landscaping.
The bachelor’s program focuses on the scientific fundamentals and horticultural plant production: biology, botany, plant production, horticultural technology, vegetable, fruit and ornamental plant cultivation, tree nursery, meteorology, plant physiology, soil science, genetics, plant nutrition and phytomedicine.
In the subsequent master's program, focal points in the biological, ecological, plant engineering, technical or economic fields can be chosen. Knowledge will be imparted in the following areas: ornamental plant cultivation, vegetable growing, fruit growing, production optimization, horticultural market theory, management, consulting and organic horticulture.
In most cases, an internship lasting between eight weeks and six months is planned. For students seeking entry to the Higher Agricultural Service, a one-year internship is highly recommended.
Admission criteria & course application
Depending on the type of university, pre-practical training may be required.
Possible careers after graduation
Graduates in gardening and landscaping sciences are involved in public administration, in private and public gardening and landscaping businesses, in commercial enterprises and garden centers as well as in official, private or professional horticultural advice centers. In addition, employment opportunities can be found in public and industrial research and experimental establishments and departments, e.g. in the field of plant breeding, or in the crop protection and fertilizer industry. Horticultural engineers are also employed in the distribution of supplier industries, e.g. at manufacturers of crop protection and fertilizers, horticultural special machinery and equipment.