The objective of this chapter was to assure you that it is all right to be uncertain about the precise direction your career will take. If one of the traditional industry jobs described earlier sounds interesting, give it a try. If you like the work but do not like the employer, change employers. If the traditional positions do not meet your career needs, consider some of the nontraditional alternatives described and illustrated here. You can also look beyond what has been described. Ornamental horticulturists find work in unpredictable locations such as military bases, resorts, ski centers, hospitals, restaurants, department stores, and supermarkets. If horticulture is but one of several major interests in your life, it can prob­ably contribute at least partially to a satisfying career.


It is possible to pursue a career in ornamental horticulture outside the traditional professions. Whether part-time or full-time, horticultural work can be combined with other interests or concerns.

Particular career possibilities discussed in this chapter were part­time self-employment, Cooperative Extension specialist, horticulture therapist, arborist, lawn care specialist, and communication specialist.



Indicate if the following statements are true or false.

1. Ornamental horticulture can be a vocation or an avocation.

2. Ornamental horticulture offers full-time and part-time, temporary, and permanent jobs.

3. The Cooperative Extension Service is an outreach program of private industry.

4. Horticulture therapy can be studied as a college major.

5. Horticulture therapy deals only with a client’s skill development.

6. Both arborists and lawn care specialists need training in entomology, plant pathology, soil science, and botany.

7. Lawn care specialists usually work with turf maintenance only, not with other elements of the landscape.

8. Lawn care specialists need good communication skills since they deal directly with the customers.

9. Technical writers direct their writing more to the scientific audience than to the industry practitioner or hobbyist.

10. Nontraditional careers in ornamental horticulture should be considered only as a last resort if traditional career opportunities are not available at the time of the job search.



Upon completion of this chapter, you will be able to

• list and compare types of growing structures.

• list the characteristics of various greenhouse and shade house coverings.

• list advantages and disadvantages of steam heat, hot water heating, and unit heaters in greenhouses.

• describe methods of ventilating or cooling greenhouses.

• describe the latest methods employed to conserve energy in greenhouses.

• diagram three common methods of arranging greenhouse benches.


glaze retractable roof greenhouses ground beds

unit heaters fan and pad cooling raised benches

radiant heaters fog evaporative cooling


If the climate throughout the world were consistent with sunny, temper­ate days and dry, cool nights; with sufficient rainfall to keep soil moist but not overly wet; with no hailstorms or damaging winds; and with day lengths always suitable to promote flowering; then there would be no need for greenhouses or other growing structures. The commercial pro­duction of high-quality, intensively cultivated plant material requires just such conditions. Therefore, the purposes of a greenhouse reveal themselves:

1. to provide a controlled growing environment for plants whose eco­nomic value justifies the expense.

2. to permit the growth of plants in regions where survival outdoors is not possible.

figure 19-1. A detached A-frame truss greenhouse (Delmar/Cengage Learning. Photo by Steven Newman.)

figure 19-2. A typical ridge and furrow, A-frame, truss greenhouse range (Delmar/Cengage Learning. Photo by Steven Newman.)

Quonset-Style Greenhouse (Figure 19-3)

pipe arches

hard or soft plastic

• Less expensive to build; needs no extensive foundation or roof support

• Ideal for production of seasonal crops such as bedding plants; later can be uncovered or changed to a shade house

• May be either free-standing or grouped and interlocked in a ridge and furrow style

• Requires new covering almost every year

• Difficult to ventilate

High Tunnel or Hoop House

figure 19-3. A quonset-style greenhouse (Delmar/ Cengage Learning. Photo by Steven Newman.)

figure 19-4. A lath or shade house (Delmar/Cengage Learning. Photo by Steven Newman.)
figure 19-5. A brick cold frame or hotbed (Delmar/ Cengage Learning.)

Lath or Shade House (Figure 19-4)

Covering material: wood lath (similar to snow fencing) or a synthetic

fabric sun screen

Purpose: • To provide a shaded area for production of

heat-sensitive plants

• To provide a cool holding area for plants awaiting sale or shipment

Cold Frame or Hot Bed (Figure 19-5)

concrete blocks, wood, or brick glass or plastic

To provide a supplemental growing space for greenhouse operations; used for propagation, starting, and hardening-off

Cold frames use only sunlight passing through the glass or plastic for warmth. Hot beds supplement solar energy with decomposing manure, electric cables, or heating pipes