Traditionally, bedding plants are those plants used to provide color in summer garden beds. Although some writers include any herbaceous plant started under controlled environmental conditions and sold for outdoor use, embracing a number of fruit and vegetable crops, in this book ornamental bedding plants include tender herbaceous ornamental annuals and biennials only.
As with other titles in this series, the aim of this book is to present scientific principles that underlie production practices. The author discusses traditional and plug methods of production, the latter having revolutionized mass-market production during the last decade. The principles of propagation and growing on, including the role of nutrition and media, temperature, light, supplemental carbon dioxide and growth regulators, are described. Aspects of postproduction, diseases and pests, and mechanization, are also considered. There is also an appendix providing production guidelines for 15 major bedding plant species, including begonia, impatiens, petunia, marigolds and pansies. Written by one of America's foremost horticultural scientists and writers, the book is invaluable for plant producers or growers, as well as for students of ornamental or amenity horticulture.