University of Maryland Extension

Horticulture Projects

Exploring Science using the 4-H Horticulture Project!

The 4-H Horticulture project can help engage youth in the exploration of science in exciting and meaningful ways, helping youth create a sense of wonder about the world around them.  Horticulture provides youth with the opportunity to plan, create and care for their own environment.  In the process, they ask questions about their environment, make observations, research topics, and can set up experiments in search of answers.

Many children do not realize the connection between their growth, the food they eat, and where this food comes from.  They have a hard time understanding the intertwined relationship between themselves and all living things on earth.  The 4-H horticulture curriculum provides topics on plant science and human nutrition that helps to join these connections through simple concepts.

Youth can learn a lot in a garden, it encourages children to dream and use their imaginations and promotes environmental stewardship and provide opportunities to learn about science, nutrition and health.  When youth work with plants, they have to make many important decisions.  To make the best decision, youth have to know about plants and what they need.  Some of the science skills and experiments that club members can learn in the Horticulture project are listed below.

  • Learn the parts of a seed
  • Learn the parts of a plant
  • Learn how to germinate seeds
  • Learn what plants need to grow
  • Learn about plant parts and how they help the plant grow
  • Learn about plant life cycles
  • Learn how to transplant and set seedling plants in the garden
  • Learn about soil and what it is made of
  • Learn about the human impact of gardening

Encourage members to participate in county contests like favorite foods, presentation contest, speech contest, tractor driving contest, clover challenge, meats judging, livestock judging, vegetable I.D. contest or farm safety events.

Do a service project!  Make a meal for an elderly person(s) once a month; host a bicycle inspection day; volunteer at a local senior center; find a walking partner.

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