Last modified on 22 February 2011, at 02:34

Horticulture/An Invitation to Contribute

Horticulture is meant to eventually become an exhaustive technical manual for professionals in the horticulture trade, as well as a guidebook for gardeners of every level of expertise. The scope of the book includes garden techniques, materials, soils, plants, weeds, diseases, pests, hotricultural chemicals, and beneficial insects.

Because of this large scope, the Wikimanual is not intended to be printed out as "one big book", since this would (after a few years of development) be far too thick a book to fit on any real-world bookshelf. Rather, it is meant to be printed out module-by-module, to cover topic areas for classrooms, or as "custom garden guides" for individual gardeners (only including those pages that pertain to a specific garden).

Because of the free licensing on Wikibooks, this means that any instructor can create textbooks for a specific class they are teaching, without any need to seek permissions or pay licensing fees. So, for example, an instructor could assemble a book for a two semester course on herbaceous ornamental plants that is specific to the lesson plan, and includes exhaustive discussion of how to grow and maintain any particular plant, from siting and fertilization to pest and disease control to commercial propagation methods.

Instructors can also use Wikibooks as a venue for class assignments: the edits of each student can be seen on their account logs, and they can of course be assigned particular tasks, such as writing entries for a set of plants, insects, diseases, and so on.

For amateur gardeners, the Wikimanual is a place for both learning and sharing "tips and tricks" they have learned from others or invented themselves. "Expert amateurs" often wish that "landscapers" knew how to do things better, and the Wikimanual is an excellent way to share (in fact, the free license allows anyone to print out copies and distribute them, and even tuck them under windshield wipers).

Ways to helpEdit

There are many ways in which to contribute, from indexing to copyediting to maintenance to creating new content. For cleanup and maintenance, a few templates and categories exist for this, such as {{Wmog-tw}} (for cleaning up transwikis that haven't yet been completely modified to fit the Wikimanual's Manual of Style).

Images are also needed for many pages, particularly those pages that describe a process such as Division, Pruning, and other garden techniques. These should be uploaded to Wikimedia Commons rather than to Wikibooks, because in the future much of this book might be translated into other languages.

There are also many stubs that need to be further developed.

Many pages are orphaned and need to be linked to from the table of contents or a listing linked to from the table of contents. See all the pages of the book in Category:Horticulture.

New content is of course the most important need, since while there are already hundreds of "chapters", there are thousands of plants, pests, diseases, techniques, and so on. In general, the best way to start new chapters is by transwikiing content from Wikipedia using the Import tool, which copies all revisions and thus honors our copyrights. To request an import (only administrators can do it, list the Wikipedia article name at WB:RFI.