Horticulture/Manual of Style

This is the style manual for Horticulture.



For ease of linking, this book uses a flat structure. All chapters should thus be of the form [[Horticulture/CHAPTER]], not [[Horticulture/Chapter/PAGE]].

By using the flat structure, links from chapter to chapter can be easily made using the form [[../CHAPTER/]].



There are several subcategories of this book, arranged hierarchically. The Main Category should include only the subcategories, the main page and new pages that don't seem to fit into any of the current categories, or that have not yet had appropriate page templates added to them. Any new subcategories should be placed in Category:Book:Horticulture, only the main page should be in the main category. For ease of use categories should sort subpages alphabetically using |{{SUBPAGENAME}} to give for example [[{{BOOKCATEGORY}}/Pests|{{SUBPAGENAME}}]].

The current list of categories is as follows. Further indented categories are subcategories of the main ones:



Images should be uploaded to commons, rather than to wikibooks, since this book cross-links with wikipedia, wikiversity, and other projects.

Since this book is intended to be printable, avoid thumbnails except in galleries. For best print quality, make images at least 300px.

Plant profiles


Plant profiles should:

  • Be placed in as many subcategories as are needed, so long as they are not redundant (e.g., "Fruit trees" and "Weed trees", but not also "Horticulture")
  • Use the appropriate templates (if you don't know how to use them, just drop them on there in the proper place so another editor can fill them out).
  • Use Wikipedia transwikis as a base when there is good information there.
  • Use scientific names only: Common names have caused considerable confusion and tension on Wikipedia. Common names can be pointed to in the index, so do not make redirects from common names.



The plant pages use templates to provide structure and consistency. Most of the plant profiles are based on transwikis from Wikipedia using the Import tool. After an article is transwikied and moved to Horticulture, adding {{subst:plantprof}} to the top of the page (generally just before the "taxobox") and remove any categories or interwiki links at the bottom of the page.

Additional templates are used to identify specific types of plants and other things grown. See Horticulture/Using Templates for more information.

Pest and disease lists


The Pest and disease lists are compiled from various source materials, including sources on the plants themselves, as well as sources on the pests and diseases themselves. These lists can be kept up-to-date using the What links here page (on the sidebar).

The early lists are from a donated website, "Johnny's Plant Profiles", which was hosted by User:SBJohnny from 2000 through 2005. These lists were compiled for the purpose of databasing to find alternate hosts (including both garden plants and weeds) as part of an organic IPM program, and that databasing approach has been used as part of building this book as well (using Special:Wantedpages to find the most linked pests and diseases.

The weakness of these lists is that they assume a very high level of knowledge about the individual pests and diseases, since it lists only the pest organisms, rather than the symptoms of any given pest or disease problem. For this reason, these should eventually be replaced by troubleshooting sections (see below).

Troubleshooting sections


Troubleshooting sections will be like keys for using symptoms to provide causes and treatments.


External links on the module page should be avoided, unless used as references. External link sections from transwikis should for the most part be deleted. Linking to external sites on the talk page is usually acceptable if used in order to alert authors to more information that might be included or where questions can be asked (web forums, etc.).

Links to nurseries and local services should never be included under any circumstances.

Links to commercial websites about specific garden products should be included only on pages directly discussing that product.



This book uses a Neutral Point of View, so several things need to be kept in mind.

  1. Since this text is intended to address a wide geographical audience (all gardens in regions prone to freezing), a geographically neutral language is required:
    1. Plants should not be discussed as "native", but rather "native to such and such regions"
    2. Likewise, "invasive" should be avoided as a stand-alone term, using "invasive in this/these region(s)" instead
    3. Hardiness should be described using zones, rather than using language like "hardy perennial" or "tender perennial"
    4. Weed species should be discussed as to their weediness in general or in specific regions.
  2. Aesthetic language is of course par for the course in a Garden book, but superlatives should be avoided.
    1. "This tomato has sweet, firm flesh, and is good for slicing" is fine, but "this is the world's best slicing tomato" is certainly over the top.
    2. Imperatives should be avoided at all costs (e.g., "this plant should never be destroyed, but always transplanted to other gardens".
  3. Aside from the upper-level chapters on organic gardening, permaculture, and so on, organic-specific pages should be avoided. Plant, pests and disease profiles should instead simply list both organic and non-organic approaches.

Focus limitations


Information about the plant other than garden-related issues is encouraged, but "how-to" information outside the scope of horticulture should be discussed in other books.

  • Discussion of the harvesting and storage of food and medicinal crops should be included, but specific recipes and preparations should be instead added to the Cookbook or to an herbal medicine book.
  • Discussion of material uses (lumber, etc.) should be limited to the properties of the material and examples for how it is used. Specific discussions of how to make specific use of a material should be given in another book (or another chapter, if the use is garden-related).
  • Links to websites about products made from plant materials are not permitted.