Picture of flowers for horticulture

Horticulture

  • Location: East Campus (Oley)
    Instructor: 
    Kelly Piccioni
    Order Supplies
    CIP Code: 01.0601

Aquaponics at BCTC

  • fish in aquaponics system

    BCTC's Horticulture Program has a unique aquaponics system. Aquaponics blends together the technology of hydroponics and fish rearing methods of aquaculture. Based upon the nitrogen cycle, the fish produce essential nutrients for the plants, and in return, the plants filter the water. This sustainable technology allows for organic growing of crops like lettuce, radishes, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, and carrots. Horticulture students work closely with Culinary students to plan menus and schedule the crops for proper harvest. This cross collaboration helps build networking skills while implementing a 21st century business model.

    aquaponics

    tomatos

  • Program Entrance Recommendations:

    Reading at grade level
    Algebra I or Geometry
    Problem solving/troubleshooting skills
    Ability to work independentlyand in a team
    Hand-eye coordination
    Mechanical aptitude

    Career Pathways

    Nursery Worker
    Nursery & Greenhouse Manager
    Floral Designer
    Landscaping and Groundskeeping Worker
    Horticulture & Nursery Sales
    Horticulture Grower / Greenhouse
    Aquaponics
    Environmental Resource Management
    Sustainable Technology
    Golf Course Superintendent
    Landscape Designer
    Garden Center Manager
    Arborist

  • Horticulture is a program offering the student an opportunity to pursue a career interest in any one or combination of the major areas of horticulture: Turfgrass Establishment and Maintenance, Landscape Design, Construction and Maintenance, Greenhouse Crop Production and Floral Design. In addition all students will become members of FFA and have an opportunity to benefit from leadership activities and competitions.

    Turfgrass Establishment and Maintenance involves the study of turfgrasses; soil identification and amendments; seasonal lawn maintenance and installation tasks; pest control and the establishment of lawns. This discipline also includes the operation of lawn equipment and small engine repair, preventative maintenance, tune-up procedures, blade sharpening and equipment overhaul.

    Landscape Design, Construction and Maintenance includes the principles of landscape design; the study and maintenance of ornamental shrubs and trees, perennials, annuals, bulbs, and fruit trees; corrective and seasonal pruning; propagation;  the installation of segmental walls, walkways, patios, low voltage lighting and water features; garden installation and equipment operation.

    Greenhouse Crop Production includes the study of greenhouse structures and operation; soils; fertilization; propagation; watering; pest control; inventory; crop scheduling and greenhouse crop care and sales.

    Floral Design includes the study of floral shop practices; fresh, silk, and dried floral arranging; holiday and special occasion designs, wedding design work, houseplant care, and trends in the floral industry.

    New to the Horticulture Program is an aquaponics system. Aquaponics blends together the technology of hydroponics and fish rearing methods of aquaculture. Based upon the nitrogen cycle, the fish produce essential nutrients for the plants, and in return, the plants filter the water. This sustainable technology allows for organic growing of crops like lettuce, radishes, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, and carrots. Horticulture students work closely with Culinary students to plan menus and schedule the crops for proper harvest. This cross collaboration helps build networking skills while implementing a 21st century business model.

    Students in the Horticulture program gain invaluable experience by landscaping the grounds of the student built house project, maintaining portions of the campus, creating seasonal floral arrangements for customers, working on community service projects, and engaging in the production and sale of bedding plants each spring.

    Students in this program should be proficient in the following math skills: calculating with fraction operations, computing linear measurements, computing liquid measurements, computing square feet and cubic dimensions, solving ratio problems, and using basic geometry.

    Industry Certifications:

    PA Certified Horticulturist (PCH)
    PA Pesticide Applicator Certification
    OSHA/CareerSafe 10-Hour Certification 

    Program Requirements/Costs (approximate):

    Please use the Order Supplies link for the approximate costs of the Textbooks, Tools & Supplies, and Uniforms for this program.

    Industry certification testing fees - $95*
    FFA Membership - $15

    * BCTC will pay for one pair of safety glasses (if required) and may assist with payment for the testing fees or core certification tests (first time only).  Additional safety glasses and testing fees must be paid by the student.

College Advanced Credits


Books

HORTICULTURE All Horticulture Students

HORTICULTURE Floral Design

HORTICULTURE Greenhouse

HORTICULTURE Landscaping

Current Horticulture News

  • Alyssa Lash

    Posted by Aleasha Ettinger on 5/2/2018 2:00:00 PM

    Alyssa Lash is a senior at Schuykill Valley and a level three in BCTC's Dental Occupations program. She has always had an interest in helping individuals maintain their teeth, making her decision to join BCTC a no-brainer. Throughout her three years, she has earned several certifications including OSHA, DANB, and Radiation Health and Safety. Alyssa has recently been accepted into the Pennsylvania College of Technology where she plans to continue her education and receive her Bachelor's degree in Dental Hygiene

    BCTC Dental Occupations student, Alyssa Lash, shows off her own beautiful smile. Additionally, Alyssa is an active member of HOSA. Becoming involved with this elite student organization has helped her grow more involved with her community. HOSA and its partners provide a number of scholarship opportunities to members in a variety of fields. One of these scholarships was to be awarded to a hard-working individual who plans to attend college after graduation. Alyssa is now the proud recipient of this scholarship. 

    Comments (-1)
  • Alan Bauman

    Posted by Abby Showalter on 4/20/2018

    Alan Bauman Alan Bauman is a senior from Boyertown High School and a top student in BCTC's Horticulture program. After graduation, he will attend Penn State Berks for Plant Sciences. 

    One of Alan's favorite things about the Horticulture program is working in the greenhouse. His career goal is to work for a local greenhouse. 

    Alan recommends attending BCTC to friends and up-and-coming freshmen because "It's a great way to find your career direction, find out if you like a certain career path, and meet new people from all different school districts." 

    Alan working on wreath  Alan grew up on a farm and in his spare time he is exploring beekeeping. Over last summer he assisted the horticulture program by visiting the aquaponics system to feed fish and perform water testing. 

    Alan was also recently featured as a young Agricultural Leader in Berks County by the Reading Eagle

    There are great things in Alan's future! 

    Comments (-1)
  • Abby Vogel

    Posted by Abby Showalter on 2/20/2018

    Student Spotlight
    Abby Vogel, Painting and Decorating Senior abby vogel mosaic table bctc

    Abby Vogel is a senior at Tulpehocken High School and attends the Painting and Decorating program at BCTC West Campus. As part of her senior project, Abby turned trash into treasure. The staff at Tulpehocken had a table that they used outside for lunches, but it was scratched and worn. Abby created a beautiful mosaic on the table for staff to enjoy. 

    The table was also entered into a Goggle Works art show, where Abby won the Stanley Gseltz Award for outstanding achievement in design and craftsmanship. The award was gifted by the Reading-Berks chapter of the Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsman

    Abby first developed an interest in mosaics after doing a smaller project for her Painting and Decorating curriculum. When she realized she had a talent for this type of form and function artwork, her teacher, Mrs. Kline, encouraged her to look for more opportunities to work with mosaics. 

    Abby designed the table to illustrate multiple bursts of color. She is excited for the staff at Tulpehocken High School to use her artwork on a regular basis, and hopefully provide extra cheer for their days. 

    The table was made on shoe-string budget, using the original table provided by Tulpehochen High School, glass pieces that were donated to the Painting and Decorating classroom, and grout that was purchased by Mrs. Kline herself.

    mosaic table BCTC art

    Comments (-1)
  • Dylan Hatt

    Posted by Abby Showalter on 10/6/2017

    BCTC's own, Dylan Hatt, was recently honored by Senator Argall for saving a man's life. Dylan, a volunteer firefighter for Tilden Township, pulled an elderly man from a burning building. Dylan's heroic rescue and the Senator's honor were detailed recently in the Reading Eagle and The Hamburg ItemBCTC Skills Represenatives

    In addition to his volunteer work as a first responder, Dylan has accomplished great things at Berks Career & Technology Center (BCTC). As a student in the Electrical Occupations program the BCTC west campus, Dylan has earned many honors, including his role as Treasurer of Skills USA and Student of the Quarter. For his senior project, Dylan designed and oversaw the building of a house for use by the Electrical Occupations students. The house is located inside the Electrical Occupations shop, and the students use it to practice various electrical maintenance and installation activities. Dylan's BCTC instructor, Mr. Semanchick, beamed about Dylan's achievements in the class from ninth grade, to his current senior year. 

    During the ceremony to honor Dylan and his fellow first responders, Sen. Argall said, "You did more than your job. You did it well." This is a wonderful characterization of how Dylan attacks every job he comes across. BCTC is proud to have such an amazing person as a student. 

    Comments (-1)