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4-H Horticulture Skill-a-thon Project

female 4-H youth inspecting a set of four potted plants on a table

What’s your horticulture comfort level? Do you know what a tomatillo is? To know how to garden means you will never go hungry! The 4-H horticulture skill-a-thon is a contest that helps youth identify flowers, indoor plants, landscape ornamentals, fruits, nuts, berries, and vegetables. Be ready to expand your knowledge on greenhouses, turf, plant nutrition, landscaping, managing lawns and trees, and soil health. If this is something that interests you, contact your county 4-H youth program advisor.

Ages and Stages of Youth Development


Youth prepare for the contest by studying the Beginner Plant Parts Study Guide and Your Vegetable Garden Study Guide for a written test. Learning the basic skill of gardening will be helpful for judging and vegetables and fruit ID.


The Junior/Senior Plant Parts Study Guide and NJHA Study Guides will prepare youth for a written test as well as ID vegetables, fruits, nuts, berries, and landscape ornamentals and judge fruits, vegetables, and flowers/indoor plants.


Youth will continue to build upon their previous horticulture identification and judging skills which will also include landscape ornamentals identification. Seniors will also take a written test.

4-H Programming Priorities


Horticulture knowledge can be shared with 4-H clubs, community gardens, and master gardeners through demonstrations, talks, and community service projects.

Health & Wellness

Gardening is an excellent way to promote a healthy lifestyle by not only eating healthy, but also doing physical activity.


Youth will learn aspects involving horticulture such as the science behind naming plants, disease resistant plants, and plant propagation.


Commercial horticulture is an important part of the US crop production economy. Youth can explore horticulture processing, floriculture, and fruit acreages.

Get Involved

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Youth Voice

  • Demonstrate how to plant garden seeds
  • Illustrated talk on types of peppers
  • Discuss the difference between cool and warm season grasses
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Community Service

  • Volunteer at a local community garden
  • Coordinate planting and care for city-wide planters
  • Grow pumpkins for a local charity
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Career Connections

  • Golf course maintenance
  • Landscape architect
  • Food crop marketing
  • Greenhouse manager
  • Horticulturist
  • Research lab

Exhibit Ideas

  • How to properly display vegetables
  • Vegetable garden curriculum project activity guide
  • Poster on garden insects
  • Cornucopia display
  • Herb plants mounted or dried
  • Dried fruit or vegetable exhibit
  • Fruit jelly, jams, or preserve display

Learning Resources