What Is Commercial Gardening? Helpful Examples!

Horticulture, or commercial gardening for the production of food or aesthetic plants, is mostly an American term. 

From the other side of the pond, professional grounds maintenance is referred to as commercial gardening rather than the cultivation of melons and radishes. We shall thus utilize the more widely used term “market gardening” going forward (you will also hear it referred to as truck farming).

When you go to a farmer’s market in the middle of the week to buy fruits and vegetables or look at some of their pretty potted plants for your salon windows, most of the sellers are market gardeners who grow their crops on small plots of land that are less than an acre or a few acres.

Some of them might even grow their crops in greenhouses (also known as hothouses or winter gardens), although this is all done on a modest scale for both production and sales.

Is Commercial Gardening Intensive Or Extensive?

Commercial gardening is considered extensive. This type typically has shallower soil depths and requires less upkeep and structural support than more traditional garden layouts. They do not need any supplemental or artificial watering. 

The plants that are chosen for wide gardens are resilient species that require little to no upkeep and do not have stringent requirements for their habitat. The goal of an extensive planting design is to create a plant community that can maintain its own existence.

Commercial Gardening And Fruit Farming Characteristics

Commercial farming involves the production of cattle and crops on a big scale in vast farms with the use of technology, irrigation techniques, chemical fertilizers, and other technologies.

The primary goal of mass producing these goods is to export them to other nations or regions where there is a big market for them.

For instance, because of their unfavorable climates, the majority of Gulf countries must import their food. Mass imports are utilized as raw materials in companies in other countries. The detailed characteristics are listed below.

Large-Scale Production

Large-scale production of livestock and crops is a feature of commercial farming. To achieve the anticipated production targets or goals, a large amount of land, cutting-edge technology, and knowledge are needed.


The technique suggests that it requires a lot of capital to get it up and running because it demands a lot of investment before it is begun.

The capital is used to buy agricultural supplies like seedlings or seeds, fertilizers and pesticides, machinery, and the farm itself. It is also used to pay for expenses incurred like water and energy bills, labor costs, and the cost of expertise.

Utilizing High Yielding Varieties (HYV)

Commercial agricultural practices involve the use of heavy amounts of contemporary inputs, high-yielding seed varieties, chemical fertilizers, herbicides, weed killers, and insecticides. This is done to increase production; however, it has a negative effect on the sustainability of the environment.

It Is Made to Be Sold

In contrast to other types of farming, where people grow crops for their own needs, commercial farming is done only to sell crops.

Millet, bananas, cocoa, rice, sugarcane, tea, and other goods grown on thousands of acres are harvested and sold as part of commercial agriculture. Most of these goods are sent to other countries as exports.

Human Labor and Large Machinery

Both expert and unskilled labor must be available in large quantities for commercial farming. Unskilled labor frequently takes advantage of immigrants and people who are living in extreme poverty, whereas skilled labor in the commercial sector is provided by professionals.

Reaching the targets and goals on time and to the standards of the production system also requires heavy machinery, such as plows, diggers, trailed sprayers, harvesters, and planters, to name a few.

The Practice is Normally Conducted Throughout the Year

Because commercial farmers may water their land or run their farm systems year-round, commercial agriculture is unusual. 

Since they use cutting-edge technologies, machinery, and artificial growth promoters to keep their crops or animals alive throughout the year, they are not as dependent on rainfall or natural resources as other farmers are.

What Is An Example Of Extensive Commercial Agriculture?

Maasai Pastoralism in East Africa

The Maasai people of East Africa engage in intensive pastoralism. Their cow herds freely graze throughout the Serengeti, mixing with the native fauna. Men from the Maasai tribe guard the cows with spears.

The Maasai have long been at odds with regional predators like lions that might prey on cattle due to this behavior. In almost every case, the Maasai kill the lions as payback. 

Many young Maasai men would seek out and hunt a male lion down as a rite of passage since the cultural ritual has become so ingrained, even if the lion has not attacked any Maasai cattle.

Wild areas like the Serengeti have been commercialized for ecotourism as the rest of East Africa continues to urbanize. 

But for that to happen, the ecology must be unharmed. Some Maasai have switched from pastoralism to ranching as a result of pressure from the governments of Kenya and Tanzania to fence their livestock.

Svedjebruk in Northern Europe

The majority of Northern Europe has year-round rainfall, which depletes the soil of nutrients and causes leaching. As a result, massive slash-and-burn farming is a common practice among farmers in Northern Europe. This practice is known as svedjebruk in Sweden.

Some governments are now debating whether slash-and-burn agriculture can be sustained over the long run due to growing global concerns over deforestation. Slash-and-burn agriculture was quite sustainable in a previous era when forests were not also under threat from logging and permanent land-use alteration. 

Governments must decide how to exploit our forestland as a resource as a result of the growth in population, or our forests risk completely disappearing.

Methods of Extensive Farming

Shifting Cultivation

The shifting cultivation method of crop production is one of the more extensive approaches. When farmers move on to the next piece of forest, they leave behind an area of land that has been cleared, converted into a temporary farm, and then allowed to “re-wild” as the farmers move on. Typically, this land was once a section of a forest.

Generally speaking, shifting cultivation is used as a form of subsistence agriculture. Either the farmers lead a nomadic lifestyle or a sedentary lifestyle, in which case the location of their farms is the only thing that moves about.

Shifting agriculture is most frequently used in soil-poor areas, such as tropical rainforests, that yet have the other elements required to enable crop cultivation. 

Slash and burn agriculture, one of the most popular types of shifting cultivation, involves clearing a forest area, burning it, and then leaving the charred remnants to add nutrients to the soil before planting.


Ranching is a farming method in which grazing animals are kept enclosed in a pasture. Although the formal meaning of “ranching” is fairly broad, in everyday speech, it is most often linked with the enormous beef cattle farms that are common in Texas.

Ranching can be very lucrative. The majority of beef-focused ranches take great satisfaction in the quality of their meat and the relative quality of life for their animals, despite the fact that they cannot compete with industrial livestock farms in terms of scale and output.

Due to their size, many ranches may displace the natural ecosystems that would otherwise exist there.

Nomadic Herding

The most widespread kind of nomadic pastoralism is termed nomadic herding, often known as pastoral nomadism or nomadic pastoralism. 

To provide their herds with continual grazing, nomads remain in motion. Accordingly, a piece of land receives little effort or financial investment. Pastoralism and transhumance, the act of relocating herds, are two characteristics of nomadic herding (the practice of letting herds graze freely wherever they wish).

In regions where no other agricultural techniques are feasible, such as North Africa and Mongolia, nomadic herding is often practiced.

Similar Posts