A horticultural society is a social system based on horticulture a mode of production in which digging sticks is used to cultivate small gardens. A horticultural society produces its food through cultivation of soil with hand tools (Wallace and Wallace in Sociology). Horticultural societies first came into existence in the Middle East about 4000 BC and subsequently spread to China and Europe. These still survive in some areas of sub-Saharan Africa.
They are associated with the elementary discovery that plants can be grown from seeds. While herding is common in areas with poor soil, horticulture is more common as a means of subsistence in regions with fertile soil. The main features of horticultural societies are: