May 27, 2024
35 gardening terms everyone should know

When thumbing by way of seed catalogs or plant-care manuals, you are probable to come across at least some descriptions that elude you. So here’s a cheat sheet to enable navigate the choices – and maybe impress your gardening buddies.

Aerate: Poking holes into compacted soil with a yard fork or aeration equipment to aid the circulation of oxygen to plant roots.

Modification: Organic and natural make any difference this sort of as compost or manure added to soil to increase its fertility, drainage, h2o retention or framework.

Once-a-year: A plant that completes its lifecycle in a person year, irrespective of climate.

Bare root: Crops, usually roses, trees and shrubs, that are dug out of the floor and bought devoid of soil or containers.

Biennial: A plant that completes its lifecycle in two a long time.

Bolting: Premature flowering of crops like lettuce and beets that renders them bitter or if not lessens their high-quality.

Botanical title: The name assigned to a plant applying the Latin-dependent terminology designed by the Swedish botanist Carolus Linnaeus in the 1700s. Applying a plant’s botanical identify (also referred to as its “scientific name”) eradicates the hazard of perplexing it with other crops.

Broadcast: Spreading seeds more than a substantial region, both by hand or machine, as a substitute of planting in rows.

Cloche: A usually bell-shaped item put in excess of plants to secure them from insect or frost harm.

Cold frame: An enclosure put around vegetation to create a greenhouse influence and extend the expanding period.

Popular name: A nickname employed in selected circles or geographical regions to describe a plant. Because different plants can share a common name — and one particular plant can have various — their use can confuse gardeners.

Companion planting: Grouping particular vegetation with each other dependent on the benefits they offer for each and every other. These positive aspects can contain attracting pollinators, deterring pests or serving as a dwelling trellis.

Deadheading: The exercise of eliminating used – or useless – flowers from a plant to stimulate repeat blooming, avoid self-sowing or simply just keep crops hunting tidy.

Deciduous: Plants, trees or shrubs that get rid of their leaves in autumn or winter.

Immediate sow: Planting seeds specifically into the backyard somewhat than beginning them in containers indoors and transplanting them outdoors afterwards.

Ephemeral: A plant that emerges and fades relatively swiftly, usually in spring.

Evergreen: Plants, trees or shrubs that do not eliminate their leaves in autumn or winter season but stay green yr-round.

Foliar feeding: Implementing liquid fertilizer straight to leaves instead than soil.

Germination: The preliminary expansion of a sprout from a seed.

Harden off: The course of action of steadily acclimating a plant to a diverse, ordinarily harsher, local weather, these kinds of as outside from indoors, in buy to increase its resiliency.

Heirloom: A plant in its first sort that has not been hybridized or cross-pollinated with other species or types. Heirloom seeds reliably deliver vegetation that “grow true” or keep the very same characteristics as the plants from which they were gathered.

Hill: The exercise of mounding soil up from new above-floor advancement, as is finished with potato crops.

Hybrid: A plant assortment that has been deliberately cultivated in a managed setting, normally by cross-pollinating, in purchase to acquire new, fascinating attributes this kind of as bloom shade, condition resistance, fragrance, size, hardiness, flavor or shelf lifetime, amongst other people.

Naturalize: The exercise of scattering seeds or bulbs in such a way that they either show up to have unfold the natural way or, in areas these types of as the lawn, in which they are permitted to unfold without having boundaries.

Organic make a difference: Non-artificial substance, this kind of as decomposed plants and animals, manure, compost and leaf mildew, applied to increase the fertility, framework and other attributes of soil.

Perennial: Vegetation with a lifecycle that is for a longer period than two years. Perennials may well die back to the floor over winter and return 12 months just after year or keep on being evergreen throughout their lifespan.

pH: In gardening, the pH scale determines the acidity or alkalinity of soil, compost and water. The lessen the studying, the a lot more acidic the soil the increased the studying, the more alkaline. A looking through of 7. is considered neutral.

Pinching: The exercise of making use of your thumb and index finger to eliminate smaller shoots and stems, ordinarily to really encourage the expansion of facet shoots.

Scarification: Scratching, cutting, nicking or or else frivolously detrimental the tricky floor of a seed to facilitate germination.

Self-seeding: A expression applied to explain vegetation that spread by dropping seeds onto the soil all-around them. Those people seeds germinate, root and grow into more plants. Also known as “self-sowing.”

Side dress: To sprinkle a line of granular, powdered or pelleted fertilizer (or other amendments) alongside a row of vegetation fairly than incorporate it into the soil or planting gap.

Stratification: The course of action of exposing seeds or bulbs to chilly temperatures, commonly in a fridge or freezer, to emulate the outside wintertime conditions needed for productive spring germination.

Prime costume: To use fertilizer or amendments like compost or manure right to the soil above and around plants.

Wet ft: Damp roots, generally ensuing from poorly draining or oversaturated soil.

Xeriscaping: The use of drought-tolerant vegetation in the landscape for drinking water-conservation needs. Also referred to as “water-smart gardening.”


Jessica Damiano writes regular gardening columns for The Affiliated Press. She publishes the award-winning Weekly Dirt Publication. Sign up in this article for weekly gardening suggestions and information.

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