35 gardening terms everyone should know – Orange County Register

By Jessica Damiano | The Associated Press

If you browse through seed catalogs or plant care manuals, you will likely come across at least some descriptions that elude you. So here’s a cheat sheet to help you navigate through the offerings — and maybe impress your gardening friends.

Aerate: Poke holes in compacted soil with a garden fork or aerator to facilitate the flow of oxygen to the plant roots.

Modification: Organic matter, such as compost or manure, added to soil to improve its fertility, drainage, water retention, or structure.

Annual: A plant that completes its life cycle in one year, regardless of climate.

Bare Roots: Plants, typically roses, trees, and shrubs, that are dug out of the ground and sold without soil or a container.

Biennial: A plant that completes its life cycle in two years.

Bolting: Premature flowering of crops such as lettuce and turnips, making them bitter or otherwise reducing their quality.

Botanical Name: The name assigned to a plant using the Latin terminology developed by the Swedish botanist Carolus Linnaeus in the 17th century. Using a plant’s botanical name (also called “scientific name”) eliminates the likelihood of confusion with other plants.

Scatter: Spread seeds over a large area, either by hand or by machine, rather than planting in rows.

Bell: A traditional bell-shaped item placed over plants to protect them from insect or frost damage.

Cold Frame: An enclosure placed around plants to create a greenhouse effect and extend the growing season.

Common Name: A nickname used in certain counties or geographic regions to describe a plant. Since different plants can share a common name – and a plant can have several – using them can confuse gardeners.

Companion Planting: Grouping certain plants together based on the benefits they provide to each other. These benefits can include attracting pollinators, deterring pests, or serving as a living trellis.

Deadheading: The practice of removing spent – or dead – flowers from a plant to encourage rebloom, prevent self-seeding, or simply to keep plants looking clean.

Foliage: Plants, trees, or shrubs that lose their leaves in fall or winter.

No-till: Plant seeds directly in the garden instead of starting them in containers indoors and transplanting them outdoors later.

Ephemeral: A plant that emerges and fades relatively quickly, often in spring.

Evergreen: Plants, trees or shrubs that do not lose their leaves in autumn or winter but remain green all year round.

Foliar feeding: apply liquid fertilizer directly to the foliage rather than the soil.

Germination: The initial growth of a shoot from a seed.

Hardening: The process of gradually acclimating a plant to a different, usually harsher, climate, e.g. B. outdoors or indoors to increase their resilience.

Heirloom: A plant in its original form that has not been crossed or cross-pollinated with other species or cultivars. Heirloom seeds reliably produce plants that “real grow” or have the same characteristics as the plants they were collected from.

Mounds: The practice of heaping up soil against new above-ground growth, as is done with potato plants.

Hybrid: A variety of plant that has been intentionally cultivated in a controlled environment, usually by cross-pollination, to acquire new, desirable traits such as flower color, disease resistance, fragrance, size, hardiness, flavor, or shelf life, among others.

Naturalizing: The practice of scattering seeds or bulbs so that they have either spread naturally or in areas such as the lawn where they are allowed to spread without limit.

Organic Material: Non-synthetic material such as B. decomposed plants and animals, manure, compost and leaf soil, which is used to improve the fertility, structure and other properties of the soil.

Perennial: Plants with a life cycle of more than two years. Perennials can die back to the ground over winter and return year after year or remain evergreen throughout their lifespan.

pH: In gardening, the pH scale determines the acidity or alkalinity of soil, compost, and water. The lower the reading, the more acidic the soil; The higher the value, the more alkaline. A score of 7.0 is considered neutral.

Pinching: The practice of removing small shoots and stems with the thumb and forefinger, usually to encourage the growth of side shoots.

Scarifying: Scratching, cutting, nicking, or otherwise slightly damaging the hard surface of a seed to facilitate germination.

Self Seeding: A term used to describe plants that spread by dropping seeds on the ground around them. These seeds germinate, take root and grow into other plants. Also called “self-seeding”.

Side Covering: To spread a row of granular, powdered or pelleted fertilizer (or other supplements) along a row of plants rather than working it into the soil or planting hole.

Stratification: The process of exposing seeds or bulbs to cold temperatures, typically in a refrigerator or freezer, to mimic the outdoor winter conditions necessary for successful spring germination.

Top Dressing: For applying fertilizer or supplements such as compost or manure directly to the soil above and around plants.

Wet Feet: Wet roots that usually result from poorly drained or oversaturated soil.

Xeriscaping: The use of drought tolerant plants in the landscape to conserve water. Also called “waterwise gardening”.


Jessica Damiano is a regular gardening columnist for The Associated Press. She publishes the award-winning Weekly Dirt Newsletter. Sign up here for weekly gardening tips and advice.

https://www.ocregister.com/2022/11/18/time-to-study-up-35-gardening-terms-everyone-should-know-2/ 35 gardening terms everyone should know – Orange County Register

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