Gardeners who want to "Walk the Walk" need to to know how to "Talk the Talk".
We have listed below the common gardening terms and what they mean. So, next
time you "walk", you will also "talk"!
||A plant that grows for one year.
||A plant that grows two years. The first year is the year plant growth
stage. The second is the flowering or fruiting stage.
||A process of spreading seeds across a wide area by taking a handful and
gently releasing them across the area you intend to seed. It is generally
used on lawns, wildflowers in fields and in gardens where seed is very small,
or fine and you are sowing them into a seedbed for thinning and later transplant.
||A frame or enclosure that is covered with plastic or glass, to create
a greenhouse effect, and to provide sunlight and warmth to seedlings prior
to transplanting in your garden.
||Companion planting, or companion gardening is the practice of planting
two different plants in close proximity to each other on the theory that
they help each other in some way.
||The planting of flowers or vegetables in a pot or other container. It
is perfect for apartment owners and people with small yards. The list of
flowers and vegetables that can be grown in containers is many and varied.
It is limited by the size of the container and the space you can afford it.
|An important farming method for commercial growers and home gardeners.
Crop rotation concept teaches planting your crops in a different area and
rotating them over a three year cycle. More
||The process where pollen from one variety of a species of plants reaches
and pollinates the female flower of another variety. The result, carried
in the seed, is a cross of the genetic traits of both parents.
||To remove spent or dead flowers off a plant. This promotes new flowering.
||Look at the "canopy" of leaves. Draw an imaginary line straight down
to the ground from the edge of the leaf canopy. This circle around the plant
is called the "Drip line".
|Force or Forcing
||To force a plant to bloom. This is done by creating an artificially natural
type of environment that will induce the plant to bloom. Common examples
are poinsettias and Christmas Cactus.
|Floating Row covers
|Tender vegetables are those that can be harmed or destroyed by frost.
Floating row covers are very lightweight coverings that can be quickly placed
over a row of seedlings or plants. Their light weight minimizes any damage
to tender plants.
||An old gardening term for soil that is soft and crumbly.
|Frost Free Dates
||For areas that get frost and freezes, the US Department of Agriculture
(USDA) has mapped out a number of areas for the country and posted a normal
range of dates for the last date there is a chance of frost n the spring
and the first date for frost in the fall. While a great guide, it can vary
significantly within a given zone due to many factors.
||A long, trench along the row where you will plant your seed.
||The sprouting of a seed above the soil. The germination period is the
time it takes from planting to the time it sprouts form to the time it emerges
from the soil. Note, the germination period can vary greatly due to a number
of factors, but largely due to soil temperature and soil moisture.
||A process of exposing an indoor grown plant to the outside elements over
a period of time to harden it to wider climate conditions. Hardening off
is usually performed over several days with increasing time outside each
||An old fashioned favorite seed, handed down from generation to generation.
||A gardening method where a small round hill is created six or seven inches
high and seeds are planted. This aids seeds to germinate through better drainage
and warmer soil.
||In gardening terms, this means for minerals and nutrients to move out
of the soil by water washing or oozing them out.
||If seedlings and plants do not get enough sunlight, they grow tall and
thin stalks as they seek sunlight. These "leggy" plants have a difficult
time supporting the weight of the plant and is easily damaged.
||Gardener's gold! This is a mineral an nutrient rich by product of animals.
Click here for more
||The normal average number of day for a plant to produce fruit. It is
normally counted from the day of germination or transplanting into your garden.
||A plant that grows for years. Many perennials once planted will
last for many years. As they regenerate more plants, it make for a permanent
||An important measure of the balance of alkalinity versus acidity of your
soil. Most plants grow best in the mid range. Yet, there is a specific ideal
range for each plant.
|Plant Hardiness Zones
||The USDA has divided the U.S into several zones indicating different
high and low temperature ranges to aid in the selection of plants suitable
for your area. Click here for more.
||In the plant world, we often refer to reproduction as plant propagation.
Plants are propagated by creation of seeds, cuttings, separation of roots.
Most plants propagate by one of these means, but some can be reproduced by
two of these methods.
||A gardening method where beds are created inside landscape timbers or
other frames to raise the soil above the level of the ground. This has several
advantages, including better drainage, warmer soil temperatures and it is
aesthetically pleasing in appearance.
||A condition where a plant or seedling's roots have grown compacted and
entwined in the pot and has no room to grow. This condition results in stunting
the plants growth and potential. The solution is a larger pot or transplanting
||A prepared bed where seeds are planted and seedlings are nurtured prior
to planting in your garden. It can be in or out of your regular garden area.
||This is popular with small seeds that are hard to space. Seeds are on
a bio-degradable tape, space the appropriate distance. Make your furrow,
rollout the tape and cover the seeds. Voila!
||The term used for soil that is acidic, or too low. Do not worry, everybody
gets these two terms mixed up.
||The term used for soil that is too high in alkaline.
||Capable of being dissolved in water. Plants need minerals and nutrients
that are in your soil. But if they are in a form that can not be dissolved
in water, the plant can not ingest them.
||A great way to spread out your harvest! Plant, smaller crops in one to
two week intervals to prolong the harvest over a long period of time.
||An old gardening term for the tilled condition of your soil.
||To move a plant from one location to another.
||When transplanting seedlings from one place to another, the roots are
often disturbed and occasionally the change in climate can cause the plant
to slow down or appear to stop growing. This is transplant shock. It is really
redirecting it's energy to re-grow lost roots and to get accustomed to a
change in temperature that it hadn't experienced before.
||A measure of seedling germination rate and health.