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Emily Compost - Garden Glossary
Category: Animals and Nature > Gardening
Date & country: 11/09/2007, USA
Words: 484


Culinary Herb
A plant grown for its strong flavor which is used to cook with in dishes and salads. the parts of the plant used are the leaves, flowers, or bulbs.

Cultivar
Used when determining plant names. Indicates the variety originated in cultivation and not the wild. This portion of a plants name is usually not Latin.

Cultivate
Breaking the topsoil so water and air can penetrate, and, to prevent weeds.

Cultivation
The technique of weeding and hoeing for the purpose of increasing the air in the to layers of the soil and to break up the soil so water will penetrate.

Culun
In the bamboo world this refers to the stem of grasses being usually hollow.

Cut Back
Trimming or cutting moderately, making sure some of the last season's growth is left, to clean the plant up and the encourage new growth.

Cutting
This can be a leaf, roots, shoot, stem, or a bud that has been cut off and then used in propagation.

Cycad
An ancient group of plants that were very abundant in the 'age of dinosaurs' (the Jurasic and Cretaceous periods). There are less than 200 species that survive today and are growing in the warmer regions of the world. Often thought of as long-lived flowerless plants. Most are palm or fern-like.

Damping Off
This is a decayed young seedling at ground level, caused by a fungal attack. The result of soil borne diseases and over watering.

Dappled Shade
High shade that is created by allowing sun to shine through.

Dark-Dependent Seeds
Seeds that germinate only in darkness. So, must be covered with soil.

Day Length
This merely is the number of hours from sunrise to sunset. Sometimes used interchangeably with photo period.

Day Neutral
A plant whose blooming period is not affected by the length of day.

Deadheading
Pinch here, snip there, removing spent flowers that have already bloomed. This is done for the benefit of the plant to prevent disease, prevent seed development and will encourage more vigorous blooming and a bushier plant.

Deciduous
These are plants that loose their leaves at the end of the growing season. Maple trees are a good example.

Dethatch
The process of taking up dead grass and plant material that builds up under the grass making the soil easier to absorb nutrients.

Dibble
A tool used to make holes for seeds or bulbs: a pencil end, dowel, or anything that works for the situation.

Dieback
A process caused by disease or pests. It is the death of the tips of branches and shoots. It will progress until the whole plant dies.

Diocecious
A plant which bears either male of female flowers. (Compare to Monoecious)

Direct Seeding
putting the seed directly in the soil as opposed to transplanting seedlings.

Disbudding
In reference to fruit crops, by selectively taking off buds to diminish the crop production and to have quality over quantity.

Dish Garden
This arrangement is most seen in florists. Many plants grown together to be used indoors for a focal point of greenery. (see European Dish Garden article)

Distilled Water
Pure water free from dissolved salts. Formerly made by distillation, now produced chemically by demineralization.

Dither
Just a plain old utensil of any kind to make a hole in the ground to drop a seed into.

Division
A method of propagating plants by separating each one into two or more sections and then repotting (i.e. perennials are easily propagated this way.)

Dormant Oil
A great horticultural oil to be used on fruit trees or any plant material that has insects. It mainly kills the eggs that are not seen. Read the directions carefully not to be used in high temperatures. There are several brands on the market.

Dormant Period (Dormancy)
This is the time when a plant has naturally stopped growing and the leaves have fallen or the top growth has died down. The dormant period is usually, but not always, in winter. Most plants need it to perform.

Double Digging
A method of deep cultivation.

Double Flower
A flower that is full from overlapping petals.

Double Potting
Placing a potted plant in a larger pot with damp peat moss surrounding it. The peat is kept moist and provides a humid evaporative effect for the potted plant nestled between it. Used a lot to dress up a working clay pot.

Downy Mildew
A certain kind of mildew caused by a special fungi. Often confused with sooty mildew and powdery mildew. As with all mildews it is a problem in hot and humid weather. And, like many fungi it transports its spores. The plants affected will have fuzzy patches on the leaves.

Drainage
How water moves through the soil. A real important factor for most plants and gardens. In general water should move through the soil whether in a garden or in a container somewhat easily. If there is standing water create better drainage by adding non-porous material.

Drawn
Referring to the structure of a plant, one that is too tall and has grown too weak. Caused by growing in too little light or too close together. Often is the case in flats in nurseries. Buyer beware.

Drift
A design term generally attributed to Gertrude Jekyll. To express a feeling in with plants. The technique is to plant flowers thicker in the center and further apart on the outskirts.

Drip Irrigation
A trickle irrigation system. Highly recommended for soaking the soil well.

Drip Line
The imaginary line under the tips of the canopy of a tree.

Drupe
A type of fruit (i.e. plums, cherries, olives, peaches). Also considered stone fruits. The fruit wall is fleshy. The outside layer is generally juicy. The one seed fruit will not open up.

Dwarf
Shorter than its normal growth. Each family of plants has a height recommendation for dwarfness.

Edging Plant
On the edge or border of a bed.

Efflorescence
The deposit of calcium and fertilizer salts on the outer surfaces of clay pots.

Endemic
Plants which are of a certain geographic area and generally are confined to that place.

Epiphyte
This is a plant which grows above ground attaching itself to trees or rocks. A good example is the Amazon Air Plant or Spanish Moss.

Erosion
The wearing away of soil created by man, rain, or wind. Not a healthy situation.

Escape
A plant that is on its way to becoming naturalized in an area. Just exactly as it reads, it has escaped from cultivation.

Espalier
The method of training a tree or shrub as to grow in a pattern. Often pear trees, apple trees, or ornamentals.

Evapotranspiration
Known as ET, it is the amount of water that transpires through a plants leaves combined with the amount that evaporates from the soil in which it is growing.

Everblooming
Those flowers that will bloom all season.

Evergreen
A plant that will bear foliage throughout the year.

Everlasting
Flowers that have been grown for drying and preserving.

Exotic
Plants that are native to other parts of the world and have been introduced here. Watch out. honeysuckle and purple loosestrife are invasive exotic pests.

Eye
Two unrelated meanings: an undeveloped growth bud (as in a potato) or the center of a flower (as in a daylily).

F1
Breeders use this term and it refers to the first generation offspring, from two plants that have been bred. The F1 may have desired qualities of either or both parents.

F2
This is the product of two F1 plants that have been crossed. This is considered the second generation. This will not necessarily produce a great plant.

Fairy Ring
A circle of fungal growth.

Family
One genus or several genera which have a basically similar floral pattern make up a family (i.e. LILLACEAE (lily), IRIDACEAE (iris), ROSACEAE (rose), ORCHIDACEAE (orchid))

Fasciation
This effects many herbaceous and woody plants. This is a genetic mutation or imbalance in growth caused by absorption of a herbicide. Remove all effected stems.

Fertilize(Rs)
The act of or the actual substance added to soil to provide additional nutrients for plants. May also be used to describe the pollination process flowers undergo with the help of bees and other insects. There are organic and chemical fertilizers.

Field Grown
Grown in the field, as opposed to root cuttings which are grown in pots in greenhouses.

Flat
A shallow wooden box or plastic tray used to start cuttings or seedlings. Annuals may be purchased in a flat.

Flore Pleno
A botanical term describing a flower with extra petals.

Foiliar Fertilizer
A liquid, water soluble, fertilizer applied to a plant's foliage in a fine spray so that the plant can absorb the nutrients through its leaves.

Forcing
The process of making a plant grow or flower before its natural season. Usually done indoors (i.e. paperwhites).

Foundation Planting
Any plant that is used around a building for the sole purpose of making it look more esthetic. In earlier days it was to cover the foundation.

Frond
A leaf of a fern or palm. The limbs of a palm tree.

Frost
The freezing and condensation of moisture in the air. Frost dates are important to know for your zone or area.

Frost Hardy
Plants that are able to survive winter frosts without damage to their leaves (i.e. evergreens) or damage to dormant stems, buts or roots (i.e. deciduous plants). Very much relative to geographic areas.

Frost Tender
These plants will be damaged or killed by even the lightest of winter frosts. Most evident would be tropical plants stretched to a cooler zone.

Fruit Fly
A small insect pest that will lay its eggs beneath the surface of developing fruits. The larvae will then grow quickly and exit through holes in the fruit or vegetable causing rot.

Full Shade
This shade is sometimes called deep shade and is created by mature trees.

Full Sun
Six hours or more in the direct sun during the growing season of the year.

Fungicide
A chemical used to control diseases caused by fungi.

Fungus
A primitive form of plant life. It is not vascular, and non-photo synthetic organism

Furrow
A depression in the planting garden either dug by a spade or a plow. It is created to be planted in or to be drainage.

Fusarium
This fungal disease is soil borne and causes wilting and death mostly in herbaceous plants. Often represent is the 'V' in V,F,N in plant tags that denote fusarium resistant.

Gall
An unusual and abnormal growth on a plant. Caused by insects, but can also be caused by bacteria and fungi. No harm to the plant material other than it is unsightly.

Garden Designer
(Aren't we all?) A person who professionaly will create plans for a home or public space. Many are self-taught, and not generally licensed by the state. Not to be confused with garden architects who are specifically trained and licensed. Garden designers sometimes are referred to as landscape designers.

Genus
Used when naming plants. Genus is the plant equivalent of our surnames. When followed by the name of the 'species' you have it's botanical name. Almost always in Latin.

Geotropism
Not a commonly used term but it is the response to gravity. Plant parts that grow downward, such as the roots, would be positive geotropism. A negative geotropism would be the stems growing upward.

Germinate
The sprouting of a seed.

Gibberellin
A hormone used in plant production. Often used in Camellia blooms and in increasing the size of fruits.

Girdling
The choking of a branch by a wire, rope, or other inflexible material which usually occurs most often in woody stemmed plants that have been tied down too tightly without regard for growth.

Glade
An open space in a woodland area.

Glasshouse
our friends the British use this in reference to a greenhouse.

Glen
A very romantic term meaning a narrow valley.

Glochids
Tiny, still hairs with barbs found in cacti. Don't let them get you.

Grade
Not your A, B, C's in class, but the degree or direction of a slope, generally. Real important with house construction and ground placement.

Grafting
This is a method of propagation. The process of joining a desirable stem or bud of one plant (known as the scion) on to the less desirable, but hardier, stem of another (known as the stock). This will give a stronger root system than the scion would have normally had. Commonly done in roses, fruit trees and in some ornamentals.

Granular Fertilizer
A fertilizer that is dry and is a tiny pellet form. It is spreadable and should be measured. A granular fertilizer can come in both a natural and synthetic form.

Green Manure
A crop (such as rye grass) that is grown and then incorporated into the soil to increase soil fertility or organic matter content. Usually turned over into the soil a few weeks before new planting begins.

Greenhouse
A house that is green. One would think, but this is a structure that can be build out of glass, plastic, or fiberglass. This building will be controlled in its temperature and humidity. Greenhouses are used for public display, cultivation, and in general protection of plants. Greenhouse comes in hobby sizes and as commercial usage.

Greensand
A sediment composed of grains of glauconite mingled with clay or sand used as an organic fertilizer. It contains about twenty-two trace minerals including potash, silica, iron oxide, magnesia, lime, and phosphoric acid. Mined in Florida, once the ocean floor. Roses and tomatoes love it. The material will prolong fruiting and loosen heavy clay soils.

Ground Cover
A plant used to provide a low-growing carpet between other plants.

Growing Habit
A direction or shape a plant takes as it grows.

Growing Point
The area where the new growth occurs. When a plant is pinched and the new shoots then develop, this is the growing point.

Growing Season
The period of time from the last frost date in spring to the first frost date in the fall. Vegetables especially will require a certain amount of days to maturity. Make sure your growing season in long enough.

Growth Regulator
A commercial chemical used by nurseries to change the shape of a plant. In general to dwarf a plant or to make the stems shorter. Kalanchoe are often dwarfed and then forced to bloom. The plant eventually will grow out of this, especially if cuttings are taken.

Gypsum
A mineral of calcium sulfate. Gypsum adds calcium to the soil. It also will improve the structure of a clay soil. There will be no change in the pH value of the soil.

Gypsy Moth
A caterpillar about 1 1/2 inches long that came from Europe. these larvae do great damage by chewing and sometimes defoliating the entire tree.

Habit
The shape or form of a plant, growing vertical, laterally, or rounded. It is important to know the habit of a plant so one can expect certain growth patterns.

Habitat
The environment in which a plant is usually found growing, the factors being climate and soil. Microclimates will also play into this.