Copy of `Emily Compost - Garden Glossary`

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


Sooty Mildew
is a fungus. It looks like a dark gray spots or in general scum on stems and leaves. It is formed from the honey dew excreted that is produced by aphids and other insects. The honeydew that is created is attacked by the mildew and will go after the sugars in the honeydew.

Sooty Mold
Several insect pests will release honey dew, which is a sticky substance that then mold grows on (thus the black coloring). Most associated with aphids. Use a soapy water solution to rinse off the insect pest.

Species
This is a group of plants that have common characteristics. It is a basic unit of plant classification.

Specimen Plant
A plant that is high lighted to show off its special qualities. Sometimes used as a focal point.

Spent
Bulbs and flowers of a plant that have finished blooming. It's time to deadhead them.

Sphagnum Moss
Many mosses native to bogs are sphagnum. Used for the lining of hanging baskets and for air layering (i.e. Spanish moss.)

Spices
seeds, fruits, or roots (rhizomes) used to flavor cooking.

Spore
A microscopic reproductive cell of non-flowering plants (i.e. ferns, lichens, mosses, fungi, and algae). Many times we can see spores on the backside of ferns.

Staking
Plants that grow tall with little stem support need to be staked. Perennials and tomatoes come to mind. Any means of support will work: canes, cages, wire loops, etc.

Standard
Those plants, especially roses, that are grown so all the branches are brought to a head on one single stem. A standard can also be a full size fruit tree. This is done strictly for esthetics.

Stem Cutting
A portion of a stem that only includes one or more nodes taken from a plant. This will not include the apex or the tip. Stem cuttings are a great way to propagate.

Sterilized Soil
It is soil that is steam- or chemically sterilized. Harmful organisms have been killed but helpful bacteria have been spared. Sold commercially.

Stigma
This is the part of the female organ of the flower which receives the pollen.

Stock
The 'mother plant' of which cuttings are taken. Stock is also in reference to plants being grafted on 'stock'. Many hybrids are grafted on good stock material because they have better and sturdier qualities for growing.

Stone
The inner fruit wall of a drupe. The stone encloses the seed (i.e. plums and cherries).

Stretching The Zone
For very ambitions gardeners who want to grow plant material beyond their climate area. Collectors are forever trying to grow what might not. (see zone article)

Subtropical
Very specific area, 5 to 10 degrees higher in latitude than the Tropic of Cancer of the Tropic of Capricorn.

Succession Planting
When one plants a fast crop one week or so after another. The object is to keep a constant supply on hand, like squash, lettuce, truck farmers often practice this technique.

Succulent
Succulent plants have leaves and/or stems which are thick and fleshy. They often have waxy outer layers that allow the plants to retain water well.

Sucker
A shoot which arises from an underground shoot or root of a plant.

Sun Scorch
Spots on leaves that are caused by exposure to strong sunlight. Often not acclimating plants for the season creates sun spots. Just trim off and let new growth develop.

Sunken Garden
A landscape design where some of the garden is at a lower point than the rest of the garden. Created for interest.

Swamp
An area of land that usually flooded and contains woody plants

Systemic Insecticide
A pesticide which can be granular or liquid, used at the base of the plant and travels through the vascular stream.

Tamping
A method by which one will press that soil around a plant that has just been planted making sure soil is secure and firm around the roots.

Tap Root
The main root, sometimes swollen, which grows vertically into the soil. It is hard to transplant perennials with tap roots.

Tender
An indoor plant which requires a minimum temperature of 60°F. Occasional short exposure to temperatures below this level may be tolerated.

Tendril
Plants (like sweet peas, clematis, and grapes) producing a cordlike structure that will help to support themselves.

Terra Cotta
An Italian term that means 'baked earth'. These clay pots are unglazed and excellent for growing most plant material. They do dry out quickly and salts will bleed through the porous surfaces. Emily Compost's most favorite growing container.

Terrariums
Any transparent container with a cover so plants may grow. Sometimes called a bottle garden and in the early 1900's Victorian era called Wardian Cases.

Terrestrial
A plant which grows in the soil as opposed to aquatic or perched on trees.

Teteur
A French word meaning 'trainer'. Any structure that is in the shape of an obelisk or pointed tower. This trellis will support vines of color.

Thatch
Any material that does not quickly decompose. When a lawn becomes 'clogged' with old drying grass cuttings and matted leaves, this is referred to a build up of thatch. Often it does not decompose fast enough for a healthy lawn and needs to be removed, either manually or by a thatching machine.

Thicket
Any area that has a lot of miscellaneous undergrowth, generally of small shrubs, bushes, and vines.

Thimble And Thumb Pots
Not generally spoken of a lot in the United States, but in Britain are interesting miniature clay pots. Thimble pots are 2 x 2 inches and thumb pots are 2.5 x 2.5 inches.

Thinning
Picking out the overpopulated seedlings in any flower or vegetable bed, to make a better growing condition for the rest. Making better spacing and esthetics for the growing area.

Thrips
Insects that feed on all parts of the plant: leaves, flowers, buds, and stems. Very popular in the destruction of daylilies (this word is both singular and plural).

Thug
Not your normal street gangster, but close to it. Thugs are invasive plants. We enjoy their attractiveness but they will take over a garden. They are growing in the right conditions, but ironically thugs can make a statement when they are perennials in the right garden.

Till
Another definition for cultivating. Plowing the earth and preparing it for planting.

Tip Cutting
A cutting taken from the top end of a shoot.

Tired Soil
A term referring to a piece of land that has been exhausted of its nutrient value. It does not produce like it once used to. When a particular crop has been grown too long in once place. The Southeast U.S. created tired soil from planting cotton for too many years.

Tissue Culture
A very sterile practice of propagating plants from the mother plant. Generally done in laboratory conditions. Orchids, hosta and daylilies are done by this method.

Topdress
A process that means to apply on the surface of soil. Usually referring to the spreading of organic material such as ground bark or manure, compost, or fertilizer.

Topiary
The horticultural art of clipping and training woody plants to form geometric shapes or interesting patterns.

Topsoil
Soil that is on the very top, hopefully containing a lot of humus and good elements needed for growth.

Trade Name
An arbitrary name created by a nursery or some other organization to distinguish it from all others

Trailing
Any plant that grows long stems and will grow along the ground and will root as it goes along.

Transpiration
The loss of water through the pores of the leaf.

Treated Seeds
Seeds that have been protected against diseases. They are toxic.

Tropical Plant
A plant that grows in tropic zones. It is what northerners make up as houseplants.

Trug
We must include the 'English basket'. It basically is just a shallow basket for light chores, like carrying flowers and fruits and veggies. Traditionally made out of wood. Very functional.

Tuber
A storage organ used for propagation. It may be a fleshy root (e.g. Dahlia) or a swollen underground stem.

Under Glass
A term in older books referring to 'growing under glass', essentially growing in a greenhouse.

Underplanting
Growing short plants such as a ground cover under taller plants. Under taller trees, some shrubs would be used as an underplanting.

Understory
The smaller trees that grow below the major forest.

Variegated Leaf
A green leaf design which is blotched, edged, or spotted with yellow, white, or cream color.

Variety
One of possibly many closely-related plat species. The variety name is usually in Latin.

Variety Name
This is the scientific name or botanical name of a specific plant. It is in italic print.

Vegetation
An all encompassing word for the plants of an area or territory.

Vermiculite
A light-weight, mineral called mica that is added to potting mixtures to improve root growth via aeration and has moisture retaining abilities. There is no nutritive value in the mineral.

Vernalization
The time factor of cold days needed by certain plants to produce a bud. Such as in apples need a certain amount of cold days to create their buds.

Verticillium
A fungus disease that will cause wilting and death. This is the 'V' in 'V,F,N'.

Vfn
Indicate whether or not a plant is resistant to verticillium wilt, fusarium wilt, or certain nematodes. Many times all three.

Viability
The possibility of germination. Seeds vary in their time of viability from a few days to 20 years, if not hundreds of years. Storage conditions will affect the viability, the best being low temperatures and humidity.

Victory Garden
Homeowners during World War II, who grew gardens to provide for themselves or to support the war effort.

Virus
A plant disease that cannot be eliminated by a chemical means. Some viruses have created stripped tulips. Most are feared by growers.

Volunteer
Although this could be your best friend, helping out once in a while in the garden, this is a 'not planted' specimen blown in from a neighbor's yard or a surprise, from a bird or other source.

Wardian Case
In the 19th century a plant explorer and collector by the name of Dr. Nathaniel Ward designed a glass case to transport his findings. He traveled between Australia and England. During the Victorian era often Wardian Cases were highlighted in the home. We now have terrariums and bottle gardens.

Warm Season Grass
These grasses are grown in temperatures above 70 and 80 degrees. They will go dormant in winter. Examples are Bermuda grass, a variety of St. Augustine. Other warm season grasses are ornamental such as pampas grass and fountain grasses.

Water Garden
Any man made pool, forms, or container that aquatic plants are planted. They especially are becoming popular in the 21st Century fo r backyard enjoyment.

Weed
An uninvited guest in gardens.

Wet Feet
A condition when the roots of plants are in standing water. They will eventually rot if they don't normally grow in wet conditions like aquatic plants.

Wetable Powder
A material that will not dissolve in water, but remains suspended in it. Most often referred to pesticides when used as sprays.

Whip
A very thin shoot with no lateral branches of a woody plant. Sometimes the first year of a grafted tree.

Wide Row Gardening
A method in which vegetables and cutting gardens are laid out usually two to three feet wide instead of a single file row of plants. This is to be efficient in spacing the plants. Many plants grow together.

Wildflower
Plants that can be native or exotic when growing out in a non-cultivated area. They flower and are enjoyed by all. Many wildflowers of course can be cultivated in backyard gardens.

Wilt
A plant disease. This can be caused by bacteria or fungi. Many are carried by insects.

Wind Break
A purposeful planting of hedges and trees to protect a field, home, or garden against forceful winds, providing a shelter and preventing damage.

Window Box
A container placed under a window, very cottage-like in gardening decor.

Winter Kill
A condition that happens when plants have not hardened enough to withstand sever winter conditions. The plants may not be hardy for the zone. Die back needs to be pruned in the spring clean up.

Woodland Garden
This garden is usually established beneath deciduous trees. It may vary from partial to deep shade and usually with plant material where roots need to remain undisturbed.

Woody Plant
These are usually perennial plants (i.e.. vines, shrubs, trees, and bamboos) that have permanent stems. These branches get bigger every year.

Worm (Eisenia Foetida)
A very unappreciated mover & shaker of the earth. Mother Nature's natural composter.

Xeriscape
This is a patented name that stands for a landscaping method that is based on low water volume and drought adaptable plants..