AERATE: Loosening or puncturing the soil to increase water penetration.
ANNUAL: Plants whose life cycle lasts only one year, from seed to blooms to seed.
BARE ROOT: Plants offered for sale which have had all of the soil removed from their roots.
BEDDING PLANT: Plants (mainly annuals), nursery grown and suitable for growing in beds. Quick, colorful flowers.
BIENNIAL: A plant that usually only lives two years, normally producing flowers and seed the second year.
CONIFER: A cone bearing tree with tiny needlelike leaves.
CORM: A thickened underground stem which produces roots, leaves and flowers during the growing season.
CROWN: The point at which a plants roots and top join. (Usually at soil level)
CULTIVATE: Process of breaking up the soil surface, removing weeds, and preparing for planting.
CUTTINGS: A method of propagation using sections of stems, roots or leaves.
DEADHEADING: The process of pinching or snipping off used or spent blooms to keep the plants well groomed and to prevent them from setting seed. This will promote continued bloom.
DIVIDING: The process of splitting up plants, roots and all that have began to get bound together. This will make several plants from one plant, and usually should be done to mature perennials every 3 to 4 years.
DORMANCY/DORMANT: The yearly cycle in a plants life when growth slows and the plant rests. Fertilizing should be withheld when a plant is in dormancy.
FORCING: The process of hastening a plants growth to maturity or bloom.
HARDY/HARDINESS: The ability of a plant to withstand low temperatures or frost, without artificial protection.
HARDWOOD: The wood of a eudicot or a magnoliid, such as an oak, maple, or magnolia.
HERBACEOUS: Describes a plant with soft rather than woody tissues.
LAYER: A method of propagation, by which a branch of a plant is rooted while still attached to the plant by securing it to the soil with a piece of wire or other means.
LEAF MOULD: Partially decomposed leaf matter, used as a soil amendment.
MULCH: Any loose material placed over the soil to control weeds and conserve soil moisture. Usually this is a coarse organic matter, such as leaves, clippings or bark, but plastic sheeting and other commercial products can also be used.
OVERWINTER: To remain alive through the winter:
PERENNIAL: A non-woody plant which grows and lives for more than two years. Perennials usually produce one flower crop each year, lasting anywhere from a week to a month or longer.
PEST: Any insect or animal which is detrimental to the health and well being of plants or other animals.
PINCHING BACK: Utilizing the thumb and forefinger to nip back the very tip of a branch or stem. Pinching promotes branching, and a bushier, fuller plant
PRICKING OUT: A technique of moving seedlings from where they germinated and spacing them in pots or trays.
PROPAGATION: Various methods of starting new plants ranging from starting seeds to identical clones created by cuttings or layering.
PRUNE:The cutting and trimming of plants to remove dead or injured wood, or to control and direct the new growth of a plant.
SCARIFY: Scratching or nicking of a seed's shell to facilitate germination.
SOFTWOOD: The wood of a coniferous tree.
STAKING: The practice of driving a stake into the ground next to, and as a support for a plant. When attaching the plant to the stake, be sure that it is tied loosely so it doesn't strangle the stem. When staking a potted plant, the stake should be set into the planter before the plant is added.
TENDER PLANTS: Plants which are unable to endure frost or freezing temperatures.
TUBER: A flat underground stem which stores food and plant energy and from which a plant grows.