Gardening Terms

Gardening Definitions

Cold Frames – are small stand-alone structure with glass roofs and are used for growing hardening off half-hardy annuals and for protecting early crops.  The heat created for the plants is derived from the sun.  Shading may be necessary in the summer.

Compost – is organic matter which has been encouraged to decompose over time.  Compost piles should be turned over occasionally and lime should be added to speed up the decomposition.  Once the compost is useable, work it into the garden soil and add to backfill for planting purposes.

Cutting Flowers – flowers which are grown with the purpose of using them indoors in arrangements.  The flowers may be of perennials, annuals of flowering shrubs.

Deadheading – is the process of removing spent blooms.  Deadheading annuals keeps them blooming all season long.  With perennials, removing spent blooms is done more for aesthetic reasons, though it will encourage more blooms in some perennials.

Hardening Off – is often required to acclimate early grown, tender annuals to the cold of early spring.  A gradual transition to the outdoors and it’s varying temperature and wind, through slowly increasing the ventilation of a period of several days, will increase the plants chances of survival.

Healing In – is sometimes necessary when plants arrive earlier than expected or plants need to be set aside during new garden construction.  Plants which are left out of the ground are healed in by covering the root ball with bark mulch or other water retentive material.

Layering – is a method of propagating plants with flexible stems.  Some plants reproduce naturally this way.  Select of lower flexible stem and dig a hole in which the stem can be laid.  The end of the stem should be exposed, out of the ground.  Backfill the hole.  The stem will begin to form roots and a new plant will emerge.

Pinching Back – removes the growing point of a plant to increase it’s fullness or tp control it’s flowering time.  Annuals which tend to be leggy benefit greatly from pinch back. 

Thinning – is the process of removing excess stems and those stems which criss-cross and are growing in inappropriate directions. 

Trainingvines and roses and other climbing plants requires a sturdy structure for support.  Trellises, arbors, fences and posts all are suitable as support structures.  Garden twine can be used to secure the plant’s stem to the support.