Glossary of Gardening and GYO Terms

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  • Guest
Glossary : O
« Reply #15 on: May 30, 2007, 12:20 »
okra : TA : commonly known as lady's finger or bhindi.  Greenhouse plant grown for its edible seed pods.  Popular in Indian and Southern USA cuisines (notably gumbo).

open pollination : See pollinate

organic : The single-most important and controversial movement in growing today. The desire to produce fruit and vegetables without using artificial chemicals to eradicate pests, increase size or influence flavour. Called by some "Back To Basics"



  • Guest
Glossary : P Q
« Reply #16 on: May 30, 2007, 12:21 »
perennial: a plant which regrows year after year, often from underground rhizomes, tubers or extensive root system.  Compare annual and biennial

Pinching out : the action of removing the growing tip of a shoot, to produce a more bushy plant, also known as stopping

PM : See private message

pollinate : the process by which a flower sets seed / fruit.  The stamen is fertilised by pollen from another flower (usually, but not always, from a different plant). Open pollination is where this occurs by some natural means, e.g. insect, bird, wind or water.  Pollination is sometimes done by plant breeders in closed conditions, i.e. flowers are fertilised by pollen transferred by the breeder from one plant to another - often to create a hybrid with particular characteristics.

pot bound : describes a plant which has developed roots to fill all available space in the container in which it is growing.  Solution is to re-pot

pot on : see re-pot

pot up : see re-pot

potato blight : see blight

powdery mildew : a fungal disease affecting cucurbit family

priming (homebrewing) : addition of a small amount of sugar prior to bottling.  This leads to secondary fermentation giving a fizzy drink.

private message : (of forums) : a messaging service which is private between the two parties concerned.   Email addresses of parties remain invisible.  Messages are not posted for other members to see

profile : (of forums) : a feature of the forum which permits you to include some relevant information about yourself.  In this forum, it is very helpful if you include your approximate location and whether or not you consider yourself to be organic.  This permits correspondents to respond accordingly & helps readers to assimilate information for themselves.  To edit your Profile Click Here

pruning : the process by which old or unwanted growth is removed from bushes and trees.  Generally done to promote better fruiting/flowering and/or shape. Specific techniques : gooseberry, plum

pyrethrum : a contact insecticide derived from chrysanthemums so technically organic.  Many preparations contain other ingredients considered non-organic.  It is non-poisonous to warm-blooded animals but deadly to caterpillars and virtually all insects (including beneficial ones).



  • Guest
Glossary : R
« Reply #17 on: May 30, 2007, 12:21 »
raised bed: a bed, constrained by wood or plastic sides, which raises the ground level by adding soil / compost.  Compare deep bed.

re-pot : to move a plant from one pot into a larger one.  Re-potting provides more space and nutrients for pot-bound plants

rhizome : a swollen portion of the stem of a plant which is usually found underground & enables the plant to re-grow after being dormant in winter.  Some are edible (e.g. ginger).  Other plants can be propagated by re-planting their rhizomes (e.g. asparagus, irises)

riddle : A square or circle frame with wire mesh attached to one side. Used to coarsely filter stones and lumpy organic matter from the soil.

rose (of a potato) : this is the end which has the most eyes clustered near it.  You stand this end uppermost when chitting

rotation  : the principle of crop rotation is to grow specific groups of vegetables on a different piece of land each year. Groups are moved around in sequence so they don’t return to the same spot for at least three years  More

runner : a trailing stem of certain plants which, when in contact with the soil, is capable of sending down new roots.  This provides a means of propagation of the plant since the original runner may be severed and a new transplant thus formed.  Used notably with strawberry, mint, watercress, ajuga, etc but also creeping buttercup

rust : any of several species-specific fungal parasites.  Those affecting garlic, comfrey, mint, onion, leek are particularly troublesome.



  • Guest
Glossary : S
« Reply #18 on: May 30, 2007, 12:22 »
seed garlic : See seed, vegetative

seed life : The period during which seed remains viable, i.e. an acceptable percentage will germinate.  This varies widely between different varieties. Click here for Seed Storage Life

seed potato : See seed, vegetative.  Warning: the above-ground fruit which forms on some varieties of potato should not be eaten since they are poisonous.  Neither are they viable for planting the following year.

seed, true : describing seed which is the result of sexual reproduction in plants - being the development of a flower fertilised by pollen from same or separate plant.

seed, vegetative : of asexual reproduction : describing various 'seed' which is retained for planting from one season to the next but is NOT the development of a fertilised flower.  Commonly, garlic, potato, shallot, jerusalem artichoke and many others - basically misnomers.  Compare seed, true

set : onion : a small immature bulb which has been raised from seed before having development stopped by the grower.  The resulting bulb is then set the following spring so as to complete its growth in one season.

set : shallot : a bulb saved from the previous year's crop.  This is then set the following spring to further divide.

shading : of greenhouses : any technique used to diffuse direct sunlight for greenhouse crops

Smith period : of weather : a period of two or more days where temperature is not less than 10ºC and relative humidity exceeds 90% for 11 hours or more.  The significance is that such weather conditions are highly conducive to spread of Late Potato Blight.

smut : A soil-borne fungal disease of onions and leeks.  Symptoms are black spots and blotches on young plants.  The leaves become twisted and thickened.  Remove and destroy crop.  Do not grow alliums on affected ground for 8 years.

Solanaceae : mostly HHA or HA : a family of plants which includes potato, tomato, peppers, tobacco and deadly nightshade.

stopping : See pinching out

sucker : a new shoot which grows directly from the root of the parent plant, usually some distance away, e.g. raspberry, blackberry, rose, cherry.  An effective means of propagation but bear in mind, in grafted stock, that the new plant will have the characteristics of the root stock and not of the plant itself.

sweet potato : TP : A vining relative of Morning Glory which is grown for its edible tubers.  Full description and growing instructions



  • Guest
Glossary : T
« Reply #19 on: May 30, 2007, 12:23 »
TA : a tender annual

TB : a tender biennial

tender : a plant which is not tolerant of frosts or even cold weather in the area in which it is being grown.  Typically requiring a greenhouse, coldframe or is a houseplant.  See also half-hardy and hardy.

Teram (TM): weed control / landscaping fabric which allows water to permeate through. Often used with holes or crosses cut to grow suitable crops in weedy ground

thick neck : See bull neck

thinning : removal of seedlings or small plants to permit others space to develop to their full potential.  Useful for varieties which cannot readily be transplanted

tipburn : also known as greasiness. Browning and scorching of leaf edges, e.g. in lettuces. Caused by sudden loss of water / calcium deficiency to outer leaves on a warm spring day or start of a heatwave

TP : a tender perennial

transplant : to replant into (usually) a final cropping position. Often used when plants are started in pots in a greenhouse or coldframe

tuber : a thickened portion of root or stem which is used by the plant to store energy (starches).  May or may not produce shoots / roots for regrowth - a potato does but a dahlia does not (dahlia shoots come from the stem and not from the tuber itself).



  • Guest
Glossary : U V W
« Reply #20 on: May 30, 2007, 12:26 »
umbellifer : mostly HHA or HP but also TA : a family of plants which includes carrot, parsnip, parsley, celery, dill, fennel, lovage, caraway, cumin and coriander

volunteer : of crops : a plant growing in the wrong place after self-seeding or regrowth of a missed tuber when lifting (main culprits are potatoes, jerusalem artichokes).

watering : manually or automatically increasing the amount of water available to a plant, indoors ot outdoors

white rot : a serious disease of onion, shallot, leek, garlic and chives.  It is soil-borne, very persistent, and can lie dormant for up to 15 years. Remedial treatment.

wireworm : the larvae of certain clickbeetles which adversly affect yield and/or quality of several plant varieties, notably potato and cereals.   Being acid-loving, an effective control is to lime heavily and grow brassicas for a year or two. Problem can be acute in ground recently converted from grassland.


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