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GLOSSARY

Glossary of Gardener Terms
Acidic:  Acidity is represented as pH (hydrogen ion concentration) and is measured on a log scale that begins at 1 and extends to 14; readings below 7 are acid, above 7 are alkaline. It is important to grasp the significance of the scale; pH 6 for example is ten times more acid than pH7.  An ideal garden soil pH lies in the zone between 6 and 7.5 as most garden plants thrive within this range. The importance of this number lies in the fact that nutrient cations (for example nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium or N,P,K) are available for uptake by roots within this range; pH which is too low or high impedes the ability of the plant to feed. Acidity can be lowered with the addition of sulphate in the spring or increased by the addition of lime in the fall.
Alkaline: Essentially the reverse of acidic.
Annual:  Generally speaking, an annual is a plant that normally completes its life cycle in one growing season; from seed sprouting through vegetative growth, flowering and seed production. In North America we grow many plants as annuals which are in fact perennial in their native environment.
Biennial: A plant which completes its life cycle in two growing seasons; generally the first season is marked by vegetative growth and the second by flowering and seed production.
Bulb: A modified, sub surface section of a plant stem, usually appearing bulbous and containing fleshy, scale leaves which contain the food source for the complete dormant plant within. Bulbs may be tunicate (tulips) or imbricate (lily); the latter has no tunic (papery cover) and must not dry out.
Corm: A swollen base of the stem modified to store food. When cut open, no layering is evident as is the case with bulbs. Gladioli and Crocus are examples.
Cultivar: A plant or plant group that possess desirable characteristics which can be maintained in a stable fashion via propagation. Not to be confused with variety. Initially intended to differentiate natural species from those modified by human intervention, often referred to now as cultigens.
Deadhead: Not a member of the famous music group entourage, rather the process by which spent flowers are removed from a plant for the purpose of sanitation or to encourage further flowering.
Direct sow: The process whereby seeds are planted directly into the location where they are intended to grow.
Disbud: The process whereby flower buds are removed to encourage remaining buds to become larger and form larger flowers, common in Dahlia and Mum cultivation.
Hardiness: A measure of a plants ability to endure winter climatic extremes, in particular frost and prolonged, minimum temperature. In North America it is represented on a scale between 0 (Far North) and 13 (far south Mexico).
Heirloom: In plant speak a cultivar which has been in use for an extended period of time and which may or may not be used in contemporary large ‚Äďscale agriculture. A complex issue and topic within the horticulture community.
Humus: A significant component of a healthy soil comprised of the partially decomposed remains of flora and fauna. It may be present as the uppermost soil horizon in natural, undisturbed environments or extend through one or more of the upper soil horizons as a result of the stirring activity of soil organisms. It has a direct influence on the bulk density, soil pore space, and moisture and nutrient availability profiles of any given soil.
Lifting: In garden terms, this is a reference to the action of digging up, dividing, storing or moving a plant.
Lime:  The ground and pulverized product of limestone, itself the product of the sedimentation and concretion of marine and aquatic plankton.  It provides your soil with calcium, magnesium (dolomitic limestone), and carbonate. It is most often employed to raise soil pH.
Organic:  A process or product derived from natural sources and involving no industrial formulation.
Perennial: A plant that persists for more than two, and often many, years. Trees are perennials and the clonal species Populus tremuloides is believed to be the oldest individual organism alive, a single stand has been estimated at  80,000 years old. Many tree species reach ages measured in millennia.
Propagation: The reproduction, increase, expansion, or growth increase in a plant via several methods which may be sexual or asexual in design. Direct seed production is an example of the former, selfing ; layering, clonal expansion, and fragmentation are natural forms of the latter.
Prune: The removal of portions of a plant by artificial means to encourage desirable outcomes.
Rhizome:  A modified subterranean plant stem which grows perpendicular to gravity and from which will emerge new shoots.
Self pollinate (selfing):  The ability of certain plants to fertilize their own eggs and produce viable seed.
Shade: In the realm of gardening, this refers to an area experiencing less than 4 hours of sunlight.
Soilless: Plant growing medium comprised of material other than natural soil, intended for container growing where moisture conditions must be monitored and controlled. Peat, coco coir, bark, compost, manure, perlite, and vermiculite are the most common forms.
Stolon: A stem which grows on top of the soil surface or just below it and is capable of asexually giving rise to a new individual. Stolons typically do not persist long after the development of the offspring and this is the principal difference from a rhizome.
Sulphate: In gardening usage, generally combined with other elements and intended to lower pH for various desirable effects. Ferrous sulphate and Aluminum sulphate can reduce pH and aid in controlling moss. Gypsum, essentially calcium sulphate, is not used to reduce pH but rather to remove sodium.
Sun: For gardeners, a sunny location is one that receives in excess of 6 hours each day.
Tuber: A modified plant root, found near the soil surface, employed by a plant to survive inhospitable conditions. It is one of the structures by which a plant may reproduce asexually.
Glossary of Gardener Terms
Acidic: Acidity is represented as pH (hydrogen ion concentration) and is measured on a log scale that begins at 1 and extends to 14; readings below 7 are acid, above 7 are alkaline. It is important to grasp the significance of the scale; pH 6 for example is ten times more acid than pH7.  An ideal garden soil pH lies in the zone between 6 and 7.5 as most garden plants thrive within this range. The importance of this number lies in the fact that nutrient cations (for example nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium or N,P,K) are available for uptake by roots within this range; pH which is too low or high impedes the ability of the plant to feed. Acidity can be lowered with the addition of sulphate in the spring or increased by the addition of lime in the fall.
Alkaline: Essentially the reverse of acidic.
Annual: Generally speaking, an annual is a plant that normally completes its life cycle in one growing season; from seed sprouting through vegetative growth, flowering and seed production. In North America we grow many plants as annuals which are in fact perennial in their native environment.
Biennial: A plant which completes its life cycle in two growing seasons; generally the first season is marked by vegetative growth and the second by flowering and seed production.
Bulb: A modified, sub surface section of a plant stem, usually appearing bulbous and containing fleshy scale leaves which contain the food source for the complete dormant plant within. Bulbs may be tunicate (tulips) or imbricate (lily); the latter has no tunic (papery cover) and must not dry out.
Corm: A swollen base of the stem modified to store food. When cut open, no layering is evident as is the case with bulbs. Gladioli and Crocus are examples.
Cultivar: A plant or plant group that possess desirable characteristics which can be maintained in a stable fashion via propagation. Not to be confused with variety. Initially intended to differentiate natural species from those modified by human intervention, often referred to now as cultigens.
Deadhead: Not a member of the famous music group entourage, rather the process by which spent flowers are removed from a plant for the purpose of sanitation or to encourage further flowering.
Direct sow: The process whereby seeds are planted directly into the location where they are intended to grow.
Disbud: The process whereby flower buds are removed to encourage remaining buds to become larger and form larger flowers, common in Dahlia, Begonia and Mum cultivation.
Hardiness: A measure of a plants ability to endure winter climatic extremes, in particular frost and prolonged minimum temperature. In North America it is represented on a scale between 0 (Far North) and 13 (far south Mexico).
Heirloom: In plant speak a cultivar which has been in use for an extended period of time and which may or may not be used in contemporary large ‚Äďscale agriculture. A complex issue and topic within the horticulture community.
Humus: A significant component of a healthy soil comprised of the partially decomposed remains of flora and fauna. It may be present as the uppermost soil horizon in natural, undisturbed environments or extend through one or more of the upper soil horizons as a result of the stirring activity of soil organisms. It has a direct influence on the bulk density, soil pore space, moisture and nutrient availability profiles of any given soil.
Lifting: In garden terms, this is a reference to the action of digging up, dividing, storing or moving a plant.
Lime: The ground and pulverized product of limestone, itself the product of the sedimentation and concretion of marine and aquatic plankton.  It provides your soil with calcium, magnesium (dolomitic limestone), and carbonate. It is most often employed to raise soil pH.
Organic:  A process or product derived from natural sources and involving no industrial formulation.
Perennial: A plant that persists for more than two, and often many, years. Trees are perennials and the clonal species Populus tremuloides is believed to be the oldest individual organism alive, a single stand has been estimated at  80,000 years old. Many tree species reach ages measured in millennia.
Propagation: The reproduction, increase, expansion, or growth increase in a plant via several methods which may be sexual or asexual in nature. Direct seed production is an example of the former;  layering, clonal expansion, and fragmentation are natural forms of the latter.
Prune: The removal of portions of a plant by artificial means to encourage desirable outcomes.
Rhizome:  A modified subterranean plant stem which grows perpendicular to gravity and from which will emerge new shoots.
Self pollination: The ability of certain plants to fertilize their own eggs with their own pollen and produce viable seed.
Shade: In the realm of gardening, this refers to an area experiencing less than 4 hours of sunlight.
Soilless: Plant growing medium comprised of material other than natural soil, intended for container growing where moisture conditions must be monitored and controlled. Peat, coco coir, bark, compost, manure, perlite, and vermiculite are the most common forms.
Stolon: A stem which grows on top of the soil surface or just below it and is capable of asexually giving rise to a new individual. Stolons typically do not persist long after the development of the offspring and this is the principal difference from a rhizome.
Sulphate: In gardening usage, generally combined with other elements and intended to lower pH for various desirable effects. Ferrous sulphate and Aluminum sulphate can reduce pH and aid in controlling moss. Gypsum, essentially calcium sulphate, is not used to reduce pH but rather to remove sodium.
Sun: For gardeners, a sunny location is one that receives in excess of 6 hours each day.
Tuber: A modified plant root, found near the soil surface, employed by a plant to survive inhospitable conditions. It is one of the structures by which a plant may reproduce asexually.