Apr 20, 2020

Gardening terms every beginner must know


    Plants that complete their life cycle within one year (Plants start from seeds, produce seeds and die)


    The plant that completes its life cycle in two years. Most of the biennials do not flower until the second year.

    Cover crop

    Cover crops are plants that are planted not to harvest but to manage soil erosion, soil fertility. These plants are grown to suppress weeds, control pests.
    Example: Growing clover fixes Nitrogen in the soil

    Crop rotation

    Growing different varieties of crops in different seasons to increase the yield, increase soil fertility, reduce soil erosion.
    Example: Crops can be rotated between corn (reduce the Nitrogen content in the soil) and Soybeans (Deposits Nitrogen in the soil)By this combination the contents, the nutrient value of the soil is replenished.


    Plant cuttings are a part of the plant when grown in proper conditions (like moist soil) develops roots, leaves and begins to grow as an independent plant.


    Caused by pathogens that kill or weaken the seedlings before or after they germinate. This condition is mostly due to the moist and wet conditions of the soil. To avoid damping-off do not overwater your seedlings.


    Removing the dried out flowers (spent flowers) from your plants to encourage new growth is called Deadheading. The spent flowers are removed as they take a lot of energy from the plant. In other words, removing the flowers before they are turned into seeds.

    Deciduous means falling off at maturity or shedding their leaves. Plants that shed their leaves at the end of the growing season.

    Direct sowing

    Growing the seeds directly in the garden or into the pots rather than growing them indoors is called Direct sowing.
    Examples: Seeds of Peas, Carrots can be directly sowed.


    Plants exhibit no growth or very little growth during the dormant period. It might look like the plant has dried out - probably the plant is in its dormant phase.


    Evergreen plants are those that remain green throughout the retain. These plants manage to retain their foliage even during the winter season.

    Frost hardy

    Plants that can survive frost are called as Frost hardy. These plants can survive in frost and snow.
    Example: Hedera Helix Ivy, Rosemary

    Hardwood cuttings

    Cuttings taken from deciduous plants to propagate and grow them into an independent plant. Evergreen plants can also be propagated from hardwood cuttings. The Hardwood cuttings are normally sturdy.

    Hardening off

    Exposing the plants or seedlings grown indoors to outdoors gradually is called as Harden off. This is very important as exposing the plants directly to the garden may create stress to the plant and die. If the plants are not hardened off they may die due to sudden shock of environmental factors such as bright sunlight, wind, rain.

    Herbaceous cuttings

    Cuttings taken from non-woody cuttings. The success rate of growing Herbaceous cutting is fairly high.
    Example: Coleus can be propagated through Herbaceous cuttings

    Indoor sowing or Undercover

    Sowing the seeds indoors in a protected environment is called as Indoor sowing. Sowing the seeds indoors has great benefits as they can be protected from various threats like sunlight, wind. The chances of the seedlings surviving indoors is high. After this process the seedlings are hardened off before planting them outdoors. This process is also termed as "Sow undercover".


    Plants that are dominant and aggressively spread into the whole area causing a negative effect.
    Example: Weeds (take up the entire nutrient content from the soil)


    An unhealthy plant that is tall with fewer leaves and flowers are termed as leggy plants. These plants look unhealthy and may be a result of low sunlight, space, nutrients.


    Mulch is material spread throughout the soil to retain soil moisture, fertility, suppressing weeds. Mulch can be made of grass clippings, compost, leaves.

    Native plants

    Plants that have evolved or developed naturally in a given geological area are called as Native plants. Native plants grow well in the native geological area. Though the concept of the native plants is a debatable topic as we may not know the validity of the plant is native or migrated.


    A node is a place where the leaves, flower, branches emerges. When propagating the cuttings the node is the point where the root emerges.


    Plants that live and bloom for more than two years are called Perennials. Example: Most of the trees come under Perennials


    Pollinators are animals that cause fertilization in plants that causes the plants to make fruits or seeds. Birds or bees are attracted due to the sugar or honey present in the flowers. The transfer of pollen grain in the same plant and different species leads to fertilization.
    Example: Bees, Butterflies, Birds


    Seedlings grown in seed trays needs to move out as they need a larger space to grow a healthy root system. Pricking essentially means transplanting the plant without disturbing the roots and transferring them into a larger pot when the true set of leaves are grown.


    Removing the selective branches, twigs to give a definite structure to the plants and thereby encouraging the growth.
    Example: Pruning the dead branches or pruning the Jade to achieve a Bonsai.


    Potting the overgrown plant into a larger plant is called Repotting.


    A young tender plant sprouting from the seed is called as seedlings. Seedlings are generally grown undercover in seed trays and later are transplanted outdoors.
    Self seedling

    Semi ripe cuttings

    Cuttings obtained from partially mature wood after the growing season. The cuttings are reasonably sturdy.

    Softwood cuttings

    Cuttings are taken when they are still tender and soft as they have not matured yet. These cuttings are not sturdy and can be easily bent.


    Moving the plants from one location to another is called Transplanting.
    Example: Seedlings are transplanted from seed trays to a pot

    True leaves
    True leaves are formed after the development of cotyledons(first set of leaves) These look like the mini version of mature leaves.

    Happy Gardening!

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