Acidic soil -Soil with a pH level below 7
Aeration - A way of loosening soil or compost to allow air to circulate.
Alkaline soil - Soil with a pH level above 7
Annual Plants - A plant that ends its life cycle (germination, flowering, seeding, dying) in one growing season. Must be planted each year
Bare Root - These plants are dormant and have little to no soil around the roots. Roots are exposed ready to put in the soil.
Biennial -A plant that completes its entire life cycle in two years, growing in the first year and reproducing and dying in the second.
Biodegradable _ Breaks down over time causing no damage to nature
Bolting – Plants that flower and produce seed prematurely and before they are harvested for their intended purpose
Bone Meal - Finely ground fertiliser composed of white or light grey bone that adds phosphorus to the soil.
Breaking bud - the stage of growth when a bud bursts through the protective bud scales
Bulb - The part of a plant from which roots grow, which the plant flowers and grows before becoming dormant. Such as - Daffodils.
Cane - The stems of a raspberry or blackberry plant.
Chitting - Placing seed potatoes in a tray or egg box in a bright, cool but frost-free place to encourage them to sprout prior to planting.
Cloche - Structure made of glass, plastic or horticultural fleece that protects young plants.
Cold Frame - Unheated frame for growing on and adjusting plants to outdoors. Cold frames are used to protect plants from frost.
Companion Planting - The sowing of seeds in the garden in such a way that plants help each other grow instead of competing against each other. For example – Rosemary protects cabbage from cabbage moth
Compost - Completely decayed organic matter used for conditioning soil. It is dark, odourless and rich in nutrients.
Cordon - A plant carefully trained to grow as one main stem, or occasionally two or three main stems, by removing side-shoots. For example - tomato plants.
Crown - The growing point of a plant from which new shoots emerge, at or just below the soil surface. For example, Rhubarb
Dead-head - To remove the spent blooms on a plant to encourage further flowering or to prevent self-seeding.
Deciduous - describes plants that shed leaves at the end of the growing season and renew them at the beginning of the next.
Direct Sow - To sow seeds outdoors directly into the soil instead of starting your seeds indoors.
Double Digging - A technique of preparing the soil by digging a trench then putting the soil from one row into the next row.
Drill - A narrow, straight groove in the soil in which seeds are sown or seedlings planted
Earth up -To draw soil up around a plant to exclude light, protect from frost or encourage roots to develop from the stem. For example - potatoes.
Fertiliser - An organic or synthetic material added to the soil or the plant, that is important for its nutrient value.
First Early Potatoes - These are harvested 10 weeks after planting and will produce new or baby potatoes.
Foliage – leaves
Germination - When a seed changes and begins to grow and develop into a plant.
Grafting - When a plant is artificially joined to the rootstock of another so they function as one plant.
Harden off - To adjust young plants that are growing in a protective environment, to cooler conditions outdoors. This is normally achieved by leaving plants outside during the day and bringing them insiide at night.
Haulm - A name for the leaves and stems of a potato plant.
Lime - Calcium compounds, often applied to lower the pH of the soil making it more alkaline; it is beneficial when growing brassicas to prevent club root disease.
Maincrop potatoes - These are harvested up to 20 weeks after planting and are good for winter storage. They are good for baking, roasting and mashing.
Medium - a growing mixture or other material in which plants may be grown
Mulch - Layer of material placed on the soil and around plants to keep moisture, suppress weeds and improve soil structure. Materials used for mulching include well-rotted manure, compost, polythene sheets, wood chippings or gravel.
Organic matter - Substance of animal or plant origin – such as compost, leaf mould or manure. Useful for improving soil structure and supplying nutrients to plants.
Perennial - A plant that lives for more than two years.
pH - A scale from 0-14 that explains the degree of acidity or alkalinity of the water or soil. Soil pH is very important because it affects the availability of nutrients to plants and the activity of microorganisms in the soil.
Pinching out - Removing the growing points of a young plant to encourage side-shoots to form. This encourages a bushy habit and more flowering stems.
Pollination - The transfer of pollen between flowers, which can be carried out by the wind, insects, animals and by hand.
Pot on - To remove a plant from its container (normally when it has outgrown the space) and place it into a new container for further growth.
Prick out - To remove and transfer seedlings into pots or module trays to give them more space to grow.
Propagate - To grow plants from seed, cuttings or grafting.
Rose End - The end of a seed potato with the most eyes – often the widest end. Potatoes should be chitted with the rose end facing upwards.
Rosette - A bunch of leaves circulating from around the same place, often at ground level
Runner - A trailing stem growing above ground and rooting at the nodes, where plantlets are. For example strawberries. Some plants produce underground runners.
Second cropping potatoes - These are planted in late summer/early autumn and harvested about 14 weeks after planting, as for second earlies.
Second early potatoes - These are harvested about 14 weeks after planting. They make good salad potatoes and many varieties are also good for chips, roasting and mashing.
Seedling - A young plant that has developed from a seed
Seed Potatoes - A potato tuber grown specifically for starting new plants and producing potatoes.
Self-fertile - A plant that does not need pollen from a second individual in order to fertilise and set fruit.
Thin - To remove a number of buds, flowers, seedlings or shoots to improve the growth and quality of those remaining.
Tilth - A fine crumbly surface layer of soil produced by cultivation
Transplanting - The moving of a plant from one growth medium to another.
Tuber - Swollen root or underground stem with storage tissue. For example, potato