Gardening Words: Every Beginner Should Know Before Starting a Garden

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It is common for many people to spend a lot of time in the garden, whether it is for gardening, relaxing, or playing. Caring for a garden or flowers can be done virtually all year long. A garden can bring joy and satisfaction to those who grow fruit, vegetables, and flowers. This article will give an idea about some common gardening words in English. Along with some garden vocabulary, we also discuss common gardening activities and phrases. Please take a look at the following gardening terms.

Gardening Words
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Gardening Words

Anaerobic: Refers to living organisms or processes that occur without oxygen.

Aerate: Increasing airflow and drainage by loosening the soil. While tilling is a method of aerating soil, lawns are usually aerated with an aerator machine.

Annual: One-year plants are those that flower, produce seeds, and die in one growing season. While most annuals grow in the spring and summer, they die with the first frost of fall, although some thrive in cool weather, setting seed and dying in spring when the weather warms.

Average frost date: Average date of the first frost in the fall, known as the average date of the first frost, or the average date of the frost in spring, known as the average date of the frost in a given location.

Bareroot: Plants sold without pots or soil around their roots. Bareroot trees, shrubs, and vines are available in winter and early spring when they are fully dormant.

Balled and Burlapped: The roots of trees and shrubs are wrapped in burlap instead of sold in a pot. For large specimens, this method is often used.

Beneficial insect: An insect that controls the population of other insects in the garden by eating or laying its eggs in them. Insects act as food for pollinators on pests or do other useful tasks in the garden rather than being considered pests themselves. The green lacewing, ladybug, and praying mantis are some examples of beneficial insects.

Biennial: If a plant completes its life cycle in two growing seasons, we call it a Biennial. The first stage is when it produces leaves, and the second stage is when it produces flowers. Plants live for two growing seasons; biennials produce leaves the first year and then flower the second.

Biodegradable: When describing material properties, it is used. Essentially, it means being decomposable or breaking down due to the action of bacteria or fungi. Biodegradable substances include those made from organic matter.

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Garden Soil
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Biological pest control: Garden pests can be destroyed using living organisms like beneficial insects or parasites. Parasites, predators, or diseases are introduced into a pest’s environment or, if already present, encouraged to multiply and will become more effective in reducing the number of pests.

Bolt: This is a term used to describe a plant that has gone to seed too early. In sending a flower stalk and setting seed, an annual plant uses a verb. Typically, the term refers to cool-season vegetables that grow prematurely during hot weather.

Bone meal: A finely ground powder made from animal bones used as a fertilizer to add phosphorus to the soil.

Clay: It holds nutrients and moisture, but soils with excessive clay content drain poorly and become rock-hard when dry. It is the tiniest particle found in soil, not larger than .002 millimeters in size.

Calcitic limestone: In soil with too high an acid level, this material is commonly used to amend the soil. It contains calcium carbonate and is the most commonly used type.

Chelation: It involves the formation of bonds between organic compounds and metals, some of which are insoluble, such as in humus. Fertilizers use soluble chelates to keep minerals in the soil, such as iron, so they are available to plants instead of locking up insoluble mineral salts.

Cold frame: Structures made of wood covered with unheated glass or plastic. Cold frames can protect plants from frost, which are helpful season extenders. In other words, like a mini-greenhouse, a simple structure encloses a planting bed to hold in the sun’s heat in spring or fall.

Companion planting: Rather than competing against each other, seeds are sown in the garden to help plants grow together.

Compost: An organic material that has completely decayed and is used for soil conditioning. Besides being dark and odorless, it is also rich in nutrients.

Compost Tea: Animal manure and dung are soaked in water to extract nutrients and make liquid fertilizer.

Crop Rotation: A specific crop is planted at a different site from the previous year. A deliberate system of planting different crops every year in different places to prevent the buildup of pathogens in the soil. Cultivar: Most vegetables have been bred into many cultivars, each with different characteristics, including size, coloration, pest resistance, and nutritional value; virtually every vegetable has been bred into several. 

Cutting: The cutting of a leaf, stem, root, or bud from a parent plant is a vegetative propagation method. Afterward, it is inserted into a growing medium to form roots so a new plant can grow.

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Garden Harvest
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Damping Off: A fungal attack causes the ground-level growth of young seedlings to die off. Overwatering and soil-borne diseases are often the cause. Just after sprouting, seedlings are killed by this disease.

Deadheading: Remove spent flowers or flowerheads for aesthetics, to prolong bloom, to promote rebloom, or to prevent seeding. Removing spent blooms encourages the emergence of new flowers on flowering plants.

Deep shade: There is almost no direct sunlight in the darkest areas of full shade. Plants that grow in low-light areas must be drought-tolerant, as the soil is often dry.

Direct seed: Direct seeds are sown directly into the soil. Transplanting seedlings or young plants from the bed to the garden space is eliminated.

Digging fork: In preparation for planting, this tool loosens the soil

Drainage: Adding soil amendments or building raised beds can allow water to pass freely through the soil. Without good drainage, the planting area becomes waterlogged. Drip irrigation: Drip irrigation involves dripping water at the base of individual plants. Compared to sprinklers, this approach uses much less water.

Dwarf: A plant that has been bred to be smaller than normal. It is common to classify fruit trees based on the degree of dwarfism they possess.

Elemental Sulfur: Natural product that reduces pH in alkaline soil so more plants can grow there. In addition to being an organic insecticide, sulfur is also used as a fungicide

Evergreen: Throughout the year, plants retain their foliage.

Fertilizer: Plants and soil benefit from the addition of nutrients either organically or synthetically.

Foliar Fertilizing: Liquid fertilizer is applied directly to plant leaves as a feeding method. Fertilizing plants by spraying liquid fertilizer on their foliage. Leaves can absorb nutrients directly from liquid through pores on their undersides

Frost Date: This is the average last frost date in your area. For gardening zones or planting areas, knowing the frost dates is crucial.

Fungicides: Fungicides prevent the spread of fungi in gardens and crops, which can cause serious damage.

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Lettuce Garden
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Germination: Seeds begin to sprout, budding, or shoot above the soil when they sprout, budding, or shooting. Plants or seeds germinate whenever they become leafy young plants after vegetating.

Green Manure: Plants grown and then incorporated into the soil to increase soil fertility or organic matter. New planting takes place a few weeks after the soil is turned over. Greensand: A natural, organic source of potassium and numerous micronutrients mined from the ocean floor.

Groundcover: These species are useful for landscaping large areas on a budget because they root themselves as they move across the ground.

Hardening off: The habituation of the plants grown under protection, such as greenhouses, to cooler outdoor conditions.

Heavy soil: Poorly draining soil with a high proportion of clay.

Humus: By converting organic matter, microbes and other forces of decomposition create fairly stable, complex groups of nutrient-storing molecules. Typically, it is dark loamy soil.

Hardiness zones: The minimum temperature the plants can tolerate during the winter is used to classify plants.

Herbaceous: There are no woody stems on these plants, only soft green leaves, and stalks

Integrated Pest Management: Using various complementary methods to control pests, such as natural predators, parasites, pest-resistant varieties, cultural practices, biological controls, physical techniques, and pesticides as a last resort. A significant reduction or elimination of pesticide use can be achieved with this eco-friendly approach.

Kelp meal: Dry, ground seaweed is used as a soil amendment. In addition to potassium, it contains numerous micronutrients and is a natural, organic food source. Rather than using chemical pesticides, kelp meal controls crop pests through biological means.

Loam: Fertile, well-drained soil. Loam soil has an ideal balance of sand, silt, and clay particles, along with abundant organic matter and humus content

Long-Day: Plants that form flowers during summer, when there are more than 12 hours of sun each day. These plants include spinach, lettuce, and other plants that tend to bolt in the early summers.

Male Flower: A flower with only male reproductive organs, including the stamen, where pollen is produced. Only male flowers can not produce fruit and seeds.

Micro-nutrients: Plants require very small amounts of mineral elements. Add specific trace elements to the soil if the plants you are growing are not obtaining them from the soil.

Mulch: Spread any organic material, such as wood chips, grass clippings, compost, straw, or leaves, over the soil surface around plants to retain moisture and help control weeds.

Monoecious: It refers to plants that produce both male and female flowers, such as squash, cucumbers, and most fruits. Monoecious plants need only one specimen for pollination and fruit production.

No-till-gardening: After the initial tilling, this type of gardening does not require soil cultivation. Rather than using it, regular mulches are added, and plants are planted through them. Through this gardening method, labor is saved, and weeds are prevented from germinating, which would have occurred if tilling had been done.

Nitrogen: Plants require this nutrient for green, vegetative growth. Organic nitrogen is commonly found in animal manures, blood meal, fish meal, and freshly cut vegetation.

N-P-K: The three main nutrients identified as necessary for plants are nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K). The three numbers on fertilizer labels are derived from these macronutrients.

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Backyard Garden
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Organic: A compound made of carbon-based compounds derived from living organisms. In addition, it refers to gardening without using chemical fertilizers or pesticides.

Organic matter: Compost piles contain organic matter, such as leaves, roots, manure, insects, earthworms, and microbes; organic matter is an essential ingredient for fertile soil.

Organic gardening: The method relies on composting and supplemental nutrients from naturally occurring deposits to build healthy, living soil. The primary principle is to feed the soil so that the soil will feed the plants. It is quite simple to control pests and diseases when plants are healthy, so they require less control. A cultural and mechanical approach is used first if control is needed. The use of naturally derived pesticides is limited to last resort.

Peat moss: This spongy material has an exceptional water-holding capacity and is also used to lower soil pH for acid-loving plants. Peat moss is the decomposed matter of plants collected over millennia at the bottom of northern bogs.

Perennial: A perennial plant that grows and flowers for many years. Either they are evergreens or die back to the ground and grow the next year again.

pH: It describes the acidity or alkalinity of water or soil on a scale from 0-14. In addition to affecting nutrient availability to plants, soil pH affects the activity of microorganisms in the soil.

Pinch back: Remove the tip of a growing stem with your fingers or hand pruners. This pinch back stimulates branching down the plant, leading to shorter, bushier growth.

Rhizome: Many invasive plants spread via rhizomes, which are fleshy roots that grow laterally on or near the soil’s surface, from which new stems sprout.

Rootbound: Plants’ roots are confined inside a pot when they have outgrown it and can no longer stretch and expand.

Rooting hormone: Cuttings of difficult species to root are often dipped in rooting hormone, whether synthetic or naturally derived.

Scarification: Penetrating the seed’s outer layer to encourage germination. Depending on the species, sandpaper, files, or other tools may be used to open the hard outer coat of the seed so that water may enter.

Season extender: Extending the growing season in spring or fall using any technique or equipment. Row covers, greenhouses, hotbeds, and cold frames are examples.

Seedlings: An emerging stem or leaf from seed at the very beginning of a plant’s lifecycle.

Slow-release fertilizer: Fertilizer granules coated with a substance that prevents the nutrients from leaching into the soil at once.

Soil amendment: Enhances the properties of soil by adding materials. Some properties include water retention, permeability, infiltration, drainage, aeration, and structure. Typically, soil amendments work into the soil through organic matter or very slow-release minerals.

Soil Test: An analysis of the soil’s major nutrients, such as nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, and pH levels.

Self-Pollinating: Fruit-producing plants that can pollinate themselves using their pollen.

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Planting in the backyard
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Sheet Mulch: This method eliminates weeds without digging or herbicides by spreading newspaper or cardboard over the ground, followed by mulch on top, which smothers the weeds.

Tender Perennial: In some cases, these plants are called half-hardy perennials because they cannot tolerate freezing temperatures; examples include heliotropes, fuchsias, and begonias.

Tilth: Provides an overview of the soil’s general health, including nutrients, water, and air. Good tilth is soil that is healthy and has good physical properties.

Topdressing: Fertilizing or amending the soil after seeding, transplanting, or establishing the crop. Fertilizer or compost is spread over the surface of the soil just before planting instead of tilling the amendments into the soil. The technique is often used on lawns to fertilize established plants.

Transplanting: The process of moving a plant between growth mediums.

Topsoil: In addition to organic matter, humus, and a multitude of microbes, earthworms, and insects, topsoil is the most fertile and biologically active layer of soil.

True leaves: Usually used to describe the first leaves that grow after the cotyledon leaves, which are usually different from the cotyledon leaves.

Vermicomposting: The process of converting food scraps into worm castings using red worms. Vermiculite is a mica-like material that has been heated to expand into a spongy material with excellent water and air-holding properties. It is a quite general ingredient in potting soil.

Variegated: Plants with multi-colored foliage.

Worm Casting: Red worm waste digested by them. They are considered the most nutrient-dense organic compost available by gardeners.

Warm Season Crop: Warm-weather crops, such as tomatoes, cucumbers, melons, basil, okra, and squash, do well when temperatures during daytime range from 25°C to 30°C.

Wet Feet: A condition in which the soil around a plant’s roots is waterlogged; it can lead to fungal disease and eventually kill the plant.

Xeriscaping: Using native plants and small or non-existent turf grass areas to create a low-maintenance landscape. The primary goal of xeriscaping is to reduce landscape water use.

Yield: Used to describe the size of your harvest, a good yield being a large crop.


Whether you are planning to establish a garden or want to brush up on garden vocabulary, every organic gardener should get to know these words. You can converse more effectively with someone passionate about plants and gardening if you know some gardening words.


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