The place on a grafted plant where the rootstock and the scion meet. Typically the bud union can be found near the base of the plant and should be just above ground level.
A method of permaculture gardening that makes the best of tight space and limited water supply to produce the most food crops. The name comes from the "keyhole" shape of the layout.
A region that is defined by the similarities in first and last frost dates across wide geographic areas. Zones are used to help gardeners predict the likelihood that a plant will survive in the area that they live.
A disorder of the root system that occurs when a plants is allowed to grow too long in a pot that is too small for it. The roots wrap around in on themselves and become tangled.
May refer to either a condition where a stone fruit tree produces small, misshapen fruit or where head forming cole crops (e.g. broccoli, cauliflower, etc) form a head before the plant is large enough to support it.
The living layer of the tree where food and water are synthesized. The layer is sometimes also called the inner bark as it rests just below the rough, protective outer bark.
Plants that are able to use their leaves or stems to retain water which can be used later during times of drought. These types of plants are typically characterized by "fat" juicy leaves and stems.
Gardening inside a structure, typically a home. This term frequently refers to caring for houseplants, but can also refer to doing more traditional styles of gardening, such as vegetable gardening, inside a building.
Also known as a kitchen garden. This style of garden aims to combine both form with function so that a garden located near the house can provide easy access to homegrown fruits, vegetables, herbs, and cut flowers while still looking pleasing to the eye.
A form of landscape design that recreates an idealized, "natural" style. Typically, English-style gardens feature lakes, rolling hills, stands of trees, and naturally shaped flower beds. The garden style is considered to be the contrasting counter-point to formal gardens.
Using drought-tolerant and low water plants to create a landscape that needs very little water. This type of garden design is commonly used in areas that have little rainfall as a way to reduce stress on the local ecosystem.
A part of a flower. Part of the female flower where the ovules (immature seeds) are kept. The ovary commonly develops into the fruit of the plant once the ovules are fertilized.
A substance that is secreted by trees, particularly coniferous trees. This substance can be sticky but normally hardens. It is not tree sap, but rather a protective reaction to damage or insects.
A small, round mass that grows on the roots of certain plants. This mass can be natural to the plant, in which case it will be used for storing nutrients or water. Or it can be caused by pests and disease, which can harm the plant.
The act of covering up a part of a plant to keep the sun from shining on that part of the plant. This method is most often used with certain vegetables, like celery or cauliflower, in order to make a more tender and less bitter flavored crop. Typically, blanching will also cause the plant to be paler or even white.
Plants that are technically perennials, but that cannot withstand frost. These plants are typically grown as annuals but can be kept as perennials in frost-free areas or if given protection from frost.
A garden that incorporates Mediterranean aspects into its design. Mediterranean aspects can include tropical-looking foliage, mosaics, ocean-inspired accents, and terra cotta.
A pruning technique for fast growing trees where trees have had all branches removed and have been cut back to the trunk in order to produce dense, new growth. This technique is commonly used either for conytroling the size of fast growing trees to to encourage heavy blooming.
Seeds from a plant that has been open pollinated and that the resulting plant will both look like the parents and produce seeds that will grow true to the variety.
An insect that goes from flower to flower on a plant or several plants spreading pollen from one flower to another and, in doing so, fertilizes the flower which causes a fruit or seedpod to form.
Cutting away branches on a plant, normally a tree or shrub, in order to achieve an end goal. This goal can be things like shaping a plant, encouraging new growth or increasing fruit production.
The process in a plant that converts energy stored in the plant into energy that can be used by the plant. The process releases carbon dioxide and water as a byproduct.
The acronym for Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium, which is the normal makeup of most fertilizers. The numbers on the fertilizer will indicate in this order the amount of each. E.g. 10-10-10 would have equal amount of each.
A small area within a yard that is a zone higher or lower than the surrounding area. Typically this happens when an object around the area modifies or captures an environmental element, such as a wall that retains heat or a bush that deflects the wind.
A method of plant propagation where a branch or stem is encourages to grow roots while still attached to the parent plant. The term refers to the fact that frequently the branch is "layered" under dirt.
A sweet, clear substance produced by aphids and some other pests. Many plant owners will notice the honeydew before they notice the pest infestation. This substance will also attract ants.
A method of pruning plants in order to make them stronger and bushier. In trees, this can mean severely cutting back branches. In other plants, this can mean cutting off the top third of the plant.
A hard layer of soil that exists below a layer of topsoil. It is difficult to dig and typically, roots have a hard time growing through it and water does not penetrate through it.
The process for introducing a plant, typically a seedling, to temperatures that are different from that which it is used to Normally refers to moving a plant from indoors to a cooler outdoors.
A technique where fertilizer is supplied to them through the leaves the plant. In other words, fertilizer is sprayed on the leaves so that the plant can absorb it.
The process of pruning a plant, normally a fruit tree, so that it grows flat against a wall or fence. Normally done to save space and to make the best use of stored heat.
A plant that grows by attaching itself to something, typically another plant, and receives its nourishment from the air and water. Some varieties of orchids and air plants are epiphytes.
Damage to a plant or tree caused by dehydrating of leaves. This frequently happens most often on evergreen plants during the winter where cold winds virtually freeze dry the leaves.
A soil with a pH lower than 7.0 is an acid soil (a soil pH higher than 7.0 is alkaline). Basically, pH is a measure of the amount of lime (calcium) contained in your soil.
Fertilizer that has equal parts of nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium. The 10-10-10 numbers mean that per pound (0.5 kg.) of fertilizer, there would be 10% of each nutrient.
Fertilizer that has equal parts of nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium. The 20-20-20 numbers mean that per pound (0.5 kg.) of fertilizer, there would be 20% of each nutrient.