Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Gardening Terms Defined

Here is a handy reference guide that will help you master a wide array of gardening terminology.

Treated Seeds
Some varieties have better germination results if they have been treated with a coating of fungicide or insecticide to protect them from soil borne diseases in cool or moist conditions. Any treated varieties we sell are indicated as such in the item description.
Untreated Seeds
The majority of seeds we sell are untreated seeds. These seeds have not been treated with chemicals.
Pelleted Seed
Seed coated with clay to make handling easier. If kept too dry or too wet germination will be poor.
Certified Organic Seeds
These are seeds that have been harvested from plants that are grown organically, without the use of synthetic fertilizers, herbicides or pesticides. National standards and an annual third-party audit and certification process ensure the integrity of this process.
Plants that grow for only one season and need to be replanted from seed or plants each spring.
Plants that grow back year after year from the original roots or from self-seeding.
Tender Perennial
Perennial plants that are not hardy in cold climates, where they may be grown as an annual.
A variety produced by the crossing of two purebred parents. Increased vigor, size, etc are the major characteristics and so an F1 Hybrid is often a good buy despite the higher price.
Seed that has not been altered or crossed. You can take the seed from a non-hybrid and plant the next year. Also known as Open-Pollinated seed.
Open Pollinated
These non-hybrid varieties will breed true to the parents from one generation to the next. However, due to uncontrolled pollination by wind or insects, they can be more variable than hybrids.
Heirloom seed is open pollinated varieties from cultivars which have been grown and passed down for generations.
Nick, Chip or Scarify Seed
When seeds have a hard outer covering such as morning glory, it is always best to nick, chip or scarify the seed coat. This means you take a file, sandpaper or nick with a knife on one side of the seed coat of each seed. This will allow for a quicker and more successful germination.
Soil pH
The pH scale runs from 0 – 14. The mid-point is 7.0 or neutral. The lower numbers are acidic, so you would need to add lime to reach a more desirable level. The higher numbers are alkaline; you would need to add sulfur to reach a more desirable level.
Maturity Dates
Are terms used to estimate the expected harvest period. These days are directly influenced by region, soil type, time of planting, etc. These influences can change the expected maturity of a crop from 2 days to 2 weeks or more. Maturity dates given in our catalogue are based on growing conditions on PEI and should be used for comparison only.
When a plant starts to send up a flower stalk. Garden vegetables such as lettuce need to be harvested prior to bolting, which is brought on by warm temperatures.
Determinate or Indeterminate
Refers to growth habit and are generally seen in descriptions of tomatoes and squash. Determinate vines grow to a certain length and stop (non-staking), Indeterminate vines continue to grow in length through the season, so require more space (staking).
Refers to plants or bulbs that can be planted and then left to grow naturally. It usually implies that the plants are self-reliant, needing no special cultivation or tending, and that they will come back year after year in increased numbers.
Own Root Roses
Own-root roses are exactly that, roses with their own roots. These roses tend to be hardier, more free flowering and can live up to 100 years or more. Growing own-root roses eliminates the need to remove unwanted suckers that can spring up from grafted root stock. They have a much better chance of survival during severe winters and are most commonly hardier varieties.
Grafted Roses
A grafted rose is when a tender variety is grafted onto a hardier rose root stock allowing it to survive in cooler climates.

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