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Old Fashioned gardeners often talk in another language. If you ask your neighbour for a spot of advice, he may use some of these words below. We have put this glossary together to help aspiring vegetable gardeners!
*apical* – the apex or tip
*bolt * – instead of producing the vegetable desired, the plant ‘bolts’ into maturity, flowers, & produces seed during the summer instead of the normal root.
*brassica *- member of the cabbage family. Used as veg for:
- leaves – cabbage, brussel sprouts
- flowers – cauliflower, broccoli
- roots – swedes, turnips
- stems – kohlrabi
- seeds – mustard, oilseed rape
*capping* – this is when soil particles have run together (after heavy rain or overwatering) & dry to form a hard shell on the surface. This happens on soils containing a clay fraction.
*chit* – sprouts that grow out of the eyes of potatoes
*F1 *- is the product of a careful and deliberate cross of two different ’strains’ and will produce plants that are uniform and have particular charateristics, eg very straight runner beans, or bright orange courgettes. F1 means first filial generation.
*Groundkeepers* – potatoes remaining in the soil after harvest. These can be pea-size, or larger tubers which were damaged and discarded.
*hardening off* – getting plants used to the colder conditions outside. Usually done by putting the plants outside in a sheltered spot during the day, for a few days. Then putting them out for 24hrs a day in a sheltered spot, covering them if the forecast is bad.
*haulm* – the green leaves and stalks of potatoes
*hoe *- a hand tool used to scrape the soil. It is made up of a sharp metal blade, attached to a long handle.
*leggy* – spindly, usually means the plant is not getting enough light.
*module* – a tiny, self-contained unit of peat or compost – seeds are planted in them, and when they have germinated and grown into little seedlings, the module can be taken out of its container and planted into a pot, or into the garden soil.
*mulch* is something which covers the ground completely, in a thick layer, without any gaps.
*open pollinated* plants are varieties that grow true from seed. This means they are capable of producing seeds from this seasons plants, which will produce seedlings that will be just like the parent plant.
*senescence * – senescence is when the green leaves and stalks start to die down.
*transplant* – move a plant from one pot to another or into the garden itself.
*tuber* – is an underground stem which has thickened to form a storage organ. A potato is a good example.
*volunteer* – a plant growing of its own accord. It has not been planted or invited. Volunteers are usually remains of a previous crop and harbour disease.
If you come across any other veg words that you find baffling, please contact us and we will add them to the glossary!