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insecticide. Any product, compound, or garden aid formulated specifically to kill insects.

larva(e). An insect in its immature stage, after it hatches from an egg. Typically a worm or caterpillar form of a butterfly, moth, or beetle, larvae are voraciously hungry; this is the stage at which insects are most destructive to plants.

  1. A layer of material over bare soil that protects the soil from erosion and compaction by rain, and also discourages weeds. It may be inorganic (gravel, fabric) or organic (wood chips, bark, pine needles, chopped leaves).
  2. The sweet fluid produced by glands on flowers that attracts pollinators such as hummingbirds and honeybees, for whom the fluid is a source of energy.

organic material, matter. Any material or debris that is derived from plants. Carbon-based material that is capable of undergoing decomposition and decay.

peat moss. Organic matter from peat sedges (United States) or sphagnum mosses (Canada), often used to improve soil texture. The acidity of sphagnum peat moss makes it ideal for boosting or maintaining soil acidity while also improving its drainage.

  1. A flowering plant that lives over three or more seasons. Many die back with frost, but their roots survive the winter and generate new shoots in spring.
  2. Any product, compound, or device that kills pest insects, disease pathogens, pest animals, or weeds.

pinch of seeds. Just two or three seeds for each hole.

  1. The process by which plants, collecting energy from the sun by means of the chlorophyll in their foliage, transform carbon dioxide in the air and water from the soil into carbohydrates that fuel their growth.
  2. The yellow, powdery grains in the center of a flower. A plant s male sex cells, they are transferred to the female plant parts by means of wind, insects or animal pollinators, to fertilize them and create seeds.


potbound. See rootbound.

rootbound (or potbound . The condition of a plant that has been confined to a container too long, its roots having been forced to wrap around themselves and even swell out of the container. Successful transplanting or repotting requires untangling and trimming away some of the matted roots.

root zone. The area that the roots of a given plant currently occupy or can be expected to spread to when mature. Water, fertilizer, and mulch are most effectively applied to the soil surface over the root zone.

succession planting. The practice of promptly replacing food crops that have passed peak production with new transplants of another crop. Most effective in raised beds where the soil is rich enough to support several crops over a season, it maximizes production in a limited space.

  1. A new growing shoot. Underground plant roots produce suckers to form new stems and spread by means of these suckering roots to form large plantings, or colonies. Some plants produce root suckers or branch suckers as a result of pruning or wounding. Some plants such as crab apples produce crown suckers that should be removed when noticed.
  2. The process of removing extra sprouts from a single planting of a pinch of seeds of newly germinated seedlings to create sufficient space for the remaining ones to grow and mature.
  3. A young plant that is mature enough to be planted outdoors in a garden bed or decorative container.

true leaves. The second set of leaves that appear on a young seedling. They resemble the leaves of the species.

variegated. Having various colors or color patterns. Usually refers to plant foliage that is streaked, edged, blotched, or mottled with a contrasting color, often green with cream or white.

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Organic Gardeners Composting

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