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There are 160 entries in the glossary.
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TermDefinition
AcidityAll soils vary naturally in their acidity, this affects the crops that you can grow, although most fruit and veg will tolerate a wide range of soil acidity there are certain plants that require or prefer either acid or alkaline conditions. If you'd like to know what pH (acidity level) your soil is you can test it using a kit which should be available at your local nursery
 
AGMYou may see the letters AGM displayed on plant and seed labels they stand for Award of Garden Merit, applied to plants that have performed well in the RHS's trials
 
AgroforestryAgroforestry aims to combine agriculture and forestry technologies to create more integrated, diverse, productive & sustainable land-use systems. (see also permaculture)
 
Allotmenta strip of land within a field or site of others that is used to cultivate vegetables, fruit and sometimes flowers for your own consumption, usually rented from the council (parish or town). Some sites allow livestock like chickens, but each site will vary in its rules. You are not allowed to sell your produce or use the land for any commercial enterprise. Click here for some allotment related links
 
AngelicaAngelica (Angelica archangelica, umbelliferae)
A large (can grow to more than 3 metres) biennial or short lived perennial herb, the young green stems can be candied and young blanched shoots can be added to salads
 
AniseAnise (Pimpinella anisum, umbelliferae)
Also known as aniseed, looks very similar to celery but is finer, an annual herb grown for it's liquorice flavoured seeds
 
AnnualA plant that lasts only one season, has to be sowed anew each year.
 
AphidCommonly known as greenfly or blackfly, aphids are sap sucking insects and probably the most common garden pest. There are more than 500 varieties in Europe some adapted to feed only on specific plants
 
AphidiusAphidius is a small (2mm) black insects that lays it's eggs inside immature aphids, the developing larvae feed off the aphid eventually killing it. Available commercially as an aphid control.
 
Artichoke, GlobeGlobe artichoke (Cynara scolymus, Asteraceae)
A relative of the thistle, the edible bud of which has many short bracts with fleshy bases. Completely unrelated to the Jerusalem Artichoke.
 
Artichoke, JerusalemJerusalem Artichoke (Helianthus tuberosus, Compositae)
It's common name tells you nothing about this plant; it doesn't come from anywhere near Jerusalem, it's actually a native of North America and nor is it related to the Globe Artichoke, it's actually a member of the sunflower family. It's grown for it's edible tubers which can be cooked in the same ways as potatoes, cause flatulence in some people.
 
AubergineAubergine (Solanum melongena, solanaceae)
A member of the same family as potatoes, tomatos and deadly nightshade, known as egg plant in the US. Tricky to grow in the UK, but very good looking plants, try them if you like a challenge.
 
Bare RootTrees & shrubs can be supplied either container grown (in a plastic pot usually) or bare root. Bare root plants are supplied in the dormant period usually between November and March, they should be planted as soon as possible after receipt. Usually cheaper and easier to establish than container grown plants.
 
BasilBasil (Ocimum basilicum, labiatae) Another mint relative, a popular culinary herb in many culinary traditions. There are many varieties of basil available to the home grower including European and Asiatic forms, they are all half hardy (or tender) annuals
 
BayBay (Laurus nobilis, lauraceae)
A very useful and tolerant evergreen shrub and excellent culinary herb, many different forms (standard, pyramid, bus etc) are available but Bay (also known as Sweet Bay) is the only non poisonous laurel, so make sure you've got the right one
 
BergamotBergamot (Monarda didyma, labiatae)
Also known as Bee Balm, bergamot is a hardy perennial herb, the leaves are used in herbal teas and in salads, dried leaves can be added to pot-pourri.
 
BiennialA plant that flowers in it's second year before; carrots, onions, and parsnips are all biennial although they're not normally allowed to go to seed unless it's for seed saving purposes
 
Biennial BearingMany fruits including apples, pears and plums can become prone to producing a bumper crop one year and hardly anything the next, this is usually due to deficiencies in culture, i.e. your feeding, watering and pruning regimes need to be looked at. Thinning of fruit and blossom may also be required.
 
BiodynamicsA system of gardening that has amongst its principles the belief that the moon, sun, stars and planets influence plants in regular rhythms, creating ideal days or periods, to sow, weed, and gather plants. Using the best day or time of day to perform various garden tasks can make a huge diference to the yields from your garden. Herbal and plant concotions unique to biodynamics are used to increase the vitality of soil and compost. Based around the work of Rudolf Steiner, the movement is increasing in popularity and is often seen as the next step on from organic gardening.
 
Bitter PitA disorder (not disease) of apples, sometimes appears on apples while still on the tree but more usually in stored fruit. caused by a deficiency of calcium and/or excess potassium and magnesium. Manifests itself as small brownish pits in the surface of the fruit, the flesh directly underneath the pits also turns brown, in severe cases quite a lot of the flesh can be affected and the apple will have an unpleasant bitter taste. Can be avoided by ensuring adequate watering and mulching and avoiding over feeding
 
Black LegA bacterial disease of potatoes, infections start as a black lesion at the base of the stem, leading to collapse of the foliage. Spreads to the tubers which will rot if badly affected. Caused by the bacterium (Erwinia carotovora pv. erythroseptica) controlled by using disease free seed potatoes and good crop rotation. Tubers can be saved if the foliage is removed at the earliest sign of the disease
 
BlightA fungal disease that causes wilting and eventually death, tomotoes and potatoes are particularly susceptible, usually brought on by damp conditions
 
BoltingBolting is the premature flowering of a vegetable plant, onions and brassicas can be prone to bolting. Usually caused by underwatering or very dense planting
 
BonemealBonemeal fertiliser is basically crunched up sterilised bones, a slow release source of phosphate which promotes strong root growth. Useful when planting trees and shrubs.
 
BorageBorage (Borago officianalis, boraginaceae)
A hardy annual herb with large hairy leaves that smell of cucumber when crushed. The flowers can be candied and used as cake decorations and finely chopped young leaves make a useful salad addition, also has medicinal properties
 


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