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There are 160 entries in the glossary.
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TermDefinition
Bordeaux MixtureA fungicide permitted under organic rules, basically a solution of copper sulphate
 
BrassicaA family of vegetables, sometimes called cruciferous, which includes; cauliflower, cabbage, broccoli, calabrese, and spring greens as well as root vegetables such as radish and swede.
 
BrogdaleBased at Brogdale in Kent, formerly the national fruit collection and part of MAFF/Defra but now a charity dedicated to preserving our fruit varieties as well as running trials on new cultivars. They have the biggest collection of apples anywhere in the world (2040 varieties) as well as smaller collections of other top and soft fruits as well as a developing nut collection. The collection is now searchable online, the Brogdale Trust's website is: www.brogdale.org
 
Cabbage Root FlyActually the larvae of the Cabbage Root Fly, they attack the roots of all brassicas and can cause almost total crop failure. The most effective way of protecting your crop is to fit a "collar" around the base of the plant, this prevents the fly from laying it's eggs near the roots. Growing under fleece is another option.
 
CarawayCaraway (Carum carvi, Umbelliferae)
A slender branched annual herb with fern like leaves which can be used in salads, the seeds are widely used in cooking and medicinally. Easy to grow
 
CarrotCarrot (Daucus carota, Umbelliferae)
A fern leafed biennial with a fleshy taproot. Contrary to popular belief the natural colour of carrots is a range of purples and yellows, this hugely popular and nutritious vegetable is believed to originate in Afghanistan and to have spread to the Mediterranean and China in it's original forms before selective breeding programmes finally brought us orange (and white) carrots in the 1700s.Now grown worldwide.
 
Carrot FlyThe larvae are a serious pest of carrots and related plants such as parsnips, celery, and parsley. Often responsible for the death of seedlings in susceptible species. You'll know you have carrot fly if the roots have very fine brown tunneling near the surface. There are carrot fly resistant varieties available but the best ways to control them are either a physical barrier such as fleece or timing your sowings so they don't coincide with the hatching period of the eggs. Safe times to sow are:
Feb to mid April
Beginning of June to mid July
September onwards
There is some evidence that intercropping with onions helps deter carrot fly
 
ChamomileChamomile (Chamaemelum nobile, Compositae)
A low growing hardy perennial herb with daisy like flowers, the leaves have a sweet scent when crushed. The dried flowers are used in herbal teas.
 
ChervilChervil (Anthriscus cerefolium, Umbelliferae)
A fairly low growing bushy hardy biennial herb with fern like leaves which can be used in soups and sauces and are usual in fines herbs for omelettes.
 
ChittingSetting seed potatoes (see separate entry) in the light to encourage them to grow short, stubby sprouts to encourage more rapid growth once planted. Used to best effect on first and second earlies. Some people choose not to do this but most do - and as seed potatoes are usally bought before they can be planted it's a good way to keep them until the weather's warm enough to plant. Click here for a more detailed discussion of chitting
 
ChivesChives (allium schoenoprasum, alliaceae)
A hardy perennial herb of the onion family which grows in clumps. The hollow tubular leaves are like mini spring onions and are used to impart a faintly oniony flavour to a wide variety of dishes. The related garlic chive has flat leaves and a mild garlic flavour
 
Cilantrosee Coriander
 
ClocheA cloche is a see through shelter that provides protection from the cold or helps warm the soil when planting seed
 
ClubrootA serious disease of brassicas, affects all varieties (cabbage, cauliflower, turnip, kale etc) and related species such as radish and mustard. Caused by a miscroscopic soil living organism which can survive dormant in the soil for up to 20 years. The first sign can be wilting plants, particularly during dry weather, they may later appear stunted or sickly and the leaves may develop a purple-red tinge. Infected roots swell and distort, often producing either a single large gall ("club"), or a cluster of smaller galls hence the name.
Very difficult to eradicate once your soil is infected so the best strategy is prevention, make sure you rotate your crops, and don't bring in brassica plants from elsewhere unless you know they're club root free. Soil condition is also important a well cultivated soil with lots of compost is less susceptible, club root prefers acid soils so if yours is acid it may be worth liming.
 
Cocoa ShellA natural by product of the chocolate industry, useful as a mulch. It rots down gradually forming a crust once wetted that is impenetrable to slugs etc.

IMPORTANT: Cocoa shell contains the naturally occurring substance theobromine which can be harmful to dogs
 
Codling MothThe larvae of the codling moth attack apples. A good organic method of control are Codling Moth Traps, little plastic traps baited with pheromones that attract the adults
 
CoirThe fibre surrounding coconut shells which is often sold composted as an alternative to peat based composts
 
ComfreyA leafy plant that stores lots of essential minerals in it's leaves which can then be made available by composting or making "comfrey tea" a foul smelling liquid feed ideal for plants that require high potash levels
 
Comfrey TeaA foul smelling liquid feed ideal for plants that require high potash levels, very easy to make at home just place leaves in a container with enough water to cover, 4 weeks (less in hot weather) later the liquid can be extracted and stored for use as a feed, use well diluted. The solid waste can be put on the compost heap.
 
Companion PlantingA useful growing method for organic gardeners, growing plants alongside others to increase yield. Benefits include:
Nitrogen fixing
Attraction of beneficial insects
Attraction of pollinators
Deterrence of harmful insects
Increasing nutrient availability in the soil
Bob Flowerdew (amongst others) has written a book on the subject.
 
CordonFruit trees trained to grow at an angle to make the most of limited spaces, particlarly suited to apples and pears
 
CorianderCoriander (Coriandrum sativum, Umbelliferae)
An increasingly popular and easy to grow herb, there are varieties available that are allegedly less prone to bolting, but the seed is a very useful spice and the seedheads are easy to dry at home, so the best solution is to sow fresh every 4 weeks or so. Late sowings (up to September) can be over wintered for an early spring crop
 
Coriander, VietnameseVietnamese Coriander (Persicaria odorata, polygonaceae)
An evergreen herbaceous perennial up to 90 cm high, definitely not to be confused with Coriander. A heated greenhouse or house plant. Has very aromatic leaves with a unique flavour ubiquitous in (you guessed it) Vietnamese cookery, very good in stir fries.
 
CostmaryCostmary (Tanacetum balsamita, Compositae)
Also known as Alecost a creeing perennial which grows up to 80 cm high, propogated by root division. The leaves have a sharp tang and spearmint scent and make a useful addition to salads and soups. They were also used to clear, flavour, and preserve ales before the introduction of hops. Crushed leaves help sooth burns and stings, costmary tea is said to relieve colds, catarrh, upset stomachs and used to be taken to ease childbirth
 
CourgetteCourgette (Cucurbita pepo, Cucurbitaceae)
Known as Zucchini in North America they are one of the most popular of the squashes nowadays, they are a small variety of marrow, the fruits are harvested before reaching maturity. Many different colours and forms are available, in various shades of green and also yellow. Courgettes do well in the UK as long as they are provided rich moist and sunny conditions. If you're suffering a glut leave some to develop fully on the plant, this will slow down production of new fruits and will store for at least a couple of months.
 


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