Growing your own vegetables and herbs can be a rewarding and delicious experience, but it can also be overwhelming for beginners. With so many specialized terms and phrases, it's easy to feel lost in a sea of gardening jargon. To help you understand the basics and feel more confident in your gardening endeavors, we've compiled a list of common terms related to growing vegetables and herbs, along with their definitions.
Companion planting: Growing different plants together to benefit each other, such as deterring pests or attracting pollinators.
Hardening off: This is a 'toughening up' process. Plants raised indoors need to be get used to cooler temperatures, lower humidity and wind for 1-3 weeks before they are planted outdoors.
Harvest: To pick or collect mature vegetables and herbs for consumption.
Potting on: This is where you move a young plant from a smaller pot into a bigger pot. This is usually needed for plants that grow very quickly (like courgettes and tomatoes)
Pollination: Many plants, including courgettes & tomatoes need pollinating for the flower to set (form) into a fruit. Tomatoes are generally wind-pollinated & ‘tapping’ the flowers will help the fruit form. Courgettes need bees & other pollinating insects to transfer pollen from the male to the female flowers. You can help more fruits set by using a little paintbrush to transfer pollen between the flowers (read more about this in our Blog post here).
Seed germination: The process of a seed sprouting and growing into a seedling.
Seedling: A young plant that has sprouted from a seed.
Staking: Supporting tall or heavy-stemmed plants with stakes or trellises to prevent them from falling over.
Thinning: To remove excess seedlings to give the remaining ones more space to grow.
Transplanting: Moving a seedling from one location to another, such as from a seed tray to a larger pot or the garden.