Gardening Glossary

Thinning

Thinning is the act of picking through a row of recently emerged seedlings and removing some of them to provide room for each plant in the row to mature properly. For instance, carrot seeds are planted in a straight row direct in the garden bed. Once the seedlings emerge, the row must be “thinned” so that each plant is 4-10cm away from its neighbour. For really big roots, you might thin to 10-14cm.

Read more →


Transplanting

Taking seedlings from a seed bed or container and planting them where they will grow to maturity. Brassicas are usually transplanted (because they need more room when they grow to maturity than they do when just germinating). Root crops generally grow poorly after transplanting. In general, water the seedlings the day before you lift them, and water again after they have been planted in their new position.

Read more →


Thinly (sowing)

This is a vague term which is used ubiquitously. In general, if you place small seeds roughly 1.2 to 2.5cm (half an inch to an inch) apart then you won’t go far wrong. Larger seeds (such as peas) are placed further apart. If the germination rate is high and many seedlings are wasted by later thinning, just sow thinner next time!

Read more →


Stratification

Stratification, or pre-chilling, is the process of refrigerating seeds prior to sowing. This simulates the low temperatures of winter and encourages more even germination after the seeds are sown. There are two easy ways to stratify seeds. The first is to place seeds between wet paper towels, slip them into a plastic bag, and place them in the freezer for several days. Alternately, seeds can be planted in peat pellets or other growing medium and placed outside to chill for 7 to 10 days in winter. They are then brought indoors, where they should germinate evenly. In some instances, un-stratified...

Read more →


Solanum

Solanum is a very large genus of plants typified by nightshade, but also including potatoes, tomatoes, and eggplant (aubergine). Scores of other food plants are included in this genus, but most are grown in tropical climates. The green parts of many plants in the genus are poisonous to humans. The structure of the genus is under debate, and many plants have been grouped into subgenus or sections of their own. Most uses of the term Solanum in gardening refer to tomatoes, eggplants, and potatoes as a general group in crop rotation, as they enjoy more acidic soil. After growing Solanums,...

Read more →