Annual – A plant that will complete its biological life cycle in one year.

Architectural plant – plants with a strong presence that draw the eye and attention of the garden visitor.

Biennial – A plant that will complete its biological life cycle in two years. In general, the plant will produce vegetative growth in the first year, then bloom and produce seed in its second year.

Disease – Any number of pathogens that cause damage to a portion of the plant, bacterial, fungal, viral.

GE – Genetically engineered.

GMO – Genetically Modified Organism. This is the commonly accepted term, but GE is the more accurate term for the process that has become a health and environmental concern.

Mulch Gardening – Maintaining a thick, permanent layer of organic material over a garden space. Planting is done directly into the mulch layer. Mimics the forest floor. This technique is often called sheet composting, but there are differences in the two processes.

NPK – (N) Nitrogen, (P) Phosphorus, (K) Potassium, the macro-nutrients responsible for the majority of plant growth.

Ornamentals – Plants grown for mainly decorative purposes such as color, pattern, or scent.

Ornamental Tree – A tree grown mainly for bloom or foliage interest.

Perennial – A plant that can be expected to grow for more than two years.

Pest – An insect or animal that causes damage to a portion of the plant.

Phototoxicity РDamage caused to plant tissues due to a chemical reaction with sunlight.  Also called photosensitivity or photoirritation. The degree of damage varies, from brown edges to complete defoliation.

Sheet Composting – Applying thick layers (2″ – 8″) of organic materials to the soil to decompose slowly. Sheet composting usually involves lightly tilling the material into the top layer of soil. Often used interchangeably with “mulch gardening”, although there are minor differences.

Soil Food Web – “the community of organisms living all or part of their lives in the soil. It describes a complex living system in the soil and how it interacts with the environment, plants, and animals.” (Wiki)

SROF – Slow Release Organic Fertilizer. Examples; MicroLife, Arbor Gate Organic Blend, Gardenville Soil Food.

Temperate fruits – fruits that grow in the temperate zones where winter and summer are nearly equal in length and a dormancy period is experienced. Most pome fruits, stone fruits, and berries fall into this category.