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Gardening Terms Glossary
"S" Gardening Terms
Here are some of the common and not so common terms you will hear or read about when dealing with gardening.
samara: A winged seed such as from maples, birch or ash trees.
sand culture: A form of hydrophonics where roots of plants are established in sand rather than water.
sapwood: The light-colored, light-scented outermost wood of a trunk or branch.
scale in design:The feeling of size someone gets when in a garden. Also refers to the size of items on a drawing compared with what it represents.
scale insects: A clam like insect. It has a hard protective covering that looks like a fish scale.
scape: A leafless stalk bearing one or more flowers.
scarification: Scratching hard coated seeds to help them germinate quicker.
scientific name: The binomial name of a species, consisting of the genus name and the species epithet.
scorch: Browning of leaf tips typically from heat and lack of water.
seed: The container that holds and embryo capable of developing if germinated.
seed coat: The protective layer on a seed.
seedling: Very young plants that aren't fully developed.
self-pollination: The pollination of a flower by pollen from the same flower or another flower on the same plant. One of the gardening terms you should know if you are planning on growing fruit trees.
sepal: The outermost of the fundamental appendages, most often providing protection of the flower during its development.
sexual reproduction: Reproduction of plants by seed rather than by asexual methods such as cutting or grafting.
shaping: Trimming a plant in a round or molded fashion to from structure in the landscape.
shrub: Woody perennial plant with multiple stems that grow from the roots.
shuck: Outer pod or husk. One of those not so commonly used gardening terms that are just fun to know.
simple leaf: One that is not divided into leaflets.
sinus: One of those interesting yet not really valuable gardening terms, it means the gap or space between two lobes on a leaf.
site analysis: The collection of data from a yard to be used in developing a landscape design.
site plan: Scale drawing of an area showing exsisting buildings, plants and suggested new plants.
slow-release fertilizer: A type of fertilizer that "breaks-down" over time, moisture content, and/or temperature variances.
sod: grass usually sold in stripes that are 18" x 24 inches.
soil aeration: Puncturing the soil to allow air and water into it.
soil amendment: Chemicals and minerals added to soil to improve it.
soil testing: Scientific analysis of the composition, texture and acidity of soil to determine if it can be used for planting. If done in a lab you will also receive recommendations on how to improve the soil if necessary.
soil texture: The classification of soil types based on the proportions of sand, silt and clay they contain.
soluble salts: The salts found in compost which if present in too high a consentration can hinder plant growth and development.
species: A set of individuals that are closely related by descent from a common ancestor and can reproduce with each other but not with members of another species.
specimen plant: A plant that holds all the optimal characteristics of its species, such as best coloring, best flower production, shape or size. Can also be a single plant that is the main focal point in your garden.
spore: A single cell that is a means of asexual reproduction.
sport: When a plant doesn't grown the same as it normally should, it can be the flower takes on a different shape, the leaves form differently etc... sports are how new varieties are introduced.
spreader-sticker: Material added to liquid sprays to aid the spread and stickiness of the spray.
staking: Using a piece of wood, metal or plastic to provide support for tall flowers or plants.
stalk: The stem of a plant that supports the leaves, flowers and fruit.
stamen: The reproductive organ of the male pollen bearing flower.
standard: Atree or shrub that is grown on a single trunk, usually grafted to create a small garden tree.
starter solution: A weak solution of fertilizer that is used to promote root growth, and to help prevent transplant shock.
stigma: An organ of a flower's female part, borne at the tip of the style, on which the pollen is deposited.
stipule: A small leaflike structure, most often paired, borne where the leaf stalk joins the stem.
stolon: A horizontal stem above or just below the ground that forms roots either at the tip or along the length to produce new plants.
style: Organ of a flower's female part that holds the stigma over the ovary.
sour soil: Soil with a high level of acid and a low level of alkaline. The pH of 6 indicates slightly acidic soil and the pH of 4 indicates soil that is very acidic.
succession planting: The planting of several flowers or seeds at one time and again at one or two week intervals.
suckers: A shoot that emerges from the roots of a plant, can also grow out of the trunk.
sweet soil: Soil with a high level of alkaline and a low level of acid. The pH of 4 indicates slightly alkaline soil and the pH of 6 indicates soil that is very alkaline.
systemic: A chemical which is harmless to the plant that is absorbed into the plant and travels up the trunk and into the leaves to make them poisonous to insects. This is probably one of the gardening terms you should know when you are into spraying insecticides, it can also refer to herbicides.
This list is by no means a complete collection of horticultural techniques and terms.
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