Garden Jargon Explained: 10 Gardening Terms You Need to Understand

Gardening is an exciting hobby to start. But, when looking at books and hundreds of pages online, some gardening terms can be confusing, especially if you haven’t encountered them before.

To keep you on track, our gardening experts have broken down ten of the most important gardening terms you should understand.

10 Gardening Terms Explained

Before you pick up your spade and start propagating your space! Try to learn what propagate means first.



Breaking up clumps, ensuring proper aeration and creating a good drainage system is the process of cultivating the soil. It is the preparation in planting herbs and flowers.



Mulching involves the use of organic materials such as bark, dried leaves, and grass clippings to help protect the soil and prevent weed growth. A layer of mulch is laid over it to do so.

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Some gardeners also use plastic sheeting or old carpet for this purpose.

Annuals and Perennials


Annuals and perennials are a plant classification that is based on how long said plant will live.

Annual plants flower once, but will not return the following year. It means that you will need to plant a new batch of seedlings once the season is over.

Perennials, on the other hand, are flower and plants that survive for more than two years. Once you are able to establish them, you can expect year on year bloom. They are also the hardy types that survive the cold winter months.



Scarifying is the process of refreshing your lawn by removing dead shoots of grass — giving the living ones an adequate space to grow and allowing them to receive enough water and nutrients.



Seeds germinate once they start to grow and sprout out of the soil. Sowing them in the soil, using wet paper towels, and placing them into the water are some of the ways to germinate a seed.



Plants are regarded as particularly hardy if they can survive the harsh winter temperature.

They are classified in terms of hardiness on a scale of 1-10. It means that less hardy a plant is, the more likely it is to die in colder weather conditions.



To prune a plant is to cut a part of it. It may be cutting dead steams or withered flowers that’s done to help shape a plant or encourage further bloom.



A propagator is a gardening device that helps provide heat to the soil to speed up growth and flowering process. It creates a stable temperature for seedlings and cuttings to germinate faster.

This device can be as simple as a plastic tub that serves as a mini greenhouse or a specialised, electric type that will help you achieve a specific temperature requirement.

Under Planting


Underplanting is a gardening technique of planting shorter shrubs and flowers below larger trees. It creates a tiered effect in the garden and shelters smaller plants from strong wind and heavy rain.

In applying this method, make sure to place shade-loving plants that require less amount of sunlight beneath bigger plants. If you plant sun-hungry plants below bigger plants, you might just give up on gardening once you see the results.



Dead-heading is the process of cutting off dead flowers from a plant to encourage the growth of new ones. It can also help stop withered flowers from ruining the beauty of a plant bed.

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