There are many terms used in gardening that, unless you have some experience, will be quite alien to you. Some words are quite straight forward, such as pruning, although others can be a little daunting and until their meaning is known, can make some reading quite difficult.. 

We certainly don’t want you to have that experience here, and we write our articles in plain english so that everyone can understand. However, there are times when we need to use the correct terms as our article just would not make sense otherwise. 


Here’s some words that we believe will help get you by in the world of gardening! 


In short, an annual plant is one that will complete its lifecycle in one year. That means it will grow from seed, flower, create more seeds and then ultimately die. There are two type of annual plants – Half Hardy Annuals Hardy Annuals. 

Half Hardy Annuals: These are plants that complete their lifecycle in one year but will need protection from frost.

Hardy Annual: These are plants that complete their lifecycle in one year but will withstand temperatures down to -15C


A way that plants store themselves underground to produce a plant. Eg. Tulips


A process of placing seed potatoes in trays or egg boxes in bright, frost free conditions to start them sprouting before planting them into the ground

Cold Frame

A frame, that is often made out of wood with clear plastic as the windows. These are unheated and used to harden plants before planting. You can also start growing plants in them where there is still a risk of frost.

Dead Heading

When a flower has finished, it will normally start to wilt and go brown. In order to encourage new growth, you ‘dead head’ to remove the dying flower.


This is the point that a seed goes through its changes and then starts to grow. You will see this on most seed packets that you can buy in the shops.

Harden Off

This is the process of getting young plants ready to plant outside. Quite often, you will leave them out during the day and then bring them inside or cover them over at night time when the temperature plummet.

Maincrop Potatoes

These potatoes are generally harvested around 20 weeks after planting. These potatoes make good for winter storage. These are potatoes like King Edwards & Maris Piper


A plant that will live for longer than two years. In the Uk, these will be plants like geraniums.


This is where the magic happens. It is the transfer of pollen between two plants. This can happen naturally with the wind, bees, insects, animals or artificially by humans.

Potting on

This is where a plant has outgrown its current potting arrangements and needs to be moved to a larger home. The process of moving it from one container to a larger container is call potting on.

Pot Up

This is where seedlings are moved into containers for them to grow further.


To grow plants from seeds

Seed Potatoes

These are potatoes that are grown for the purpose of growing further potato plants and growing produce


We will continually update this list with other gardening terms as we progress through the website.

If there are any terms that you are not sure of, please do leave a comment below and we will add it to the page.

Happy gardening!