With a PH value of less than 7 (Cf Alkaline and Neutral).

Aeration is often achieved by hollow tining (also called coring) and is vital. This aspect of Lawn maintenance is a must and is often carried out in early autumn when the soil is moist and the warm conditions allow the grass to recover. This part of lawn care helps with compaction of the soil, allowing the turf to achieve deep root growth. Lawn aeration can be achieved using a Lawn aerator or by hand, by pushing a digging fork into the ground to create holes. These are usually 100mm deep. Lawn aeration by hand, using a digging fork is not the most effective method. Although using a fork produces the necessary holes, it does not remove the core. Removing the core helps with compaction and then the top dressing is added.

A plant that completes its life cycle (germination-flowering-seeding-dying) in one growing season.

Naturally occurring or artificially synthesized plant growth substances controlling shoot growth, root formation and other physiological processes in plants.

The upper angle between a leaf and a stem or between a stem and a bract.

The removal of a ring of bark from the trunk or branches of certain fruit trees, to reduce vigorous growth and to encourage fruit cropping. Also known as “girdling”.

An application of fertilization or humus (manure, compost, etc) applied to or dug into the soil prior to sowing or planting.

A plant that flowers and dies in the second growing season after germination.

To lose sap through a cut or wound.

To produce flowers and seed prematurely.

A modified, often protective, leaf at the base of a flower or flower cluster. Bracts may resemble normal leaves, or be small and scale-like, or large and brightly coloured.

A rudimentary or condensed shoot containing an embryonic leaf, leaf cluster, or flower.

• Adventitious bud – A bud produced abnormally, for example from the stem instead of from a leaf axil.
• Apical (or terminal) Bud – The top-most bud on a stem.
• Axillary Bud – A bud that occurs in an axil.
• Crown Bud – A flower bud at the shoot tip, surrounded by other, usually smaller, flower buds.
• Fruit Bud – A bud from which leaves and flowers (followed by fruits) develop.
• Growth Bud – A bud from which only leaves or a shoot develop.

The point at which the scion bud unites with the rootstock.

A crust that forms on the surface of soil damaged by compaction, heavy rain, or watering.

The green plant pigment that is mainly responsible for light absorption and hence photosynthesis in plants.

The annual pruning back of trees or shrubs close to the ground level to produce vigorous, usually decorative, shoots.

A trained plant (usually a fruit tree) generally restricted to one main stem by rigorous pruning. A single cordon has one main stem, a double or “U” cordon has two, and a multiple cordon has three or more stems.

Crown lifting is the selective removal of lower branches to a tree’s crown to increase the distance between the base of the canopy and ground level.

A group of cultivated plants that are clearly distinguished by one or more characteristics that are retained when propagated.

A portion of a plant (a leaf, shoot, root or bud) that is cut off to be used for propagation.

• Basal Stem Cutting – A cutting taken from the base of a (usually herbaceous) plant as it begins to produce growth in spring.
• Greenwood Cutting – A cutting taken from the soft tips of young growth after the spring growth flush has slowed down. Slightly harder and woodier stems than are used for softwood cuttings.
• Hardwood Cutting – A cutting taken from the mature wood of both deciduous and evergreen plants at the end of the growing season.
• Heel Cutting – A cutting taken with a portion of the bark or mature wood at the base.
• Internodal Cutting – A cutting in which the basal cut is made between two nodes or growth buds.
• Leaf Cutting – A cutting taken from a detached leaf or part of a leaf.
• Leaf-bud Cutting – A cutting consisting of a short section of stem and a single or double pair of buds or leaves.
• Nodal Cutting – A cutting trimmed at the base just below a growth bud or node.
• Ripewood Cutting – A cutting taken from a ripened wood, usually of evergreens, during the growing season.
• Root Cutting – A cutting taken from part of a semi-mature or mature root.
• Semi-ripe Cutting – A cutting taken from half-ripened wood during the growing season.
• Softwood Cutting – A cutting taken from young, immature growth during the growing season.
• Stem Cutting – A cutting taken from any portion of a plant stem.
• Stem Tip Cutting – Any cutting taken from the tip of a shoot; sometimes applied to softwood and greenwood cuttings.

A plant trained with the main stem vertical and (usually) three or more tiers of branches horizontally placed on either side in a single plane – often applied to fruit trees.

Feeding your lawn is the primary way of making the grass look dark green and healthy. There are different feeds at different times of the year to apply to the lawn. When feeding the grass, it is vital that the correct concentration of feed/residual herbicide is applied. To that end, we use a calibrated feeder that spreads the granular grass feed at the correct rate.

Grass feeds are made up of three primary components – Nitrogen (N), Potassium (K), and Phosphorous (P). There are parts such as Iron (Fe) which are also vital. A compound fertiliser will contain all three of these chemicals. A good fertilizer to use if you have the time is Phostrogen or Miracle Grow, as both of these are compound fertilizers that contain trace nutrients (also known as micro-nutrients) these include chemicals such as Zinc and Molybdenum.

There are four main times to feed your lawn – spring, early summer, late summer and autumn. The spring feed is different from the summer feed and the autumn feed is different again. This is because the grass has different requirements at different times of the year. For example, a spring fertilizer would be NPK feed with a ratio of 11:5:5 +1Mg + 1 Fe + 0.5Mn.

• N Nitrogen promotes thicker green leaf growth
• P Phosphorus strengthens the roots
• K Potassium strengthens the shoots
• Mg Magnesium protects against pathogens
• Mn Manganese helps roots resist fungal attacks
• Fe Iron promotes greener colour.

There are different ratios of these and other trace elements added to make sure your lawn looks green and healthy all year long. Lawn care by feeding is very important because it supplies the food the grass requires.

A tree or shrub that has a clear stem of 1-1.5m (3-5ft) between ground level and the lowest branches.

Beds laid out in a formal, often complex pattern formed from dwarf hedges or clipped herbs.

Plant tissue that is able to divide to produce new cells. Shoot or root tips contain meristematic tissue and may be used for micropropagation.

An induced or spontaneous genetic change, often resulting in shoots with variegated foliage or flowers of a different colour from the parent plant. A mutation is also known as a sport.

A Parterre is a formal garden construction on a level surface which has planting beds surrounded by box hedging. They are usually created in symmetrical patterns and often consist of box hedging, however, some have planting beds edged in stone.

A measure of alkalinity or acidity used horticulturally to refer to soils. The scale measures from 1 to 14; pH7 is neutral, above 7 is alkaline and below 7 is acid.

To cut back a tree to its main branches to restrict the growth.

1. Scarifying a lawn is simply raking the lawn to remove thatch. Thatch is an organic matter that is decaying near the base of the grass blade, it may contain rhizomes, which are vertically growing shoots from the stem of plants, cut grass blades and stolons, which grow along the ground. A certain amount of thatch is beneficial as it reduces evaporation and helps the lawn with excessive wear. Too much thatch will prevent water reaching the roots of the grass and may become saturated itself, thus interfering with drainage. Scarifying is normally carried out in autumn or spring.

2. A chemical treatment of a seed coat in order to speed up the water intake and to induce germination.

1. A hollow projection from a petal, often producing nectar.

2. A short branch or branchlet bearing flower buds, as on fruit trees.

A striking plant, usually a tree or a shrub in prime condition, grown where it can be seen clearly.

Storage of seed in warmer cold conditions to overcome dormancy and aid germination.

1. A shoot that arises below ground from a plant`s roots or underground stem.

2. On grafted plants, a sucker is any shoot that arises below the graft union.

A layer of dead, organic matter intermingled with living stems that accumulates on the soil surface in lawns.

Top Dressing a lawn is necessary after either scarifying or aeration by hollow tinning have been carried out as part of your lawn care program. It is a blend of very fine top soils, usually loam, based with some kiln dried sand and with grains being no larger than 5mm. This is spread over the grass once the scarifying or aeration has taken place and it is then brushed into the holes caused by the process. By adding this top dressing we improve the root zone area and feed the grass.

Topiary is the horticultural practice of training perennial plants to develop and maintain a shape, this shape could be a spiral, circle or something more creative like an animal.

These shoots are frequently found by the pruning wounds on the tree trunks.

Additions to the Glossary
If there are any terms you have heard that you would like us to include and explain in our glossary, please email us at We are happy to help and share our expertise.