Landscaping Lingo: Making Sense of Professional Landscaping Speak
If you've been researching potential landscaping projects, then you've likely come across an unfamiliar term or two during your search. To help get you up to speed on your basic landscaping lingo before undertaking your next project, here is a list of commonly-used landscaping terms and their subsequent meanings. Landscaping contractors that service the Milwaukee, Wisconsin area will be familiar with these terms.
Acidic Soil – Soil with a pH value less than 7.0.
Aeration – The loosening of compact soil by digging or other mechanical means to increase the soil's water and air circulation.
Alkaline Soil – Soil with a pH value greater than 7.0.
Annual – A plant that sprouts, matures, and dies in a single growing season.
Bed – A plot of ground separate from the lawn where plants, shrubs, and trees can be planted.
Biennial – A plant that requires two growing seasons to complete its life cycle.
Broadcast – Scatter loose materials like seed and fertilizer.
Canopy – Any overhead covering including trees or man-made structures.
Coniferous – Trees or shrubs that produce cones.
Dead Heading – Removing a plant's dead flowers to prevent seed development and encourage continued blooming.
Deciduous – Trees, shrubs, and plants that shed their leaves in the fall and grow replacement leaves in the spring.
Evergreen – Trees, shrubs, and plants that remain green year-round.
Foliage – The leaves of a tree, shrub, or plant.
Germination – The sprouting of a plant from a seed.
Ground Cover – Low-growing plants or other materials used for covering the ground's surface.
Hardscape – Any structural elements like decks, patios, and sheds, including smaller features like stones, rocks, and walkways.
Hardy – Plants that can withstand colder temperatures without artificial protection.
Invasive – Non-native plants that grow and spread too vigorously.
Irrigation – Controlled watering.
Mulch – Loose materials laid over soil to prevent weeds and increase water retention.
Perennial – A plant that returns year after year with renewed growth from its rootstock.
pH – A measure that determines the acidity or alkalinity of soil.
Propagation – Creating new plants from a parent stock.
Pruning – Cutting off parts of a tree, shrub, or plant to maintain its health and control its size and appearance.
Raised Bed – A separate, raised plot of ground where plants, shrubs, and trees can be planted.
Root Ball – A thick mass of roots and soil that is most commonly seen in container-grown plants.
Sod – Small sections of pre-grown grass with a base layer of roots and soil that can be transplanted in a new location.
Softscape – Any natural elements including plants, grass, and soil.
Sow – To plant seeds.
Topiary – Trees or shrubs styled into ornamental shapes by pruning or shearing.
Variegated – Plants with leaves or petals marked by irregularly colored spots or streaks.
Xeriscaping – Using plants suited to a specific environment to eliminate or reduce the need for supplemental watering.
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