Annual - Produces flowers and seeds in one year.
Anther - The pollen-producing part of a flower.
Bag - To cover flowers with a mesh bag to prevent insect pollination.
Biennial - Produces flowers and seeds the second year after it is planted.
Blight - Any of a number of viral or fungal diseases of plants.
Blossom-end rot - A black spot on the bottom of certain fruit, especially tomatoes, caused by calcium loss.
Bolt - When a flower stalk is sent up by a plant.
Brassica - Plants in the genus Brassica,including cabbage, bok choy, kale, turnip, etc.
Calcium - An essential mineral of soil.
Chaff - Dry stems and flower parts left over from seed extraction.
Cotyledon - The leaves within a seed that emerge when it sprouts.
Cross-pollination - When pollen from one variety fertilizes another variety. A hybrid variety results.
Cucurbit - Member of the squash family.
Damping off - Die-off of seedlings due to a fungus.
Determinate - A bush-type plant that stops growing after flowers have formed on the top of the plant.
Diatomaceous earth - A natural substance derived from microscopic plants called diatoms; used to kill insect pests.
Ecologically grown - Grown without toxic pesticides or synthetic fertilizers.
Ferment - To allow pulp to break down through the action of natural yeast and bacteria.
Fertilization 1) the process of combining male and female reproductive cells to form a seed; 2) application of nutrients to soil.
Fertilizer - A substance applied to soil that provides plants with essential nutrients.
Floating row cover - A light weight breathable fabric used to cover growing plants to prevent insect damage.
Fruit - The fleshy or dry ripened ovary of a plant, containing seeds. Bean pods and corn kernels are fruit.
Germination - Sprouting of seeds.
GMO - "Genetically Modified Organism": any organism whose genetic makeup has been altered in a laboratory.
Grow out - To plant and grow seeds of a particular variety.
Hand-pollinate - To transfer pollen by hand from the anther of a male plant to the stigma of a female plant.
Hardening off - To gradually acclimate plants to weather conditions outdoors.
Heirloom - An open-pollinated variety that has been handed down through families for at least 50 years. Also called Heritage.
Hybrid - A plant that results from accidental or deliberate cross-pollination of two varieties of the same species.
Indeterminate - A vining type of plant that continues to grow throughout the season.
Isolation distance - The required distance between varieties of the same species in flower, to prevent cross-pollination.
Nitrogen - A major essential nutrient of plants, chemical symbol N.
Open-pollinated - A variety that breeds true when pollinated by a plant of the same variety.
Organic - Grown without toxic pesticides or synthetic fertilizers following strict guidelines for organic certification.
Ovary - The female part of a plant that forms seeds.
Perennial - Living and flowering for several or many years.
Phosphorus - A major essential nutrient of plants, chemical symbol P.
Pollen - Male structures that carry genetic material to female structures, resulting in a seed.
Potassium - A major essential nutrient of plants, chemical symbol K (latin Kalium).
Rogue - To remove plants with characteristics that do not conform to those of the variety.
Scientific name -The two part (binomial) Latin or Greek name of a species: Genus and species.
Self-pollinating - Female part in a flower will receive pollen from the same plant and produce viable seeds.
Silica gel - A substance made of glass that is used to dry seeds for storage.
Species - A group of organisms that can breed with one another in nature and produce fertile offspring.
Stigma - The female part of a flower that receives pollen.
Stratification - A method of artificially treating seeds to break their dormancy.
Variety - Within a species, a type of plant developed for specific characteristics.
Vernalization The process of chilling moist seeds to break winter dormancy.
Winnow - The process of separating seeds from chaff.