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ECU Seed Swap

Five sketched vegetables: arugula, radish, calendula, beans, and turnips.

Gardening Terms

Germination - The process of a seed sprouting, and becoming a plant.

Thinning Out - If seeds are planted too closely together, some of the sprouts will need to be removed in order to ensure that there is enough space for the other plants to grow. This can be done via snipping the stem off close to the ground, or by pinching the leaves off the stem. Chose the weakest-looking seedlings to thin out.

Hardening Off - Transitioning your sprouting plants from warm, controlled indoor conditions, to the wild outdoors. Needs to be done slowly by introducing your seedlings to the outside air by putting them out for longer and longer times over about a week.

Transplanting - Moving a plant from one container to another. Gently!

Bolting - When some plants encounter a certain temperature, the heat encourages their growth to transition from leaf growth to flower/seed growth. As the plant starts using its energy towards making flowers/seeds, the leaves and stems become tougher and much less flavourful. Sometimes bolting can be prevented by pruning back the tops of plants which are attempting to flower.

Dry-Fruited Seeds - Seeds which can be left on the plant itself to dry, and be harvested directly with minimal processing.

Wet-Fruited Seeds - Seeds which need to ripen/ferment inside the fruit itself before they can be harvested. Requires additional processing in order to harvest and save seeds for another season.

Pollinators - An animal which moves pollen from one plant to another, allowing fruits and vegetables to grow. Bees are the most important pollinators, but other animals such as birds, bats, moths, wasps, flies, and butterflies also act as pollinators.

Pinching Off - Pinching or snipping the growing tip (the top part of the stem) off to encourage a plant to grow bushier, rather than taller. Often seen with basil.

Cotyledons - The first two leaves which appear after sprouting. They are part of the seed embryo and help with the establishment of the first roots of the plant. It is best not to disturb or transplant seedlings until they have at least a few "true leaves", which will look different from the cotyledons.

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