Grow Terms


Acid:

This is the term for a media or solution with a pH less than 7.0 and is measured using a digital pH meter or with litmus paper

    Aeration:

    The method of adding air or oxygen to a root zone or a nutrient solution

      Aeroponics:

      A method of growing plants in which the roots are supplied with necessary nutrients via misting with a nutrient solution that is pumped through sprayers

        Alkaline:

        This is the term for a media or solution that has a pH greater than 7.0 and is also referred to as basic

          Amendment:

          Changing the composition of a growing media to improve the structure, nutrient content, water holding capacity, cation exchange capacity, or air porosity

            Auxin:

            A plant hormone that promotes root development and stem elongation. The plant created form is known as indole acetic acid (IAA) while the synthetically produced form is indole-butyric acid (IBA).

              Bacteria:

              Single celled microorganisms that can be beneficial or harmful to plant growth depending on the species and their function with respect to plants

                Beneficial insects/microorganisms:

                These organisms work synergistically with plants to defend against harmful insects and diseases and to increase uptake of plant nutrients

                  Buffering capacity:

                  The ability of a media or solution to resist change in pH fluctuations

                    Carbon Dioxide:

                    As known as CO2, this odorless gas is an integral part of plant growth and can increase the amount of photosynthesis that a plant has the capacity to do at given light levels if the CO2 level is increased up to 1500ppm. Ambient air is in the range of 300-400ppm.

                      Carbohydrate:

                      A combination of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen. Sugars and starches are the most commonly used to feed root zone microorganisms

                        Chelate:

                        A molecule that bonds with minerals to increase the uptake into the plant and prevents interactions with other minerals that could render the mineral unavailable

                          Chlorosis:

                          General yellowing of a plant due to lack of chlorophyll production during photosynthesis. This is typically related to pH, nitrogen deficiency, or iron deficiency

                            Compost:

                            Decayed organic matter from plant or animal sources that can provide plants with nutrients needed for growth

                              Cotyledon:

                              The first "leaves" of a dicot plant that emerge when a seed is planted and serve as the nutrient source until the plant develops roots for uptake of minerals

                                Cutting:

                                A portion of the plant that is cut off to generate a new, identical plant by rooting

                                  Damping Off:

                                  A term that is applied to a dieback of cuttings and seedlings caused by the disease pythium

                                    Dioecious:

                                    A plant that has male and female organs on separate plant, ie one plant makes the flowers (female) and one plant makes the pollen (male)

                                      EC meter:

                                      A device that measures the electrical conductivity of a solution or media. This is helpful to determine concentration of nutrients or salts affecting plant growth

                                        Electrode:

                                        A conductor that establishes an electrical arc with a non-metallic part of the circuit

                                          Elongation:

                                          When a plant begins to grow taller or longer creating greater distance between the internodes of the plant

                                            Feed:

                                            To supply nutrient to plants via a solution or a dry fertilizer

                                              Fertigation:

                                              Supplying the fertilizer to a plant via the irrigation water

                                                Foliage:

                                                The leaves of a plant

                                                  Foliar Feeding:

                                                  Spraying or misting the plant leaves with nutrients that the plant can absorb

                                                    Fulvic acid:

                                                    A liquid part of humus that is light golden in color and has the ability to increase uptake of nutrients into plant tissues

                                                      Gene:

                                                      The part of the plant's makeup that determines it capability for production and resistance to disease

                                                        Gypsum:

                                                        A naturally occurring mineral complex that is used to lower the pH of a growing media

                                                          Hormone:

                                                          A chemical that controls the growth and development of plants: auxins, cytokinens, gibberellins, ethylene, and abscisic acid

                                                            Humidity:

                                                            The amount of water in a given volume of air at a given temperature relative to the maximum amount of water it could hold

                                                              Humic acid:

                                                              The liquid portion of humus that comes from decomposed organic matter

                                                                Hygrometer:

                                                                A device that measures relative humidity

                                                                  Inert:

                                                                  A solution or media that is chemically non-reactive

                                                                    Leaching:

                                                                    Dissolving or washing out soluble salts from a growing media

                                                                      Leaf curl:

                                                                      Malformation of a leaf due to over/under fertilization, over-watering, or damage caused by insects or disease

                                                                        Lime:

                                                                        A naturally occurring mined mineral complex that will raise the pH of a growing media

                                                                          Litmus paper:

                                                                          A chemically sensitive paper that is used to determine pH

                                                                            Lumen:

                                                                            A unit of measurement of light that is used to rate the output of light based on the input of electrical watts

                                                                              Macronutrient:

                                                                              A classification of the major nutrients required for plant growth: nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium

                                                                                Micronutrients:

                                                                                A classification of the minor nutrients required for plant growth also known as trace elements: iron, boron, copper, molybdenum, zinc, manganese, nickel, and cobalt

                                                                                  Moisture meter:

                                                                                  A device that measures the amount of moisture in a growing media or soil

                                                                                    Nanometer (nm):

                                                                                    0.00000001 of a meter, used as a scale to measure wavelengths of light spectrums

                                                                                      Nutrient:

                                                                                      A mineral that a plant can uptake and assimilate into its tissue, plant food

                                                                                        Organic:

                                                                                        Carbon based. In horticulture, organic means natural. Organic fertilizers are made in nature, not in chemistry labs

                                                                                          Peat moss:

                                                                                          Moss that is slowly decayed in conditions of extreme moisture and low temperatures

                                                                                            pH:

                                                                                            The potential of hydrogen. This is a scale of 1 to 14 that expresses the number of free hydrogen ions in solution. Most plants grown hydroponically thrive at a pH between 5.5 to 6.3.

                                                                                              pH meter:

                                                                                              An electronic device that measures pH

                                                                                                Photoperiod:

                                                                                                The length of light during a 24 hour period

                                                                                                  Photosynthesis:

                                                                                                  The conversion of light energy to chemical energy (carbohydrates) by plants

                                                                                                    Propagate:

                                                                                                    To grow a new plant by taking a cutting from an existing plant and rooting the cutting or by germinating a seed

                                                                                                      Prune:

                                                                                                      Altering a plant by cutting leaves, stems, shoots, flowers, or fruits

                                                                                                        Rhizosphere:

                                                                                                        The area directly surrounding the roots of a plant. This area is where beneficial microorganism thrive

                                                                                                          Rockwool:

                                                                                                          A growing media that is made from fibers created by heating volcanic rock at high temperatures

                                                                                                            Root bound:

                                                                                                            When the roots of a plant are inhibited from normal growth from being confined in a container

                                                                                                              Salt:

                                                                                                              An ionic compound whose cation comes from a base and whose anion comes from an acid. Buildup of salts in growing media can cause plants to burn

                                                                                                                Soluble:

                                                                                                                Able to be dissolved into water

                                                                                                                  Starch:

                                                                                                                  A complex carbohydrate that is manufactured by plants and stored

                                                                                                                    Stomata:

                                                                                                                    An opening in the leaves of the plant through which the plant takes up nutrients, releases water, and takes up CO2

                                                                                                                      Sugar:

                                                                                                                      A simple carbohydrate that is manufacture by plants via photosynthesis

                                                                                                                        Tap Root:

                                                                                                                        The main root of a plant that grows from the seed. The lateral roots form from the tap root.

                                                                                                                          Transpire:

                                                                                                                          The plant releasing water through the stomata

                                                                                                                            Trellis:

                                                                                                                            A frame or netting that trains or supports plants

                                                                                                                              Ultraviolet (UV):

                                                                                                                              Short wavelengths of light that exist outside of the visible spectrum past blue and violet

                                                                                                                                Wetting agent:

                                                                                                                                A compound that reduces the surface tension of water making it easier for a media to absorb

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