The Vegetable Garden

Glossary - D-G

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Damping-off – A disease that attacks seedlings, causing rotting near the soil line.

Denitrification – The conversion of nitrates into atmospheric nitrogen by soil microbes in water logged soils.

Dermal exposure – Pesticide is absorbed through the skin.

Dolomitic limestone – Lime that supplies both calcium and magnesium.

Double digging – A process whereby the gardener works the topsoil and also loosens the subsoil.

Drainage – Movement of water away from the surface of a garden either down into the soil or by flow across the surface.

Dried blood – Blood of animals that is collected from slaughterhouses. It contains high levels of nitrogen.


Ear – The female flower of corn that produces seed after pollination.

E. coli – A bacteria associated with animal wastes that can cause serious health problems.

Embryo – The structure within a seed that develops into a plant.

Exposure – On hillsides, it is the direction your garden faces.


F1 Hybrids –Cultivars resulting from a cross between two different true breeding (referred to as inbred) parents.

Field capacity – The maximum amount of water your particular soil will hold.

Fish meal – Ground up fish. Contains nitrogen and phosphorus.

Friable – An easily worked soil.

Frost-free date – The average last day of frost for a specific area.

Frost pocket – A low-lying area where frost occurs late in the season.

Fungi – Multi-celled organisms that reproduce by spores and rely on living or dead organic matter for food.


Gourd – A fruit with a hard outer rind that is used for decoration.

Grasses – A category of weed that are monocots, have narrow leaves and a growing point at our just below the soil surface.

Green manure – A cover crop used to add nutrients to the soil and choke out undesirable plants.

Greensand – A ground rock material that contains potassium and trace elements.

Gynoecious cucumbers – Hybrids whose plants have all female flowers.