Just like every other industry, businesses involved in landscaping have their own jargon related to everything from appearance of shrubs to zone designations for planting.
Having a basic understanding of landscaping lingo not only ensures that you will get what you want when coordinating with a company, but that you will also know what to ask for from the company with whom you are working. Regardless of whether you are taking on a spring project on your own or working longterm with a landscape designer, there are some common terms that are helpful to know.
The following are common terms we at Desert Rose Landscape use frequently and are helpful to know, but by no means are a complete list.
Soil mender: Desert Rose uses “Back To Earth Cotton Burr Blend” which consists of composted cotton burrs, composted shredded hardwood, and composted feedstock. This makes BTE Cotton Burr Blend an ideal general-purpose mulch for amending clay or sandy soils. This product is available with elemental sulfur to help neutralize high pH soils. It also contains no chemicals, weeds, insects, or harmful pathogens. Soils low in organic matter and humus or with poor tilth (i.e. low suitability for plant growth) and structure cannot be rejuvenated with chemical fertilizers. Back To Earth composts can quickly start improvement of such soils, since it begins to function immediately, restoring vital organic matter and humus to soils, regardless of soil conditions.
Yum Yum Mix Fertilizer: This is an all-purpose fertilizer and soil conditioner. It is a premium blend of organic and natural alfalfa meal, cottonseed meal, greensand, kelp meal, planters II, rock phosphate, humate, and dry molasses. Yum Yum Mix is a rich source of major nutrient elements. Earthworms and soil micro-organisms respond to this natural banquet by breaking down minerals and organic matter into available nutrients for your plants. This product is natural, organic and completely safe for family, pets, wildlife and everything you grow. It is free of animal products, petrochemicals, and sewage sludge. It is also vegetarian approved – no blood, no bones. Yum Yum Mix improves soil tilth, moisture retention, plant vigor, and stress resistance. Used regularly, it helps create a balanced pH and a naturally fertile soil. Perfect for growing all annuals, perennials, vegetables, lawns, trees and shrubs.
Yard or Cubic yard: A cubic yard is the volume of material which fits in a space one yard wide by one yard deep by one yard high.(3 feet x 3 feet x 3 feet) Cubic yards are used to measure materials ranging from concrete to cover a driveway to mulch for your garden.
Ton: A unit of weight equal to 2,000 pounds. For example, we would need about 2 tons of gravel to fill that backyard.
Linear foot: The term linear foot just means that you are measuring in a straight line. It's still the same length, a linear foot is a foot, 12 inches. This is a term commonly used in landscaping design, like when measuring for a fence line.
Square foot: The length is simply multiplied with the width to get the total square footage of the area. An example would be if you wanted a patio that is 10 feet by 12 feet, you would have 120 square feet of patio space.
One gallon perennial/shrub: This is actually approx. 2.72 quarts. It is a #1 container, but the trade size is called a one gallon container.
Five gallon perennial/shrub: This is actually approx. 3.8 gallons. It is a #5 container, but the trade size is called a five gallon container.
Balled & Burlap (B&B): Balled-and-burlapped plants are transplants that have been planted, dug up, and wrapped. "Balled" referring to the root ball (that is, soil plus roots), which has been dug up, while "burlapped" refers to the wrapping material traditionally used for transporting tree and shrub deliveries.
Weed barrier: This is a fabric used to reduce the amount of weeds from growing while still allowing water, fertilizer, and oxygen to filter through to the plant.
If you are not pursuing a career in landscape design, there is no reason to do an exhaustive search on every landscaping term. However, by understanding the above phrases you can better communicate with the landscaping professionals you are working with, whether they are improving your property or if you are looking for products at your local garden store.
So be a perennial consumer and know your landscaping jargon - it will only encourage healthy growth for you and your living space for years to come!