Lawn Care Glossary

Know the meanings behind the words the professionals use.

Acidic Soil

Soil pH is a measure of the soil acidity or soil alkalinity. An acid solution has a pH value less than 7


The movement or exchange of oxygen between the soil and the atmosphere.

Alkaline soil

A soil whose reaction is greater than pH 7


A phenoxy herbicide formulation that is less prone to vaporizing and potentially moving off-site than the ester form. Also see phenoxy herbicides, ester.


A plant completing its normal growth cycle in one year or less


An Anti-desiccant is a foliage spray designed to help trees (particularly evergreens) hold in moisture in dry or wintry conditions.


A plant whose normal growth cycle spans two growing seasons. Many biennials produce roots and a cluster of leaves near the surface of the ground the first year; flower, produce seed and die the second year.

Blend Seed

A combination of two or more varieties (cultivars) of a single turfgrass species

Braodleaf Weeds

Weeds, such as dandelion, clover, and chickweed, that take resources from turf and disrupt the texture of the lawn. These are called Broadleaf Weeds

Breakdown Process

Refers to the chemical and/or microbial actions in the soil responsible for the decomposition of various organic residues, including most pesticides.

Broadleaf Herbicide

A weed killer designed to specifically kill broadleaf plants.

Bunch Type Growth

Plant development through the formation of clusters of tillers (shoots) at or near the soil surface. Rhizomes or stolons are absent.


Crabgrass is a high-growing grass with branching stems often appears with purplish tones and spreads easily, crowding out other turf and disrupting the uniform presentation of your lawn. Crabgrass is not very pretty, but is fairly common.


A plant living and functioning within another plant. For example, a fungus.

Fairy Ring

Fairy Ring is a circular ring of mushrooms, occurring naturally in lawns, with dark green grass in the center. Mushroom spores spawn under ground, fanning out in all directions in search of nutrients. People call it Fairy Ring for various reasons.


The proper application of the proper amount of fertilizer encourages growth and flowering in turf and plants. It is also known as "feeding."


Fertilizer is an organic or inorganic compounds that promote growth in plants by providing major nutrients and micronutrients. Fertilizer does not smell like manor if it has been properly processed.

Foundation Plants

Trees and shrubs that enhance the look of a home when placed next to the foundation of a house.

Grassy Weeds

Weeds such as crabgrass, foxtail and goose grass create an uneven look to lawns and take resources from the desirable grass.


The downward movement in water of pesticides and/or nutrients through the soil column.


Essential nutrients needed in tiny amounts for healthy plant growth.

Pre-emergent weed control

A treatment used to prevent the appearance of weeds such as crabgrass.

Snow Mold

Snow Mold is a disease is caused by a fungus and develops in cool, wet weather. It can lead to crown and root rotting under winter snows. Snow Mold develops in the colder-winter weather climates.


Squares or strips (rolls) of turfgrass cut from a production field and usually with a thin layer of soil still attached that is used for vegetatively installing a turfgrass area.

Soil Enrichment

Improving the quality of the soil by adding organic supplements and microbes to boost soil health.


Fertilizers that are made up of easily dissolved components in water which are immediately available for plant use; they can result in lawn "burning" more easily that slow-release fertilizers.


A dense, fibrous layer of living and dead grass stems, leaves, and roots, undecomposed or partially decomposed, that accumulates between the green vegetation and soil surface.