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FARGO — Let’s pretend we’re completely unfamiliar with gardening jargon. Imagine how odd it sounds when someone says they tied up their cauliflower. If the neighbor dusted their cabbage, did they give it a good cleaning? What could a gardener possibly mean by saying they’re going to pick the string beans close?
There’s a unique language spoken by gardeners that deserves translation. Here’s the newest chapter in the collection of gardening phrases we’ve been compiling during the past several years.
• “Tying up cauliflower” means securing the long leaves up around the newly forming head to exclude light, keeping white varieties from turning off-color.
• “Self-blanching” means a cauliflower variety has leaves which naturally form around the developing head, keeping it white.
• “Dust” is powdery-dry insecticide applied to foliage in a light coating.
• “Acid-loving” are plants that prefer acid soil for normal growth and bloom. They are often unsuccessful in the naturally alkaline soil of the Upper Midwest.
• “Picking vegetables close” describes picking string beans (and similar types) by harvesting beans that are ready plus those that soon will be. Before leaving on vacation for a week, it’s best to pick the string beans close…