Lawn Care Terminology: 20 Words to Know

Lawn Care Terminology: 20 Words to Know

Even for those with particularly green thumbs, lawn care may not always come easy. For instance, lawn care goes beyond its outdoor purview—and even into language. Lawn care terminology sometimes seems rather foreign, but terms dealing with land and landscaping can prove useful. Especially when yard work projects call for more specific phrasing or when talking home and garden with others.

Words to Know


In the context of lawn care terminology, annual refers to a plant that goes through its life cycle during a single growing season.


A brown-out is considered dormant grass, which could be due to a number of factors, including a water shortage, insects or pests, or disease.


When someone speaks about a plant’s crown, they are talking about the part of the plant where the roots and stem connect.


Deck, in the sense of lawn care terminology, means the part of the mower that encloses the blade.


Exposure refers to the amount, extent, and intensity of elements on a lawn or plant.


Frost occurs when the outside temperature dips below freezing, leaving crystals.


In layman’s terms, this means when a seed begins to sprout.


A metric that indicates an engine’s power. For comparison, most push mowers fall between 4 and 6.5 horsepower. Modern-day commercial grade mowers can boast north of 22 horsepower.


Invasive plants spread rapidly, choking out other plants in the process.


When landscaping, someone alters the appearance of land. This can include planting new growth and/or reshaping the land’s profile.


Mulching refers to the process of chopping up grass clippings to be used as fertilizer for soil.

Nurse grasses

These grasses help safeguard more permanent grasses from the elements during growth.

Operator presence control

Standard on all powered lawn mowers, operator presence control halts the blade once the control bail on a push mower has been released.

Perennial grasses

Permanent grasses that return year after year.

Retaining wall

A wall used on a slope, normally to reduce soil erosion.


In lawn care terms, scalping is when accidental turf damage occurs. This happens primarily when the blade hits a high spot directly.


When you tamp something, you are packing or pushing it repeatedly down.


A variety of plants would be members of a plant species that carry similar characteristics, such as color.


Plants wilt or shrivel due to water scarcity, excessive exposure to heat, or through disease.


A machine—usually a mower—that steers by its rear wheels and swivels 180 degrees without leaving patches of uncut grass.


Lawn care and language are more interlinked than you might have known. Hopefully, this vocabulary lesson in lawn care terminology will prove fruitful—in one way or another. After all, knowing is growing!

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