Diggers growing symbols

Diggers icons are used to provide growing information across our magazines, website, seed packets and plant labels. Once you get familiar with them, you'll be able to tell at a glance what growing conditions your seeds and plants need to successfully grow. 

Seed types

Tender Annual
Tender refers to temperature sensitivity, where warm air temperatures are required to ensure soil reaches a minimum of 15°C for germination, with subsequent warm daily air temperatures required for growth. Will not survive frost or extremely cold conditions.

Hardy Annual
Annual plants have a 1 year life cycle – they flower, fruit and die within a single year. Hardy refers to a tolerance of cooler air and soil temperatures, with germination occurring in soil temperatures below 15°C. Hardy annuals are not suited to planting in warm weather as they will bolt to seed before fruit set.

Hardy Biennial

Hardy Biennial
Biennial plants have a 2 year life cycle, starting with a seed that undergoes primary growth in the first season, developing usually a basal rosette of leaves and a short stem. In its second season, growth continues with a flower spike, often elongated, formation of fruit and seeds, before it dies and reseeds as a new plant. Many require a cool winter to induce flowering in spring. Hardy refers to plants tolerant of frost and cold temperatures.

Tender Perennial
Plants that live for more than 2 years, flower and fruit annually but will not survive frost or extremely cold temperatures

Hardy Perennial
Plants that live for more than 2 years that flower and fruit annually. They have frost hardy roots to ensure they survive frost and cold temperatures.

Plant types

Retains a permanent foliage cover or canopy throughout the year, in contrast to plants that shed their entire leaf cover during a dormant phase. Includes plants and trees that only retain foliage if grown in a warm climate.

By definition, Herbaceous plants have non-woody stems, with the above ground plant parts dying back during a period of dormancy. Semi-deciduous refers to trees or shrubs that shed some (but not all) of their leaves, particularly when affected by cool temperatures.

Sheds all leaves annually, resulting in a period of bareness (the opposite to ‘evergreen’ where foliage cover is maintained all year).

These terms refer to the swollen underground part of a plant from which new shoots push through the surface to develop above ground. Some, like potato tubers, are grown for their underground portion and others, such as daffodil bulbs, are prized for their above ground portions. They characteristically have a period of dormancy when they can be lifted, divided and stored for replanting when conditions are again favourable.

How to sow seeds

Sow direct
Sow directly into a bed of weed free, well tilled, fine textured and free draining soil, enriched with organic matter.

Sow in punnets
Sow into seedling trays for transplanting to the garden or larger pots when hardened off (gradually exposed to uneven temperatures at around 10cm growth).

Sow in punnets to pot on
Sow in specially formulated seed raising mix in a large seedling tray for potting on (select strong specimens after germination for moving into small pots), before transplanting to the garden or larger pots when seedlings are hardened off as above.

Recommended distance between seeds/ seedlings when sowing/planting.

Water needs

1 drip
Requires no supplementary water once established. Drought tolerant, but do not allow to dry out during the establishment phase.

2 drip
Requires supplementary deep watering when soil dries out (during warm weather and periods without rainfall) to maintain vigour.

3 drip
Requires constantly moist soil. Don’t allow to dry out between periods of rain.

Sunlight needs

Full sun
Requires an open sunny position that receives at least 6 hours of direct sunlight daily. Most annual vegetables and sun-loving perennials prefer 8-10 hours of direct sunlight.

Part shade
Requires a semi-shaded position that preferably protects the plant from the hottest part of the day while enjoying 3-4 hours of daily sunlight.

Full shade
Requires an area that is permanently shaded from the sun.


Full sun/part shade
Grows well in either a full sun or part shaded position, ideal to bridge both areas in the garden.


Full shade/part shade
Prefers a shaded position but tolerant of 3-4 hours of direct sunlight daily.

General growing info

Time of year when fruit has matured and ripened.

Soil temperature
The preferred temperature range for seed sowing and successful germination.

Expected plant height at maturity (tree widths are based on 10 years growth in optimal conditions).

Expected plant width at maturity (tree heights are based on 10 years growth in optimal conditions).

Garlic flavour
Strength or heat rating.

Garlic storage 
How long harvested heads will last if stored in a dry cool place out of direct sunlight.

Plant Breeders Rights

Refers to where a specific cultivar has been developed through a breeding process, with genetic material remaining the property of the breeder.  The unauthorised commercial propagation or any sale, conditioning, export, import or stocking of propagation material of these varieties is an infringement under the Plant Breeder’s Rights Act 1994.

Plants: Time of year Flowers typically appear.
Number of weeks from sowing or transplant until flowering


Potentially invasive
These plants are prolific self seeders in favourable conditions. Care should be taken to restrict or contain near disturbed bushland and fragile environments.