Finnish for busy people

Gardening – Puutarhanhoito – Finnish Vocabulary

While Finland is quite cold, plenty of people love gardening! It gives people a chance to connect with nature. Below you can find a whole bunch of words related to gardening aka puutarhanhoito. You can also check out other articles, for example the one about flowers, or about vegetables.


Finnish English
työkalut tools
hara hoe
harava rake
istutushaarukka hand fork
istutuslapio trowel
kastelukannu watering can
keritsimet shears
kottikärryt wheelbarrow
kukkaruukku plant pot
kumisaappaat rubber boots
kuokka hoe
kylvöastia seed tray
käsisaha hand saw
lapio shovel
lehtiharava lawn rake
letkukela hose reel
naru twine
oksasakset secateurs
pensassakset shears
puutarhakäsineet gardening gloves
puutarhalapio trowel
puutarhaletku garden hose
raivaussakset long-handled shears
ruohonleikkuri lawn mower
sadetin sprinkler
talikko manure fork
trimmeri trimmer
tukikeppi stake

Other tools here!

Gardening elements

Finnish English
yrttitarha herb garden
kattopuutarha roof garden
pihamaa front yard
palsta patch, plot
hedelmätarha orchard
ruusutarha rose garden
vihannestarha vegetable garden
kivikkoistutus rock garden
patiopuutarha patio garden
kasvihuone greenhouse
nurmikko lawn
lammikko pond
pensasaita hedge
aita fence
portti gate
kaariportti arch
vaja shed
pergola pergola
perennapenkki herbaceous border
säleikkö trellis
amppeli hanging basket
polku path
kiveys paving
sora gravel
kukkapenkki flowerbed
suihkulähde fountain
pohjamaa subsoil
lannoite fertilizer
turve turf
olkipeite mulch
komposti compost heap
rikkaruohomyrkky weedkiller
torjunta-aine pesticide

Gardening verbs

Finnish English
haravoida to rake
hoitaa to tend to
istuttaa to plant
istuttaa ruukkuun to pot up
kaivaa to dig
karsia to prune
kastella to water
kerätä sato to harvest
kitkeä to weed
korjata sato to harvest
kylvää to sow
kylvää nurmikko to sow a lawn
lannoittaa to fertilize
leikata to trim
maisemoida to landscape
möyhentää to aerate
peittää turpeella to turf
peittää katteella to mulch
poimia to pick
sumuttaa to spray
trimmata to trim
varttaa to graft

Plant types

Finnish English
jokavuotinen kasvi annual plant
kaksivuotinen kasvi biennial plant
monivuotinen kasvi perennial plant
vesikasvi water plant
sipulikasvi bulbous plant
mehikasvi succulent plant
saniainen fern
bambu bamboo
rikkaruohot weeds
taimi seedling
maustekasvi herb plant
puu tree (more)
palmu palm tree
havupuu fir tree
lehtipuu leaf tree
kaktus cactus
ruoho grass
pensas bush
koristepensas flowering shrub
köynnöskasvi climber
pohjakasvillisuus ground cover
maanpeittokasvi creeper
taimi seedling
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Do you know if there is a Finnish word or term for a ‘volunteer plant’ that appears in the garden without you planting it there?


I’d say villikasvi or yllätyskasvi.
But I think the Finnish way is to rather think that a piece of ground will be filled naturally with a wide variety of grass, plants and trees. So the planted spot or garden, a controlled area is something unnatural. Then a surprise plant in the garden is a step to the natural way.

Inge (admin)

Villikasvi was also suggested by someone in my Discord server.

However, one person who has a Finnish partner had this to say: “Finns from what I’ve seen of gardening groups want to remove everything that isn’t placed by their hand. The idea of volunteer plant sounds funny because their volunteering was never requested. My lady moans about this often because Finns ask a lot on the groups how to remove some pretty plant or giant tree just because they didn’t want it.”

As so often happens, people are individuals. My Finnish ex-in-laws also prefer to fill their garden with planned plants. There’s always a random aggressive “vieraslaji” in summer that they try to get rid of. The difference between a vieraslaji (a foreign species) and a villikasvi (a wild plant) is of course an important distinction.


I can understand that kind of mentality, too!
To exaggerate a bit, those people walk around with a bottle of Roundup and poison everything that they don’t recognise or like. No dandelions allowed.
I agree that no-one accepts pujo (artemisia vulgaris) that tries to colonise every spot.
But at some level, surprise plants are – a nice suprise.