Out With The Old In With The New
In South Carolina, we are blessed with very long growing seasons. Since July, August, September, and even October are usually still hot and our first frost rarely comes until January, we can plant our second crop of summer vegetables. This is great because by now, some of your spring crops have played out. Your squash plants may look a little worn, your tomatoes may be struggling, and you have probably picked all your butter beans by now. Well, it's out with the old and in with the new.
July is a great time to replant your squash, zucchini, cucumbers, tomatoes, corn, beans, as well as many other summer crops. If you want to have pumpkins and Indian Corn ready to harvest in the fall- you need to get them into the ground in July too. The dilemma is that it will be hard to find garden plants already started this time of year, so you will have to plant from seeds.
Don't let that scare you. Many people shy away from planting seeds because they have not had a lot of luck with them in the past. There is one main reason for this- most gardeners plant their seeds too deep. The majority of seeds only have enough energy to double in size before they need sunlight. If you bury your seeds an inch or more deep, there will be no hope. It will sadly reach for the surface, just to wither and die. Never reaching the sun, never reaching it's full potential.
However, your seeds can reach their full potential by using one general rule of thumb. Plant your seeds as deep as they are long. There may be some people willing to argue this, but if you think about it you are usually planting seeds in loose, tilled soil. So if you plant the seeds one inch deep into the loose soil and then water it in, the water will push the seed down even farther than the one inch you originally planted it at.
Also, keep in mind that in nature, most plants die at the end of the season and the seeds sit upon the ground. There is no garden fairy that comes and bury seed in nature, this is something that mankind has invented. Of course the best practice is to bury your seed, so birds don't eat them and the wind doesn't blow the seed away. Just remember to bury your seeds the same depth as the seed is tall.
Squash seeds are rather big, about one fourth of an inch high- so bury them one fourth of an inch into the ground. This rule encompasses a vast number of garden seeds.
In the fall, when you start planting your mustards, collards, and kale- take a gander at how small the seed is. It is only the size of a flake of dirt. That is all the dirt that is needed- one or two grains of sand. It is amazing that a big, ol' collard plant can come from such a small seed.
I hope you will have an added confidence when planting seeds, and will have fun replanting your summer garden this July. Just be sure to drink plenty of fluids, and get out there before the hot South Carolina sun gets high in the sky.
Growing your own produce rewarding and there is always something to plant in our great state of South Carolina, all year round.
Be sure to share your garden pictures with us and Get Growing South Carolina. Happy Gardening. Don't forget to subscribe to get your Local, Non GMO Garden Box today. It's a fun gardening course, complete with seeds, directions and fun gifts. Go to https://www.salslocalseed.com/garden-box .Happy Gardening.