Fall Gardening In South Carolina Continued
The first week of August was a great tease. We had a little bit of cooler weather, and everyone was ready to plant their cool weather crops. I think the second week of August will bring us to our senses. It is still too HOT to plant your fall greens outside, but how about let's get started inside?
Fall crops consist of basically your greens. Collard greens, mustard greens, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, lettuce, turnips and much more. You can get the jump on fall by starting some of these in peat pots or trays.
If planting in peat pots, soak the pots over night. They will absorb the water and expand. Then lay out the peat pots in an egg carton. One peat pot to every cell within the egg carton.
If you prefer to plant in a tray, make sure that you use a potting soil without fertilizer in it. I recommend the Sungrow Farfard 3b mix. Do not use miracle grow potting soil to start seed in. The fertilizer can damage the fragile seeds.
Make sure when you plant your seeds that you do not plant too deep. If you haven't ever seen a collard, lettuce or mustard seed, be sure to stop by your local garden shop and ask to see one. They are very small. The Bible says, “...if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, “Move from here to there,” and nothing would be impossible.” That's a very small amount of faith and most of your fall gardening seeds are very small. They really only need a few grains of dirt on top of them. Do not plant too deep.
Your seeds will germinate quickly under your care. My favorite seeds to start indoors are broccoli, cauliflower, collards, cabbage and bok choy. Bok choy is a delicious oriental cabbage that grows great in our climate. Plant your mustards, turnips and lettuce directly into the ground in mid September. Likewise, your seeds that you have planted in the trays or peat pots will be ready to transplant in late September, when the weather cools.
Many small businesses have so much advice to give, so do yourself, as well as the small business owners a favor and stop by one this week. Your local garden shops and feed stores have a wealth of knowledge to share, as do most small businesses. As always, keep it local and Get Growing South Carolina.
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