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If I Plant in Winter, Won't My Crops Freeze?

October 1, 2018

Your October Garden


September 2018 will go down in South Carolina history as one of the hottest. September the first ushered in a high temperature of ninety eight degrees. It was even ninety one on September the twenty six, yet usually this is the month to start your cool weather crops. Cool weather crops consist of broccoli, cauliflower, collards, lettuce, mustards, turnips, rape, kale, cabbage, bok choy, rutabaga, and many other greens.


Since September was so hot, our plants suffered. Your winter garden likes cool weather, but is it too late to plant? No, it is not too late to plant, because all the crops listed above are frost resistant. There is a BIG difference between a frost and a freeze.


A freeze is when the air temperatures drop below freezing. The freezing temperature of water is thirty two degrees Fahrenheit. Since plants are mostly water, for general purposes, we will say anything lower than thirty two degrees is a freeze for your garden.


However, several factors still come into play. For example, how long will the temperatures stay under thirty three degrees? What is the ground temperature?


Generally, the air temperature needs to stay at freezing or below for a week to bring down the ground temperatures, down to deadly garden territory. If you have a few nights that will reach the teens, but rise up to the seventies or eighties during the day, you don't have much to worry about. Just lightly cover your crops with straw. You can also use a bucket to cover, but you must get up early and take the bucket off, as temperatures in South Carolina can rise quickly.


Columbia, SC usually has very mild freezes, and usually not until February. While a freeze can cause big problems up North, here in South Carolina- at least in the middle to lower state, we can continue to grow. 


Frost is different. Frost can happen without a freeze, and actually, our winter crops benefit from a light frost. Most of your winter crops are not suitable to eat until after a light frost. This is because the frost causes starches to turn to sugar in the plants.


Click Here To Grow Along With Us with Our Subscription Garden Course.


Have you ever left a mustard or collard out in the garden past early spring? If so you have discovered that they “seed out”. The frost signifies the opposite. Frost means don't make baby collards. When the hot summer sun hits your plants, it causes them to go into reproduction mode. The plant thinks it's time to make babies. Cool weather causes the plants to conserve their energy, making a tastier plant for you to consume.


If you don't like the weather in South Carolina, wait an hour or two. Our up and down temperatures allow us to grow our cool weather crops from September (as long as it's cool) until February, and even sometimes into early March. When you watch the weather report, listen for key words like hard freeze, freeze, light frost, hard frost. It won't take any time before you are listening to the weather like a seasoned farmer. As always, Get Growing South Carolina.


Our Local, non GMO Garden Box is a great way to get rare seeds delivered right to your doorstep. There is something new each month, along with planting directions and fun local gardening gifts. Great for the urban grower. Click here to order your box today.


Sal's Local Garden Subscription Box provides you with local varieties of seeds and products picked especially for South Carolina's unique soil and growing conditions. The box is an all-in-one gardening course delivered to your door every month.


Other gardening courses cost 300.00 or more and don't come with the seeds. Not ours- ours is only 27.00 a month- cancel anytime.


We break everything down for you so it's simple and easy.


Each box is custom crafted with seasonally themed collections.


You get...


Seeds- including RARE and HARD to find Varieties

Garden Supplies

Easy to Follow Instructions

Locally Made Products

Fun Surprises 



Sal is a seventh generation homesteader with a wealth of knowledge to share.


Sal doesn't want gardening to become a lost art. Click Here to Order your box today. Use Sal's Box as part of your home school curriculum. Click here to learn more about R.E.A.C.H.


Do you want to schedule a gardening class or consult with Sal? Click here for more information. We also work with charities, school and churches. We want everyone to get growing.


Hi Yield All purpose Fertilizer is great for ROOT CROPS. Come by Sal's located at 7989 Winnsboro Rd, Columbia, SC or click link below to order.


This fertilizer is great for onions, beets, radishes, carrots, and more. And a little goes a long way. People who are successful gardeners feed their crops. Most crops need to be fed every three weeks for best results.


Do you want to know what to feed your leafy greens? Read our blog post here.


My favorite soil to use is the Sungro Fafard 3B Mix. You can purchase this at Sal's. Find out more about this mix by clicking the picture.









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