What to plant in October
October. October is the South Carolina State Fair. October is Halloween, fall festivals and as the leaves are slowly fading from summer green to autumn red, orange, yellow and brown, your October garden is fixing to come alive with various shades of green- light green, blue green, yellow green and every green in between. Think of it as a role reversal.
September in mid- to lower South Carolina is usually too hot to plant your greens, however, October is a fantastic month to get started.
I enjoy planting three different beds in October- a kale bed, a mustard bed (great if you own an iguana) and a lettuce bed.
Each of these greens do great in a raised bed, or in a container, and even in the ground.
Start with good soil. Soil should be black and loose, with one part potting soil to one part compost such as black cow or mushroom compost.
Your beds or containers don't need to be very deep. Eight inches deep or more is sufficient.
Kale, mustard, and lettuce are all really very small seeds. “If you have faith as a grain of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain “MOVE” and NOTHING will be impossible.” I think we have all heard this quote. To put this in perspective, each seed is one millimeter or .0393701 of an inch long. No matter what you believe, isn't it a miracle that so much comes from so little?
The size of the seed is how deep to plant, so these seeds literally need one grain of sand on top. The best practice for planting is the throw and go method, which is to mix your seed with a little bit of sand or dirt and then broadcast into your container. If your seeds are planted to close- it's ok. Just thin as you need them.
In the beginning watering is a little chore. Use a sprayer with a mister or a spray bottle to water your seeds. Anything heavier will push your seed too deep into the soil.
All of these crops do great in partial shade. Our temperatures in South Carolina are all over the map.
Kale, mustard, and lettuce enjoy cooler temperatures and will taste better as the temperature cools.
I like to mix several different types of kale, mustard and lettuce. Have fun with it. Remember that you can plant and replant all the way until February, so use only a little seed at a time.
October is my second favorite month because of the SC State Fair. Be sure to check out your local produce and animals while there. My favorite is the South Carolina Donkey and Mule Show which is October 19th and 20th. The South Carolina State Fair is primarily an agricultural fair, so ride the rides, but also enjoy the animals and produce. Keep it local, and as always, get growing South Carolina.
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