Sal's Planting Guide
A Brief Foreword
Scarlett O' Hara could be warm and inviting, and the next second show a sharp tongue that could leave even the most confident of men, humbled, tucking his tail in defeat. Scarlett and South Carolina's weather could be twin debutantes, both wearing the same dress to the ball.
If our weather was a debutante, she would be constantly changing dresses. A nice cool blue dress in the morning, and maybe a bright yellow in the afternoon. That night she could wear a warm orange, or she could change to a harsher, colder blue, to match her personality- or temperatures.
Every spring and fall she teases us for sure. We have all been bitten by the “plant it early” bug, usually around two days of the year, Good Friday and August the 1st, however our dear weather is a tease. She's dancing around with a matching fan, alluring us into the garden to plant our crops early.
Good Friday is usually too cold for your summer plants and August the first is usually too hot for your winter plants.
Ground temperature is the most important indicator on when to plant. In the spring, we need three whole weeks of the night temperatures staying above 70 degrees for the ground to be warm enough to plant in. If you walk bare footed and the ground is cold on your feet, don’t plant your summer crops.
In the fall, you want to wait until the night temperatures start to fall into the lower 70’s. If the day temperatures soar above 90 degrees, your fall crops will suffer. Don’t worry about planting too late because we have a mild winter, and winter crops love the cooler temperatures and taste better after a frost hits them.
Will a freeze kill my winter crops? In middle South Carolina, we usually only freeze for a few morning hours, so no. We are not living in Ohio where the ground freezes for the whole season. It is rare for us to have a freeze that lasts a whole day, let alone a whole season.
Let’s break everything down by splitting our crops up into four categories- Cold Weather, Cool Weather, Hot Weather, Some Like It HOT HOT Weather.
Cold Weather crops can be planted from late September to early February.
Some examples are Arugula, Collards, Cabbage, Bok Choy, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Lettuce, Spinach, Kale, Turnips, Mustards, and Rape.
Brussel Sprouts take a while to produce, so plant them in late September or early October.
Snow Peas do not like any hot weather so plant them from mid-October until early February.
Cool Weather crops can be planted mid-September until October and then again in March and early April.
Carrots, Beets, Radish and Potatoes are all cool weather crops.
Onion are too, however if you want a big onion, plant them in October so they have a long time to grow big. If you want a spring onion you can plant them from mid-September until February.
Most herbs are cool weather plants. They don’t like the cold and they don’t like it hot. (Picky little plants, aren’t they?)
Hot Weather crops can be planted once the soil warms. Many of your hot weather crops can be replanted in July and August.
Some hot weather crops are string beans, lima beans, peppers, melons, corn, cucumbers, squash, zucchini, and crowder peas.
Some Like It HOT HOT Weather crops can NOT deal with ANY COLD WEATHER at all. I am putting tomatoes on this list because even though the cold doesn’t always kill them, the cold knocks them back and can lead to disease.
Some hot hot weather crops are tomatoes, okra, sweet potatoes, eggplant and luffas.
This isn’t an all-inclusive list. There’s lots of plants to grow and try.
There are also techniques to grow crops out of season, such as implementing the use of shade cloths to keep your cool weather crops cool. Hot weather crops can be started early if you commit to taking your plants in and out as the weather dictates or by putting up a green house.
Please let us know if you want other seeds, as we can ship them to you, or you can pick them up. Let us know what you want to grow.
We have seeds available year round. Plants are seasonable.
Call today or text your garden questions to 803-786-6546.
Don't forget we moved to a farm. We are the 7th generation on the property and I am so excited to gain another two acres that has a little farm house on it.
I am fixing it up along with some of my friends. Come out and see our progress and bring your garden questions. Let's get growing South Carolina.