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Finally Getting to SC

Posted by drippy z6 MA (My Page) on
Sat, Apr 4, 09 at 0:23

Hi, folks - awhile back - a long while back, actually - I posted that I was moving to the Upstate (Greenville-Spartanburg) area of SC as soon as my house in MA sold. Fast forward a year later, and it's finally under agreement. I'm due to arrive in mid-May. I have some small pots of stuff I'll be bringing from my garden - about 3 flats worth - and 2 large bins of seeds, LOL. I've been winter sowing in MA successfully for 5 years now. When I arrive in SC, I'll be in rental property until we get another house, so am planning on doing gardening in containers.

Any thoughts/suggestions? I'd love to do some tomatoes & peppers - any particular varieties that take the heat better than others? Where we are settling is a 7b - as I'm in the Cape Cod area of MA now, it's really only one full zone warmer than what I'm used to. I know I'll have to water a lot more, especially if I'm doing container gardening. What are some good flower choices? Will I still have time to start annuals from seed as the growing season is longer?

Thanks in advance,

Kim, who is dying for a rosemary plant like the ones she saw in downtown Greenville in September (they're perennial there, arent they?)


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Finally Getting to SC

Yes, Rosemary is perennial here. You and I will be in the same zone although I am further north, but closer to the coast. Remember, the USDA zones really only take winter temperatures into account, not summer temperatures and growing season. You should plan on more than 200 frost free days. And heat and humidity out the wazzoo.

For tomatoes in the South, Southern Living recommends:

Atkinson
Creole
Heatwave
Neptune
Ozark Pink
Sunmaster

and for larger fruits:
Beefsteak
Beefmaster
Big Boy
Brandywine
Mortgage Lifter

Just be sure when you plant, to bury the stem all the way to the bottom of the upper most leaves. Use a large container and only one plant each. You will have to water almost every day in this zone. Uniform soil moisture is the hardest thing to get right in our area.

Since you'll be here soon, plan on growing okra. Clemson Spineless is my favorite. Even if you don't like okra, it is a hibiscus with small yellow/red flowers.


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RE: Finally Getting to SC

In planting rosemary outdoors in Zone 7b, it is a good idea to choose cultivars that are recommended for outdoor cultivation in our area. Some rosemary cultivars are not suited to our region. Two common and readily available cultivars rated hardy in Zone 7b are _Rosmarinus officinalis_ 'Arp' and _Rosmarinus officinalis_ 'Tuscan Blue.'


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RE: Finally Getting to SC

Token, I don't have any of the first 6 varieties of tomatoes you listed in my stash (next year!), but have already started some Brandywines and Bush Beefsteak. Your planting suggestions are the way we plant them in the north, too :) - burying those babies gives stronger plants. From the table I looked at, it looks like I get 25 more frost free days than in my area, woohoo!

DH loves okra, and I like the flowers, so I'll definitely start some of that - I have Red Burgundy, Clemson Spineless, and Dwarf Purple.

Jay, my rosemary seeds aren't marked with cultivars - simply rosmarinus officinalis. I'll try them and hope they work. I'll resort to buying plants, if necessary, but I get such a kick out of growing things from seed.


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RE: Finally Getting to SC

Drippy,

I moved to the Upstate last summer from the Philadelphia,PA area, which is in zone 7a. The difference in the climate will seem greater than one zone warmer than MA. The Arbor Day Foundation considers this area to be zone 8. This past winter was 2-3 degrees colder than normal, and I actually wore a real winter coat ONE day! It was heaven, though it felt a bit odd to go outside without a coat in January and February! Something is blooming almost every month, and everything that you grow in MA will bloom months earlier here. Bearded iris are blooming now!!! Pansies are planted in the fall, and they bloom for most of the winter. The ones that I planted last fall look great.

It does get hot here in the summer, and it is probably more humid than in MA, though less than in Philadelphia. The "feels like" temperature here is usually within a degree or so of the actual temperature.

Brandywine tomatoes should do well here. I grew them in PA (in the Brandywine Valley), and they thrived in the humidity.

The people are VERY outgoing, and they speak to everyone, even if it is only to say hello in passing. It can be a bit unnerving at first for us reserved, stay in your own space, Yankees, but it is very nice.

I hope you enjoy the Upstate as much as I do.


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RE: Finally Getting to SC

Bobs2, I am, overall, looking forward to my move. I'm leaving lots of family behind, and a quaint seaside New England town that's been my little piece of paradise for the last twelve years, but I am truly looking forward to the longer growing season and especially the warmer weather - I don't do cold very well, and this past winter was a bear.

I had the joy of being in Upstate at Christmas (DH already has a job there) - it was 70 degrees on Christmas day, and the pansies were blooming everywhere. Gotta love it!


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RE: Finally Getting to SC

Welcome Drippy!! I'm glad you are finally getting relocated, I know what a pain it can be to pick up and move. Yes, people from this area can be friendly, especially to someone who isn't used to some of this southern hospitality. I moved to SC from Charlotte. Which Charlotte is friendly, but when I drive down the road, people wave to me from passing cars. Just the short move I made and this was a different world. It was this way when I grew up, but in more recent years, I didn't see it in Charlotte. It's more of a "city" now. But welcome, I am sure you will enjoy it here!! The weather is already beautiful and I'm sure you will enjoy this warmer season.


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RE: Finally Getting to SC

I live on the SC coast now but grew up in Greenville. It's a great area to live. Clemson University has an awesome extension website with lots of detailed info on best cultivars, planting time, etc. etc. I rely on this heavily. Here is the link.

Here is a link that might be useful: Clemson cooperative extension


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RE: Finally Getting to SC

Thanks for the welcome, Nannerbelle! LOL, I found that taking DH's dog for a walk when I came to visit opened the door for lots of conversation. The Southern hospitality seems to be more reality than myth.

Okatie, the Clemson website is fabulous - I have bookmarked it, along with the link to the South Carolina Native Plants Society. On my first visit last September, instead of wanting to see all the museums, theaters, etc., I made DH show me the farmer's markets. :D


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RE: Finally Getting to SC

Farmers Markets in Sept are slow compared to July. Anything you want, it'll be there. Corn, cukes, tomatoes, etc. I'll be harvesting tomatoes in mid June this year thanks to starting so early. I have blooms in the hoophouse.

That's another thing. An unheated greenhouse or hoophouse can be used here starting in February for sowing seeds of hardy annuals and all perennials. I'd save the tender annuals for mid-March.


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RE: Finally Getting to SC

Oh, wow, Kim... I had not visited the Carolina site in a long, long time and was so happy to see that you finally get to move here! Hooray! Once you get totally settled, I will be happy to share plants if you come down this way or I go up that way. I am about 30 min. west of Columbia. The lucky thing is that our rainfall has been good so far this year. This has been one of our prettiest Springs in a long, long time so hopefully we will continue to get rain during the rest of the year.
On the rosemary, it roots well from cuttings so if we can get together I will give you several to try to root.
Can't wait to say "Howdy, neighbor!"
Jeanne


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RE: Finally Getting to SC

"I'd save the tender annuals for mid-March."

LOL, token, around here we wintersow them in early May (maybe late April).

Hi, there, Jeanne! Thanks for the plants offer - I don't know how far I am from Columbia yet. I do know that I'm going to spend a month sleeping in the sun when I get there (this moving thing is exhausting), and it will take me awhile to set up shop - we don't have a house of our own there yet. I expect it will be the 2010 growing season before I fully get rolling again. I do hope to do the TG Swap this coming winter, though.


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