After what seemed like two weeks of rain, we finally had a warm, sunny weekend here in South Carolina, with temperatures in the upper-seventies and clear skies. South Carolina tends to go directly from the depths of winter to a hot spring (or cool-ish summer), and this sudden leap in temperature and climate corresponded with a sudden change in mood. Instead of bundling up sleepily watching horror movies, the warm weather inspired some spirited outings.
Aside from a rather adventurous, muddy trip to Lee State Park (more on that in tomorrow’s post), my girlfriend and I dedicated Sunday afternoon to doing some late winter plantings (in keeping with my desire to homestead more on my property). Growing season for most garden-variety plants begins much earlier here in South Carolina than other parts of the country, so we took advantage of the warm water to pot some edible plants, and put two directly into the ground.
Thanks to my Chase Freedom card (remember to treat your credit card as cash and pay it off in full each month) and its generous cashback offerings, I was able to parlay some points into a $35 Home Depot gift card. That was just enough to covering the following (with $0.07 to spare!):
- Onion seeds
- Bell pepper seeds
- Heirloom tomato seeds
- Cherry tomato seeds
- Spinach seeds
- Self-pollinating blueberry bush
- Garlic plant
- Two bags of cypress mulch
I already had two hefty bags of in-ground garden soil left over from our Labor Day Weekend 2020 gardening adventure, which I figured would work fine in pots (let’s hope I’m right about that—I mean, dirt is dirt… right?), and we kept most of the plastic planters from that busy late-summer planting, so we had most of what we needed on hand to seed these plants.
Eventually, we’ll transport the seeds from their five pots directly into the ground. My flower beds in front of the house are already showing signs of the bulbs we planted in the fall, with tulips already beginning to push spiraled leaves up through the soil and mulch. As such, real estate is at a premium in the beds, so our tentative plan is to till some of my yard near my grapevines—in the sunniest part of the yard—to transplant the potted plants to as they mature. The pots also give us an opportunity to bring the plants indoors in case there is another risk of frost (we have them on the front porch at present, where they can get plenty of sunlight but not get drowned if it rains too much).
With the blueberry bush, we found a bed on the rear side of my house facing my neighbor’s house that receives tons of sunlight. My girlfriend very thoroughly weeded that bed by hand, which was exceptionally helpful. The prior owner filled the bed with white stones, but weeds had grown up around them, and whatever he had planted there, if anything, was gone. We cleared out some of the stones, dug a broad, deep hole, and planted the bush with a mixture of the soil already there and the leftover gardening soil. I spread some cypress mulch around the top, and filled back in some of the area around the bush with stones.
For the garlic plant, I had some space in my front bed on the right side of the house, near some oregano we planted Labor Day Weekend 2020. The oregano is doing very well, and I pruned back some of it and got out as many weeds as possible (which had inter-grown with the hardy oregano). There was a clear spot nearby with plenty of space for the three garlic stalks I’d purchased, so I planted them similarly to the blueberry bush. I watered the garlic plant and the blueberry bush thoroughly to establish them, and we had a good rain Monday that should further help the plants. The garlic requires good drainage, and that part of the garden is slightly elevated, so it should keep the plant from getting over-saturated.
It’s a humble start, but hopefully the garlic and the blueberries thrive, and our potted plants do well. I’m taking a combination of mild research and utter guesswork, so I won’t be too surprised if we have some plants fail, but I’m optimistic that I’ll have some good results this year. Regardless, I’ll keep you posted.
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