How to Love on Your Houseplants in March, Seedling Transplanting Tips, Risotto with Garlic Scapes and Asparagus, Growing Veggies in the Shade, and More.
No. 1 | Spring Gardening in Greenville, SC
Welcome! I’m thrilled you found the Spring 2022 edition (and the very first edition) of this newsletter.
In March 2020, right after the president announced the country would shut down (temporarily!) because of COVID-19, I found out I was pregnant. I was STUCK at home for the next 18 months… quarantined to stay safe while expecting, and then just home all the time for the six months after Josiah was born.
I told everyone I was going to skip growing veggies that spring since I had a new little one. But when April rolled around I just couldn’t sit it out. I started this little gardening community and planted more than I ever had before 🙄
My day-job is thinky. All strategy and screens and words. I love it; it suits me. But gardening balances out my brain—It’s sensory and flavor and whimsy.
So that being what it is, why did I add this email newsletter to my plate?
Two main reasons:
I hear from local friends all the time who want to grow things, but they feel intimidated to get started. Google has every answer you need, but it’s completely overwhelming if you don’t know what you’re looking for or where to start.
There are many online communities to connect and resource gardeners, but not hyper-local ones to provide support and community. Here in the Upstate, we need ways to find each other.
A few things I hope this newsletter helps you do:
Find, follow and support more of our local growers and garden centers.
Get inspiration, coaching and consultations from local gardeners and pros—the people who KNOW our climate and microclimates, and can speak from local EXPERIENCE, not just general expertise.
Connect with gardeners where you live from various ages and backgrounds.
I’ll share what I’m learning, too. I’m no expert, but I hope my passion is contagious.
So, without further ado, browse the topics below and learn something from a gardening neighbor! And thank you again for connecting.
I tend to forget my houseplants when the weather warms up. I put all my energy into the beauty waking up outside, and prepping my raised beds for the earliest spring veggies. But indoor plants have rhythms and needs, too.
I caught up with Leyly and Brogan from Sun & Soil Plant Parlor on Augusta for their top tips:
It's easy to forget houseplants when you're thinking about spring gardening chores. What do you recommend to give houseplants some extra care early in the season?
“Just as houses love a good dusting and cleaning, houseplants do too! Taking time to gently wipe down leaves with a damp cloth, feed with plant biotic or plant food, and spraying with a general pest spray can prepare each plant for the upcoming growing season!”
How do we know it's time to re-pot a houseplant?
“In terms of season, spring is always the best time to repot your houseplants as the plant will be actively growing and the new roots will be able to take hold in the new soil. In general, houseplants typically need to be repotted every 12 months or so but this is very dependent on the actual plant itself.”
Fruits & Vegetables
“Tip # 1 - Frost. This one is absolutely KEY! If you plant your tender crops too early, it is quite likely that you could lose all of them. Trust me, I’ve done it. I’ve also been out there covering crops and plants with whatever I could get my hands on and crossing all my fingers and toes that what I covered, pulls through!
“Frost typically kills the plant from the inside out. The water inside the cells of the plant are frozen, thus killing your new baby seedling.”
“If we could have a dollar for every time we’ve heard people say, “I don’t have a garden because my yard doesn’t get enough sun,” we’d have $47 in the bank. With that $47, we could buy more than enough edible garden plants that grow in shade to keep our fridge and pantry well-stocked with produce.”
Featured Recipe: Spring Veggie Risotto
from Molly at Greenville Supper Club
Molly’s a Michigan transplant to Greenville who will keep you feeling inspired to cook at home. She provided this yummy version of risotto featuring spring favorites like garlic scapes, asparagus and snow peas.
I asked Suzie at Statice Event Design what flowers she’d feature March, when cutting flowers are in shorter supply, and I was thrilled her first suggestion was hellebores, also known as Lenten rose. I LOVE them.
I have learned they last longest in arrangements if you wait until they mature and form seed heads to cut them. I found this article was helpful.
For inspiration, Suzie shared an Instagram highlight featuring hellebores in a bunch of her incredible arrangements.
In January, I mentioned on Instagram that I was reading Planting in a Post-Wild World by Thomas Rainer and Claudia West, and I asked if anyone would be interested in my notes. I was surprised by how many people said yes.
This book was written for design professionals, so it was over my level of experience in some places. Still, I learned principles that are very practical.
“Designed plant communities can be patterned and stylized in a way that makes them understandable, ordered and attractive. They need not replicate nature in order to capture its spirit."
I’m always pinning garden and landscape inspiration, especially when I find it from locals. If you’re on Pinterest, follow me!
Recommended Plant Sales
Local plant sales are sometimes the only place to get hard-to-find native plants. Reply or comment to share any you think I should add to the list.
Saturday, April 2 | 8:30am - 1pm | Mauldin
SC Native Plant Society Spring Plant Sale
Saturday, April 9 | 9am - 1pm | Clemson
Saturday, April 23 | 9am - 1pm | Clemson
SC Botanical Garden Plant Sale
Saturday, April 30 | 8am - noon | Greenville
Greater Greenville Master Gardeners Spring Plant Sale