South Carolina is divided into three growing zones: Piedmont (which is the north), central and coastal. Each zone has its own growing schedule based roughly on the United States Department of Agriculture hardiness zones, which is the average minimum temperature an area receives during the winter. Because South Carolina has a mild climate, the growing season starts much earlier than areas in the upper Midwest or Northeast.
The Piedmont area--from Edgefield, Fairfield and Lancaster counties north--is in hardiness zone seven, which means the average minimum temperature ranges from zero to 10 degrees F. Planting should begin in early February for cool-loving vegetables--such as asparagus, cabbage, mustard, peas, radishes and spinach. For less-hardy vegetables--such as snap beans, eggplant, onions, sweet corn and tomatoes--begin planting in March.
For fall harvests, vegetables such as broccoli, carrots and cauliflower can be planted in July and August, according to Charlie Nardozzi of the National Garden Association. The exceptions are spinach, onions and garlic, which are planted in September.
For the central part of South Carolina--south from Aiken County to Allendale County--the hardiness zone is eight, which means the average minimum temperature ranges from 10 to 20 degrees. Cool-loving vegetables--such as asparagus, cabbage and garden peas--can be planted in late January, while broccoli, onions and collards can be planted beginning in February, according to Clemson University Extension.
Spring planting for most other vegetables begins in early April. For fall planting, okra, peas, pumpkins and watermelons should be planted in June and tomatoes, peppers and eggplants planted in July. Other vegetables, such as cucumbers and garlic are planted in August and September.
The coastal area--which comprises the areas south from Hampton county to the state line--is a mixture of zone eight and zone nine, which has a minimum average temperature of 20 to 30. Gardening starts much earlier here with cool-season vegetables planted in early January and the bulk of spring vegetables planted in the weeks before spring begins, according to The Farm. A few vegetable--such as eggplant and lima beans--should be planted in July for fall planting, while the majority of planting for a fall harvest is done in August.
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