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Never grown anything...When can I plant what ?

Rock Hill, SC(Zone 7b)

OK maybe not ANYTHING except some tomatoe's when I was a kid in a small planter area. Now I got 27.5 acres and a tractor to clean up the mess made by the logging company. I would like to plant some stuff but we are not moved in yet, the home is being built and we do not plan on moving in till' August so I have no water at the site.

I was looking for a place to see what can be planted when, I think I am a borderline Zone 7 or 8 in North Central SC. I picked up one of the famous Farmers Allmanac and paged through it, nothing but ad's for things from tear gas guns to herbal viagra along with some guesses at the weather, I thought they had much more than that.

Where on the internet can I find a list of what grows well in what areas and when it needs to be planted by for seed and starter plants ? I have a LOT of wildlife there so it's going to take some time if I am going to plant very much, I will need to set up some fence first. It would be nice to get something for the table at the end of the summer when we move in.

Currently I have about 2 acres cleared and I started sub-soiling since it was hard packed concrete...I mean clay. It's broken up and I had it dry for breaking it up then it decided to rain yesterday before I got a chance to get there today. This area will probably be a deer/turkey food plot since it's far from the home. I plan on cleaning up maybe a 30x30 area near the home for our food garden where I can keep an eye on it and deer will not be as encouraged to visit and feed but this plot will probably not be ready till' next season and will be fenced in with chain link. For this year (if it's not too late) I was thinking of maybe a 15x20 plot set up with some T-Bars and plastic netting.

York SC

Vicksburg, MS(Zone 8a)

I'm not going to swear it won't happen, but I've never seen deer eat cukes, cantaloupe, or squash. They are cheap, very easy to grow, and, hopefully, won't be bothered by the deer. They "ususally" don't eat tomatoes, but I have seen that happen if food is very hard for them to find. I would probably go ahead and risk it since it's spring and they should have lots of green browse elsewhere. When I was young and couldn't afford to fence my entire garden, I used chicken wire to make "tunnels" over my rows of plants to keep rabbits and deer from eating them. Worked real well. You can make the tunnels several inches high so the plants can grow for a while before you have to remove them.

Augusta, GA(Zone 8a)

That area of the Carolinas will grow an extensive array of plants including food crops. Just about anything but tropicals and subtropicals. I would suggest, that you first decide what you like, then go down to your county extension office and get a list of recommended cultivars. They will also have planting guides. You could even visit Clemson University and look over their test plots.

Addendum; If you are able to sprinkle a lttle blood meal around after each rain, it will usually deter deer and rabbits,

This message was edited May 6, 2007 7:53 AM

Rock Hill, SC(Zone 7b)

Interesting, blood meal, I'll have to keep that in mind. The deer seem to eat quite a bit, actually a couple of months ago I droped a mineral lick out there and placed some scraps on and around it. At that time we had some strawberries, tomatoes and banannas. The strawberries were gone, the tomatoes were 3/4 gone and no bannannas were left.

They seem to be quite hungry and by the photos need some supplements. If I drop 50-100 lbs of corn on a Sunday by next Thursday or Friday it will be all gone.

I'll have to stop by the AG extension soon, I did do 3 soil tests recently but all the talk was for grasses and feed plot while I was there.

The other question I had is if there is ANY chance of growing any sub-tropical trees? My dad had planted several grapefruit, honebell, orange and lemon trees along with some bannanna, plantain,mango, starfruit at our former home in Florida. We did get cold snaps but not as long as we have here. All but 2 survived the 4 hurricanes we had over the past 2 years and I actually miss the ability to go pick an orange every so often in the fall and early winter. I know it may not lend itself to this climate but is it even possible ?

My wife likes cukes in her salads and cantaloupe would interest me, I'll keep that in mind.

Rome, GA(Zone 7b)

Hey Rich,

I started a similar garden this year. Started late last summer on some land with a burned down house on it. I've been clearing it myself with a tractor and chainsaw.

Anyway, it'd be hard to give you all the info you need to do it here. Two things I found really helpful were the local library (tons of books on vegetable gardening) and university web sites. Here's a link to a general planting guide at the university of Georgia.

They have publications on just about anything you'd want to plant. Probably Clemson as Farmerdill suggested or other univerities in SC are your best bet.

As for planting sub-tropicals, we're in the same zone but you probably have a better shot close to the coast. I'm trying a few things right on the edge like Pomegranets, Figs and Olives but mostly I've planted Apple, Pear, Cherry and Peach.


Good luck!

Thumbnail by jkehl
Rock Hill, SC(Zone 7b)

I will need to be careful with my selections this year if I intend to do anything at this time in the game. Not only do I have to fight the wildlife with careful selection and some protection but also lack of water (as you can see we are far from ready for a well) and also lack of time since we are living on the other side of the county. Weekends are about it with an occasional drive by during my lunch hour since I work on the road. I will try to stop by the county AG office this week during lunch, here the offices are manned by Clemson employees.

Thumbnail by SCRich
Ayrshire Scotland, United Kingdom

Hi SCRich, I dont envy you one bit, you have a long journey ahead of you, what with the house constuction AND clearing the land . We did the exact same thing as you about 18 year ago and still trying to regain the land back from the wildlife that inhabit it. All I have learned is to be patient, dont expect too much and just tackle a small patch at a time, enough that will only take you few hours at a time to keep a stride off till you actualy move in. As for the deer and other wild life, if you are laying out food, be it scraps or other things, you are encourageing them to come around all the more, build yourself a compost bit with a (tight cover, animal resistant) so that it will rot down and when it does, you can dig it back into your soil, our deer (Well the ones that munch at my property) are all looking a bit scraggy also, but they always do at this time as they are casting winter coats and the females are ready to give birth, they will be hungry also due to the search for food all winter, Remember that before your land was cleared, they prob had more food and shelter, they cover a wide area to graze and always use the same trails and tracks.
The only plants that they dont eat at my place is Rhododendrons, everything else is a goner IF I dont protect it, I was told to plant anything with thorns, well I can tell you, they have tongues like chainsaws, Roses, Rasberries, Hawthorns, Gooseberries, you name it, they love it. You say you want to plant trees and shrubs, you will have to protect them with deer guards or they will nibble the tender new shoots AND rub the bark off when they are trying to take the velvet off the antlers, not just one tree, they go for gold, do the lot, it is also a way for them to put their scent around as you will know, they have a gland between their ears and eyes, they are, in my mind the most majestic animals, our ones bring the bambies down to the house and it is wonderful to watch them early evening, however, they graze at night and that is when most damage is done, (like when the cat's away, the mice will play kind of game)
To your Veg plot, IF you want to grow things, we started off with potato's, I know that might sound daft, but with potato's, you dig your trenches, put in the tubers, cover them over and as the green tops sprout out from the ground, you have to draw more soil up and over the greenery, this keeps any light out as the new potato's surface, light causes them to turn green and you cant eat them, while you are doing this, you are weeding, digging the earth, and getting a crop all at the same time, the deer dont feed on the greenery as it is under ground most of the time, it also helps to get rid of any soil bugs as you bring them to the surface and the birds get them, you dig up your crop of potato's once they have flowered and therefore the soil is getting a second dig while you collect your potatoes, I would say most UNDERGROUND, ROOT veg should be better and as sugested before, make a tunnel from chicken wire to protect them, as for tomatoes, and other salad things, with your absence from your place right now, and lack of water, which they need loads of as do squash, you will be lucky if they last a day as the young deer will just love the tender young shoots and MUM will show her young where and how to get them, try onions also for now.
I would be inclined to consentrate more on any trees, shrubs etc for the moment as you will prob need that for a shelter belt once you really start to get your garden and veg area under control, I have heard that big cat manure LIONS DROPPINGS etc helps to keep the deer away, however I have never tried it, I have learned to work with the wildlife rather than against it as it is costly, time consumeing and heartbreaking when you find it has'nt worked, other than good fenceing, shooting or camoflage, you aint going to beat it, so learn to go with it, I am so lucky to waken up and see such wildlife outside my window, another good thing I have found for my veg plot and it is cheep, that very light fleece (white)that you get at the garden center, I lay that over my veg plot, loosely so that the veg have room to grow, it flaps in the breeze so lay plenty of stones on the edges of it, or it will blow away, the rain penitrates it and the deer wont walk on it as they cant guage how deep the ground is under it, also keeps the egg laying insects off the veg, it works for me, but dont know anyone else who uses it, in fact, dont know anyone who has deer wandering around their garden, I honestly have a lovely garden but it takes time to out smart the deer, dont always win, but still garden and love it. another thing I tried was hanging old CD disc's on the trees, I was told that always worked, it did for a day and then they just ignored them, Prob did'nt like the Rolling Stones eh. Hope all this gives you food for thought and good luck.
WeeNel, Scotland.

Mooresville, NC(Zone 7b)

Okay don't think I'm a nut here, but pee in your yard, or what is going to be your yard. Pee EVERYWHERE!!! When we moved into our house it had been vacant for 3 years. We have lots of fruit trees (apple, peach, pear) and the deer were in heaven. Well my husband is a pee-er and where we live is very private, so he goes whenever the urge strikes. We have lived here 6 years and the deer are gone. Haven't seen one in at least 3 years. The only answer I can think of is the urine.

Mena, AR(Zone 7a)

Jeff, our first garden looked a lot like your picture. We had our property for 18 yrs before we retired and built our home. We have 10 acres and it right next to the natl forest. We had hardwood and pine.
We had the pine removed and I had stumps all over my garden. I think that was the best garden I have had. Didn't know what I was doing but had some garden books and went by them. We had all the stumps removed in that area and did the rest later.
Rich, we have all kinds of wild life. Deer everywhere...then we had a fence installed. It is 8 foot tall and 50 x 100 feet. When our son, John, came to visit us he kept looking at the garden area. It was in the fall and everything had been taking up from the garden. He then said, "Hey Mom, when did you take up tennis or are y'all going to have a pool over there". I have enjoyed our garden very much. I'm a city girl but boy do I love the country now. You have to have lots of patience to have what you want to do on your property. We spent nearly all our vacations over 18 yrs coming up here and clearing our land. There was just a trail into our land from the dirt road. It had a lot of underbrush. Oh, so bad. The electric was already here and we had a well dug about 4 years after we bought it. We bought a used travel trailer and parked it here after that. Took baths outside a/c no septic tank yet. Then we had that dug a year or so later. We were in tall cotton then. Poision Ivy was the worst thing I can think of. We got it every year. It had gotten on the bedding and even when I washed it, it still came back.
I hope you can find some veggies to plant. The deer even got me climbing beans up on the pole teepee we had it climbing on. They ate until they could reach no farther. Also, ate the okra everytime it came on. I would be so happy to see it blooming and the next thing I knew it was all gone. All summer long. I even put a scare crow up and had used cat litter that I spread on the ground. It helped a little but the fence is the best way to go. good luck

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