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Old 08-13-2008, 11:00 AM
 
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My husband and I are in the process of moving to the Spartanburg area. While house hunting, I discovered the area is mostly red clay. Can someone guide me on growing a vegatable garden next spring. What do you till into the soil? Do some things grow better here than others? Thank you
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Old 08-13-2008, 05:06 PM
 
Location: home state of Myrtle Beach!
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Add lots of black dirt and maybe some sand to ease drainage.
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Old 08-13-2008, 05:07 PM
 
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I don't know if you really want a garden...there's a drought.
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Old 08-13-2008, 08:15 PM
 
Location: Simpsonville
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I too have struggled and cursed southern red clay. The best solution is lots of organic matter. Here is the ideal mixture. One part native soil (in our case, clay), one part compost and one part soil conditioner (usually shredded pine bark). You can buy the compost and soil conditioner bagged at any big garden store. If you have real drainage problems, you can add in a little sand. Be careful to only use course builder's sand, not the fine stuff you might use in a sandbox. If you use fine sand, it will just bond with the clay and when it dries out and, presto... a brick. I've seldom used sand, finding the organic matters to be enough. You can also do raised beds, which work great. The good thing about clay is that it will hold on to water and nutrients much better than sandy soil. So, less watering and less fertilizing. I try to garden as organically as I can. I'm not a fanatic and use chemicals on occasion but I've found that my landscape does well with mostly organic products and practices. Compare my yard to my neighbors, who are always watering, using synthetic fertilizer and hiring ChemLawn. My yard looks just as good and I feel better knowing I'm helping to preserve the environment.
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Old 08-13-2008, 08:18 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guestposter24 View Post
I don't know if you really want a garden...there's a drought.
wow your a postive person!!
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Old 08-14-2008, 12:57 PM
 
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I think there's a great case for planting what is native and working with the existing soil and climate conditions as much as possible. Even though we get plenty of rain most of the time, we do have real water issues here in So FL and try to plant what is drought tolerant year round, so I would be very interested in knowing what plants and shrubs are native and grow well in the Upstate's natural environment. I did notice lots of beautiful pampas grass while visiting the area and I love it, so it was nice to see it grows well there.
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Old 08-14-2008, 02:50 PM
 
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Originally Posted by bs3488 View Post
wow your a postive person!!
I just thought I'd warn them that they might want to wait for the drought to end.
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Old 08-14-2008, 04:45 PM
 
Location: Simpsonville
288 posts, read 809,397 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carolinadreamin View Post
I think there's a great case for planting what is native and working with the existing soil and climate conditions as much as possible. Even though we get plenty of rain most of the time, we do have real water issues here in So FL and try to plant what is drought tolerant year round, so I would be very interested in knowing what plants and shrubs are native and grow well in the Upstate's natural environment. I did notice lots of beautiful pampas grass while visiting the area and I love it, so it was nice to see it grows well there.
I agree about native and drought tolerant plantings. Most of our new landscaping plants were chosen to be "easy care." Once established, they should never supplemental watering. Here are some good, attractive choices for the Upstate: crepe myrtle, pygmy crimson barberry, kaleidoscope abelia, jack frost ligustrum, indian hawthorne, viburnum, chinese fringe, gardenia, nandina, flower carpet roses, liriope, russian sage, cheddar pinks, echinacea, coreopsis. Not all of these are native but are good choices for the area. Several have different size varieties, meaning you'll have little pruning to do down the road. We planted all of these last year and they are doing great, despite the miserable drought and heat of last year.
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Old 08-15-2008, 01:10 PM
 
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Thanks! Great info. And I am aware of a few of these. You're doing yourself a favor planting for drought and ease. We plan to do likewise.
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Old 08-25-2008, 11:16 PM
 
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Has anyone seen a vegetable / fruit garden in the Greenville region that is productive enough to supply the major part of a family's diet? How is it done? Thanks
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