2016, Week 7: Cold-Weather Plant Survival Update

The first Family Food Garden class of 2016 taught by Jeff Rieves (known around town as “the Renfrow tie-dye guy”) was fun and informative. We had a great turnout and a wonderful group of inquisitive folks who are ready to start sowing seeds!


Our coldest week of the year thus far is finally over, and I ventured out into the garden this afternoon to see how the plants fared underneath their coverings. Ruth and I pulled the row covers off of our collard, broccoli, and flower seedlings this afternoon to see how they fared in yesterday’s cold weather…..100% survival rate! And many had even grown in the past week! Phew, such a relief. Now we just need to wait for the ground to dry out so we can plant some more! 🙂

Gardening class tomorrow!
TOPIC: From the Windowsill to the Garden: Starting Plants from Seed
Growing your own plants from seed is easy and can save you money. We’ll talk about seed selection, setting up your growing area, looking after your young plants and lots more.
Taught by horticulturalist Jeff Rieves at the hardware store on Wednesday morning from 10am-12pm. Come join us for a session and leave with lots of knowledge! $20 per person, or $30 if two members of the same family attend. Children under the age of 16 may attend for free with their families.
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Seasonal Gardening Products and Tips
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Do you have pecan trees in your yard? Mid-February is the best time to fertilize them with zinc sulfate, a mineral that our soil is generally lacking, and that these trees need for increased health and productivity. An absence of zinc will cause rosette in pecans’ new leaves in the spring, which is a curling and twisting of young leaves, and if untreated the leaves will turn yellow-green or brown and decrease yields. In the same way that our bodies occasionally need supplemental vitamins that we are lacking, pecans need zinc. I will be fertilizing our 5 mature trees this week.
Have you ever thought about growing your own strawberries? Strawberries are one of the most tasty but pesticide- and fungicide-laden fruits you can buy. One way to cut down on that bad exposure is to grow some yourself! They are easy perennials to grow in your own garden for fresh eating (they even do well in pots!), just be sure to get varieties that are well-suited to this area. We follow Clemson and NCSU’s recommendations for varieties and source ours from farms in the NC Piedmont. Plant now for harvest next May & June. You may get a few berries the first year, but the second year is when they hit their stride.We have bare-root bundles in 6 varieties at Renfrow’s currently – Earliglow, Ozark Beauty, Sweet Charlie, Surecrop, Honeoye, and Allstar.
Learn more by reading our Strawberries Gardening Sheet. I won’t be growing berries for sale on the farm, as it is not feasible crop on our scale, but our crew will enjoy a small snack plot for work breaks!