Welcome to my Gardening in Upstate SC website. Thank you for stopping by!
My name is Lewis Leake, Jr and I live and garden in Upstate South Carolina. This is a wonderful place to live and garden. You can usually feel safe to start your planting by around April 15th. You can start earlier but just be prepared to cover your plants because we can have some cold weather in late March and early April – not every year but often enough.
I live on the land that my grandmother got from her father. My mother and her brother and sister grew up on this land as did me and my two brothers. My daughter was raised here also.
When I was growing up, we had a hugh garden – at least I thought it was hugh. It was probably a couple of acres or more. My dad planted tomatoes, corn, beans – green beans and butter beans, okra, squash, cantaloupes, peppers – sweet peppers and hot peppers, watermelons and probably some crops that I have forgotten about. It was me and my brothers job to hoe the garden and keep it watered. I hated working in that garden more than I could ever tell, especially when it got good and hot in July and August. We fussed about it, just not when dad was around, but we did it anyway. I swore then that when I got grown that I would never have a garden.
I pretty much kept that promise until I moved back here after an 11 year stint in the US Air Force. I did have a little garden when we were stationed in Spain but it was very little, just a few plants. Even after I moved back, I didn’t have a garden right away.
After I graduated from college and got a job, my wife and I built a house in the back of my dad’s pasture. I started reading Mother Earth News and got interested in raised bed gardens. So I finally built my own raised bed garden and I grew quite a lot of vegetables. I had my vegetable garden for a few years but I started working in New York and New Jersey so gardening stopped for awhile.
Now my wife and I live in the old house that my mother grew up in and also the house that my brothers and I grew up in. My daughter, son-in-law and 2 grandchildren now live in our house. Seems like things go full circle around here. Some of my neighbors do the same thing.
Shortly after moving into the old house, I started a vegetable garden. This time I used treated 2×12′s to create a 12 foot long by 4 foot wide garden bed. Over the last couple of years, I have added 2 more to give me a total of 3. I plant the usual vegetables: tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, okra, green beans, lettuce, basil and others as the mood strikes.
My wife Rosemary has created flower beds all around the house and filled them with mulch. She is always finding something else to plant or a new place to add a flower garden.
Leave a comment. Tell me about your garden; what you grow and any great gardening tips that you want to pass along.