Richland County, it’s Time to Plant Your Spring Garden!

If you are a gardener in the Columbia SC area, this update is for you! The Master Gardeners of Richland County are holding their annual plant sale on Friday April 26th and Saturday April 27th. This is the only fundraiser each year, so save the date to take advantage of some great deals that will be available.  Here’s the scoop:


In addition to the great plant selection at excellent prices, this year there is a raffle for this gorgeous cotton quilt, made by one of our members. Cotton has been a key agricultural crop in South Carolina and this art reflects its heritage in our state. While you are at the plant sale, buy a raffle ticket for $1 to have a chance to take this beauty home! Or contact a master gardener to purchase tickets before the plant sale. The raffle will be held at the end of the sale and the winner will be contacted by phone. Best of luck! Even if you don’t win, you are helping a great cause in our county.


The Richland County Master Gardener Association (RCMGA) is a not-for-profit organization composed of volunteers whose goal is to promote and teach environmentally sound, research-based gardening practices to the citizens of Richland County, and to provide education to our members needed to accomplish our purpose.

We serve our Clemson and Richland County through such activities as assisting in the county extension office, giving educational programs to the public, and participating in community projects related to gardening.

If you want to learn more about gardening and participate in volunteer projects that enhance our county, consider becoming a Master Gardener. I am proud to be part of this organization.

For information about applying for the Master Gardener classes, contact 803.722.1196 ext. 127. To learn more about the program visit: Clemson Extension Master Gardeners

Hello Spring!

Spring arrived a couple of days ago but today really felt like spring. The cherry trees are blooming and the sky is thankfully clear. The temperatures are warming up and the day length is now longer than the night. These are excellent conditions for getting the fall-planted flowers out of dormancy. The covers are off the beds and we can begin feeding to further encourage growth. In another month to six weeks, we will be able to have blooms like these available on a consistent basis.

Wishing you a wonderful season!


Getting Ready for Spring



In warm climates like South Carolina’s, spring flower preparation starts in the fall. We plant ‘hardy annuals’ in the fall to provide them with enough cool weather to thrive. This group of flowers blooms profusely in the cooler spring and then they fade in our summer heat. This includes things like Bells of Ireland, Bachelor Buttons, Corn Cockle and Larkspur. Most are started from seed sown directly in the garden.

Here at the farm, we have been nurturing many of these varieties since last September. They have needed the heat of late summer to germinate and get established. Then, as the days got shorter and the temperatures dropped, they slowed down above ground but continue to develop strong roots. As the weather has warmed up, the plant growth has resumed. When we get the magic combination of longer days and consistently warmer temperatures they will burst forth, revealing the miracle that they are.


 Between now and then, the fluctuating temperatures call for some special attention. The plants are getting larger and the vegetation is more vulnerable to cold. Frost cloth is used to protect them when we get temperatures below freezing. A freeze is in the forecast for next week, so everything is being covered so that it is protected.  

Looking forward to the end of winter and the day when we can share the spring blooms with you! If you are considering a bouquet subscription, there is still time. You can sign up at

Dianthus under cover

Dianthus under cover