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 Time to Plan

Posted on by SCNPS Website Team

Author: Doug Lockard

Roger Schllerstrom & Nia Payne at the UNN in July

Other than spot watering, August is a fairly quiet month for native gardeners and the perfect time to begin planning for Autumn plantings.  Autumn’s cooler temperatures and wetter weather are ideal for starting native trees, shrubs, and perennials as the milder climate prepares root systems for cooler temperatures gently, creating a hardier plant.  

Growing plants require one-inch of rain a week which is easily met by our Autumn monthly average 3 ½ to 4 ¼ inches of rainfall, and our 60’s and 70’s is great for plants and gardeners alike!  Experts agree that planting about a month before the first frost is generally the best time, and that means early October is the right time in the Upstate.  

Autumn also means fewer weeds and pests, and no need for fertilizer, just a little compost mixed into the soil and 2-4 inches of mulch for protection.  Another reason for planting in the fall is that some plants require cooler temperatures to stimulate growth, and because May in the Upstate is our driest month, plants established over the winter have better odds of survival. 

Things are looking great at the SCNPS Upstate Native Nursery thanks to our incredible Greenhouse Gang volunteers under the direction of Cathy McCurdy.  They’ve been working all season to prepare for the Fall Sale from October 1st thru the 22nd so start planning your purchases now!  

Special thanks to the 2022 Greenhouse Gang!


Carol Avalon Chris & Kathy Ball Pam Barbour Cathy Bergin
Kyle Broomhall Ava Chitty Ruth Collins Annette Deshotels
Mary Margaret Dragoun Lindsay Finnell Kim Goldfine Amy Henderson
Steve Holding Nancy Jocoy Susan Lochridge Doug Lockard
Lyn McCurdy Randi Oury Nia Payne Meg Pearson
Linda Peters Miller Putnam Marge Sciezka Susan Schillerstrom
Judy Seeley Kitty Putnam Kay Stafford Roger Schillerstrom