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10 Vegetable Gardening Tips and Tricks from Rita's Roots

Last night, we hosted our first Vegetable Gardening 101 class taught by Rita from Rita’s Roots! We enjoyed the cool Spring air and sunny evening skies while learning all about gardening in the Lowcountry. Rita walked us through the planting seasons here in Charleston and shared a few tips and tricks she’s learned from her years in the garden. Growing a successful vegetable garden takes time, dedication, and being okay with making mistakes along the way. Keep reading for our top 10 tips and tricks we learned from Rita and be sure to check out her website for her services and join the Garden Growers Club to #getplanting


Rita holding a tray of fresh vegetable starts.
  1. There are three main growing seasons in the Lowcountry: Plant cool season veggies in the fall for a winter harvest, plant leafy cool veggies again in February for an Spring Harvest, and finally plant warm season veggies in April for a Summer/Fall harvest. Planting in June-August here is a challenge!

  2. Raised beds and containers are a good idea in Charleston! The soil is typically sandy, which isn't great for growing vegetables.

  3. Your containers should be no larger than 4ft wide so you can reach the middle without having to step in.

  4. If planting in ground, use a pond liner for the base!

  5. Don’t use the native soil unless you want nematodes! Use a bagged soil and compost. 

  6. Don’t skip the fertilizer! This is such an important step for growing lush plants. If you’re growing an organic garden, make sure you’re using an organic fertilizer. 

  7. Using an overhead sprinkler is okay in the cooler seasons, but will cause fungus and pests issues in the warm seasons. But, any water is better than no water! 

  8. When buying seeds, look for “humid and heat” tolerant options.

  9. Companion plant your veggies with pollinator flowers like alyssum, marigolds, zinnias, and cosmos.

  10. Finally, you’re going to get caterpillars. It’s inevitable! Find a good Bacillus thuringiensis or BT caterpillar killer to keep handy.


We now carry Rita’s beautiful product in store and cannot wait to help you start growing your own food. Rita’s vegetables are locally grown, organic, and of course delicious! 


Inspired to take a gardening class? Buy a ticket to our Spring Container Gardening Class on March 27th to learn all about selecting, designing and planting your seasonal containers.


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