Go Columbia

Container gardens, spotting snakes and other classes for Columbia gardeners

Decorative Cabbage
Decorative Cabbage File photo/The State

Gardening during a Columbia summer can be a challenge.

It’s an even bigger challenge if you don’t have much of a green thumb.

To the rescue: Several nurseries are offering gardening classes and workshops, through late summer and beyond. Here is a sampling.

Container gardening

Get help with sun/shade outdoor containers, indoor containers, fairy gardens and terrariums.

10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, June 24 at Woodley’s Irmo location, 2840 Dreher Shoals Road. Sign up by calling or stopping by the Irmo Woodley’s to purchase a $25 Container Garden Party Pass, redeemable in product used on the day of the party. One pass required for each participant. www.woodleygardencenter .com, (803) 407-0601

Be snake safe in the garden

How many snakes have you seen in your yard this year? Can you tell the difference between venomous and nonvenomous snakes? Do you realize that snakes play an important role in the balance of nature around your home? Guest speaker Brandon Eargle will help you learn about snakes in your garden.

6:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 27 at Wingards Market, 1403 Lake Drive, Lexington. $10. www.wingardsmarket.com/ workshops/, (803) 359-9091

Best plants for heat and drought

Our hot, dry Southern summers make it difficult to have lush, green plants and colorful blooms. Learn from Lexington County Master Gardener Volunteers about summer plants that are tough enough for a Columbia area summer.

6 p.m. Monday, Aug. 28 at Lexington Library, 5440 Augusta Road Lexington. Free. www.gardenlikeamaster .com/wp/

How-to on veggie container gardens

Improve your veggie intake with a container garden. Some tips, from the Clemson Cooperative Extension site (www.clemson.edu/extension/hgic/plants/index.html):

▪ Containers can dry out quickly, especially on a concrete patio in full sun. Daily or even twice-daily watering may be necessary.

▪ Grow vegetables that take up little space – such as carrots, radishes, and lettuce – or crops that bear fruits over a period of time, such as tomatoes and peppers. Dwarf or miniature varieties often mature and bear fruit early, but most do not produce as well overall as standard varieties.

▪ The amount of sunlight that your container garden spot receives may determine which crops can be grown. Generally, root crops and leaf crops can tolerate partial shade. Vegetables grown for their fruits generally need at least five hours of full, direct sunlight each day, but perform better with eight to 10 hours. Available light can be increased somewhat by providing reflective materials around the plants, such as aluminum foil, white-painted surfaces or marble chips.

▪ Clay, wood, plastic and metal containers are suitable. Containers for vegetable plants must be big enough to support plants when they are fully grown. Whatever type of container you use, be sure that there are holes in the bottom for drainage.

About this series

This is one in our Summer of Self-Improvement series, about fun ways to raise the bar for yourself.