Hallelujah, it is Easter, the traditional start of the gardening season. Call it natural, spiritual or whatever. Easter is thought of as a new beginning – the beginning of spring, the beginning of growth, the beginning of life, etc. It seems to be indwelt into our nature that nothing is planted until Easter.

In some instances, planting at Easter is beneficial. First, in most years the threat of frost is generally past because our average last frost date is April 1. Next, planting early in the spring is very beneficial in South Carolina. It gets very hot quickly. Spring must be one of the few things unionized in South Carolina because many years it goes on strike and we head straight into summer.

Plants started early have a better chance of developing properly before it gets real hot. Finally, insects and disease problems are generally not as bad when you plant early. Most insect and disease problems tend to build and get worse throughout the summer. As summer progresses corn earworms, pickleworms, aphids, whiteflies, etc. are worse. Diseases like early blight, viruses and fungal leaf spots increase.

In some instances, Easter is not the…