Charlotte, North Carolina is a unique, dazzling, and versatile city. Not only does it boast a distinctive mixture of culture, architecture, and entertainment, but its natural beauty cannot be denied. Charlotte’s location, and overall environment, make it an ideal place to build a beautiful (and functional) outdoor space. But like every city in the United States, each location has its own set of criteria to consider. In this post, we’ll discuss some of the best ways to make the most out of your outdoor space here in Charlotte, including, which plants perform the best in our slice of the United States.
Understanding The Region: Charlotte 101
The United States is one of the largest countries by landmass, so it should come as no surprise that the landscape supply near me drastically varies depending on where you’re located. From the tropical beaches of Hawaii to the deserts and swamplands of the mainland, the possibilities for outdoor living are endless. In order to make the most out of your outdoor space, the key is knowing more about your specific region. Let’s start by diving into the basics of living in Charlotte, North Carolina. By doing so, we can get a greater understanding of how to best utilize our outdoor spaces.
Charlotte, North Carolina is known for its hot and humid summer months. Certain flora and fauna will prosper in this environment, whereas others will struggle. Typically, in the summer months, Charlotte will have temperatures that stay in the low 90s, however, keep in mind that humidity can often make it feel hotter than it actually is. The tradeoff to hot summers is mild winters, that range from the low 40s. A lot of those unfamiliar with the region might also be surprised to know that Charlotte is quite rainy. When one thinks about rain in the continental U.S., a city like Seattle or Portland, Oregon might come to mind. While Seattle might have more rainy days than Charlotte, Charlotte actually gets more rainfall.
Ultimately, by understanding the climate of Charlotte, we can create a better game plan for the planting season. Knowing what to plant directly helps when building your ideal backyard paradise, and outdoor space. By knowing what types of plants to invest in, you’ll get the most return on your dollar, and cultivate a space that is thriving and lush.
Which Plants Fare Best in Charlotte?
Charlotte is the most populous city in North Carolina and is located in the Piedmont Region. Fortunately, the Piedmont Region is a great place to build a thriving and luxurious outdoor space, thanks to its large annual rainfall and humid climate. While certain plants that don’t particularly like excess moisture might have a hard time prospering in the Queen City, more often than not, there are plenty of plants to choose from to make your backyard your own personal paradise.
Charlotte is particularly ideal for a lot of food growing, due to its moderate temperatures. Moderate temperatures make it possible for year-round growth, meaning that you can enjoy the fruits of your labor come summer, spring, winter, or fall. The key is knowing what to plant and when. The North Carolina University Cooperative Extension created a comprehensive chart that explains, in great detail, which vegetables to grow across the state, because even within the state of North Carolina, there are different climates to consider. The chart can help you determine which plants will be ready to harvest come late spring, or early summer, a time when many North Carolinians are taking advantage of the seasonal weather.
Vegetables You Should Be Planting in Charlotte
While you’ll find that many plants can grow (and flourish!) in North Carolina, here are some popular vegetables that perform exceptionally well in our part of the country. Because nothing goes quite as well with a wonderful outdoor living space, than a homemade meal made with ingredients from your own garden.
- Cabbage: In North Carolina, raised garden beds are popular. Cabbage performs well in this type of bed, and furthermore, it can not only withstand but thrive in the cooler spring and fall weather.
- Asparagus: Asparagus is great for the summer months when rain is hard to come by. Asparagus is also easy to plant within close proximity to other vegetables and requires little maintenance compared to other popular vegetables.
- Kale: Kale is a year-round favorite, able to withstand the cooler falls and springs of North Carolina.
- Peas: Peas thrive in North Carolina’s spring and fall weather. They’re also ideal for vertical growing, making them a shoo-in for those gardening in urban settings. As North Carolina’s biggest city, many in Charlotte can use horizontal growing to bring the best of the outdoors to city life. They also perform well in raised garden beds, as we’ve noted is a popular technique in North Carolina.
- And More: Squash, cucumbers, peppers, green beans, radishes, and eggplants. Remember that plants that will thrive in North Carolina are those that:
- Thrive in heat and drought.
- Thrive in cooler temperatures.
- Can grow in raised beds and vertical gardens
- Hardy against pests and insects.
- And are good cross-pollinators.
Using The USDA Plant Hardiness Map for Your Benefit
Everyone’s idea of a perfect outdoor space in Charlotte will differ. But whether your vision includes an extensive garden, or a perfectly groomed lawn and patio space, you’ll want to consult the USDA Plant Hardiness Map for the best results. Knowing what hardiness zone, you fall under in North Carolina is crucial. It can help you determine what plants, trees, and vegetables are best suited for your outdoor living space. Utilizing the map can be the difference between curating a thriving, lush, bountiful garden, and one that yields very little payoff.
Here in North Carolina, most of the state is categorized in Zone 7, however, some of the lower regions are considered hardiness Zone 8. (Certain parts of Charlotte fall under Zone 8). Confused? Thankfully, the USDA provides an interactive map for you to easily pinpoint where you fall in the scheme of things.
With all these tips and tricks, you can easily create the springtime oasis of your dreams. Get creative, and have fun, as the Charlotte region is ripe with opportunities for curating a dazzling outdoor space.