SC Commissioner Weathers: Crop Update – Peach, Watermelon, and Specialty Crops

Spring and summer produce are coming along in South Carolina. Here’s SC Commissioner Hugh Weathers to tell us about it.

  • The spring and summer harvest in South Carolina are looking great so far.
  • Summer crops, such as tomatoes and peppers are going in the ground.
  • There have been some cold temperatures since planting, slowing growth, but everything is expected to catch up nicely.
  • Strawberry season is wrapping up, and blueberry season is about to begin. Some of our producers were worried when we got a hard freeze in March, but we came through it fine, with plenty of volume in berries.
    • Blueberries are going to be very light at the beginning of the harvest season – early and mid-May. Blueberry harvest should improve by the time late May and June gets here.
    • Blackberries and muscadines are looking good.
  • As for our famous peaches, we are also anticipating a good year. Volume may be lighter in May due to some damage to earlier varieties, but the rest of the summer should be back to normal.
    • You can expect to find our tasty SC peaches at farmer’s markets, farm stores, and retail stores.
  • Watermelons were planted in mid to early April. Volume is expected to be normal, and South Carolina watermelons will be reaching a market shed or shelf near you after Memorial Day and continuing throughout the summer.
  • Greens market, which includes kale, collards, curly mustard, and turnip tops is steady and market demand is strong. 
    • There were some early warm spells in February that caused some Fall-planted greens to bolt, but nothing extreme.  After the warm spells, there were freezing temperatures in late March that threatened the Spring transplants, but most have recovered, although harvest will likely be delayed by additional weeks.