The Q&A Archives: Drought Tolerant Vegetables

Question: We live in NW Missouri and are forecasted to have a drought this summer. We would like to know varieties of tomatoes, green beans, and potatoes that do better in drought. We know from experience Iochief sweet corn does really well and that sweet potatoes in general do well but the other varieties we are at a complete loss as to what to plant

Answer: Tomatoes by their very make-up need sufficient water. Choosing a determinate variety rather than an indeterminate type may help a little since the determinate plant reaches its mature size and does not continue to grow. But the best advise for all the vegetables that you mention is to water well and then mulch them a week or two after transplant, or after the seeds are well sprouted. Use newspapers, grass clippings, leaves, compost, or any such material. Additions of organic matter or compost as you are preparing the beds in the spring will also help the soil to maintain moisture. But mulching is the best drought insurance.

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