The Q&A Archives: Vegetable Gardening In Drought

Question: What kind(s) of vegetables do you recommend growing during drought conditions like we are having here in the Mid-Atlantic? I have a small garden and am not too experienced.

Answer: Unfortunately, vegetable plants truly perform best with regular watering by either rain or the gardener since the parts we eat tend to consist of a large proportion of water. Careful attention to soil preparation with ample quantities of organic matter to help hold both air and water in the soil, using a square foot method of tight spacing, and using an organic mulch will all help conserve water.

When you do water, it is better to water slowly and allow it to penetrate deeply about once a week rather than a daily light sprinkling. Use your finger to check and see if the soil is dry so you are only watering when it is necessary and then, a few hours after watering, dig down to see how far your watering has ultimately reached -- then you will know approximately how long it takes to water to a given depth and thus when to turn the water off.

Finally, please obey any applicable state and local water restrictions. I sure hope the drought is resolved soon.

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