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Growing Vegetables During Drought

Don’t let seasonal or long-term drought stop you from gardening. A few changes in your gardening habits can help you conserve water while growing fresh produce in your backyard.

Grow just what you need and will use. You’ll waste less produce and water growing vegetables that never get harvested and eaten.

Be sure to plant in blocks or wide rows. Leave just enough space for vegetables to reach their full size.  The plants will shade the bare soil, helping to conserve moisture. And you will harvest more from less space.

Improve your soil and you’ll use less water. Add organic matter to increase the water holding ability in fast draining soils and improve drainage in heavy clay soils.

And use an organic mulch like shredded leaves or evergreen needles to conserve water, suppress weeds and improve the soil as they decompose.

Grow drought tolerant vegetables like amaranth, eggplant, chard, rhubarb, and asparagus. Look for varieties listed as drought tolerant.

A bit more information:  Position your garden in a sunny, but sheltered location.  Reducing wind flowing over the plants will reduce moisture lost through transpiration (evaporation of water from the upper parts of plants). And that means less water needed. For more information on drought tolerant plants click here.

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