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University of Illinois Extension

Drought in the Vegetable Garden

July 26, 2012


Vegetables cannot go dormant in times of drought like your typical lawn does, says University of Illinois Extension Horticulture Educator, Candice Miller. Therefore additional watering is necessary to sustain a productive vegetable garden in these times of drought.

In the vegetable garden, there are certain periods of growth in particular where having moisture is especially important. As a rule of thumb, water is most critical during the first few weeks of development, immediately after transplanting, and during flowering and fruit production.

Anytime there are fruits (squash, cucumber, eggplant, tomatoes for example) or pods being filled (peas, snap beans), water needs to be uniformly available. In addition, sweet corn requires even moisture from the time flowers (silks) are pollenated through kernel fill. Therefore, gardeners should be monitoring their garden right now to see what is producing fruit at all times in order to properly water.

Fortunately, there are a couple of practices gardeners can implement to help reduce the amount of watering needed in their gardens. Here are a couple of helpful watering tips that may be useful for vegetable gardeners in reducing their water use:

To stay up to date on the most recent drought information in this area, follow our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/northwestillinoishorticulture and/or visit http://web.extension.illinois.edu/drought/.

For further questions, contact the Extension office or email Candice Miller, Extension Horticulture Educator, at mille116@illinois.edu.

Source: Candice Hart, Extension Educator, Horticulture, mille116@illinois.edu

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