Drought soil conditions can be very challenging for vegetable growing. This list from High-Value Veggies shows which edible crops do best in drought conditions as well as things you can do to give your soil a boost.
You may also enjoy this introduction to Square Foot Gardening.
This excerpt from High Value Veggies by Mel Bartholomew is provided by Cool Springs Press.
10 Best Vegetables for Drought Soils
1 Asparagus (once established) -If you want to get started with asparagus, this shows you how.
7 Squash – winter and summer squashes
8 Tomato – Here’s everything you need to know to grow tomatoes.
9 Aromatic herbs (rosemary, thyme, sage, oregano)
10 Swiss chard
It doesn’t matter where you garden—in a community plot, in containers, in raised beds, or straw bales, or in a Square Foot Garden—deciding which edibles to plant is perhaps the biggest factor in whether or not your garden succeeds.
While success means many things to many gardeners, there’s no getting around the issue of cost versus payback.
Does it make sense to spend $5 and use up three feet of garden space to grow one cabbage when you can buy a beautiful one at the farmer’s market for $2?
The book evaluates 59 of the most common home garden vegetables to determine which edible crops give you the biggest bang for your buck.
If dry soil is your struggle, the vegetables listed above can grow in drought-soil conditions.
Know Your Soil
Elizabeth Murphy literally wrote the book when it comes to soil. Her book, Building Soil: A Down-to-Earth Approach: Natural Solutions for Better Gardens & Yards, is a comprehensive guide to creating the perfect living medium for all your outdoor plants.
Murphy recommends a test as the first step to soil health.
“A soil test is very helpful, especially starting out. The test determines if the soil lacks a necessary nutrient. For the serious home gardener, test every three years, or when you notice problems or a decline in production.”
Simple Guidelines for Building Good Soil
- Provide necessary nutrients by testing soil and adding appropriate organic fertilizers.
- Feed your soil (yes, the soil is a living thing) on a schedule, using bulky organic amendments as often as possible.
- Keep your soil covered with mulch, living plants, organic amendments, or green manures (winter soil-enriching crops).
Tests and amendments aside, Murphy says there’s no substitute for becoming familiar with your soil.
“Know your soil texture.
That’s defined as the amount of sand, silt, and clay, and determines the soil’s properties.
In soil with a high sand or clay content, modify what and how you grow to match the soil.”
~Melissa the Empress of Dirt ♛