Vermont Garden Journal: Dealing With Summer Drought

Aug 12, 2016

This summer, some areas of our region have only received 50 to 75 percent of their normal rainfall. The lack of rain combined with hot, sunny days has had an impact on the garden.

The first thing you'll notice is your soil will either repel or devour water. In clay soils, even big rain storms won't help for long. The soil is so dry, much of the water runs off. For sandy or loamy soils, they will suck up the water so fast the ground seems dry again soon after it rains.

A few other signs of the lack of water include smaller berries, fruits dropping before they mature, blossom rot on tomatoes, brown leaves and a proliferation of insect pests.

To help your crops along, mulch well, water deeply and infrequently (especially for new trees and shrubs) so the soil stays moist down deep. This may not cure all the symptoms, but you should be able to get some production from your garden.