breaking news

What if a government shutdown happened? Five things to know

Your vegetable garden needs more water than you think


Depending on where you are in the Miami Valley, your plants could still be suffering from dry soils.

Parts of our area had sufficient rain to soak the soils somewhat and others, like where I live in northern Clark County, got very little.

This is a critical time for your vegetable gardens in terms of moisture. Many are saying that their tomatoes and peppers are just beginning to form. Most of our vegetables are very high in water content and therefore, need evenly moist soils in order to form.

Take a look at any resource for growing plants, they will all recommend that you provide an inch of water a week for optimal growth. This is to encourage even soil moisture and to avoid the extremes of dry and wet.

The reality is that most of us don’t hit that mark and water in order to keep our plants alive. At least I don’t hit that mark.

I try not to water most of the landscape plants unless they really really are in need. In other words, in my perennial garden and with the trees and shrubs, I will generally water in late August if we have had a dry spell.

In the early part of the season if I just planted new perennials I water on a regular basis if it’s dry. Same thing with newly established trees and shrubs, for at least the first five years.

However, my watering approach in the vegetable garden is different due to the fact that the crops being produced have a very high water content and therefore, need adequate moisture.

For example, here are a few vegetables and their percent water content: Red tomatoes (94); peppers (92); broccoli (91); cucumber (96) and zucchini (95).

Therefore, if you are not providing water to the vegetable garden to keep the soil evenly moist, your produce won’t develop as they should.

A few seasons ago, we had a July and August with regular rains at my house. The peppers were the best they have ever been. The walls of the peppers were thick and the taste was outstanding.

On the other hand, in years that I don’t keep them watered, the peppers have thin walls and a bland flavor.

Another issue we see in the vegetable garden when the rain isn’t consistent is blossom end rot of tomatoes and squash. This problem occurs when soils are either really wet or really dry, in other words during extremes in soil moisture.

Blossom end rot occurs when soils are either really wet or really dry for an extended period of time. It is due to the fact that the plants can’t take up the calcium in the soil. Applying calcium or sprays won’t help.

We can’t control blossom end rot when soils are wet and we have continual rain such as we did last year. We can, however, control the extreme dry by providing the inch of water a week.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Home Garden

Here’s where you can get FREEBIES for National Tea Day 
Here’s where you can get FREEBIES for National Tea Day 

Let’s get this parTEA started! �� Dunkin’ Donuts will celebrate its version of a National Tea Day on Friday, Jan. 19 at all of its Dayton and Greater Cincinnati area locations.  They’ll be offering free samples of their flavored teas, including for the occasion.  Their flavor lineup...
Pastor: Community ‘in shock’ after news about Good Samaritan closing
Pastor: Community ‘in shock’ after news about Good Samaritan closing

Hours after Good Samaritan Hospital officials announced Wednesday that the facility will close later this year, reaction about the community impact has been wide ranging. "It's devastating news, I was shocked" said Daryl Ward, pastor of Omega Baptist Church in Dayton.  His church is just down the street from Good Samaritan Hospital,...
Job outlook is promising for Good Samaritan employees, official says
Job outlook is promising for Good Samaritan employees, official says

After Wednesday’s announcement that Good Samaritan Hospital will shut its doors for good at the end of the year, many in the Miami Valley are wondering what will happen to the facility’s 1,600 employees. The hospital’s parent company, Premier Health, said its goal is to offer jobs to all those employees at its other facilities in...
Is feeding a cold a real thing? 5 winter health myths debunked
Is feeding a cold a real thing? 5 winter health myths debunked

You've probably heard winter health myths for years and you may have even accepted some of them as fact. From being told to bundle up, so you don't catch a cold to your neighbor swearing he got the flu from his flu shot, these myths make the rounds every winter. Mom always warned you you'd get sick if you didn't bundle up before heading out in cold...
PHOTOS: Why you need to hike Clifton Gorge right NOW
PHOTOS: Why you need to hike Clifton Gorge right NOW

After a blustery day of hiking at Clifton Gorge State Nature Preserve, our jaws were more tired from dropping in awe than our legs were tired from the trek.  Clifton Gorge is a 268-acre preserve in Yellow Springs, protecting “one of the most spectacular dolomite and limestone gorges in the state,” according to the Ohio ...
More Stories