Low water consumption vegetables are becoming increasingly popular in our increasingly hot summers. We present 10 easy-care vegetables for dry, hot locations.
Not all vegetables can cope with dry soils in hot midsummer. The water requirement of the respective species plays a major role here. So which vegetables need little water? We will introduce you to drought-friendly vegetables and measures to reduce water consumption.
Which vegetables need little water?
Deep-rooted, robust vegetables are the best choice in drought and heat, as they can provide themselves with sufficient moisture from the deeper soil layers for longer. They are therefore drought tolerant and only have a low water requirement. We present 10 vegetables for dry locations.
- French beans ( Phaseolus vulgaris ) have a significantly lower water requirement than runner beans. The soil should never dry out completely before flowering, which can be done well with a layer of mulch.
- Lentils ( Lens culinaris ) are among the most undemanding vegetables, they hardly need any care after sowing and thrive very well in dry, warm locations. The lens is originally native to the Mediterranean region and is therefore ideally suited to hot summers.
- Chickpeas ( Cicer arietinum ) are particularly drought and heat resistant. They love the warmth and prefer dry, nutrient-poor soils. The chickpea only needs to be watered a little during periods of extreme drought during the flowering period.
- Peas ( Pisum sativum ) need sufficient moisture before flowering but can cope well with drought afterward. The more robust pith and pea peas have a lower water requirement than the crunchy sugar peas.
- Radish ( Raphanus sativus ) has an extremely low water requirement, it hardly ever needs to be watered after germination. A little extra watering, however, will soften the sharpness of the thick storage root.
- Beetroot ( Beta vulgaris ) can be grown outdoors without additional watering. After germination, a beet body forms in which the beetroot stores water and minerals. The summer downpours are usually sufficient to harvest proper prayers.
- Tigernuts ( Cyperus esculentus ) belong to the sour grass family (Cyperaceae) and form small, sweet-tasting nodules underground. As long as the plants can develop a good root system, they can tolerate heat and drought well. In longer periods of drought, however, the tiger nuts should be watered sparingly.
- Maize ( Zea mays ) only needs a well-moist soil when germinating. Once a stately young plant has formed, it hardly needs to be watered anymore. In most cases, the summer rainfall is sufficient. Popcorn corn requires even less water than sweet corn.
- Garlic ( Allium sativum ) stores existing moisture in its underground storage onions. In this way, it survives longer periods of drought undamaged and still brings a good yield. Excessive watering can even cause the garlic cloves to rot. Water should therefore only be watered sparingly, if at all, especially in the period after the daughter onions have been planted.
- Onions ( Allium cepa ) generally have a low water requirement. In the main growing season of the onion from mid-June to early August, a little water should be added every now and then in order to get a good yield. On the other hand, drought and warmth from the end of August promote the ripening of the onion until harvest.
Tip: Discover sustainable products for successful vegetable growing in our Gardender online shops, such as our peat-free or peat-reduced potting soil in organic quality, which is CO2-reduced and produced in a climate-friendly manner. A good earth structure contributes significantly to the water balance in the soil.
How can you reduce the water requirements of vegetables?
Most vegetables require a lot of water to grow and produce a good yield. Fruit vegetables such as tomatoes ( Solanum Lycopersicum ) and zucchini ( Cucurbita pepo subsp . Pepo convar . Giromontiina ) suffer quickly from drought. Cucumbers ( Cucumis melo ) often take on a bitter taste when they are stressed by drought and become inedible. Fast-growing vegetables such as lettuce ( Lactuca sativa ) and radishes ( Raphanus sativus var. Sativus ) also tend to wither quickly if the water supply is insufficient. We would therefore like to introduce you to a few care measures that will help reduce the water requirement of vegetables:
- Sowing instead of planting: A vegetable plant that has germinated on the spot quickly forms a deep root system in the lower, longer moist soil layers. If you are already planting large young plants in the bed, they will need a much longer time to penetrate into the depths. They are much more sensitive to drought, especially during the growing season. Therefore, if possible, sowing should be done instead of planting.
- Mulching: Covering the soil with plant material reduces the evaporation of the soil water supplies and at the same time serves as food for your soil organisms. Compensating fertilization is important because the decomposition of the mulch material binds nitrogen.
- Shade: If you darken the walls of your greenhouse facing south with cloths in midsummer, evaporation on the one hand and the drought and heat stress of the residents, on the other hand, are reduced. In the open air, rain roofs made of wood or metal can be darkened on the south side.
- Proper watering: water best mornings and evenings, not at the hottest time of the day. In addition, plants should be watered directly below the ground and never watered overhead.
Vegetables have different requirements and ripening times, which is why they are sown in different months. Our sowing calendar tells you which vegetable is sown in which month.
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