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Drought Resistant/Tolerant Vegetables

Posted by biradarcm 7b (My Page) on
Sat, Jan 21, 12 at 7:41

Dear All,

I was looking at the seasonal drought outlook (Jan 19-Apr 30, 2012) and also talked to couple of experts in OK Mesonet, it seems drought will persist or even intensify. We hardly received any precipitation this winter (at least Norman area), not much soil moisture in the ground so far. This scares me about gardening this season. It is good to know that temperature may not beat 2011 but precipitation. I am also worried about water bills and I guess if the conditions persist, city may also impose water rationing. I am not an expert of climate/weather predictions and I wish above scenario and predictions goes wrong for good. Dawn, Jay, Carol, Dorothy, can give better picture based on their long term experience and experiments in this region.

Meanwhile, I would like to explore and buy more and more "Drought Resistant/Tolerant" vegetables variety for the Oklahoma. I learn from last year's experience is that some of the vegetables such as Okra, Chilli, Eggplands, Field Beans, Cowpeas, Sweet Patatoes, Chards, etc did produce decent despite of less watering. But rest of the vegetables struggled to survive and produce.

Could you please suggest 2-3 best performing vegetables varieties under drought conditions for the following category;

1. TOMATOES
2. Chilli/Peppers
3. Beans (Pole and Bush)
4. Cucumbers
5. Squash/Zucchini
6. Beets
7. Carrots
8. Spinach
9. Sweet Peas
10.Greens
11. Any Vegetables

I also try my best to use all water conservation measures such as drips, soakers and mulch etc. I wish to keep very bed under green cover and keep producing through out the season.

Thank you in advance

-Chandra


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Drought Resistant/Tolerant Vegetables

Chandra,
I've got to head out to work for a few hours shortly so will give my opinion worth 2 cents or less later. I will say most of the true NM Chile types are fairly drought resistant. Especially the landrace types like Chimayo and several I grow that originated in small Mexican and Native American villages, ect. They have survived arid and semi-arid conditions for years. That is one reason I grow so many of them. They will produce in the heat and wind and if mulched well don't require the water of many of the sweet and new hot types. In years where temps might be high and rainfall scarce I grow fewer bell and sweet types. They don't produce well and take a lot more water to produce. I'm going to try to set some sweets out earlier this year in WOW's and hope to get some early production from them and then some for fall production. Summer production of sweets here is a very iffy situation.

The closest NWS forecaster for this area is saying he feels we won't see much rainfall till late spring and early summer. He said we might continue to see some beneficial snows. The snow we received in late Dec has really helped. He said he felt starting in late spring and early summer we will see some moderation of the drought in my area finally. He doesn't see us receiving average rainfall but said the last half of the year should see significant improvement over the last few years for us. Hopefully he is correct and we don't continue to be in the doughnut hole. Jay


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RE: Drought Resistant/Tolerant Vegetables

For squash, here are a couple of ideas:

Seminole pumpkin (c. moschata) - I haven't grown it. But I've heard from reliable sources that it's a good for for these conditions.

Old Timey Cornfield Pumpkin (c. moschata)- Has done well for me in heat and drought. Last year I struggled to get any squash past the squash bugs, until after mid summer. Yet I still harvested over 100 lb of this one, from two hills. Additionally, I discovered in 2011, that one can pick this one just before full maturity and it will both mature and keep (at least until Feb).

Cushaw (c. argyrosperma)- Last summer I grew White Cushaw from a source in Illinois. I got it in late, and of course, under less than favorable conditions. Two plants only matured one fruit (20 lb) with seed. But they also matured several with blossom end rot (and no seed). These incomplete fruit still rendered more than 5 lb of good usable flesh. I processed them in October. I assume that a greens striped cushaw would perform the same. My source said that this, and Tahitian Melon Squash (c. moschata) were the only two, out of about ten squash, they grew on their truck farm, to prosper in the heat and drought of last summer.

George
Tahlequah, OK


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RE: Drought Resistant/Tolerant Vegetables

Chandra,

Because my part of Oklahoma is routinely plagued with summer drought at least 8 out of 10 years, I routinely plant varieties that have proven the most drought-resistant in our heat and soils here. With different soils, they may or may not produce well in drought, but I'll list them for you.

Also, how well the veggies do in any given year varies depending on when the rainfall was scarce. For example, when spring has a decent amount of rainfall, many veggies become well-established early and produce well for months after the rain stops falling. However, if there is little moisture in February, March and April when the plants are becoming established, they will struggle with drought in the hot months due to smaller, less vigorous root systems.

Temperature and relative humidity plays a role in veggie production too. For example, some tomato varieties set fruit very well in my area in August despite the heat as long as the RH remains pretty low, but with higher RH combined with the heat, those tomatoes don't set very well at all.

In general, when planning for drought conditions, I choose varieties with shorter DTMs in an effort to get good production before the worst heat arrives. When I choose a variety with a later DTM, it generally is one that is widely-reputed to be drought-tolerant and which has performed better than average in past drought years.

In the early 2000s we had a string of several years back to back wit very warm winters. In those years, I almost totally stopped planting cool-season veggies, except for potatoes and onions, because it got so hot so early in the spring that I could plant warm-season crops early and get good yields before the worst summer heat arrived. I couldn't do that, though, if the cool-season crops were taking up all the space so I dumped a lot of cool season crops so I could get an early start with warm season crops.

In general, these vegetables produce best for me in drought years: some tomatoes, okra, southern peas (pinkeye purple hulls, blackeyes, cream, zipper and lady pea varieties), a few snap bean varieties, squash and C. moschata winter squash/pumpkins, some lima bean varieties, some pepper varieties, and some cucumbers. There are a few corn varieties that produce well in most drought years, but not many greens that do.

Here's some variety suggestions:

Tomato: SunGold, Heidi (paste type but good for fresh eating too), Sioux, Rutgers, JD's Special C Tex, Jaune Flamme', Bush Goliath, Porter and Porter Improved.

Chilli/Peppers: Bird pepper, Habanero (with irrigation), Yummy Orange (sweet, not hot), Biker Billy Jalapeno and Chichimeca Jalapeno. With sweet peppers, a decent amount of irrigation is needed with most of them. The plants that produce mini-bell peppers produce very well with only moderate irrigation, and Blushing Beauty is one that produces early and heavily as long as it receives some irrigation or rainfall.

Beans: I use a dual approach, picking our favorite ones with short DTMs for early production, and the most heat-tolerant ones for later production.

Bush Beans: Contender, Speedy, Fowler, Tanya's Pink Pod*(*the most drought-tolerant bush bean I've ever grown, producing well in 2010 and 2011), and I'm trying a new one from Southern Exposure Seed Exchange this year called Kebarika. It is from Africa, so it is supposed to have great heat tolerance.

Pole Bean: Dean's Purple Pole and Smeraldo for early production, Rattlesnake for drought-tolerance later in season, and Garrafal Oro which has the best combination of great flavor/heat tolerance.

Lima Bean: Dixie Speckled Butterpea (produced well for us in 2011), Willowleaf White, Worcester Indian Red

Asparagus Bean: Red Noodle

Cucumbers: County Fair, H-19 Little Leaf, Armenian Cucumber

Squash/Zucchini: Raven, Cocozelle, Horn of Plenty, Trombocino

Beets: I am not sure any of these are any more drought-tolerant than the others, but usually get good yields from Golden Beet, Bull's Blood and Chioggia.

Carrots: In drought years I stick to shorter, smaller ones that mature relatively fast (Short 'N Sweet, Petite 'N Sweet, Little Finger, Paris Market) and somewhat longer ones with shorter DTMs like YaYa and Napoli. Since heat can make carrots' have bitter flavor, I plant as early as possible to beat the heat.

Spinach: I only grow it as a fall crop because the weather at our house heats up too early in the spring. Nobel Giant is pretty heat-tolerant and so are America and Melody.

Spinach substitutes for hot weather include New Zealand Spinach, Egyptian Spinach, Orach and Malabar Climbing Spinach.

Sweet Peas: I only grow edible podded peas and their performance varies greatly depending on air temperatures more so than moisture. Mine stalled in last year's early heat, but then produced pretty well later in spring when significant rain fell and cooler air temps prevailed for a brief period. The Gold Sweet peas produce pretty well in heat but so does Sugar Snap or Super Sugar Snap. Shelling peas/English green peas never produce well enough for me to justify devoting space to them, even in a wet year

Greens: Spinach and Tendergreen Mustard Greens, and Collard Greens grow well in hot springs. For summer, you're limited to the leafy forms of Amaranth and to Swiss Chard, along with the hot-weather spinach substitutes I listed above. All varieties of Swiss chard produce equally well for me in summer.

Lettuce: A few varieties are more drought-tolerant than others. I avoid head lettuces and plant mostly leaf lettuces and butterheads, and sometimes the more heat-tolerant romaines. The best heat- and drought-tolerant ones we grow are Simpson Elite, Oakleaf, Red Salad Bowl, Ben Shemen and Anuenue. I also plant Drunken Woman lettuce in all but the worst drought years, and it actually did really well last spring in a container where I could keep it moister than lettuce in the ground.

Broccoli: Piricicaba survived last summer and produced all autumn until a hard freeze got the plants around mid- to late-December. It is the most heat-tolerant and drought-tolerant broccoli variety I've ever grown.

Cabbage: In hot years, I stick to smallish ones like Ruby Perfection and Early Green Gonzalez.

Sweet Corn: For a hybrid, I go with the one that produces earliest for me: Early SunGlow. If I plant by late March, I harvest around Memorial Day at the end of May. For summer production, I stick to proven O-P varieties with great heat-tolerance like Texas Honey June, Black Aztec and Country Gentleman.

Watermelon: I stick mostly with small, refrigerator types in drought years because of their shorter DTMs and because, being smaller, they don't need huge amounts of water. I usually plant Blacktail Mountain and Yellow Doll or Sugar Baby. For larger melons, Desert King and Rattlesnake are the two most drought-tolerant ones I've grown, and Moon and Stars is pretty drought-tolerant too.

Okra: Most all okras have good tolerance of drought and heat, but hte ones that perform best for me in those conditions are Beck's Big Buck and Stewart's Zeebest.

Southern Peas: This category of peas is large and produces better for us than just about anything else in summer. A few of the most drought-tolerant and productive ones are Big Red Ripper, Knuckle, Six Week Pink Eye Purple Hull, and Cream 40.

Pumpkin/Winter Squash: I mostly stick with the C. moschata types because they have the best combination of pest-tolerance and drought-tolerance. Seminole is my favorite. It is just indestructible. It is a very rampant plant and I let it go wherever it wishes, which means it often climbs the tomato cages and the garden fence and then climbs up into neighboring trees. Green Cushaw, Long Island Cheese and Tahitian Melon are very drought-tolerant.

Radishes: Obviously these are not a warm-season crop because heat adversely affects their flavor, but I usually grow at least Purple Plum and French Breakfast. This year I am trying Spanish Flat. One warm-season radish is Rat-Tail Radish, but you grow it for its seed pods and not its root portion. Rat-tail Radish seed pods are great in stir fry dishes.

Sweet Potatoes in general have great heat tolerance, but less drought tolerance than I'd like, so I skip them in a year when very severe drought is expected. With heavy, dense clay, I have only one area in the garden where the soil drains well enough for sweet potatoes, and it is more of a sandy, silty clay loam that is perfect in an average year, but which stays too dry (even with irrigation) in a bad drought year. Gary probably could tell you the varieties he has found most drought-tolerant over time.

Don't forget the less common heat-lovers like lentils, garbanzo beans and moth beans, although I have no specific variety recommendations for those veggies.

You can find a lot of drought-tolerant varieties at Native Seed/SEARCH's seed shop, but you have to research their varieties carefully because some of their varieties that tolerate high heat are grown at higher altitudes where they benefit from relatively cool nights. Bountiful Gardens also has many heat-tolerant varieties because of their work with agriculture world wide. I've linked their website below.

I also get lots of heat-tolerant varieties from Willhite Seed because they are based in Texas and choose the varieties that traditionally have done well there, and from Southern Exposure Seed Exchange for the same reason. They have great southern peas and beans at SESE, for example. Seeds From Italy (growitalian.com) is a great source since many of the varieties that grow well in Italy also are very drought-tolerant. Many of the varieties sold at Seeds From Italy are from the Franchi-Sementi seed company.

Don't forget that many herbs show extraordinary heat tolerance even though they do need some moisture.

Dawn

Here is a link that might be useful: Bountiful Gardens


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RE: Drought Resistant/Tolerant Vegetables

Chandra,
Dawn covered the subject very well. I will add a few more of my opinions. First the better you know your local growing conditions the better. What will do well for me here in a drought year won't for Dawn because I will usually have nights a few degrees cooler. My early mornings were many times 4-5 degrees cooler than the station 90 miles east where I worked last summer. In my opinion gardening practices is the biggest factor we can control and change to achieve production in a drought year with the least amount of water. And you have addressed that. In each area planting methods are different and change. I am in what I call a transition area for planting methods. To my west and south the depression method is widely used. I use it some here. I had got away from it except on a few crops till the last few years of drought. It works well in semi arid and arid areas. Also where you have soil that drains well like my deep sand. This method doesn't work where you receive more rain and in tighter ground. So finding methods that will help retain moisture but don't drown a plant during wet periods is the secret. I have experimented with different planting and sowing methods and also learned from many old gardeners through the years. Here direct/winter sown tomatoes will often do better than transplants. I have studied the roots and kept notes from every plant I've grown for several years. In many areas where they have more moderate summer temps and more rainfall it is beneficial to have a more fibrous shallow root system than a long tap root with longer and deeper secondary roots. The short tap root is accomplished by starting in trays and potting up. Here my soil temp at 6 inches if I don't mulch is relatively high. I have found with a deep tap root I can cut my waterings in half normally. This method probably won't work well in your area but does here.

After I have done all I can with planting methods then I try to pick my varieties I grow. I do a lot of it from past experience and then every year will try a few that others suggest or claim are heat and drought tolerant. Just remember that drought means different things in different areas. I call anything less than 12 inches here a drought year. For Dawn a drought would be quite a bit more than that. My average rainfall is 16 inches and for many that would be considered a drought. And again types of soil makes a difference in how a plant will perform in drought/heat stress conditions. In drought/hot years usually the varieties with smaller fruits perform the best. I try to plant more with fruit size in the 3-7 ounce range and also cherry types overall perform better. Black from Tula, Kanora, Glick's 18 Mennonite, Goliath hybrid, Jet Star hybrid, Jetsonic hybrid, several of the Heinz determinate varieties, 4th of July Hybrid, Moneymaker, Ana's Noire and Vintage Wine Striped have all performed well here in drought years. Last year 2 op varieties Gary sent me from OK were among my top 3 performers. They were Grandma Suzy's and Randy's Brandy. I will see how they perform this year. This year I'm going to try a few new to me varieties that are supposed to be drought tolerant. Among them are St Pierre, and a variety a CO grower sent me. It is an heirloom from CO named Josie's Grandma's. I like varieties that have been grown and selected for this general area. At least I know they have been grown in similar conditions to mine. Also will be trying a determinate from Burrell Seeds named Burrell's Special. It was bred in the Rocky Ford area in the 40s-50's and is still grown by many. So the longevity says something for it.

The other thing I have had to adjust for is the new insect problems and insect borne diseases they carry. One reason I'm starting some of my onion plants this year instead of buying all from Dixondales. I will be growing Burrell's Yellow Valencia and Sweet Spanish Colorado #6. The latter is a selection of the former. Both have thrip resistance and drought tolerance. I have seen more of the thrips the last few years. I will still plant 3-4 varieties from Dixondales also.
I will grow all hybrid sweet corn. I have seeds for 3 varieties that are cool soil tolerant and will germinate in soil temps from 55-60 degrees. I will plant 2-3 of them for early corn and also so they will be finished when the real heat hits or at least close to being finished. Then I will follow with some of the Mirai varieties. I really like them. And if mulched well I can water them once a week even during the heat and they produce well.

Here in my well amended sand I can grow sweet potatoes if I they survive the transplanting. Once established and mulched well they perform well. I have always ordered from and grown what Gary sent me. I grew some plants from slips from a plant that I had left from the previous year last year and they did well. I will try to start some from some of them this year. I don't recall what variety it is.

As for potatoes I will grow Azul Toro. A deep purple potato. That was the only variety that survived the hail that still produced taters. They were mulched well but didn't seem to mind the heat/wind/drought.

I will post my complete planting list on the thread Dawn started. And will try to remember to note drought tolerant varieties. Jay


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RE: Drought Resistant/Tolerant Vegetables

Chandra, I am not a good source for drought tolerant varieties of plants. Although we had a hot, dry summer in 2011 and had to water for awhile, we still got 4 feet of rain this year.

Jay and Dawn deal with drought on a regular basis so they can give you far better advice than I can. I did notice that Sungold cherry tomato just kept pumping out tomatoes no matter the weather, so I plan to always have a few of those.

I have the opposite problem in the Spring and will be planting most of my onions in a raised bed this year because they stayed much too wet last Spring. They produced, but weren't as big as they should have been. My ground was so wet that the onions fell over and some never overcame that tilt. After I thought about planting in raised beds, I was afraid that I would pick the wrong year to change, so I added a couple more bunches to my order and I am going to plant both in a raised bed and in the ground and see which works best.

On the drought projection maps that I have seen, our area is still not included so hopefully I will have normal conditions. Just to acquaint you with my location, I am northwest of where Arkansas and Missouri meet, and just a few miles west of the Missouri/Oklahoma state line. Eastern Oklahoma has a much different climate that the rest of Oklahoma.


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RE: Drought Resistant/Tolerant Vegetables

I'm not a good person to ask either, Chandra. My rainfall total last year was 56 inches. It is true that we had excessive heat and little rain in June and July--less than an inch total each month--but we started June totally saturated, having had 24 inches of rain in April and May, which caused heavy flooding for us. So it was July before the ground dried out and then in Aug we got 8 inches. The main thing I plan to do differently next year is thin earlier, plant summer crops furthere apart and mulch in a more timely manner. And we've got to figure out some way to keep the deer out. They did much more damage than the drought.


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RE: Drought Resistant/Tolerant Vegetables

Dawn,

You mentioned Fowler Bush Bean?! Where do you get your seed?
I introduced that variety, through the Seed Savers Exchange, back in 1985 (give or take a year). It was carried over the Oregon Trail by settlers, headed for Washington state, and maintained by their descendents at least until Dr. Don Fowler, of Grace Theological Seminary, in Winona Lake, Indiana received seed from them, probably in the early 80s. He passed it on to me.

That's one of the few heirlooms I managed to grow and maintain through all our time in Mexico. I haven't been growing it much for production, since coming to OK. But this year I plan on doing a good sized planting.

Anyway, it's heart warming to hear that someone grows and likes it!

This year I'm also planning on a good sized planting of Woods Mountain Crazy Bean, an heirloom from near Fayetteville, AR. It seems quite resistant to our hot dry summers, and shares the ever bearing trait of Fowler.

Chandra,

I forgot to mention that, for heat and drought, I'd recommend an early planting of yard long beans, which are actually a type of cowpea. We don't like them quite as well as regular green beans, but they produce when all regular green beans have given up.

George

Here is a link that might be useful: Woods Mountain Crazy Bean


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RE: Drought Resistant/Tolerant Vegetables

George,
I know Southern Exposure Seed Exchange sells seed for it. As I've came close to ordering seeds every time I've visited their site but keep telling myself I have more varieties than I can grow and not to order. Again I keep thinking they serve a great purpose and try to buy something every year from them. So may end up with them yet if and when I place an order. Jay

Here is a link that might be useful: Southern Exposure Seed Exchange


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RE: Drought Resistant/Tolerant Vegetables

Jay, Thanks for pointing out the difference in climates and soil temps. That is very helpful information that reminds us all we have to pick the varieties that work best with the conditions we have.

It is hard for me to define drought here, but I know it when I see it. We have had hot droughty summers in years when we had close to 40" of rainfall overall because the rain fell mostly in spring and late autumn/winter but not in the summer months. In general, though, any summer in which we are not getting 2-4" of rain per month turns droughty fast. A soil specialist with the Ardmore-based Noble Foundation said a couple of years ago that it only takes 3 consecutive weeks of no rainfall here in the summer months to put us into drought conditions because our local soils do not hold moisture well. I liked his explanation because it explained how we could have 12" of rain in June and still be in drought by August, which has happened before here.

This year we'd only had about 12" rain by the end of August, and 6" of that fell in June, so the other months were really dry. From Sept.-Dec. we received about another 12", which was heavenly, but our rainfall for the year was still about 14-15" below average.

In our worst drought years in the 2000s, we averaged between 18-25" a year, though our 30-year average is about 38" a year.

Carol and Dorothy, Thank you for toturing me with news of your rainfall total for last year. : ) I am just completely green with envy, but I am happy y'all had such good rainfall, even though I know you still had some very dry periods in between the heavy rains.

Dorothy, With deer all that works for us is either tall fencing (we raised ours to 9' in some areas and 10' in others last summer) or two short fences placed 4 to 5' apart.

Some people here have pretty good luck keeping deer out of fruit orchards by placing a radio (in a large ziplock bag for moisture protection) in a fruit tree and leaving it on during times when deer are around. That might be worth trying if you have an electrical outlet near your garden and if there are not any neighbors close enough to the garden to be irritated by the constant sound emanating from the radio.

George,

How cool is that? Thank you for saving this variety and for all your work with the Seed Savers Exchange.

For anyone who does not know, George and Jerreth have belonged to SSE for...how long, George? Twenty-five years? Twenty-six? I know it is a very long time. They are one of a handful of individuals who have been saving heirloom seeds and passing them along to the rest of us for a very, very long time. I feel like companies that special in heirloom varieties owe their start in part to the Seed Savers Exchange, which started preserving heirloom seeds and promoting their usage several decades ago.

Jay hit the nail on the head. I got my seed from SESE a couple of weeks ago. I purchased Kebarika on the same order as well as the Rutgers Virginia Select Strain tomato. I'll link their listing for Fowler below so you can see it.

C'mon Jay, you know you want to send SESE an order. I bet if you try, you can come up with something they have that you want and "need". You can never have too many seeds sitting there in your seed box just in case.

Today, we all should be talking about wind tolerance instead of heat tolerance. I bet the brown leaves still hanging on some trees from autumn will be gone by nightfall. The wind is howling here, and at this time of year, high wind means I am in the kitchen baking cookies.


Dawn

Here is a link that might be useful: Fowler Bean Listing from SESE


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RE: Drought Resistant/Tolerant Vegetables

Deer don't like yard long beans either. Last year they killed all but two plants of 5 other pole varieties, but they didn't touch the yard longs. So we ate them even tho they aren't our favorite either.


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RE: Drought Resistant/Tolerant Vegetables

Chandra, I can include yardlong bean seed in your onion order if you like. Same goes for anyone else who ordered onions, until I run out. If there is any left I will bring to the Spring Fling.


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RE: Drought Resistant/Tolerant Vegetables

I rather like long beans, but during summer my pods get covered with small ants. The deer probably have trouble washing those off. LOL In the cooler months of the fall the beans keep on producing but the ants don't seem to bother the plants as much then.


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RE: Drought Resistant/Tolerant Vegetables

I grow violets and salad burnet alongside swiss chard in dfw. They all grow about as well, and the three types of leaves make a good salad mixed together. The violets and salad burnet like some (afternoon) shade, and their leaves aren't as big as swiss chard's leaves, but the little green worms haven't bothered the violets and salad burnet even when they've dined on the swiss chard.


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RE: Drought Resistant/Tolerant Vegetables

Although I haven't had a chance to try these types myself, I read that Tepary beans have good drought resistance as well as Pigeon peas.


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RE: Drought Resistant/Tolerant Vegetables

Mother Earth News article on Tepary

Here is a link that might be useful: Tepary


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RE: Drought Resistant/Tolerant Vegetables

By the way, SESE's description of Fowler Bush Bean mentions occasional white seeds. This indicates a cross at one point, after they left my hands. My seed never produces white beans. It is a very good bean, however.

George


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RE: Drought Resistant/Tolerant Vegetables

George,

Thanks for the info on the white seeds. I'll watch mine and see if I have any of the crossed ones.

I'm looking forward to seeing how Fowler performs here.

Dawn


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RE: Drought Resistant/Tolerant Vegetables

Dear All, thank you very much for your suggestions and tips for growing drought resistant/tolerant vegetables and varieties. I am busy in reading all your posts and simultaneously taking notes on the varieties to order. Its looks i not have all those varieties recommended expect couple of tomatoes. I am going to look at my seed stock filled in 3 big storage boxes before I place order.

Jay, Thanks for your suggestion on NuMex chillies. I am going to order couple of varieties, by the way which is your best flavored chilly? I too often see that doughnut hole around our property in radar. I hope growing condition will turn better for this year. I love see my garden looks like jungle! Last year was really bad tomato year, but we have good harvest in the fall from fourth of july and sweet million. I will look for those new tomatoes you and Dwan suggested in seeds catalog and online. I am growing only dixondale this year but I love to hear back from you on your new and drought resistant onions. Thanks for all those points, I still feel a newbie when I read post here, so much to learn! I will keep experimenting with new varieties and note down good performer every year and tally those with climate, I guess may need many year to chose best for my garden... long way to go.

Dawn, Wow that is awesome list to try! Growing less water drinking vegetable is to cut down water bill while not sacrificing yield. I also learned that water use efficient (less water drinking) vegetables and/or varieties have more flavor and taste and high nutrient that their counter parts which consume more water. This I also noticed last year with eggplants and chilli. Paula's Mild Jalapeno which was grown under less-frequent-watered-bed has stronger flavor than one that grown in bed which received more water. I try short DTMs and start as early as possible. This is already pushing to start my starts this weekend. I need go thorough each and every variety your suggested. By the way, I have not much success with broccoli and cabbage in the last years. But I am trying again this year with some row cover to check my luck. I will check Willhite and SESE. Yep that is true, most herbs did pretty well last year. Fowler Bush Bean sounds good. Dawn, you are right, I almost forgotten about the wind and hail tolerant variates, you know how much garden trashed by wind and hail last year.

Carol and Dorothy, Thank you, I am envy on your rainfall pattern. Even thought you may not be growing drought tolerant varieties, but you always very nice trips and tricks to deal with problems. Dorothy, I am glad to know new salad mix of violets, burnet and swisschard.

Carol,I know guys love eggplants, I bought few new types of eggplants from India, please let me know if you want some seeds or I will grow few extra plants for you and share with you later. All these are Indian types (drought resistant), but not sure how they will do here in OK.

George, I will try you Fowler Bush Bean as well as Woody Mountain Crazy Bean. How is their flavor of these beans in comparison to blue lake? Yes yard long are must to grow, we had great harvest last year with out much care or watering. Any good recommendation on yard long bean with respect to flavor and production? I glad to know you are belong to SSE

We love yard long beans, Priya makes curry and subji with very tender long beans and they also great for still fry. By the way, is there any difference between yard long and asparagus been? By the we not have any problem with large animals but bugs, the only two bugs I am afraid of with are squash bugs and borers.

Seedmama, Thanks for offer, if you have extra, I love to have some.

Hmm Bean called "Tepary"? you know the meaning my village local slang for "Rough and Tough" Lets grow that one as well.

Thanks again for all these wonderful suggestion tips.

Cheers -Chandra


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