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Drought Takes Toll on Summer Gardens

Filed by Rachel Hubbard in Feature, Local News.
June 27, 2011

Oklahoma’s high temperatures are affecting summer gardens. Oklahoma State University assistant extension specialist David Hillock says maintaining even soil moisture is key to keeping plants alive this summer.

“People have a tendency sometimes to water like crazy when it gets hot and dry like this. They can actually end up with the same result, wilted and dying plants if they over water them,” Hillock said.

Warm season crops will grow well if they keep proper soil moisture. Because of the extreme heat, peppers and tomatoes will flower but not produce fruit, and some trees may drop leaves to conserve water even though they are otherwise healthy.

“Late summer and fall, when the temperatures start dropping back down again it’s very possible, if they’ve kept them alive through the heat and avoided the diseases, then they’ll start probably setting fruit again,” Hillock said.

People with gardening questions are encouraged to call their county extension office to seek advice. A list of county extension offices is located at

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