A man watering a garden with a hosepipe

5 Tips for Growing Vegetables During a Drought

As climate change continues to create more extreme weather conditions around the world, droughts are becoming more and more common. If you live in an area that’s prone to droughts, it’s important to know how to grow vegetables that will be tolerant of dry conditions.

Choose the right varieties

When selecting seeds or starter plants, look for varieties that are drought-tolerant or heat-tolerant. Some examples of drought-tolerant vegetables include carrots, radishes, spinach, and turnips.

Close-up of fresh natural leaves of spinach growing in a summer garden.
Spinach growing in garden

Amend your soil

Before planting, amend your soil with organic matter such as compost or manure. This will help retain moisture in the soil and make it easier for plants to absorb water when it is available.

Mulch your garden

Apply a layer of mulch around your plants to help reduce evaporation and keep the soil cooler. Organic mulches such as straw or wood chips work well and can also help improve the quality of your soil over time as they break down.

Carrots growing on a bed under mulch from dried mown grass.
Carrots under mulch

Water deeply and less often

When you do water, make sure to give your plants a deep watering so that the roots have enough moisture to last them through several days of dry weather. Watering less often will also encourage plants to develop deeper roots which will make them more drought-tolerant.

Hand holding a hose watering radishes growing in the soil.
Watering radishes

Be prepared for pests

Drought conditions can also lead to increases in pests such as grasshoppers and aphids. Be sure to regularly check your plants for signs of pests and take steps to control them if necessary. Pest control measures such as insecticidal soap or row covers can help keep your garden healthy even during a drought.

Grasshopper sitting on a green water spinach leaf in a vegetable garden.
Grasshopper on spinach leaf


Droughts are becoming more common due to climate change, so it’s important to know how to grow vegetables that will tolerate dry conditions.

By choosing the right varieties, amending your soil, mulching your garden, watering deeply and less often, and being prepared for pests, you can successfully grow vegetables during a drought.