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Watering vegetables


by Jane Moore

When potatoes are in flower they need a lot of water, as this is when they're growing tubers. This time is known as the 'critical watering period'.


Watering the garden I love this weather, it's just the right mix of fresh, dewy mornings and cracking sunny afternoons. The plants seem to enjoy it too, as long as they get watered regularly.

On the plot, everything is coming along nicely - the onions and shallots have plenty of young leaves, the courgettes are doubling in size and the potatoes are coming into flower. When potatoes are in flower they need a lot of water, as this is when they're growing tubers. All newly planted crops need regular watering in dry spells as their root systems aren't that big. The same applies to seedlings, but for lots of plants it's also essential to water them when they're in flower and early fruit set, as this helps to increase the size of your crop. Potatoes, beans and peas and most fruits benefit from extra water when in flower. This time is known as the 'critical watering period'.

My colleague Anna also has an allotment and is very particular about critical watering periods. She's been talking about her peas all week, how the swelling pods are looking super, but that, if the dry spell lasts, she'll need to give them a good watering to make them swell to perfection.



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Gardeners' World Web User 22/06/2009 at 12:39

I have recently been told that you should always pinch the flowers out of potato plants. I have been growing potatoes for 35 years and have never done this. can you tell me if this is right.

Gardeners' World Web User 22/06/2009 at 20:11

my potatoes have just started to flower, how do i know when they are ready?

Gardeners' World Web User 24/06/2009 at 10:44

I have a beautiful Rhododendron which has been in the shadow of a big fir we have recently removed. One side of the plant appears to be dead. If I cut it right back will it come again?

Gardeners' World Web User 24/06/2009 at 21:07

Hi I am new to growing things, second year. I am attempting to find out]why all the leaves of my runner beans have all gone yellow. Also my rubbarb is very spindly and short and the slugs/snails are having a field dy on the leaves - I have set snail traps but my lot must be tyea total (such a waste of beer)

Gardeners' World Web User 24/06/2009 at 21:10

hello katoombamoi I hope this will answer the question you posted about pinching the flowers off your potato plants well i watched a gardening programe last year & it was on there that i heared if you take the flowers off you'll get a bigger potato, i did this last year (i've started to do it again this year) i had some large potatoes although i didn't compare 1 plant with another. I've just planted a black variety a fellow allomentier gave me have you heared of or tried these before? barbie

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