Hargest contributes to Press Herald piece about drought 

Pamela Hargest, horticulture professional with University of Maine Cooperative Extension, talked with the Portland Press Herald for its article about the recent record lack of rain and drought conditions in the state. Hargest said mulching and regular watering are beneficial for home gardens. “I would say that people really want to stay on top of making sure their vegetables get enough water because it can result in plant stress, which can make them more susceptible to pest and disease problems,” she said. It’s important, she added, to water deeply so plants can establish deeper roots, which means keeping the top 5 or 6 inches of soil moist. Hargest encouraged people to use a rain gauge so they know how much water their gardens are getting. “We typically recommend, for vegetable gardens, at least 1¼ to 1½ inches of rain per week.” As part of its Victory Garden series, UMaine Extension released a new “How to Water Your Garden” instructional video.