Gardening in Humid Climates

Train your eye to pounce on muggy climate plant diseases, and embrace cultivars suited for moisture and warmth.

| Summer 2019

 Photo by Adobe Stock/orestligetka

If there’s one thing we know about gardening, it’s that moisture is a critical component of the horticultural equation. Humidity — the presence and percentage of water vapor in the air — directly affects the moisture levels in your garden and can play a big part in the success (or failure) of your plants.

Humidity makes already-hot temperatures even more uncomfortable, but humid conditions also contribute to some tricky issues in the garden. Warm conditions are excellent for the growth of garden staples such as tomatoes and peppers, but when high humidity arrives, it can bring with it a host of other less-desirable visitors, such as molds and mildews.

The good news is that a period of hot, dry weather tends to halt or even end some plant diseases brought on by humidity. Therefore, if conditions cooperate, your struggles could be short-lived.

But if you live in a region with a penchant for high humidity, here are a few plant diseases to watch for, along with some suggested plants that are well-suited to life in a humid climate.

Murderous Mildew

If you’ve been gardening for any length of time, you’ve most likely seen powdery mildew as it creeps surreptitiously through your garden, turning your lush vegetation dull, dusty, and powdery. Left unchecked, the powdery mildew wreaks havoc and can eventually kill the plants.



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