Gardening on a hillside can be a challenging, yet rewarding, venture. Rainwater and other nutrients tend to slide down the slope before being full absorbed, leaving much of the hill drier than a typical land-level garden, so it is necessary to water frequently and to choose vegetables that are generally drought tolerant. Vegetables with a deep root system, such as root vegetables, also do well in a hillside setting because they are able to access moisture once the topsoil's moisture has dried out.
Okra is a hardy vegetable that is tolerant of both heat and drought. It is well-suited to a hillside location, as it actually fails to thrive in consistently water-drenched soil. Okra can be planted once the soil has warmed slightly and the danger of frost has passed. Seeds should be planted 1 inch below the soil surface, with each seed spaced 12 to 24 inches apart, according to the Jefferson Institute website. Okra does best with at least six hours of sunlight per day and should be watered only when the ground appears to be totally dry. Avoid wetting the okra itself, instead watering only the soil, as consistently wet pods will begin to rot. Seedlings should be thinned to 1 foot apart once they reach 3 inches in height. Okra can be harvested when pods reach 2 to 5 inches in length. Okra should be harvested at least every other day because once mature, the pods grow fast and turn brown and tough very quickly.
Summer squash grows easily and is well-suited for a sunny hillside location because it prefers well-drained soil. The first summer squash can be planted in the spring once the danger of frost has passed and throughout the summer months. Seeds should be covered with 1 inch of soil and spaced 24 to 36 inches apart. Summer squash grows best in full sun. When initially planted, summer squash should be watered daily, but once established, weekly watering of the roots only is sufficient. Constant wetting of the leaves can promote mildew. Once flowers appear, the squash will be ready for harvest in approximately one week. Larger squash tends to be too mature, so it is best to pick summer squash when the vegetable is between 6 to 8 inches in length and less than 2 inches in diameter, according to the University of Illinois. If the squash grows any larger, the skin tends to thicken and the squash itself takes on a bitter flavor when cooked. Frequent harvesting also encourages a greater amount of fruit production.
This edible part of the carrot is actually the root system, which is able to efficiently access and store water from the soil. Carrots grow well on a hillside, as they do best in well-drained soil. This hardy vegetable, which is able to tolerate light frost, can be planted in early spring. Soil should be loose and consistent to allow for root penetration and proper root growth. Seeds should be covered with about 3/8 inch of soil, with no more than two to three seeds for each inch of ground. Rows should be spaced about 15 inches apart, according to the website Carrot Gardening Tips. Once seedlings sprout and are 1 inch in height, they should be spaced 3 to 4 inches apart. Wider spacing makes for easier harvesting and encourages larger growth. Carrots typically reach maturity within 60 to 70 days. They are ready for harvest when the root's diameter is at least 1/2 inch. Carrot tops may break if pulled roughly, so it is better to dig around the carrot and then extract it from the ground.