Not to be discouraged by the year's troublesome gardening weather, Wrenfrow said she plans to start her fall garden there as soon as she gets the spent corn stalks out of the way.
Wrenfrow said she was more fortunate than many local gardeners who have not yet harvested their first crop, delayed by the excessive rain and cool weather this spring.
In an adjoining plot, Go Green Festival organizer Jenny Underwood was spraying mineral oil on her corn tassels, a month behind Wrenfrow's crop. The all-natural oil repels beetles.
Underwood said she is just a second-year gardener and appreciates having the community garden as a place to learn from seasoned gardeners such as Wrenfrow, Boyd Clark and Marie Russell, among others.
Tomato diseases have been a problem, Underwood said, pointing out several green tomatoes suffering from black rot, an indication of calcium deficiency.
Underwood, who prefers organic remedies, said antacid tablets are pure calcium and can be planted with the seedlings to prevent black rot.
"When the humidity is high, you have to water more," Fletcher said, adding that other pests also create challengers for growers.
"It's upsetting when you're watering all those trees, and the deer eat them up," she said of the 300 trees she and her husband planted at their Oxford, Ark. home. Of those 300 trees, only 15 remain.
"Water, water, water," said Amy Whitfield of how to garden in the Ozarks.
Whitfield's son, Justin Taylor, 16, was on the Salem square selling his grandmother's produce and homemade jam.
"I've been doing this ever since I can remember," Taylor said.
"They're never too young to learn to pull weeds," Whitfield said, adding that her son started gardening at age 4.
Every evening, Taylor fills a 250-gallon tank with water for his family's two-acre garden. He said chemical bug sprays also have been necessary this year.
USDA meteorologists say the current heat and drought conditions are not likely to dissipate soon. High temperatures at night (above 75 degrees) also do not give plants a chance to rest, affecting yield.
"As we head into August, certainly with a large ridge of high pressure parked over the United States, there is the potential for additional heat and stress on crops in the Midwest," meteorologist Bard Rippey said in a press release. "How exactly it plays out remains to be seen. Day to day variations, obviously, are too tough to determine at this point."
Rippey said the extremely high humidity and lack of overnight humidity is similar to weather in 1995 with spring wetness and late planting, followed by a mid-July heat wave that took a huge bite out of the potential for crops.