Long days, lots of sunshine, sizzling temperatures: Summer is here! Perfect for people, nearly perfect for plants… except with little or no rain in the forecast yet again, gardeners without a Vegepod might be concerned about the final missing ingredient for absolutely perfect growing conditions: water.
No problem for our Vegepod growing community though – each pod holds a whopping 16 litres of water in its cleverly integrated reservoir, meaning a good soak once every few days is all that’s needed to keep those plants growing like Topsy.
The genius wicking system works by pouring water onto the compost, whereby it filters down to the base of the Vegepod container, taking the soil’s nutrients with it. From there, the compost (or perlite) that fills the perforated basket in the centre of the basin acts as a ‘wick’ which sucks the water back to the plants' roots through a capillary action, thus creating a self-watering system. A major benefit of the wicking system is it recycles the soil's nutrients. The water filtered down contains the nutrients from the soil, and that water is then sucked back up. This results in fewer replacements of the compost and better vegetable growth.
Not many people know it, but most plants are also sensitive to the changing daylength. With the summer solstice just passed, the days slowly begin to get shorter. Whilst not initially noticeable to us, plants will be very much atuned to this shift, so NOW is the perfect time for getting as much sown and planted as possible, as many species are ‘programmed’ to put on as much growth as possible before the day length really diminishes.
Late sowings of peas are top of our list, to ensure a continuous supply til the first frosts, but also it’s not too late to get some maincrop carrots in, as well as a fantastic time to get many salads started. Our favourite is rocket, which doesn’t like to dry out or it runs to seed, but sow now and water often and you can be harvesting leaves in as little as 4 weeks! ‘Cut and come again’ is the way we do it (and this can be done for most salad crops): carefully snip off individual leaves, or if the plants are a little bigger then cut most of the tops off, making sure that a few leaves and buds at the base remain. Water well and within a few days another crop of fresh young leaves are ready to harvest… Repeat all summer long…
Main crop onions are one of those day-length sensitive plants that are simply too late to start now, but if tender spring onions are more your thing, then this is another easy crop to start now, and needs next to no space. Sow the seeds generously in a drill along the edge of your pod and then use the thinnings whole in a stir-fry, whilst letting the remaining plants gradually thicken up as the season progresses.
If you’re really quick then a sowing of dwarf French beans will give a fantastic late season crop – and if early autumn nights start to cool down then don’t forget to bring the cover back out of storage to keep those sensitive plants snug and so extend your harvest.
We’ll keep you up to date with more seasonal hints and tips – and watch this space for a fantastic Covid queue-busting deal for our amazing Vegebags, complete with compost, delivered right to your front door