Ready, steady, sow
It may not have felt like it, with the unsettled weather and fluctuating temperatures, but Spring is definitely here!
Whilst too cold and early for some many crops, as a Vegepod owner you have a fantastic opportunity to gain some time on other gardeners and get a head start on the season - and here’s how.
Turn your Vegepod into a Greenhouse!
The Vegepod hothouse cover really comes into its own in current conditions. The “greenhouse effect“ is just that - the energy from the sun‘s rays, even on a cloudy day is converted into heat and the pod’s clever design acts like a storage heater overnight, giving that vital extra few degrees of warmth to get seedlings off to a flying start. Keep the cover on and closed for all but the sunniest and warmest days this month next couple of weeks to trap as much warmth as possible.
Cut and come again salads, rocket, dwarf peas, French beans, radishes and swiss chard will all germinate very rapidly if sowed right now. We also love the mini cauliflowers, which are perfect for a single meal. Another great tip is to get sowing more tender crops such as tomatoes, peppers and aubergines, on a sunny and warm windowsill indoors now and they will be just the right size for planting out in early summer. If you want to buy even more time then plug plants of these tender crops are widely available just pot up, keep indoors and once they get to 6-8 inches in height, then transplant into the Vegepod.
Catch cropping (also known as inter-cropping) allows you to be harvesting crops at the same time as slower ones are still growing in a relatively small space. Sowing quicker maturing plants dispersed in between slower crops maximises space because as you harvest, say, your cut and come again salads, your parsley or carrots are still gradually growing. By carefully planning what you’re growing in your Vegepod and the space they each take up, you can have a wide variety taking up every spare inch of space. Use companion planting guides or check out your inbox soon!
In our most recent Instagram poll, carrots were the clear favourite veg to grow in your pod this year! A little tip, ensure you thin them out early and you plant them in the deepest spot in the pod so they grow nice and straight!
What about larger crops like beans & tomatoes?
Tomato ‘F1 Tumbler’ is a superb variety, perfectly suited to growing in the Vegepod. It requires no staking or pinching out and will literally cascade down the sides of your pod, creating a magnificent display, giving huge crops, and making the best use of space. Other cherry and grape tomato varieties are suitable to grow in the Vegepod due to their compact size.
Beans are also able to be grown in your pod but varieties like runner beans can take up a lot of space and will need a bit of maintenance to train their growth. Consider growing French beans instead. Also be mindful of growing them in the tallest part of the pod, towards the back, so you can open the canopy cover to pick your harvest.
Don’t forget about herbs:
If you like to get creative in the kitchen, don’t overlook planting herbs in your Vegepod to enjoy in salads, sauces and to garnish the best home cooked meal. Spring is one of the best times to plant herbs. Sow herb seeds such as coriander, dill, basil, parsley, and lemon balm chives thinly at a depth of three times their diameter. Then use the Vegepod hothouse cover to keep frost away until the warmer weather comes through. Once the sun is out consistently, these seeds will quickly establish . Be mindful of some varieties that like to take over such as mint and lemon balm.