This blog should actually be titled ‘what can’t you grow in summer?’. Summer is a time of abundance and November is the best month to prepare. The plants of late winter and early spring are ready to harvest and it’s time to think about planting heat loving vegetables that thrive in the long days of the harsh Australian summer. Here are some of our top picks for the season ahead.
Water-Based Veggies (Cucurbits)
Squash, zucchini, watermelon, cucumber - these are the classic, watery, summer fruits that can be grown in the Pod across Australia. You can even give melons a try too, just be sure your Vegepod is a large and you don’t plant too many seeds - a maximum of four to five seeds per hill.
Also known as the nightshade family, many members of this class of veggies are highly toxic, however, the common tomato, eggplant, and capsicums are also part of this family, and they can be grown in the Vegepod!
For tomatoes, because they grow on the vine, you can plant them even in a small Vegepod. Just make sure you snake the tommies along the Vegepod garden cover. We love seeing baby tomato varieties pressed up against the sides of the protective canopy!
For capsicums and eggplants, they do their best in deep, well-drained soil that’s warm. Capsicums can be grown all over, but for eggplants don’t bother in Mediterranean areas such as Adelaide and Perth. They prefer subtropical regions.
Summer is an abundant time for herbs such as basil, chives, coriander, dill, fennel, mint, parsley, sage...the list goes on. However, if you’re considering planting herbs in the Vegepod - do it soon! The seeds need time to germinate before the harsher, hotter months. Parsley, sage, and thyme will do particularly well if they’re planted now.
Beans, Beans, Beans
Beans truly are the universal vegetable. You can plant any number of varieties at any time of year, however, for summer, we recommend the hardier varieties such as snap beans (aka string beans). The same principle applies to beans as it does for tomatoes. Snake the climbing varieties along the Vegepod garden cover or you can choose a self-supporting bush - there are many dwarf versions for this.
*A Little Note About Planting Across Australia*
When we say you can plant any vegetable across Australia, we actually need to caveat that! Unfortunately, many herbs, veggies, and fruits can’t be grown in central Australia because the inland is dry, hot and harsh. See this great guide from the Northern Territory government of what vegetables can be grown in the Top End and central Australia.
Good luck and happy planting! Extra tip: plant the eggplant, beans, capsicum and thyme next to each other for a happy party in the Pod. Don’t forget as well to send in photos of your summer fruits when they finally arrive. We love the vibrant images of eggplants, squash, peppers and more.