©2019 by Vegepod Africa

FAQ

WHAT CAN I GROW IN MY POD?

You can grow just about anything in the pods – definitely all your leafy salad greens and most herbs are easily contained (and eaten down) within the pod. We’re great believers in packing the hell out of them. Silverbeet, spinach, parsley, chard, lettuce etc. are great for continual harvest. Most of your rooty veggies can be grown as your pod has a full foot of soil for them to grow in. Winter crop brassicas such as cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, kale etc are all good to go. Shrubs and fruit trees, however, are clearly a no go.
Please scroll through the hundreds of pics on our Facebook and Instagram to see all our fellow podders out there growing all sorts of wonderful things in them.

WHAT SUNLIGHT SHOULD MY VEGEPOD BE IN?

The protective mesh has the lowest shade rate we could find in commercial grade crop cover (only 17 %). In general, veggies need as much sunlight as possible to grow well. At least 4 hours of direct sunlight is recommended for most veggies and herbs. Having said that, the 17% shade provided by our mesh does help against those real scorcher days.
The canopy is permeable so it breathes and allows airflow for plant respiration. In other words, it doesn’t cook and kill your plants on hot days, like many non-permeable greenhouse plastic covers out there. So, it’s fine to keep the canopy down all day.

HOW MUCH SHOULD I WATER THE POD?

For Mature Plants
It does depend on the weather and how established your plants are. For a start, note the canopy is permeable, so if it’s ever raining, it’s getting watered like any other garden. Also, once your plants are established you don’t have to water them as much. They are being serviced by the water reservoirs below, and the wicking system. I.e.: even when the top soil looks and feels dry, you will notice the plants still thrive. They are drinking from the wetter soil below via the wicking bed. Don’t overwater the Vegepod – the beauty of the wicking system is its water efficiency. It doesn’t need the typical amount of watering that a standard garden would.

HOW MUCH SHOULD I WATER SEEDLINGS?

For Seedlings
Having said all that, when your seedlings are just babies, or the summer days are really cooking, we recommend using the mist spray for at least three minutes per day until the seedlings establish. Once they have decent roots sent below or the super hot days are finished, you’ll no longer need to spray. If in doubt, remember, the plants tell the story. Are they drying or wilting? Give ‘em a water!

CAN I GROW TOMATOES IN MY POD?

Yep, you sure can. For smaller varieties, like Romas and Cherries, we don’t even stake them. Just let ‘em go wild and push out against your canopy till it’s bursting. For your larger varieties, it’s best to get dwarf plants and stake them as high as the canopy.

SHOULD I BE LEAVING MY CANOPY OPEN?

No! Leave it down all the time…apart from when you are working with the plants of course. Apart from creating a perfect micro-climate for plant growth, the main point of the cover is to keep pests at bay. It therefore needs to be down to achieve this.

WHAT ARE THE PODS MADE OF?

The pods are made of excellent quality and food-safe materials, tweaked and enhanced over the years. The pods are made from virgin polypropylene, which is a certified food-safe plastic. This ensures no leaching of chemicals and maintain organic status for soils, unlike treated timbers or iron beds. Some think it may be better to utilise recycled plastics to help the environment as an added bonus, but unfortunately such plastics have a myriad of unknown plastics in every single batch and could not warrant a food-safe check for every lot. Having said that, polypropylene is recyclable (if indeed someone ever wanted to recycle down the track, but it should just keep going!).

CAN I USE TWO MEDIUM TROLLEYS TO MAKE A LARGE?

“Vegepod does not recommend nor endorse doing this, but it has been witnessed before and does technically ‘fit’ into place. Note the large vegepod is weighing approximately 450kgs when full of wet soil and full reservoirs, so any such unintended use of such trolleys is at your own risk. Vegepod will not be held responsible. The surface would definitely also need to be absolutely smooth, hard and level like a concrete slab as even a fairly small ridge could place undue pressure on the separated trolleys.”

WHAT SOIL SHOULD I USE?

We recommend using a top-of-the-range potting mix that meets the premium grade standards, which you can find at any garden centre. The only issue with potting mixes designed for general purpose use in the garden, is that they do not always last as long as you want them to - especially when a Vegepod is designed to last many years. Get around this by simply replacing the mix every year or two. 

I HAVE GRUBS OR WEEDS IN MY POD. I THOUGHT VEGEPODS ARE PEST FREE?

Usually, this means you have brought the eggs and/or grubs in with your seedlings from the garden centre. This is not uncommon and can take time to manifest within the pod, especially if the pests are only at the egg stage. Most nurseries do not protect their plants like our canopies do. That's also another reason to get good quality potting mix.

WHAT SHOULD I DO ON THE EXTRA HOT DAYS?

Remember, we chose the lowest shade rate in commercial grade crop mesh, to allow as much light in as possible for ideal veggie growing and to cater for those customers who only get a few hours of sun a day. If you are getting say a few days of plus 33°C heat in a row, then a bit of shade cloth over the canopy can be a good touch during those periods. You can either drape the cloth over the canopy or peg it to the Vegepod’s poles. If your plants are still young seedlings and unestablished this is particularly recommended. Whilst still small seedlings, their roots have yet to take a good hold or grow much towards the lower and wetter regions of the wicking base. Both summer and winter covers are available to purchase. Please shoot us an email.