Stay Cool for the Summer - Heat Management Tips for your Vegepod
The last few days at Vegepod South Africa have been cooking... and not the usual cooking in the kitchen! A heat wave has seen consecutive temperatures soaring to as high as 36 degrees - yikes! I've been glued to the fan on my desk and avoiding the heat outside so imagine my upset when I checked on my Vegepod this morning to see my leafy greens and strawberries were burnt to a crisp. Some last minute rescuing got me thinking about how to set up my Vegepod for the rest of the summer heat - especially while I'm away over Christmas.
1. MORE WATER. Higher temperatures means quicker evaporation and although the point of the Vegepod is water saving, the extra hot days will dry your reservoir quicker than normal. Plus, keeping the leaves and top soil wet, will prevent the burning from the sun during the hottest hours of the day.
2. WATER TIMING. Plants need their water in the morning so that they are ready to cope for whats coming for the rest of the day. I know it's tempting to water when it's at the hottest point of the day, but by then your plants have had hours of sizzling heat.
3. PLANTS THAT LOVE HEAT. Sweet potatoes, beans, peppers and squash are just some of the veggies that thrive in higher temperatures. It's worth planning these ahead if you know it's going to be a hot summer.
4. MULCH. Applying a layer of mulch ensures the soil beneath stay damp for as long as possible and regulates the soil temperature. You can make your own or get from your local garden center.
5. TIMER. All Vegepods are compatible with timers that you can buy from your local hardware store. Forgetting to water your Vegepod is fine during any other time of the year, but summer heat may require a bit more attention.
6. POSITION. It may help to give your Vegepod a little break from the sun on consecutive days where it's 33 degrees plus. For the small and medium Vegepod, you can move to shade areas but this is not possible for the large Vegepod. In an emergency, try putting a white sheet or table cloth (white reflects light) over the Vegepod to create shade while leaving the sides open to still have airflow. We're working on shade cloths for next December!
7. HARVEST & PICK. It helps to harvest anything that is ripe. It sounds silly, but picking from the plants is what helps keep them productive. The bigger the plant and fruit, the more work the plant has to do to keeps it alive and more stress it puts on the roots.