We’re in the middle of winter now and while it’s tempting to throw in the towel, you can still grow some edibles you desire. The key is to focus your efforts on leaves, stems, and roots, instead of sun-ripened fruit and veggies. Here are five vegetables and fruits you can grow on a shady balcony or in a backyard area that will still thrive.
Rocket or ‘arugula’ as they call it overseas, arguably grows better in the shade than in direct sunlight, where it can wilt. Just make sure it has 3 - 4 hours of sunlight, and keep the seeds 15 to 20 cm apart.
Although smaller than their regular variety cousins, alpine strawberries make very cute cake and cocktail decorators. Just place them in dappled sunlight 30 cm apart and make sure they stay away from potatoes and eggplants, as strawberries are sensitive to solanine. Also be sure to plant a lot of seeds, that way you’ll get berry many!
Ginger prefers morning sun or areas with a maximum of 3 hours of sunlight. Plant a root with shoots growing out of it, 15 cm apart, and enjoy hot ginger and lemon tea in the evenings. Make sure you keep the soil from being soggy or waterlogged and don’t plant the ginger if you live in a frosty area.
Beetroot thrives in low-light conditions and another advantage is it’s relatively disease and pest free. Place it in partial shade or dappled light for four hours, 20 to 30 cm apart. Grow them alongside the strawbs.
Some other tips:
It’s better to plant seedlings instead of seeds this time of year, as there is often not enough sunlight to ensure the seeds sprout. Utilise the verticality of your Pod by planting climbing plants e.g. peas and chard at the back. The shortest plants should go at the front. Lastly, don’t overwater your plants this time of year, because there is less light, so they won’t dry out as quickly and too much water can cause fungus. Good luck with your planting in winter time! If you have more q’s, be sure to check out our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page or contact the Vegepod team.