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Tropical vegetables are not always well known to European gardeners. However, if you live in the tropics you need to grow food that thrives. As a result, tropical vegetables fit the bill.
As opposed to the four seasons common in Europe and the US, here in the tropics there are just two seasons. That is the ‘wet season’ and the ‘dry season’. However, some tropical vegetables we have grown easily here are listed below.
10 Tropical Vegetables
- Pak Choi
- Perpetual Spinach
- Snake Beans
- Sweet Potatoes
Seasons in the Tropics
Most gardeners think of four seasons ; winter, spring, summer and autumn. However, in the tropics gardeners tend to operate on the basis of just two seasons, the wet season and the dry season.
When to plant tropical vegetables
When to grow in the tropics depends on the vegetable. Many vegetables grow during the cooler dry season, but your options are more limited during the hot, humid, wet season. However, there are some tropical vegetables like the sweet potato that grow like a weed at any time of year.
Time needed: 3 minutes.
How to know when to grow tropical vegetables.
- Save seeds.
If you have seeds, you are always ready to plant. You just have to work out which seeds to plant and when.
- Plant the right seeds at the right time.
Below we nominate when to plant the tropical vegetables listed.
Chard (dry season)
Cucumber (March to November)
Kangkong (all year)
Pak Choi/Bok Choy (dry season)
Snake Beans (all year)
Sweet Potato (all year)
Tatsoi (dry season)
Above is only a guide, as climate change is really messing things up. As a result, traditional weather conditions can not be relied on.
Traditional European Vegetables
In addition to tropical vegetables, many traditional vegetables can also be grown easily. We love Pumpkin Growing as well as celery, eggplant and zucchini.
Many European vegetables struggle in the tropics. We suggest planting at he following times gives you the best chance of success:
capsicum (dry season)
celery (dry season)
pumpkin (dry season)
tomato. (dry season)
zucchini (dry season)
To be more accurate, the good folk at Gardenate have created a planting guide to show you what to plant at any given month of the year.
Other tropical Vegetables
Some of the vegetables we have not gown (but many others have) are bamboo shoots, cowpea, okra, winged beans and mustard greens.
The high temperatures and humidity in the tropics can create problems with diseases and pests. Get on top of this and you are half way there!
A great tip is to grow in containers, raised beds or even mounds so water can drain away. Adding organic compost is also great advice. It is sustainable and helps keeps plants healthy.
Remember, unhealthy plants will stress and when this happens, they emit chemicals that some pests can sense. Consequently, in turn this attracts those pests. Improved soil results in healthier plants, less susceptible to insects or diseases.
Tropical insects can be rather plentiful, so say on top of pest insects to avoid a plague in the garden.
- Collecting Seeds
- Tropical Herbs
- Tropical Fruits
- Fruit Trees List
- Grow Indoor Plants
- Tropical Vegetables
- Indoor Ficus Plants