General care gardens

Vegetables for the rainy season: advice on growing food plants in the tropics

High temperatures and humidity can do wonders for vegetables grown in the tropics or create problems with diseases and pests. Depending on the type of crop, there are vegetables that are better suited to the rainy season that need to be taken into account. Some crops specific to the rainy season may need the help of plastic sheeting and pesticides or varieties of vegetables adapted to wet and humid weather.
Vegetables commonly grown in the United States, such as lettuce and tomatoes, are not suitable for growing food crops in the tropics. Lettuce, for example, does not like the heat and will go wild almost immediately.

Orchards in the tropics

Insects, both good and bad, are found in every garden, in every part of the world. Tropical insects tend to be quite abundant and can therefore become a garden pest. Better soil means healthier plants that are less susceptible to insects or disease. If you plant crops that are
They are not adapted to the rainy season, they tend to be stressed and when stressed, they emit substances that insects can smell, which in turn attracts insects.
Therefore, the key to growing healthy food plants in the tropics is to amend the soil with compost and plant traditional vegetables that are grown in the tropics. Sustainable horticulture is the name of the game and works with the natural temperatures and humidity of a tropical climate rather than against it.

Vegetables grown in the tropics

Tomatoes will grow in the tropics, but they will be planted in the winter or dry season, not in the rainy season. Choose a heat-tolerant variety of cherry tomatoes, which are more resistant than larger varieties. Don’t bother with the traditional varieties of lettuce, but Asian vegetables and Chinese cabbage do the trick. Some tropical vegetables grow so fast during the rainy season that it’s hard to keep them from overgrowing in the garden. Sweet potatoes like the rainy season, as do kang kong, amaranth (like spinach) and mallow salad.
Other rainy season vegetables include :

  • Bamboo shoots
  • Chaya
  • Chayote
  • Climbing beard
  • The cowpea
  • Cucumber
  • Eggplant
  • Vegetable fern
  • Jack Bean
  • Katuk
  • Pepper leaf
  • Long bean
  • Malabar spinach
  • Mustard leaves
  • The okra
  • Pumpkin
  • Roselle
  • Pumpkin Ivy Scarlet
  • Hemp (plant cover)
  • Sweet potato
  • Tropical Indian lettuce
  • Winter squash
  • Winged bean

The following vegetables should be planted towards the end of the rainy season or during the dry season, as they are susceptible to pests at the height of the rainy season :

  • Bitter squash melon
  • Pumpkin
  • Angled luffa, similar to zucchini

When gardening in the tropics, remember that conventional vegetables grown in Europe or North America are not cut here. Experiment with different varieties and use vegetables adapted to the climate. You may not have all of your favourite vegetables at home to grow, but you will certainly add to your repertoire and expand your kitchen to include exotic tropical cuisines.

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