Name of Product: Vegepod, Raised Garden Bed Kit with protective cover.
The Best Place to Buy: www.vegepod.co.uk
Shipping Weight: Depending on the size ordered.
My Rating: 9/10
In this article, I will be reviewing Vegepod raised bed to see if this is the next best thing since sliced bread. In recent years, most of us have thought about growing our own veg but for some, this is not possible; we simply do not have the room to grow them in. We live in a concrete jungle with no soil to plant our seeds in.
You could sign up for an allotment but are you prepared to wait years to get one? No, if you want to grow your vegetables you need to buy a large enough container to grow for you and your family- a raised bed.
In a previous article, I have reviewed seven of the best-raised beds but in this one, I am going to talk about a raised bed kit that is not quite the same as others. Can the three sizes of Vegepod available be suitable to feed your family or is it better to invest in a totally different system? Read on to find out.
WHAT IS VEGEPOD?
You can see Vegepod as a special form of a traditional raised garden bed that comes in kit form. It can be seen as combining a raised bed and a container garden all rolled into one, convenient form.
This is great for those who do not have space or soil to grow your vegetables into the ground, as you would do with a soil-based raised bed. If you are struggling to find a raised bed for patio or paved areas, then the Vegepod is for you, as it can be placed directly on concrete, wooden patios, or flagstones without the need to lift them.
This can be such a time-consuming job to do, as lifting flags or cutting concrete is not an easy task to do.
GET A TROLLEY FOR THOSE WITH BAD BACKS
For those who have a bad back, you can purchase legs or a trolley to support the Vegepod in lifting the raised bed to waist high. The trolley allows the Vegepod to be moved around the garden but be warned it is heavy. The trolley or legs are available for the small and medium sizes, but not for the largest option. This is because the legs cannot support the Vegepod, compost, plants and water.
This is optional, as you can purchase it with the Vegepod or you can make your own support legs or you can do without any legs at all. If you intend to go for a large Vegepod, I would personally place it on the ground and use that to grow your vegetables in. Place it in a position that gets the most sunlight, as once filled it cannot be moved.
It was invented by Matt Harris, an Australian who struggled to grow vegetables the conveniently way. Vegepods was shown successfully in the Australian version of Dragon’s Den and you can see why a dragon snapped up this deal.
It is easy to set up, fill and to maintain and is an ideal solution for those who do have the time to dig or prepare a traditional vegetable bed. The plastic Vegepod tends to be highly durable so able to take the knocks often experienced in the garden, as long as it is not dropped from a great height.
What is great about the system is that it is the same size as a traditional raised bed, but what makes it unique is that it comes with a cover and water. This not only extends the growing season but will offer protection from the elements and the insects that surround us.
THE MAIN FEATURES OF VEGEPOD
The two main features of the Vegepod is its self-watering and protective cover capabilities.
The Vegepod uses a wicking system that turns this raised bed into a unique self-watering system. The dry soil at the bottom will wick the water up to the roots by the use of capillary action.
Established plants will, therefore, last weeks, up to 3 weeks without the system needing to be topped up. As the roots and water reservoir are kept apart, this will ensure that the roots will not rot. The 3 weeks figure often stated is dependent on the plants that have been used and how hot the weather has been.
It must be remembered that plants like water but their roots must not be constantly wet or fungal rot diseases can kill your plants. In cooler weather where plants do not need much water, you can get away with not watering for months.
THE COVERS ADDS SO MANY BENEFITS
The second feature is the protective cover that makes a suitable growing microclimate for your vegetables. The durable and long-lasting cover is made with a greenhouse-like material that allows air and water to penetrate.
The cover protects from caterpillar, flies, slug and snails, insects and other wildlife from accessing your vegetables. It also offers protection from the cold, be it frosts, snows and winds, whilst allowing the air to enter and water from rain to permeate the cover.
The cover has been cleverly designed to reduce the light intensity by 17%, keeping the harsh midday sun from causing sun-scald. The cover will also allow heat to escape protecting the vegetables from wilting that is often found if you use traditional plastic covers. You can see that this cover has been carefully designed to do a whole range of conditions experienced in the Vegepod.
What is a great bonus is that the cover can be attached lengthways or widthways, depending on how you want the cover to be opened.
To make life even easier, a misting spray watering system runs along the top of the Vegepod cover. All you need to do is attach the mist sprayer to a standard hose fitting and turn the tap on.
This is ideally for those who are on holiday and have nobody to water your Vegepod, where 3 weeks of water is stored and should be sufficient for most vegetable growing garden needs. The design even includes an overflow hole at the bottom, so that you know that there is enough water at the bottom reservoir and also to take excessive water before the compost becomes waterlogged.
The Vegepod has a growing depth of 33 (80cm if you include the water reservoir at the bottom). Allowing even for carrots and parsnips to be grown.
HOW MUCH COMPOST WILL YOU NEED?
For the small Vegepod, you will need around 40 litres of manure, 40 litres of perlite/vermiculite and 85 litres of multipurpose compost.
For the medium Vegepod, you will need to fill it with 75 litres of manure, 75 litres of perlite/vermiculite and 180 litres of multipurpose compost.
The large Vegepod will need to be filled with 150 litres of manure, 150 litres of perlite or vermiculite and 360 litres of multipurpose compost. This is an ideal mixture for growing most root veg but do not freshly manure if you want to grow carrots, as this will cause them to fork. This is so dependent on how much the compost compacts.
- A versatile system that can be used to grow a lot of vegetables.
- Comes with a self-watering system and a cover that produces a microclimate suitable for growing your vegetables in.
- Made from a durable, long-lasting plastic that will give many years of service.
- Great to get the children involved and interested in gardening.
- Can be used to extend your gardening season and is ideal to raise your seeds in.
- Does not come with any legs these are extra and will cost more money to buy.
- It is not exactly cheap, as the whole system can be costly.
- In high winds, the cover can get blown off. It is better to secure it such that this does not happen.
- Can be problematic in hot weather, unless you set up the misting system
WHY SHOULD YOU BUY A VEGEPOD?
I have not bought one, but I have seen that being used in the garden quite successfully. I know they are great devices for those who want to grow vegetables in the garden with limited spaces. It is not a go-to, especially if you do have room to grow in your garden, but I must say I am impressed with it.
What must be considered in these specialized raised beds is that the crop will still need feeding, which can be added to the watering system or if you prefer you can still use the old-fashioned watering can. You can successional plant your crops but this would mean new fertiliser have to be introduced to the growing media.
The other problem is that planting the same crops in the bed can lead to diseases building up in the compost. If diseases get too bad, you will need to empty the Vegepod and apply new growing media. This system is excellent, it will not stop various pathogens from entering the system such as fungus, viruses and bacteria. You may still get these problems and so you cannot guarantee that it will stop these.
The only way to remove these potential problems is to practice crop rotation and periodically change the soil once every few years. This can get quite costly in terms of getting new growing media. It is such a great system and if you are interested in buying a Vegepod, you can do so here. You will not regret it.
If you have any questions or comments that you wish to make, please do so in the comment box below.
Happy Vegepod Growing.