Singapore's tropical climate is characterized by abundant sunlight, extreme heat in the afternoon, and high humidity around the year. What are the best vegetables to grow in Singapore's weather? Here are 10 easy leafy vegetables that can thrive in our Singapore weather just with a little bit of care.
1. Kangkong(Water Spinach)
Kangkong comes in varieties of broad-leaf and bamboo-leaf. A natural inhabitant in tropic climate, Kangkong thrives in warm and humid conditions above 25°C. Always take note to feed them with ample light and water to keep them happy. Besides being one of the easy vegetables to grow in Singapore's weather, Kangkong also has a fast turnaround. It takes about 3 days to germinate and your first harvest can come as fast as 21 days.
Also goes by the name of Chinese Spinach, Bayam, or Amaranth is consumed in many parts of the world. The most common varieties we have seen in Singapore are the green and red Bayam varieties. Bayam is easy to grow and heat tolerant. Seed to harvest time is expected at 24 days.
3. Cai Xin(Choy Sum)
Arguably the most consumed vegetables in Singapore, Cai Xin is a value-for-money vegetable that can be prepared in many ways. You can choose to stir-fry, braise, or use them in soups, they are simply versatile! For urban farmers, it is also one of the easy vegetables to grow in a tropical climate. Unlike Kangkong or Bayam, Cai Xin doesn't do well in the extreme heat of the afternoon sun (12 noon to 3 pm). However, they are cool-season crops that don't favour extreme heat. Use netting or move them to partial shade to reduce heat exposure.
Cai Xin can be harvested in about 33 days. It takes 2 weeks longer if grown in cold weather.
4. Xiao Bai Cai (Baby Pak Choi)
Another common leafy green in wet markets or the supermarkets, Xiao Bai Cai belongs to the Cabbage family. It is another cool-season crop like Cai Xin, an easy vegetable to grow just take note not to subject it to extreme afternoon heat. Xiao Bai Cai can be harvested in about 33 days.
5. Nai Bai (Extra Dwarf Pak Choi)
Smaller and more compact than baby Pak Choi, this pak choi variety has curled, glossy, and dark green leaves. Most distinctive with its short, thick white spoon-shaped petioles. It prefers the morning cooler sun up till 30°C but not the warm afternoon sun that can go up as high as 35°C. The maturity period for Nai Bai is approximately 35 days.
6. Kai Lan(Chinese Kale)
Despite also being a cool-season crop, Kai Lan has made its home throughout tropical countries and South Asia. Enjoy your Kai Lan with oysters dish in 42 days.
7. Huang Jing Pak Choi (Chinese Cabbage)
Heat resistant and disease resistant, Chinese Cabbage can be grown in tropical regions throughout the year. They grow vigorously and your beautiful tender greens can be harvest in approximately 40 days.
8. Local Lettuce (Chinese Lettuce)
There are many types lettuce-Romaine, Butterhead, Iceberg just to name a few. We love eating them in salads. However, these varieties are not easy vegetables to grow in Singapore. Even if they do, you realize they come from high tech farms with controlled temperature. Local lettuce, also commonly known as Sheng Cai is suitable for Singapore weather. The maturity period ranges from 52-60 days.
9. Chinese Mustard
Sow to the first harvest is around 40 days.
10. Kale (Dwarf Kale)
Only a few varieties of Kale are suitable for Singapore weather. Their leaves are usually eaten as a salad or added to the juice. Harvesting time range from 50-60 days.
If you are looking for vegetables to grow in small places, go with vegetables like Choy Sim, Baby Pak Choi, Dwarf Pak Choi, or Kailan.