Same vegetables in the tropics?

(Question)

I’m moving from Northern Ontario to the Philippines in an area (town of Valencia) where it’s literally always 27 during the day and 24 at night year round. There’s a dry season and a rainy season. I’m wondering what can I grow there that also grows here and if I’ll be able to let plants go to seed so I can collect them for replanting.
My wish list… Carrots, green onions, regular onions and chives, tomatoes, potatoes, bell peppers, butternut squash, zucchini, dry beans, lettuce and celery.

(Answer)

Hello – You should be able to grow many of the vegetables on your wish list in the Philippines but I’m sure you’re aware that gardening in the tropical environment of the Philippines will be very different from what you’ve experienced in Northern Ontario. With the exception of dry beans (too generic) I was able to confirm that all of the other vegetables on your list are at least grown commercially in the Philippines. The cool season crops, lettuce and celery are grown only in smaller pockets at higher elevation which experience a somewhat more temperate environment.

I have found some resources that may be of help to you in learning to garden in the Philippines. The first is a blog called Urban Gardening Mom written by a home gardener living in Manila. She has a long standing interest in organic vegetable gardening and when she started doing some internet research she discovered that most of the sites she found focused on cold weather conditions not a tropical climate such as experienced in the Philippines. She started her blog so she could share her experience with fellow gardeners. For example, in a post on growing lettuce she notes that she was unable to get lettuce to germinate until she stopped using imported seed and found a more heat resistant local source. So there’s a tip – ensure you’re using a local source for seeds. The link to the blog is:

http://www.urbangardeningmom.com/category/urban-gardening-organic-vegetables-in-containers/

Other resources are:

The Philippines Department of Agriculture

http://www.da.gov.ph

The Philippines Gardening Network

https://philippineplants.wordpress.com/about/

and finally in case you want to try some the vegetables commonly grown in the Philippines that we can’t grow here, I found the web site for a lifestyle magazine called the Philippines Primer, targeted at the expatriate community. The link below will take you to a list of typical Filipino vegetables with great pictures.

http://primer.com.ph/tips-guides/2017/07/04/a-guide-to-vegetables-in-ph/

Enjoy gardening in the Philippines!