Home vegetable gardens are trendy at the moment. Perhaps the excessive use of pesticides and chemicals in commercial agriculture has left many wanting to grown their own food. Vegetable gardening is also a fun hobby to undertake, and October to March months have the best climate in UAE for home growers. An underappreciated advantage of homegrown produce is that the texture and flavours are better than grocery bought produce.

Here’s a list of equipment you need to get started:

  • Garden gloves
  • Shovel or spade
  • Hand pruner or shears
  • Good quality potting soil or grow media
  • A container such as pots, planters or grow beds
  • Seeds or young saplings
  • Water sprayer

Things to remember when growing vegetables in Dubai

1. Choose plant according to climate/weather

After getting your gardening equipment together, you need to start sowing the seeds/planting the saplings. Keep in mind that every plant grows a bit differently. The most suitable time to plant most veggies is in October and November. Before sowing/planting, consider your grow space, whether it is a balcony, a small plot of land, or a garden. The location helps you determine the type of crop to plant. If the site is sunny, you can grow cucumbers, pumpkins, corn, tomatoes, chillis, eggplants etc. Leafy vegetables such as spinach, celery, lettuce, parsley, kale can be grown in shaded regions. Root vegetables and herbs can be planted in October and November as well.

Zamioculcas, Snake plant, Peace Lily, Kentia palm, and Succulents are all grown in partial shade. South-facing balconies remain sunny throughout the day so The Arabian Jasmine, Peacock Flower, Nerium Oleander would be the best choice for your balcony. All the flowers and fruit plants will grow well in sunlight.

2.Use appropriate soil
Use good soil and nutrition! You can buy potting soil or create a custom mix by combining sand, coco peat, perlite, compost, manure, or fertilisers. To revitalise “old” soil use manure, compost, or fertilisers to add nutrients back to the soil and add coco peat and perlite to improve its texture. If you're growing in pots, add an organic liquid fertiliser biweekly. Seaweed extract is an excellent organic liquid fertiliser, it contains a wide range of macronutrients and organic compounds. Seaweed fertilisers can be sprayed or watered into the soil; make sure your plants are well-watered before adding fertiliser.

3. Use water wisely

Plants need to be watered less often in winter as the air cools during the longer nights, the relative humidity increases resulting in fog formation.. Increased humidity can lead to plant diseases such as powdery mildew. Therefore, it is recommended to water your plants in the morning rather than in the evening. Newly potted plants usually require daily watering, whereas you can water established plants less frequently.

Where can you grow vegetables?

Some plants need more space than others to grow. You can decide which crops to grow based on the available area. Garden herbs, leafy greens and some vine crops thrive in balconies. In comparison, you can grow a wider variety of vegetables, root crops and fruit trees in a garden or backyard.
You can use growhub’s microfarms to start growing right away; they are available in different forms and sizes to match your requirements. These microfarms can be placed anywhere (balconies or gardens) to liven up the space. We can also help you build custom residential farms; please feel free to reach out to us.

How to grow crops?

Organic farming involves choosing not to use synthetic fertilisers in the growing process, while hydroponic is defined as the process of growing crops without soil, namely in water or an inert grow media. Hydroponic plants grow in a water-soluble nutrient solution. It uses considerably less water than traditional methods, and crop yield significantly increases, leading to more output for the same amount of space. You can grow various vegetables, including lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, leafy vegetables, and herbs; stay tuned to our blogs to learn more about different types of home hydroponic systems. Alternatively, the most desirable way to farm organically is by building raised garden beds from wood or stainless steel. Many gardeners are stuck with soil types with poor nutrient status, compacted and poor drainage, or infested with soil-borne pests. Installing a raised bed can help improve the health and productivity of your vegetable garden.

How to protect your garden?

Pest are an unavoidable part of growing food at home, it is important to take control of them. To avoid infestation always get rid of dead plant material that may harbour diseases. Try to water at ground level as wet leaves are more susceptible to diseases. Inspect your plants regularly to detect a problem early. Keep an eye out for leaves with yellow spots or holes and frequent sightings of pests like slugs, worms, ladybugs. Pesticides and insecticides can surely keep the pest away but if you are trying to garden organically, you can use garlic, neem oil, or spray the infected leaves with a soap-water solution to deter pests. These tips will help you get the best results but remember, gardening takes time and patience. Feel free to reach out to us for those trying to build a garden but don’t know how to get started. We’ll be happy to assist you.

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