While living in Dubai gets expensive every year, residents are shifting to apartment living. But this choice does come with its share of pros and cons. The biggest con being not able to enjoy the luxury and benefits of a lush garden and growing fruits vegetable and flowers of one’s choice.
We now bust this misconception. Living in Dubai with little space to spare, doesn’t necessarily mean you have to live without greenery. Urban gardening is the solution for all apartment residents. Although the size may differ from the garden in a villa you can still have your own little garden in your apartment balcony. Call it balcony gardening, container gardening or roof top gardening, urban gardening is soon gaining popularity in Dubai.
Why start a Balcony Garden?
Balcony gardening is relatively simpler especially for beginners. You can start with simpler plants such as succulents which require less care and then move on to trying other plants. Also these days the the increased use of insecticides and pesticides in fruits and vegetables for growing commercial food is the primary reason why people have shifted to growing their own.
What to start growing?
If you are a pro at gardening you would already have a fair idea of which are the plants that work well in the Dubai climate. For those who are beginners we suggest, that before you take the leap to start a full on garden, you start with a succulent garden. The Prickly Pear, Cactus, and Aloe Vera varieties are all great options to test drive your green thumb.
You can plant vegetables like, capsicum, tomatoes, aubergines, cucumber, etc. If you have enough space for larger containers, you can also grow squashes and pumpkins. Growing herbs such as mint, coriander, basil, rosemary, oregano, thyme etc. is a perfect choice for beginners or those who do not have a balcony, as they are easy to grow and can manage in small containers. If you are feeling adventurous you can try your hand with onions, garlic and ginger. All three do well in containers.
If you love colour and decide to go for flowers, it’s important you consider how much time you would need to invest in caring for them. The Desert Rose is one of the easiest regional plants to look after. Also flowering plants like Petunias and Zinnias are some of the most popular plants found in Dubai as they are easy to grow and easily available too.
What you will require
In order to ensure you grow a decent garden you will need a few basic things: seeds to sow, gardening gloves, potting soil, fertilizers, watering can and tools like hoe, fork and digger to work with. As you grow your garden you will realize that you will need a few more thing and you can keep adding your collection.
Challenges you may face
The biggest challenge faced by almost any gardener in Dubai is the extreme heat and saline water. Moreover the soil here lacks the necessary nutrients and does not support growing of anything other than desert plants. These difficulties can be overcome by using the right growing techniques and understanding the need of your plants well. The fertility of the soil can be increase by adding compost and organic fertilizers. As far as diseases and pests go, growing companion plants and using organic alternatives to the chemical pesticides can help with these problem.
Moreover expert advice especially in regions like ours where gardening can get a little tricky, is a pre requisite. Feel free to contact the expert team at Desert Group for all your plant related queries and we will be more than happy to assist.