Growing your own food is totally worth the effort for reasons more than one. Your home-gardens offer a platform to grow different varieties of fruits, veggies, and herbs in the vicinity of your villas. The concept of ‘garden to table’ is becoming increasingly popular in Dubai as it inculcates healthy eating habits amongst the family and guarantees nutritional benefits. It is said that storing and processing the fruits & veggies before they are consumed could lead to loss of vitamins and minerals, so the sooner it is consumed, the better it is. Through this blog, we aim to highlight a few tips that will help you get started with planning your own vegetable gardens.
Pick an Appropriate Spot
Most veggies and fruits need direct exposure to the sun for at least 8 hours a day. Tomatoes are sun-loving and they can do with the plentiful sun. Cucumbers, watermelons, eggplants, peppers and, corn also thrive under the sun. With the kind of favorably hot climatic conditions, vegetable Gardening in Dubai should be made an integral activity for every homeowner.
Manage Space Well
The size of the gardens and the variety of veggies cultivated depends on the space you have at your disposal. Trying to cram too much in a compact space will lead you to get a smaller harvest. It is advisable to start gradually by growing only 4-5 varieties of veggies, but grow them well. Also, each plant has its own growth cycle; hence it is important to ensure that all vegetables are not grown at once, and instead staggered at intervals.
Try Container Vegetable Gardening
Container gardening may prove to be beneficial and it is easier to grow almost any vegetable in the pot. The best part about containers is that the type of soil can be controlled and each pot can have the appropriate soil type to suit the plant’s growth. The quantity of water is also managed, as the holes at the bottom of the pot drain off excess water so that the plant doesn’t perish. Your patio could make for a proper vegetable patch; however, you can always move the container around to follow the sunlight.
Plant In Raised Beds
Raised beds of about 6” in height are designed to hold soil. Beds can even be as tall as 12” to 18” depending on the type of vegetable to be planted. The golden rule is that the deeper the roots, the taller will be the shoot, and hence the depth is also to be considered. As for watering, raised beds that have more soil hold more moisture, and therefore less frequent watering is required. You will notice that the yield is up by four times when the crops are planted on raised beds instead of sowing them on the normal soil surface.
A soil test will determine the kind of fertilization required to grow your veggies. Kitchen gardens usually make use of organic fertilizers, to maintain high standards of quality and freshness of produce. Manure is a common organic fertilizer and it is added to the soil prior to planting the crop. To provide additional enrichment, fish emulsion which is rich in nitrogen and manure tea is added allowing the roots to absorb these organic nutrients from the soil.