Garden Update – May 2008

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The days and nights are starting to heat up here in Dubai. Most mornings I wake up to 30C (86F) temps. The balcony garden is going okay.

Rosemary – Remember the sad looking rosemary? Well, the poor plant never took root so it died a slow death eventually drying out completely. I tossed it and replaced it with a smaller rosemary plant (top right of pic) which seems to be doing pretty well at the moment. I bent two of the branches into the soil to see if it will root so that I can get a second and third plant out of it. I’m thinking rosemary roast chicken and lamb.

Sage – I have two of these plants sharing the rosemary pot. I don’t know what to do with them except make stuffing but I’m sure I’ll think of something. Suggestions welcome.

Mint – You can also see the mint has flourished very well (bottom border of photo). Mojito time!

Basil – The Genovese basil (top left) suffered from spider mites. I sprayed the leaves with a soap and water concoction every couple of days for a period of two weeks and that seemed to have gotten rid of the pests. The sprayed leaves, however, did not look appetizing at all so had to be removed. You can see that one basil plant in particular has grown like crazy! I used some of its leaves last night on a tomato cucumber salad – yum!

Basil (Asian) – I bought some Thai basil from a grocery in Karama and stuck some of the branches in water. They rooted within a few days and I just planted them into soil (below). They are looking a little droopy and beat up but then again, the poor things have been refrigerated for who-knows-how-long, then stuck into a cup of water, and now into a pot of soil in the searing desert sun. I hope they will make it as it’s extremely hard to get Thai basil here. And a good Vietnamese pho just doesn’t taste right without it.

Thyme – In the middle of the basil pot is a bushy bit of compact thyme. I planted it there because I didn’t have room for it anywhere else. But I don’t think the thyme plant likes it there at all as basil loves water and thyme does not. So I have bought a new pot for it and hopefully it will take to its new home and flourish. Maybe I’ll make a bacon-mushroom-thyme quiche tomorrow.

Parsley and Cilantro – The parsley? Dead. It does not like the Dubai heat I guess. The cilantro seedlings would have died as well but I moved them inside the house and they are growing slowly but surely.

Does anyone else have an herb garden in Dubai?

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  1. Dear sd

    I have been living in dubai for the last 5 years. just recently moved out of my appartment into a small villa. This now has a bit of gardening area at the back.

    Beeing a chef..i naturaly LOVE herbs…the spices of the earth 🙂 I have baught my seeds online @ amazon. Got 5 variety of basil and a few others (oregano, marjoram)

    i do not know what will do well here in Dubai, especialy now with the heated summer months. Shall i wait to plant my seed til after summer? You also mentioned that basil loves sun…so it shld do well in the dubai sun..since we have plenty of it.

    My rosemary grows beutifully here. I have also lavender seeds i wish to plant…use it to make ice cream 🙂 YummY!

    As for the can use it with roast chicken, i lift the skin and pres the leaves under it. This will infuse your bird beutifully 🙂 it also goeas very well with Pumpkin, the two are made for each other 🙂 I normale roast my pumpkin in the oven, the i melt a little butter, add a tsp of honey, pinch cinammon and then 3 or 4 sage leaves right at the end. let the sage infused nicely into the butter sauce, serve it over you roast pumpkin 🙂 i ahve many more ideas if u need 🙂 Regards G.

  2. Hi Sharmishtha – i bought my seeds either at Dubai Garden Centre or Ace in Festival city. Repotting the ones from Geant/Carrefour isn't a good idea b/c those plants are overpumped with fertilizer and other chemicals that it could cause problems when you plant them in soil.

    However, you can try making cuttings from the Geant/Carrefour plants – google "plant cuttings" to see what I mean. I just stick the cuttings either in water until they root or directly in the soil and voila – a new plant!

    Good luck!

  3. Hey

    I have been wanting to grow basil in my balcony but couldn't find the seeds in Dubai Garden Centre and a couple of other places. Can I re-pot the little plants that you get in Geant/Carrefour? Can you give me some tips, please? I'm totally new to gardening and have only succeeded mothering a chilli plant till now 😮