My Garden – April 2008

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I have a small balcony where I have been trying to grow some herbs. Currently I have sweet basil, thyme, rosemary, garlic chives, spearmint, parsley, cilantro, and sage.

The mint, rosemary, and thyme I bought from the Dubai Garden Center. The mint and thyme are thriving but the rosemary looks a little sad.

Everything else I grew from seed and it took several attempts as the seedlings would sprout and then die. It wasn’t until I started giving them plant food (a product called Phostrogen as can’t seem to find Miracle Gro) that the little plants started to grow.

The sage and garlic chives are doing pretty well. The basil is growing but it looks like the leaves are being attacked by aphids or something as there are tiny red bugs on the underside of the leaf and white spots on the top:


My parsley isn’t doing very well either. It looks like the cilantro in the photo below but droopy and faded green. The cilantro I just started from seed again as the last batch failed to grow past one leaf. Keeping my fingers crossed that they’ll make it this time. Still in the one-leaf stage though:


So it seems that I’m not much of a green thumb these days. Here’s hoping that all the plantlings do survive and that I can use them for cooking soon.

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  1. WRT the condition of your rosemary I suggest you ensure the basil & rosemary are kept separated as basil will kill the rosemary. Don't know why but it does. hope this helps.

  2. Hi,

    I'm thrilled to find this thread. I've been trying to grow a herb garden at my house in Dubai since I moved here last year. The first time, the landscaper got me the seeds for rosemary, basil, coriander, mint, parsely and rocket. The rosemary is doing GREAT, the mint is also doing really well and I had to pull out most of the basil because it was really wild!

    The other herbs did well for a couple fo months then stopped growing leaves, they turned into really long weeds without leaves but with tiny flowers.

    I had to pull them all out and decided to try again. This time, I got the seeds myself from SATWA but unfortunately, nothing came out!!!

    I want to give it another try, the weather seems nice and cool now (maybe too cold, not sure). Where did you find the sweet basil though, I've looked everywhere!!


  3. Hi,

    I enjoyed reading your garden entries. I live in Abu Dhabi with a decent sized garden, and have been having a pretty tough time growing plants. Everything seems to get eaten by pests, or infected by disease… or wilted by the heat. To make it worse, I'm trying to go at it organic… I've been companion planting but my seed to plant success ratio is very low.

    Any and all tips or advice would be welcome.


  4. Hi..Good day, I have seen your article, and I am interested as well by reading your experiences, by the way could you please mail me the Arabic and Indian names for Rosemarry and Sage.,and any suggestion where I can purchase the same (Dried/ or fresh)

    Thansk and warm regards..Roshan.

  5. the white spot on your basil look like over watering: I get them here in the UK when the season starts to turn amd it rains more.

    The pot that you are growing your rosmary in is too shallow. Rosmary have long roots and need very deep pots.

    I should be moving to Dubai in January 09 and was wondering if Orchids grow outside in Dubai: any idea?

  6. Hey there, Keep me updated on your attempts at ridding yourselves of these blighters. My basil has been ravaged by insects but I think I have managed to bring them back from a near-death experience.

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