Update: Dubai Balcony Gardening

Amelia Johnson Photography 2

My little balcony garden is coming along really well. I have high hopes for it this year! This is the third year that I’m planting seeds and hoping for a bountiful harvest.

The last two years have been surprisingly successful given the temperatures and how windy my balcony gets. I’ve had most success with tomatoes, herbs, chillies and salad, so I decided this year I would just concentrate on those four. I’ve grown, with limited success, runner beans, dwarf beans, cucumbers, carrots, and spring onions, as well as some beautiful aubergine plants which flowered but never gave any fruit. Actually, the carrots were really tasty but took up rather a lot of space.

My tomatoes are looking fairly healthy, if very ‘leggy’. There is much internet debate about why tomatoes become leggy. Some say they are reaching for the sun, and others say they have too much sun and so grow fast. Either way, I plan to benefit from their legginess by planting them really deep in the soil when I repot them. The more stem they have under the soil, the deeper the roots can grow, allowing them to take in more water and reducing the chance of them dying from dehydration. Having leggy tomato plants after repotting can lead to a weak stem and a top heavy plant that can’t support it’s own fruit. They’re starting to get their first ‘true leaves’. Once they’ve got three or four I’ll repot them.

tomato seedlings

My chillies are looking fabulous! They really are thriving in the hot weather. It’s 36 degrees outside today.

chili seedlings amelia johnson photography

As you can see my salad is growing pretty fast too- these leaves should make a few tasty lunches in a couple of weeks. The packet says 3-4 weeks, and I planted them 2 weeks ago. Last year they lasted me about 4 months. That’s a lot of lunch!

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Finally my herbs are all fairing well. I find thyme one of the most useful herbs, but it’s one of the most difficult to grow here as it likes a cool dry climate. I am resisting the urge to soak it and it seems to be doing well. My oregano and parsley are both coming through thickly.

thyme copy

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