Sunday, December 18, 2011

Quick Tip #1 - Dampen your seedling potting soil.


Welcome to my Dubai based container vegetable gardening blog.

I will be posting something new called Quick Tips.  This blogging can be time consuming depending how long winded I get, number of images, links and/or videos I place in the blog.  Other times I do something and think I will blog about that with some more info to go along with it....... then it eventually is blogged later than it should be or forgot about it completely.  So, I hope this new format - Quick Tip -  will I be more timely information. 

So, I'll stop banging my gums and get to the tip!

Friday, December 16, 2011

A General Guide to Container Vegetable Gardening


Welcome to my Dubai based container vegetable gardening blog.

I was hunting some info on the www last night and came across some information from my old alma mater Texas A&M University/College Station about container gardening.  I graduated in 1979 with a BS in Agriculture Economics - Farm & Ranch Management.  It's not my profession today but it is something that is imbeded in me and thus I guest I am doing the home gardening thing now.  Had big plans for it but coming to different forks in the road in my lifetime I diverted from it.  Enough on me.



Welcome to my Dubai based container vegetable gardening blog.

I have started planting onions sets.............  Onion sets?

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Finally a Pepper Seedling!!!


Welcome to my Dubai based container vegetable gardening blog.

Well., a bell pepper seedling has finally popped out of the soil!!!  It has been 6 weeks since I started the seeds in my propagating bags.  Some of the seeds sprouted in the bags about 4 weeks ago and so I planted them in peat pots but of the 10 I planted only one came up.  Since the deadly Bulbuls like to munch on helpless freshly sprouted pepper seedlings I have had to put it under Protective Custody.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Comments on my Blog.


Welcome to my Dubai based container vegetable gardening blog.

I ran into a follower of my blog last night and she asked "did you get my comment about your "Know your Capsicum" blog?  All I could say was "No"!  I had just recently replied to a comment on my Honey Bee blog.  I had figured out that perhaps I could reply by going to the comment section of that blog.  I started the reply and then when it came to posting it - it all of a sudden produced a choice of different options as a ways to post it.  Clueless I just clicked on the google option and it worked by luck. 

Back to my follower - she was also confused by the whole process.  So, today I investigated  - how do I post a comment - on the Blogger site.  I found this link that explains it.

My sincere apology to any of you who may have posted a comment but wondered why it never showed up or received a reply.  If it is posted properly I will get it and will do my best to post it and reply asap.

So, if you have any thing to say about what I blogged that will be helpful for others or to correct something I said is most welcome!

Thanks for stopping by!


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Bees revisited


Welcome to my Dubai based container vegetable gardening blog.

I recieved a comment on one of my earlier blogs about bees -

The person has some bees which have decided to make their home in their garden.  They were wondering what to do to remove them.  My question is why do you want to get rid of them?  Is it an unfounded fear you might have of bees just because they have stingers?  As I mentioned in my reply to the comment, if you have young children then it is a prudent decision to have the bees removed.  However, if the family is mature enough to point out the danger to them that playing with or aggravating the bees will result in pain then the family and the bees should be able to live together.

I DO NOT advocate killing bees but .....

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Know your Capsicum!!!


Welcome to my Dubai based container vegetable gardening blog.

As the heading says - Know your Capsicum before buying pepper plants in Dubai.  I was out in Satwa and came across a plant shop with some pepper plants that already had flowers on them.  I asked the shopkeeper what the plants were (I knew they were pepper plants but not what kind) and he said "Chili".  I said I did not want chili peppers (being from the West we are not as big a chili pepper eaters as our friends from the subcontinent - that said Peppers orginated in South America I believe).  I must have had "I'm a big dumb Sucker" written on my forehead in his language.  He then said "Oh sir, these are Capsicum - the big ones" making a gesture of a large fruit simliar in shape and size of a bell pepper. 

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Get out of here Sucker!!!

Howdy and welcome to my blog.

Well if you have planted your tamaters awhile back then it just might be time to get rid of them suckers if you haven't already!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

There be Pepper Seedlings!!!


Welcome to my blog!

This morning when I put out my Bell Pepper Seeds propagation packets out in the sun to warm them up a bit in hopes of jump starting their progress I decided to open on of them to check if anything was happening.  Well, I am happy to report that they have started to sprout!!!

I am not ready to plant them - but will start soon. Will keep you posted on how this worked out as it is something new for me.

Thanks for stopping by!


The Varmints Return!!!


Welcome to my UAE based container vegetable gardening blog.

Regular readers will know of my ongoing battle with a particluar varmint - the Bulbuls!!!  I guess I am incorrect in saying that they have returned - they never really left - I just haven't had any vegetables growing for the past six months for them to feast upon!  I can always hear them talking to each other whenever I appear in the yard - perhaps their early warning system.  Approximately 3-4 families have been multiplying in my neighbour's rather thick neem tree.  And they are extremely happy over there because they can come over to my place - have breakfast, lunch, dinner and between meals snacks anytime I am not around discouraging them and then fly back to safe haven next door.  I just transfered my pepper plant to the back of the house 2 days ago and yesterday morning found that they have already started snacking on the few small fruits desperately trying to mature!!!  Well, I have a new secret weapon that I am hoping will permantly elimate my Bulbul problem!!!

Monday, November 14, 2011


Howdy, welcome to my blog. 

Been away for a couple of weeks and returned to find the few plants I had planted before leaving are still alive and doing well.  They were watered properly this time.  I planted some tamters, eggplant and a chili pepper.

Companion Planting

Howdy, welcome to my blog!

What is a companion planting you might be wondering?  Well, I can tell you it is not a bunch of friends getting together to plant their plants.  It is planting different plants together that will benefit each other in some way.  Here is Wilipedia defination of it and here is a list of companion plants by Wikipedia.  But, I am here today to talk about only one particluar companion plant.

Propagating Pepper Seeds

Howdy,  welcome to my blog.

I have had problems in the past couple of years with getting my bell pepper plants to germinate.  I planted them in small seedling pots and waited for them to pop up but not much ever happened and the few that did come up the Bulbuls ate them.  So, I thought I would try something new this year!!!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Another planting season


For both new and returning visitors - welcome to my blog about vegetable gardening in containers (pots) in your yard or balcony in Dubai or anywhere else in the United Arab Emirates or for that matter the other GCC countries as the climate is pretty much similiar.

Welcome back to a new growing season.  It's been a loooong hot summer for me ..... hopefully some of you got away.  Ms. Bubba and I tend to take our breaks from Dubai during other times of the year when all the kids are in school and the tourist crowds have subsided - it's just the two of us.  We will be taking another extended break during the upcoming Eid holidays.

Here in is my problem.  If I plant now then there is no one to water the crops.  During our last trip the person who was suppose to water thing did a miserable job and they all died.  So, this year I will have to wait till I get back by mid-Nov. to plant seeds or hopefully seedlings if I can get it organized properly.  I think it will be too late to plant seeds by mid-Nov.  

So, hopefully you have planted your seeds already and will be planting seedlings soon.  If you have not planted your seeds yet ... here are some help tips.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Composting your Garbage at Home


Sorry, it has been a while since I have posted anything.   Alot has been going on and the weather we are having and had over the past few days knock out my pepper seedlings (they were already weak) so I am still trying to get over it!   But what I wanted to post today was something I read in The National online that may be of interest to some of you who have a earth garden.   I am not sure how well this would work with containers unless you are always adding containers to your collection.   More after the jump.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Visted the AGRAme


Welcome to my Dubai based vegatable gardening blog.  I hope you can take the time to view some of my previous blogs.   Make yourself  at home!

I found some time to visit the AGRAme exhibition.  I manage to meet and see some interesting things and people. There were quite a few companies exhibiting their agricultural ware but only a handful were of interest to me.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Bulbuls-2 / Bubba-0


Well, it's official - Bulbuls are smarter than pigeons!   Sorry, Carol & Amanda but the snake thing did not work for me with the Bulbuls.  They were not more than 30cm away from one of the rubber snakes having a Bulbul Buffet on my few remaing cherry tamaters!!!  It might be scaring other birds but the other birds are not feasting themselves on my tamaters.  So, I guess I was premature in giving myself points. 

I was even changing the postions of the snakes whenever I would walk by so as to fool them.  But, who is the fool now!  I learned more today - Bulbuls are Pakistani - well at least that's what the Pakistani guys said who were laying down some interlocking at the house today.  They had a good laugh about my snakes!  I'm glad somebody found some humor over the outcome! :-( 

Take Care!


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

There's snakes in my tamater patch!!!


Welcome to my Dubai based container vegetable gardening blog.  As you see I have a snake in my tamater patch.  This one is a particularly nasty one - it is Corbrais Latexus Serpentem!!!  Or the more common name is Rubber Cobra Snake! :-)  He is not alone -  he has buddies.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Let your Internet do the walking!


Welcome to my Dubai based hobbyist vegetable gardening blog.

Remember, the old Yellow Pages saying "Let your fingers do the walking"?  Well, Google Blogger has added a new gadget to their arsenal of gadgets to add to a blog.  This new one is called "Following by email" - it is designed so that if you are interested in what I have to blog about you can submit your email address and they will send you a notice that a new blog has been posted.  Pretty neat I think - so now you do not have to waste time going to a blog and discovering there is nothing new to read.   I would of thought that the "Followers" would had been designed with that built in but no.  So, if you are interested look over to the right and you will see just under Followers - Follow by Email.  Just write in your email address and follow their instructions.  I tested it on myself and I did get a notice but it came by snail mail - I only found the notice the next morning (15 hours later)  - maybe they still have a few bugs to iron out.  That reminds me - one of the gadgets I added is called "Profile" but I do not see it anywhere on the blog - does anybody else see it?

Take Care!


Sunday, March 20, 2011



Welcome to my Dubai based vegatable gardening blog.  I hope you can take the time to view some of my previous blogs.   Make yourself  at home!

A photography blog I follow the Strobist will every once in a while do a Question & Answer (Q&A) blog.  He collects questions from comments made and/or emails he gets and does his best to answer those questions that he feels will be of interest to his readers.   So, ripping off David Hobby's idea - I would like to do the same.  You might even notice that I model the layout of my blog after his.

So, don't be shy about posting a question in the comment box to be found below each blog.  You just might ask where to buy something in Dubai or your region, when to plant, what fertiziler to use, something that others are wondering about also or  has the same problem.  Hopefully someone else can answer better than me in the comment box of the Q&A blog.  As I said in one of my earlier blogs - "there are no dumb questions just dumb answers".  I hope my answers will not be too dumb!:-)

If you had tried to post a comment or question in the past and it would not allow it  - my deepest apologies!   It is because dumb dumb here who did not set up his blog correctly.  But , now it is set up so that anyone can now make comments - after any blog at any time.  So, you can make a comment on this blog or go back to the first blog and make a comment and I will get it. 

Thanks for stopping.

Take Care!


The AGRAme comes to town.


Welcome to my Dubai based vegatable gardening blog.  I hope you can take the time to view some of my previous blogs.   Relax and make yourself  at home!

The AGRAME ( )  is coming to town between March 29-31 at the Dubai International Exhibition Centre.  It is an agricultural exhibition showcasing five different sectors:
  • Agri Business
  • Poltry & Livestock
  • Agricultural Machinery & Supplies
  • Fish & Aquaculture
There will also be seminars during the three day event that are free of charge - click here for details of the seminars.

I attended last year when it was held at the Airport Expo.  It was a small trade exhibition but still it had interesting things to see.  For example, Mirak had a small working hydrophonic strawberry growing  kit set up.  Another gentlemen had another small hyrophonic example set up where the pots were stacked 6-8 high and plants added with the irrigation feeding at the top going thru the pots and again the water being recyled through the growing medium in the pots.  HOWEVER, you can not buy these items (or you could not last time) as the exhibitors are here looking for agents/companies to sell & represent their products here in the UAE and other Gulf States.  BUT, it was still interesting to see some of the things exhibited.  The different sectors are situated  together at the exhibition - meaning  they are not all mixed up making it hard to find the particluar sector you want to see.  ALSO, you can sometimes get free samples of some of the products being shown!!! 

So, if you are a bit interested in agriculture or not but still interested in Flower & Garden try to find so time to head down to the exhibition.  Pre-Registar online and save yourself  some time checking in.  Here is the logo for the show.

Thanks for checking out the blog.  There are more blogs below to read if you have the time.  And feel free to make comments, give advice or ask a question in the comment box below each blog.

Take Care!


Thursday, March 17, 2011

Bubba got a bit of radio time on Dubai Eye!

I was luckly enough to get a bit of air time on Dubai Eye FM 103.8 here in Dubai, United Arab Emirates on Tuesday, March 15, 2011.  I was on the show "Dubai Today" hosted by the wonderful Ms. Jessica Swann (who unfortunately will be going back to her native Australia on March 24th for good) and her co-host for Techno Tuesdays - Mr. Alexander McNabb.   I thought we were going to talk about blogging - being it was a Techno show that day - but once they tasted some of the cherry tamaters I brought to the studio - we talked mostly about my gardening.  You can listen to a podcast of the show here.  Then scroll down to the last section where it mentions Bubba Tamatas and click on it.  It is a 20 minute clip.

A big Oopps and apoloizes for those that may have wanted to make a comment in the past but could not.  I believe I had my settings set incorrectly and have now changed them so anyone can make a comment - not just registered members. Really sorry, the settings for this blogging thing get's more complicated as you dig around.

Thanks for stopping by.

Take Care!


What's Being Green?


Welcome to my Dubai based blog about container vegetable gardening.

What is it to be GREEN?  Is it living at the Greens or Greens Community in Dubai?  Is it planting trees and bushes to green up our brown, dusty, hazy environment?   Maybe it's driving an electric or hyrid car?  Is it joining a political Green Party of your country?   Maybe it's joining up with Greenpeace?   Maybe it's celebrating St. Patrick's Day in style.  Maybe it's going out into the forest and hugging a tree?  Maybe it is not using plastic shopping bags?  Maybe it is recycling?  Maybe it's changing to low watt light bulbs?  Or maybe it is just

Monday, March 14, 2011

Where can I find some 5 gal. buckets?


Just a quick one - does anybody know where I can find some semi-clean plactic 5 Gal. buckets such as shown below?

I would like to make some more global buckets for my new planting coming soon.  It takes two 5 Gal. buckets to make one Gobal Bucket.  Shown here are some tamater plants I started earlier this growing season and they worked very well.  I will Bubbaized any future ones and will blog what I do to make it the way I need it to be but I need some buckets first.

Just let me know in the comments below and anybody else looking to make some  global buckets can do the same.

Any help will be much appreicated!

Take care!


My Tamaters


Welcome back!   For first time vistors there are several other postings below to check out as well.

Today I will be blogging about the tamaters I planted this year.  I had a much better year than last year, at least until they became sick with a very rare tamater disease - more on that later!   I planted from seed four different types of cherry tamaters, a regular type of tamater (Better Boy) and two tamater plants I bought at a plant shop in Satwa - he called them "Local Tomatoes" - whatever that might be.  At their peak I had 25 tamater plants all healthy and doing fine with fruit at various stages.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Where are the Honey Bees?


Welcome back!    And if this your first time to my blog - Welcome - and hope you have the time to read my earlier blogs.   Here's a quick intro about today's topic.

Did you watch both videos?

What's with the dancing bees thing?  You will find out further along in the blog.   Just click "Read More" below.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Wecome to my Vegetable Patch!

Howdy to all,

Just wanted to invite y'all to my vegetable patch - I quess I can not really call it a garden as my plants are in containers and scattered around the yard.   Much to the annoyance of my most patience wife,  I have placed them where they could get the most sunlight - sometimes blocking the light to her flowers, taking up space on the clothes line and hanging in the doorway of the laundry room.   Next year I have been giving permission to move it to the roof as long as I do not carry the water up the stairs as it appears to be a bit rickety - a bit like me!

It all started at the back of the house on top of a particleboard storage unit that was against a wall and under a section of the clothes line.  But after a couple of years of weathering and one growing season it collapsed so I built another work table in it's place made from metal and plywood.  Yeah, I know the plywood will one day fall apart also but since it is bolted in place - it can be replaced easily.  

Last year I had my tamater plants on the work table and installed a support system for them on the wall which worked fine because they did not really do well and never got that big.

Not the case this year - the plants out grew the old support system earlier on and I needed to tie them to the clothes line and to the wall.  

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Varmits!!! Cont.


Well it's at it again!  It got another tomato and wipe out my entire bell pepper crop - all two of them!!!  I have however noticed it knows the difference between sweet and chili peppers - hasn't touch the chili peppers of course!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


Howdy and welcome to my blog,

What are Varmints you ask?   Varmints are unwanted critters that are doing something you can't abide too!   I got one that was a eat'en my pepper seedlings till I came up with a solution and now it's a eat'en my vegetables!!!  At first it was a eat'en my wife's petunias seedling's (I'd seen with my own eyes) so she found on the Internet a site that suggested put'in aluminum foil on sticks and put'in that next to the plants because varmints do not like shinning things.  Well, this varmint after a week or so got use to it and I swear I saw it admiring it's reflection in the foil while munch'in on her petunias seedlings!!!   Then it decided to make a meal out of my pepper seedlings just after they came shooting out the dirt.  So what did I do?

I came up with this solution for protecting my seedlings until they get big enough to transplant.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Mistakes I've Made - Part 2 of 2

Howdy fellow green thumbs,

Welcome to the second installment of  Mistakes I've Made.  Their purpose is just some quick points I wanted to share sooner rather than later just in case you are thinking of starting your vegetables seed sowing soon or planning your garden at this time.  Hopefully, they will help you avoid a few hiccups along the way.  Otherwise,  if you already have a garden coming along you might be facing some of the same problems. I will be blogging about these same topics and others in more details later.
Let's talk about watering management and potting soils.  As I mentioned in the previous post I am presently watering my plants by hand - great exercise but eventually can be very time consuming.  There is a better way but it can be costly to put one into operation - or is it? 

What's your dirt?  There are several types of imported and locally made potting soils available in town - some good some not so good. What have I learned?

 So grab a cup of coffee and let's begin.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Mistakes I've Made - Part 1 of 2


Welcome to my Dubai based blog about container vegetable gardening. 

I was out watering my 30 odd plants this morning wondering what I should blog about first.   As I was going from pot to pot I was thinking  "I could have done this or that better, that pot is too small, why am I carrying this water can from the water tap to the plants and what should I have done".   So, I decided to share with you some 20/20 hind-sight on containers/pots, watering, potting soils and other things that I have messed up on before you might make some of the same blunders.    In this blog I will talk about containers/pots.   In Part 2 I will talk about watering and soils.   I will also blog about other things I screwed up or could have done better during the year or when they happen.

Thanks for stopping by and hope you find the blog/s helpful.

Welcome to "the dxb gardener"

Howdy and welcome to my blog.

I decided to start this blog after my first year at vegetable gardening in my backyard but it only took root about half way through my second year.

Hope I didn't waste any flower people's time because of the blog's name,  I thought "the dxb vegetable container gardener" was too long of a title.  But heck why not hang around a spell, you might learn a thing or two and decide to plant some vegetables!

My first year I planted only a few vegetables (tomaotes, bell peppers, mint & eggplant) in container/pots (withever you may call them) because I do not have an open soil area - everything is cover with interlocking bricks.  Well, the first year was nothing to write home about.  I was just planting some seeds in very small pots that my wife's Petunia came in - I would then transfer whatever popped up into bigger pots with potting soil I bought in the market - water and fertizlise them and basically HOPED for the best.  As I was running into trouble at times, especially with pest & diseases, I was googleing for information about vegetable gardening here in the UAE or in the Gulf region.  Not much of anything came up except a couple of UAE Ladies Groups and some newspaper articles about what some individuals were doing at home.  Most information on the internet was based out of the UK, USA and/or Australia. Some of it was good stuff but weather wise it did not appy here - for example planting times and hours of sunlight for your plant.  So, I was wondering if there were others in Dubai, UAE or the Gulf region like me that were having the same problems as me.

Being a guy, I reckon my target audience were the men in Dubai, UAE and/or the Gulf region who might like to do a bit of vegetable gardening. But anybody is welcome to stop in for a visit, have a look around and if you see something you like (or dislike) you can leave a comment.  I hope your comments will be beneficial information for any other reader - however praises are also most welcome ;-).

My grandfather always had a vegetable garden and my grandmother had her roses and flowers and neither venture into the others domain - personal space I reckon. As kids and even as teenagers when we would go for a visit  we would eventually wind up in his garden with buckets picking beans, peas, tomatoes or digging up potatoes.  At that time in our young life things are moving to fast to be planting a vegetable garden - it was only much later in life did I decide to plant a vegetable garden - life wasn't slowing down - I was slowing down! 
I would like to mention a couple of things: #1 - I am not a Vegan or vegetarian (What the difference?),  I am a meat eater - the vegetables are to go with my medium rare steak!   So, veggie-evangelist need not waste any time preaching here.  #2 - I am not your most organic guy in the world.  I tried some organic fertisler once and the only thing that enjoyed it were the flies.  Would could not sit in my wife's garden to enjoy the weather and surroundings for a month because of the flies and the smell!!!  So, for the time being the organic #%@* is off the list.  I tried the organic pest spray thing - kill the bugs for sure then a couple of days later the plants died also - perhaps I made it a bit to strong - so I will give it a second chance.

So, basically I will be blogging about my experiences with growing certain vegetables in containers at home here in Dubai.  I am not an expert gardener - I do this as a hobby so please do not take what I say as gospel.   What I will do is share with you the occasional "in my honest opinion" or IMHO.   I will be sharing my humble inexperience, non-scientific observations and what I have found on the web.   I am not going to re-invent the wheel at this point by posting videos of me giving advice.  There are plenty of ours more knowledgable than me doing that already.  I will be sharing with you on my blogs their videos and links to their sites . At the same time, I am hoping that some of you with more experience - if any body reads this blog - will make constructive comments below each posting in the comment area.  It is also open to questions you may have that myself or others may be able to answer.  Please note: If you have a question you want to post but are perhaps embarrassed or hesitant to ask - just remember there are really no dumb questions just dumb answers.  I reckon most of the dumb answers will come from me!  I thought perhaps others in the Dubai, the UAE or the Gulf region might be doing the same as me and were not really sure what they are doing (as me), what to use (as me) and where to get things (as me).   So hopefully this blog, as well as being informative, can also be a support group for all you closet and out-of-the-closet vegetable gardeners.

If you are an experienced produce gardener, please feel free to contact me perhaps we can team up on some postings.  Any help from bug people entomologist is most welcome as some critters got to my pepper and squash plants this year.  Oh yeah!  Folks do not kill the bees they are our friend - ok they have stingers but if you do not mess with them they won't mess with you.  Without Bees our food crops will not bear fruit - no crops no food!  Believe me I have been there and done that spending many hours on my knees propagating my squashes because of the lack of bees but I will leave that to a later blog.

So again thanks for stopping by and hope you return, contribute in the comments area when you can and share this site with friends that also grow or thinking about growing vegetables.

Thanks for stopping by!