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!