This is such a learning curve … and this is now version 2.0 of my Abu Dhabi garden.
I have had to throw almost everything I knew about gardening out of the window and start all over. Back in London I was still an allotment newbie, but here I am an AD garden virgin … very rarely am I able to apply common sense, but I am trying to learn as much as I can from my mistakes.
Most things when planted from seeds explode into a growing frenzy within a few couple of days, except for chives and up until now also beans. It has taken me 4 attempts but now the beans are growing too – I must have found the optimal place in the garden for them. The chives still looks rather sorry for themselves, so I am thinking I will have to grow them in a pot. Any tips on growing chives are much appreciated!
Also the tomato plants grew to be enormous but have so far only produced green tomatoes. Well, that’s not entirely true – two of them did get red and just as quickly as that happened they were eaten by birds. And the courgettes, again giant plants, and lots of flowers but I only managed to harvest two courgettes. So I have cut down the tomatoes to give them a fresh start and planted new courgettes – so keep your fingers crossed for a harvest this time around. I would like to cook just one meal using my own produce.
The cucumber plants were thriving until a cat decided that the spot in front of the trellis was the best place in the world and it managed to dig up most of the roots … and everything was dead within a couple of days. So again I am starting all over, and it explains all the wooden barbecue skewers.
I also made the mistake of cutting down some of the plants, I don’t know what they are called, which create natural shade in my garden. So the peppers which had been thriving up until then had a shock, and I was worried for a while that they were going to boil (literally) but luckily they now seem to be recovering. The eggplants as well as peas have enjoyed a bit of extra sun.
If you recognise these plants please let me know. They don’t have any flowers but are a lush green, and can grow to be about 1-1.5 meters tall.
In my previous garden update I wrote a little bit about companion planting and with AD Garden version 2.0 I have tried to gather the plants which are mutually beneficial into the same areas. To make it easier for myself I divided the garden into four main areas: cucumber, aubergine (eggplants), beans and courgette, and after some research I came up with the following:
The problem with companion planting seem to be that there are no absolutes, only recommendations based on … yes, you guessed it ‘trial and error’. So I am keeping my fingers crossed for a more succesful version 2.0.