Garden Update: Summer is coming

I could also have called this update – a study into survival in the desert. The sun is scorching everything that is exposed to it for more than a couple of hours a day and it’s not even summer yet.

In my last update I wrote about how I had divided my garden into different sections based on companion planting and how happy I was that I finally managed to get beans, and nasturtium to grow. Now I’m simply hoping that just something, anything really, will survive the summer sun and heat.

IMG_5200The beans, which are in a semi shaded area of the garden and only get the afternoon sun seem to be doing ok for now. And so does the rosemary, thyme and basil plants. The parsley, on the other hand, has surrendered and is dying a slow yellowing death. At the other end of the garden, exposed to the much stronger morning sun, the peas are not looking too healthy, but I am still hoping that the aubergines will make it – they have just started flowering and if the surrounding plants grow to be a bit taller, hopefully they can provide some natural shade.

In an attempt to look at the bright side – in the five months since we moved in I have IMG_4985managed to create a small self-contained ecosystem – ants herds aphids on the pepper plants, which has attracted lady beetles and hover flies, caterpillars, in the rocket and on the tomato plants, provide a feast for the birds nesting in the palm trees just outside my garden, and I have even seen hummingbirds checking out the many flowers on the hibiscus – so a big part of me doesn’t really care that I haven’t had much produce, and I will put the first winter gardening in Abu Dhabi down to experience, and come October I will be prepared.

There seems to be a problem with white flies as well in the trees, trimming them, the trees,  helped a lot, but there are still some left. Someone recommended Neem oil – does anyone have any experiences using Neem oil and have any advice on how to apply it over a large area?

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