DUBAI Gardening enthusiasts in the UAE, especially the newly initiated, beware! Don’t be under the impression that your garden needs more water during summer. On the contrary, excessive watering can kill your plants and grass, warn experts.
“Plants need to be washed often in the heat, however, excessive watering can kill them,” says Vinish Kumar, Manager Operations, Opal Landscaping.
Reiterating the same caution is Emad Al Kurdi, Flower Shop Manager, Floral Designer, Dubai Garden Centre, who says garden owners must avoid hand-watering their plants as this can lead to excessive watering.
“Plants need to be watered from their roots and there is no need to water leaves excessively. Hand-watering can lead to water wastage as well. A good way to wet your garden is by fitting irrigation pipes that water at regular intervals. This way you save water and are not at risk of killing your plants.”
Gardening enthusiast Rajan Iyer, 48, who has planted a number of trees and plants in the 1,000 square feet garden of his villa in Jebel Ali, has devised a innovative method to avoid hand-watering. “I have installed irrigation pipes and sprinklers to wet my garden at regular intervals. I spend about three to four hours in a week in my garden and personally supervise the gardener when he waters the plants.”
While maintaining one’s garden is the not easiest job in the world, for Iyer it was a minor home ‘mishap’ that led to the novel way of irrigating his green space. “I noticed one summer that water was dripping from my air-conditioner. I decided then to pipe this to a tank on my roof-top. I fitted a second pipe to take this tank water to irrigate my garden,” he explained.
Another Dubai resident who has successfully maintained a lush green garden is Meadows resident Jaya Harikumar, 50.
Harikumar uses ‘Bokashi composting’ to re-cycle kitchen waste into soil conditioner. Apart from a canopy, a water fountain and numerous potted plants, Harikumar’s backyard is home to trees such as banana, mango, neem, drumstick, curry leaves and an almond tree. Her sprawling garden also has henna bushes.
According to landscaping expert Thomas Craig of Plantorama, gardeners must cut grass every week in the hot months so they can grow back thick.
Harikumar couldn’t agree more. “We regularly cut grass in summer so it grows back fast. The grass also tends to look thick and rich when they are cut often,” she said.
For those thinking of introducing new elements to their garden, experts recommend plants like Vinca and Portulaca for the summer. Others, like Gardenia, Hibiscus, Setcreasea, Hymenocallis, Rhoeo and varieties of Ficus are not recommended for summer planting.