Healthy Living, Online Magazine, Wellness

A Beginner’s Guide to Urban Gardening

Profile photo of Zahra Anwer

Zahra Anwer

Associate Editor at Destination Riyadh

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You’ll be snipping fresh herbs and edible plants in your kitchen in no time!


In a concrete desert like Riyadh, a big chunk of the population live in apartments that don’t provide much access to Mother Nature. Here are simple ways to add greens to your otherwise beige existence in the city:

1. Pot ’em up

Before you begin, choose your pot wisely. If the pot is too small, your herbs won’t like it; too big, and it won’t fit the space at home. If you like, choose colorful containers with drainage holes and set them up for a pretty effect.

Make sure you have a saucer under the pots so you don’t ruin your windowsill or furniture.Buy pots from Ikea, Saco or Abyat.

Tip: There are nurseries around the city, you don’t have to go as far as Al Khozama District, just head on out to Murooj.pot-saucer

2. No backyard? No problem!

You can create your own little garden in just a sliver of space. All you need is a sunny windowsill or pop a planter anywhere in your house. If you don’t have a reliably sun-lit window, you will need to provide some type of plant lighting. Lack of sunshine will leave you with spindly, stressed plants, having little flavor.

3. Use potting soil

Use potting soil instead of regular soil from the ground. Potting soil is lighter and well draining. You can buy the potting soil from your local nursery and also ask the gardeners there how much soil each plant needs.urban-gardening-tamimi-november-health-2017-jp6

Tip: If the soil falls out of the draining holes, you can cover them with pieces of small coffee filters.

3. Add herbs

Most herbs are very easy to grow. You can either buy your favorite seedlings from a nursery or buy planting seeds from local supermarkets.

Buy seedlings from: Tamimi Markets, Lulu (Riyadh)slow_release_nitrogen

4. Try a little sunshine

You have to be careful about this bit. Do your research and learn whether your plant likes sun or shade. Vegetables and herbs require a little healthy dose of sunshine.

5. Feed them right

If your plants look like they are struggling, feed them every other month with a fertilizer labeled for use on edible plants. Herbs have more concentrated flavor if they are grown without a lot of fertilizer. Adjust the amount of the fertilizer according to your plant’s needs.urban-gardening-tamimi-november-health-2017-jp1

6. Monitor plants

It takes the plants a while to grow, so, you need to have a bit of patience. Expect the plants to adjust during the first few weeks. Water them when the soil feels dry to the depth of one inch. Since the humidity level is low in Riyadh, make sure you mist the air around plants once a week to boost the humidity level.

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