CEP 810: What’s new with the Urban Garden? – An update on my NLP

Progress = nice! I have learned that I can actually grow vegetables and herbs without killing them! My husband and I have used our basil with a tilapia dish so far and we are excited to see our other plants grow so we can use them with our cooking.

To be honest, I could not be happier because I haven’t killed a plant yet! My sprouts have sprung and I am beginning to see what I can accomplish in full, very extreme, sunlight. Using the hydroponic system seems to be working. I check the plants every morning to make sure the soil is moist. Thank you Epic Gardening and  Marty’s Garden videos! Here is a quick video that shows how the seeds have started to grow!

Challenge #1: Stupid little bugs that are trying to eat my basil plant. I will admit I bought the basil plant from a local grocery story and replanted it. I was curious to see if the plant would survive with the hydroponics system that I looked up and blogged last time. I have started to see that some type of bug has been chomping on the plant. Since I have three balconies, the logical solution was to first move the basil to a different location and see if that would solve the problem. Since that didn’t work I started to research what else I could do.

Solution A: I found a website that talks about pests to watch out for in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Expat Woman has been a website my husband and I have used even before we moved to Dubai. It’s a great blog that explains things easily and includes lots of pictures, which really helps me. The website explained which bugs could be eating the basil plant. I concluded that I probably have leaf miner bugs and should snip off the leaves that have been eaten. If that didn’t work the next piece of advice was to call a professional. Number one, I don’t have the money for that. Number two, I think that method is a bit extreme.

Solution B: Of course, YouTube! I love saving money, so they first thing I searched was what can I make that is cheap and easy. I found out that using vinegar as a home remedy to keeping bugs off plants should work well. I have used this for a couple of days and we will see if it works by the time I post my next video.

Here is a picture of the before and after of my basil plant. If you look closely you can see the leaves that have been eaten. This is what I am trying to prevent. Hopefully my research will work!

IMG_3757IMG_3772

Before                                                        After

Challenge #2: Over watering. My husband laughs at me constantly because I want to check my plants every hour. The reason why my plants haven’t survived in the past was because I forgot to water them. Now I think I am over watering and that’s why my mint isn’t growing. So I started to Google it.

Solution A: I found a site called ProvenWinners. This site showed descriptions of how you know a plant is drowning and how to avoid it. I am glad I found this site, because it did help right away. I decided to plant the mint a second time to see if it would sprout in a different soil. Here is to hoping it works.

Solution B: What better way to save your plants but with Better Homes and Gardens. My mother has had a subscription to this magazine for years and I am just now seeing why that is the case.

Solution C: I have researched another way to make sure that my plants are watered. Apparently, plastic ziplock bags can also help water plants, and this may be better for my mint plant. Also using paper towels instead of shirts for the wick.

Here’s to hoping all goes well before my next post! Wish me luck!

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