With winter at the door, residents flock to nurseries
With the summer heat gradually receding in Qatar, an increasing number of residents are flocking to plant nurseries to buy various types of seeds and seedlings of winter vegetables and flowering plants.
“We are getting a lot of orders from regular and new customers, this is the beginning of the peak season for us,” a gardener at a leading nursery in Doha told Gulf Times.
The cooler months from mid-October to March are the suitable season in Qatar to grow a variety of vegetables and flowers. While many residents living in villas with open patches of land prefer to plant vegetables including okra (lady's finger), eggplant, big and small (cherry) tomatoes, capsicum, and a variety of gourds among others in pots or grow bags, apartment dwellers with access to the rooftop convert open terraces to temporary vegetable gardens.
Staff at a number of nurseries located near the Wholesale Market in Doha shared the same observation saying their sales of plants, potting soil, as well as agricultural tools and materials, started to rise.
An employee of another nursery said many customers also buy pots of different sizes and types, stones, fertiliser, sprinklers, and hand tools such as trowels, among others.
“We expect more people to come soon, with further drop in mercury, but we already see a large number of visitors per day especially during the weekend,” he stressed.
To entice more residents to do gardening, he said they try to give them some tips and suggestions on how and what plants to grow in the country, as well as how to beautify their gardens.
This is also the aim of a number of groups in Qatar who organise various seminars, workshops, and trainings on how to properly nurture plants “in a desert environment.”
These groups normally become active during this period, urging their members to start planting and share photos of their gardening activities on social media.
The Doha Garden Club, a non-profit organisation founded in 2002 by a group of ladies, is organising a seminar-workshop on vertical farming on November 13. Details will be announced soon on its website www.dohagardenclub.com.
Apart from these activities, its website also provides several tips and information on gardening. The Club also gives each member a plant every month and teaches them “how to grow, groom, and prune it.”
“The objective of the club is to promote good gardening practices, through the correct usage of appropriate plants and plant materials sensitive to the local environment,” it said.
Members of another group, the Pinoy (Filipino) Hydroponics Qatar, have also to become active on their Facebook page, asking for any meetings or gardening training in the coming weeks.
A number of members are donating some seedlings, plants, and fertilisers to their compatriots while others help beginners in setting up their mini gardens.
“Some of the plants that grow quickly are cherry tomatoes, which we buy from supermarkets. Do not throw the seeds,” a member suggests.