I don’t know about you, but  our vegetable garden in Dubai gets particularly busy in September! The growing season has started in earnest, and it’s easy to fall behind if you don’t have a plan. There are still some preparations to be made, lots of seeds to be sown and if you were stubborn enough (like us) to grow throughout the summer, then there should be some beautiful fresh fruit ready to harvest.

To help you kickstart the month (and the growing season), I offer some insight into what we do in our vegetable garden in September. I have also included a printable checklist at the end of this article to make sure you stay ahead this month, and avoid the overwhelm that can happen at this time of year. 

September Preparations for your vegetable garden in Dubai

Getting your soil ready to grow is probably the single most important job this month if you haven’t done so in August.

 To prepare our beds, we use a 4 step process:

  1. Remove – clear weak, dying and dead plants from the container and garden beds. Put into the compost pile unless diseased.
  2. Irrigate – using a hose, or running the irrigation for longer than usual, give the soil a good drenching to wash away any salts that may have built up over the summer.
  3. Fertilise – spread a well balanced granular organic fertiliser over the soil. 
  4. Top up – add compost to your beds. If you don’t make enough of your own, shop bought compost or potting soil will work if you need.

Check that any installed irrigation is working correctly. It is much easier to do it now while the beds are empty than it will be when they are full of vegetables!

Do a stocktake. There is nothing worse than going to sow some seeds and finding you’ve run out of potting soil! Ask me how I know sometime….

Look after your tools and they’ll look after you. Clean, sharpen and oil tools such as secateurs, clippers, spades and forks. The desert climate tends to cause wood to dry and split, and plastic to disintegrate so its worthwhile to make sure everything is in good condition.

Make a plan. Draw your garden on graph paper, and have a look at where you will grow your crops. It makes it much quicker and easier when you are ready to plant.

Growing your vegetable garden in Dubai

Not sure what to grow this month? We’ve taken the guess work out of when to start your seeds!

Subscribe to our blog here to get your free growing calendar for the UAE and Gulf Region. This is the most comprehensive UAE growing calendar ever, with 50 fruit and vegetables that can be grown in the UAE climate! 

There are too many to list here, but we will be sowing our summer squash, cucumbers, sunflowers and of course tomatoes at the start of the month. Others such as carrots will be sown towards the end of the September.

Of course we can’t forget about the seeds we sowed in August! Crops such as pumpkins, corn and eggplant that you started last month should have started to sprout by now. Keep them well watered, and shaded from the afternoon sun.

Crops like peppers and eggplant which were started in pots last month will need to be potted on (moved into bigger pots) when the roots start to show through the bottom. They should be ready to plant out in the garden 6-10 weeks after sowing.

It’s still hot this month, so add compost or other form of mulch around plants that are growing in the ground to help conserve moisture and protect the roots from the heat.

We will also cut back herbs by at least a third, up to a half in order to stimulate new growth and promote strong branches.

Harvesting your VEGETABLE garden in Dubai

You may still be getting harvests from crops such as basil, melons and watermelons which should have grown well over the summer. Harvest the last of these tasty fruit before removing the plants to make space for cooler weather crops. 

Melon harvest in hand



Hopefully you’ve already started to compost, but if not check out our article on how to make a DIY compost bin which will take you less than 10 minutes to make. Not sure you want to compost? Read this to know what to compost and 10 reasons to start today! 

If you already have a compost pile, you should have been adding to the mix all summer! Make sure to check if it is ready to go. If it is, then use it to top off your beds and/or pots with it.

Keep turning unfinished compost on a weekly basis. This adds air to the pile. Also add a little bit of water if the contents are looking dry. Doing both these simple things will help the microorganisms in the soil make your compost faster!

Freshly sifted compost in storage box

It can be hectic month in the garden, so we have put together this printable checklist of September gardening tasks to help you along! 

As always, feel free to comment below and let us know what you think!