The Moustache Chronicles

UAE Landscaping 101

 UAE landscaping 101

 

Deciding on what kind of landscaping or gardening work you want done in the UAE does present some challenges from the climate, the investment required, and the time that it can to get some work done. You may also ask yourself why you should put so much money into landscaping when you either don’t own your villa or you can enjoy your outdoor space only for half the year.

Our answer: of course it’s worth it!

To help you in making the decision, we’ve done our homework for you and compiled some common landscaping requests and solutions we get here in the UAE.

Let’s start with the grass.
We’ve spoke to landscapers across the country to learn which types of grass – whether artificial or natural – are suitable for the harsh UAE climate and can withstand whatever the weather throws at it.

The first obvious choice to make is if you want natural or artificial grass, both have their own inherent pros and cons. Natural is, of course, much more attractive but requires a lot of maintenance. Artificial has a high initial cost for installation but is relatively easy to maintain and has a long ‘shelf-life’ so-to-speak.

Common natural grass types in the UAE
Gulf: Typically has bigger leaves than other types. Pros: Grows quickly, cheaper than other options. Cons: You need to mow it every 15 days and the color gets lighter with every cut.

Bermuda: Characterized by small leaves and its density, almost resembling a carpet. Pros: Attractiveness and maintenance as you only need to move it once a month and it needs less pesticide. Cons: price.

Artificial grass
There are multiple things to look for if you go for for artificial turf:

Pile height: The height from bottom to top of the of the blades.

Gauge: Grass is formed by stitching together the individual blades of grass in rows on a backing at pre-set widths. Gauge is the distance or width between those rows. Generally, a smaller gauge means a heavier artificial lawn which is considered higher quality.

Stitch rate: The density of the grass. The higher the stitch rate, the heavier and higher quality the grass.

DTEX: It stands for Decitex, the measuring unit for yarn; which is 1 gram per 10,000 meters.

Before making a decision, make sure you ask for the landscaper for samples. Interesting fact - there is a type of artificial grass sold in the UAE that is FIFA-approved; so ask for it if it makes a difference to you.

Then with the irrigation system.
Even if you opt for artificial grass, you still may have trees, flowers, and shrubs in your yard, which, of course, would require some sort of irrigation system.

The system has to be installed before the turf is laid down. Usually, a full irrigation system has different components that are packaged together for you, including a controller, sprinklers, drippers, drip tubes, fittings, stakes, valves and all consumables. Depending on your requirements and your pre-existing layout, you may need to invest in a pump and/or water tank. The most common brand in the UAE for your irrigation system controller is Hunter, while sprinklers are commonly RainBird (also a global leader).

Now how about a splash of color?
You need plants that both attractive and drought-resident (i.e. don’t need much water). The following are the most common outdoors plants used in gardens and yards all over the UAE; no need for an explanation for them – we can let the images speak for themselves. Just know that all of them generally grow fast and don’t need much water to grow, so they are perfect for our climate. Just ask your landscaping company about costs and maintenance requirements for the trees and plants in our list:

Date palm

Date palm

Frangipani
Frangipani
Damas tree
Damas tree
Acacia
Acacia
Hibiscus
Hibiscus
Bougainvillea

Bougainvillea

Aloe
Aloe
Yellow trumpet flower
Yellow trumpet flower


Perhaps some aesthetic touches?
Grass, trees, and water are great at all, but you’ll need a bit more to have a true holistic outdoor space you can enjoy – all year long if possible. For example, an interlocking brick pathway can do wonders to the unaided eye. Pergolas and gazebos will protect you from the grueling rays of the sun, all year long. Typically – and for cost savings – you can get them both made of composite material (like MDF and instead of real wood) and modular (think IKEA style). However, you can decide to make your own in a design you choose.
No point in enjoying the outdoors without a place to sit. You have a choice here – you can go for the impersonal option and purchase your outdoor furniture from a generic and global supermarket chain, you or can them custom-made. In fairness, custom-made furniture is a sizable investment, however, you WILL be target of envy of your neighbors.

Heck – if you really want to see them turn green, toss in a pool or a fountain and watch them fume!

You’ll definitely need to maintain now.
At mrUsta, we can offer you a variety of maintenance packages depending on your requirements, all at very a very competitive price point. Your landscaper will recommend your maintenance needs, but generally, the below is covered with their frequencies:

Weekly package

Monthly package

General site clearing

Weekly

Monthly

General weeding

Weekly

Monthly

Automatic irrigation system check

Weekly

Monthly

Fertilizer application

Monthly

Monthly

Manure application

Monthly

Monthly

Shrubs and ground cover trimming

Monthly

Monthly

Flushing of drip pipes

Monthly

Monthly

Loosening of soil

Monthly

Monthly

Water reach check

Monthly

Monthly

Lawn mowing if present

Monthly

Monthly

Trees pruning

Quarterly

Quarterly

Trace elements application

Yearly

Yearly

Pest and disease management

As and when required

As and when required

Adjustment of stakes

As and when required

As and when required

Dead and disease management

As and when required

As and when required


Ok then. You’re armed with the knowledge now you need to make your landscaping decisions. Although we picture the UAE as being a dry, hot desert, in reality, we do enjoy some of the best weather for 8 months of the year that anyone can ask for.
So no more waiting. No more excuses. Get your landscaping work done now!