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Karachi Gardening Special for Super foods

Karachi Gardening Special for Super foods
Having problems growing blueberry or finding rocket seeds? Z. N. tells you how to overcome these gardening problems and more...
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Source:  Zahrah Nasir
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  • Q) I have lived abroad for many years and am aware of the immense value of antioxidants. Therefore I brought some blueberry seeds and olive seeds from America but have had no success in growing them in Karachi. I tried soaking the seeds, even planting them in small separate pots but to no avail.

  • What have I done wrong and why are these plants not available, even in Islamabad where I have also searched in the nurseries.

  • A Many fruits and vegetables are claimed to be extremely high in antioxidants and, over the last few years, numerous commercial ventures in America and Europe in particular, have been advertising them as super foods with blueberries being very high on the list.

  • However, just a few weeks back, the European Union banned the promotion of such ‘super foods’ as, detailed research has yet to prove their actual health value. This information aside though, blueberries will not grow in Karachi as they are a cold climate species which also require a certain type of soil rarely found in Pakistan other than in the remote Deosai Plateau area of the far north.

  • Even if you manage to obtain the correct soil they will still not grow in hot regions of the country as they require a cold, hard winter period in order to thrive and, eventually, fruit. This, I imagine, is the reason that blueberry plants are not available in Pakistan.

  • Sadly olives, too, will not thrive in the hot, humid, weather conditions of Karachi as they to require a certain amount of winter cold although not the same amount as blueberries. Olives are grown both in and around the Islamabad area and I am surprised that you didn’t find saplings in the nurseries you visited although they are usually more available during late winter and very early spring with just a few nurseries selling pot-grown plants around the year.

  • I suggest that you stick to eating lots and lots of cooked, not raw, tomatoes as the antioxidant value of these is well-documented.

  • Q) Would you please suggest some nice, low maintenance, large in size, indoor plants suitable for Karachi?

  • A Why not try diffenbachia, monsteria deliciosa, philodendrons, cane palms, rubber plants or some other members of the ‘ficus’ family. Place them in locations with plenty of natural light but out of direct sunlight as this can burn their leaves. Never let the soil completely dry out in-between watering and, using a damp sponge, carefully wipe the dust of their leaves once in a while to help them breathe.

  • Q) I would like to purchase rocket seeds but have no idea who to contact. Is there any place in Karachi where one can buy such seeds plus seeds of different herbs, vegetables, fruits, etc.?

  • A There are a number of garden supply shops in Karachi that also sell seeds so you need to track down the one nearest to your own particular location. If they don’t have what you want then ask them for details of another, more suitable source. If you still fail to find what you are looking for then international mail order, from a reputable company, is the only alternative solution.

  • If you decide to mail order seeds then I recommend taking out the insurance cover which good seed companies do offer and to request that your order is also send by registered mail to avoid any disappointment. It costs a little more but is well worth it.

  • Q) I would like to plant golden ornamental bamboo alongside one wall as a quick growing hedge in an effort to stop our next door neighbours peeking in our lawn. However, is it true that planting bamboo alongside a boundary wall will eventually cause the wall to collapse due to the development of large roots? If so, then perhaps you could recommend some other plant which is fast growing and could be planted as a hedge, preferably a flowering one.

  • A Bamboo is not good hedging material as, yes, the roots can eventually damage the foundations of your boundary wall and, very importantly from your point of view, your neighbours can quite easily climb up and part it to peer through without any problem whatsoever. This also applies for numerous other ‘soft’ hedging materials.

  • Therefore, I would strongly suggest something with thorns, good old bougainvillea or rambling roses for example which should quickly full fill your needs whilst adding some glorious colours at the same time.

  • Q) I bought a crab lily plant three years ago and was told that I would have to wait four years before I could expect any flowers but, I have lately been wondering whether I will ever get any flowers. It is only one plant, what about pollination, etc.

  • A First and foremost I have to admit that I haven’t got the slightest idea what a ‘crab lily’ is! I have searched my extensive reference library, asked gardening friends, even wandered around cyberspace for hours on end but all without finding a single reference to such a plant.

  • Whatever it is though, coming in to bloom will not be affected because of only having one plant. Pollination only comes into the equation if you want to gather fertile seeds after the plants have flowered. My curiosity is aroused!

  • Q) I live in Lahore and have planted two new anwar ratol mango trees. As the leaves come out, half of every leaf gets burnt. What is the reason for this and how can it be avoided.

  • A I have such a mountain of questions to wade through that it has taken me quite some time to answer your query and, I suspect, that as the monsoons have arrived, you no longer have this problem. The weather this year has been very strange indeed and I think it is highly possible that at the time you were experiencing this leaf burn on your young mango trees that the weather was probably very dry with hot, dust laden, drying winds and, I further suspect that your trees are growing in a location in which they were catching this ‘hair dryer’ wind which would burn the leaves exactly as you describe.

  • I had the same problem with two of my cherished fig trees which are only now thinking of forming a new crop of young leaves. Next season, the only thing to do, is to erect some form of wind break if you possibly can or, if the trees are still quite small, then you could move them to a more sheltered location when they are dormant during the winter months.

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Comments posted by users for Karachi Gardening Special for Super foods

  1. Hello. My question is that i am growing cannabis in Pakistan. Are there any supplements available for plant growth?

    on Jun 11 2016 1:27PM Report Abuse GROWER420
  2. pakistan has no pumpkins growth start planting them

    on Aug 30 2015 4:05AM Report Abuse ZESHAN
  3. Pls can you tel me from where can I get coffee plant in karachi and will it grow in karachi

    on Nov 3 2014 9:26PM Report Abuse SAMIYA
  4. Sir, I have agriculture land in kaghan valley can possible to harvest olive plant and zafran (suffron) in this area?

    on Jul 12 2014 6:34AM Report Abuse ABDUL RAZIQ
  5. I also looking Olive Seeds or small plant

    on Dec 23 2013 5:46PM Report Abuse SHAHZAD MALIK
  6. MPRESA Pvt Ltd, is a truly international company with unparallel capabilities. Our strength is build on solid and exclusive business relations with innovative and “cutting edge” Italian companies which operates in different sectors.We provide qualitative certified olive plants. We are the only specialized people from private sector who are working in this field in Pakistan. Please contact us for olive plants, olive oil extraction units and consultancy.

    on Nov 6 2012 2:16AM Report Abuse AURANG ZAIB
  7. mujhay sikhna hai plz help me gardening corus

    on Oct 15 2012 1:49AM Report Abuse ARSHAD HUSSAIN
  8. i search a lot about hydroponic, now i am interested start my own project, do you have an idea where from i buy the hydroponic item like pump, aqua fresh air, and chemical for mixing and i also want to know where from i buy the coir, perlite. thank you

    on May 11 2012 11:33PM Report Abuse TAUFEEQUE AHMED BHUTTO
  9. CAn u tell me what these plants are called in Urdu so that our gardener can understand?...diffenbachia, monsteria deliciosa and philodendrons?

    on Apr 27 2012 2:08AM Report Abuse NEWINKARACHI
  10. Waseem Sultan, it is not a good idea to unnecessarily move the pants as it disturbs plant's growth. Sow the seeds in land you want to grow the pumpkin and cucumbers in.

    on Apr 16 2012 2:46PM Report Abuse KP SUPPORT TEAM
  11. i wat to ask that i can sowing seeds of pumpkin . cucumber in small pots and then transfer to land?

    on Apr 16 2012 4:53AM Report Abuse WASEEM SULTAN
  12. Q. I did manage to get some Rocket seeds from England. Now I dont know how to go about planting them. Could you please tell me the time for seed planting, transplanting if required and when to harvest. What is the ideal location and soil type. I live in Defence, Karachi about 4 km from the sea. Thank you.

    on Oct 13 2010 3:28PM Report Abuse NIGHAT KHAN
  13. the man asked a simple question up there, as to where he could buy fruits and vegetable seeds in karachi. if you dont know the answer, have the courage to be honest and say that you don't know. you think you acted like someone smart by beating about the bush and not answering the question but you actually made a fool out of your self.

    on Aug 3 2010 10:36AM Report Abuse BLOGREADER

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