Firecracker plant | Photographs by the author

Q. I reside in Malir in Karachi, in close proximity to the airport. For the past couple yrs, I have been planting a couple fruit trees each individual calendar year. So considerably, I have planted lemons, dates, custard apple, mango, pomegranate, bananas and figs. Originally the harvest is excellent but, immediately after that, there is very little but difficulties. For example, custard apples turn black, lemon tree sheds flowers and the leaves dry out. What treatment would you recommend?

A. You surely have a problem on your hands and I suspect that growing soil salinity is at the root of the trouble. As soon as a highly fertile escalating place, Malir has been likely downhill for several years now as the blended challenges of soil salinity, brackish h2o and chemical pollution wreak havoc on nearby increasing disorders. I propose that you get hold of your neighborhood agricultural department and prepare to have the two soil and drinking water examined. Remedial motion ought to be based on the success of these tests. Please experience free to get hold of me all over again as soon as you have these all-critical outcomes in hand.

Q. In railway colonies and other outdated localities of our cities, hedges were grown for privateness, and to mark the boundaries of residences. Unfortunately, these and other hedges have been changed with brick walls. To assistance me reverse this unfortunate pattern, you should recommend some plant types that can be utilized to make thick hedging, and for normal landscaping in Lahore.

A. Brick walls do not look any where around as pleasant as shrubs but folks have switched to them for safety causes. Working with partitions to assist thorny bougainvillaea or climbing/rambling roses is a person way of bringing greenery back again into the each day life of city and city dwellers. Normally, shrubs that can be utilised as hedging contain lantana, clerodendron, tabernaemontana/chandni and murraya exotica/kamini.

All your gardening queries answered right here

Q. When does it grow to be far too very hot to plant trees in an open up space, in Lahore? The tree species I’m looking at are various, but primarily sukh chain [Indian beech], and neem trees. Till what month can saplings be safely and securely planted, specified that suitable water offer is obtainable?

Raspberry aspiration hollyhocks

A. Tree planting time is previously over but begins all over again on the arrival of the monsoon. Mark the certain planting places you have selected and get on with the task of getting ready planting holes, a thirty day period or so just before true planting time comes. Preparing planting holes in progress enables time for any required soil adjustments and additions of manure/fertiliser (recall to keep it natural please) to settle into location in advance of the trees go in.

Q. How can I stimulate my garlic lilies to flower? I have had the plants for two decades, and they have loads of nutritious leaves, but no flowers at all.

A. Tulbaghia violacea/garlic lilies are natives of South Africa and, like quite a few other South African flower species, require heaps of sunshine if they are to bloom. Without having adequate direct daylight, they will refuse to bloom. Not like drought-tolerant South African crops, this individual species also involves moist, not damp, soil disorders during the months right before it is envisioned to flower, in spring. Soon after flowering is in excess of, common watering is not so important. I hope this can help.

Peachy hollyhocks

Q. I want to make a border of hollyhocks to conceal the simple bricks of the boundary wall edging our backyard garden, just outside Rawalpindi. What is the correct time to sow the seeds, and what length apart should really the resultant vegetation be? How ought to the soil be prepared and how long will it choose for them to start out flowering? This is likely to be a permanent feature and I am so thrilled to do this.

A. What a glorious endeavor you have established your self! Seed can be sown from the finish of July through until eventually the stop of September, for flowering the adhering to 12 months. Defend the seed trays/seed bed from significant monsoon rains and from immediate solar when temperatures soar. Firmly preset green shade netting is your good friend until finally the seedlings are totally founded. Plant out at 3ft apart in properly-geared up soil that is prosperous in organic and natural matter/compost. There are once-a-year, bi-once-a-year and perennial kinds of hollyhocks, so be sure to pick out your seeds with care.

Q. My firecracker plant is not expanding very well and not flowering. What can I do?

A. Russelia equisetiformis/firecracker plant is such an easily developed shrub that I am astonished you are owning troubles. Native to Mexico, this gorgeous shrub wants heaps of sunshine and, once established, pretty very little water to prosper and put on its magnificent display of blooms. I suspect that you may well have planted it in a shady put. If so, you require to move it into the solar, but wait around right up until during the summer months monsoons.

Q. Can sesame seeds be developed, in pots/containers on our rooftop in Islamabad? How quite a few sesame vegetation will be desired to produce at minimum 5kg of seeds?

A. Indeed, they can. I have absolutely no idea how quite a few vegetation you need to have to get a harvest of 5kg, but unquestionably far, much extra than your rooftop has place for.

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Printed in Dawn, EOS, May possibly 8th, 2022

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