Q. I am a regular reader of your articles on gardening in Eos. Today I read about the kohlrabi plants and I am interested in planting it in my kitchen garden. I shall be grateful if you could kindly guide me as to where I can get its seeds from and what is the best time to sow this plant in Karachi.
A. Seeds of the kohlrabi plant are widely available across Pakistan. Specifically in Karachi, you may get the seeds from plant stores located opposite Old Sabzi Mandi, at the plants and seeds shops in Empress Market, Saddar and almost any area that has local plant accessories and seed selling stores. You may visit any nearby plant nursery in your vicinity to inquire about the kohlrabi seeds. Many times plant nurseries also sell seeds of different plants. Since it is now time to sow summer seeds, I would suggest seeking the kohlrabi seeds during the month of September and beyond.
All your gardening queries answered here…
Q. I remember my grandmother used to cook kohlrabi and in Urdu it was called ganth gobi. She cooked it with mutton and she used to prefer meat with fat, preferably the breast portion. The curry used to be very delicious and had a peculiar taste unlike cauliflower or cabbage. Broccoli, back then, was hardly found here. I normally buy vegetables myself but I have not seen the kohlrabi since I came back to Pakistan about 20 years back. Do you know where one can buy it in Karachi?
A. Thank you so much for such an informative email for our readers. Our goal as a family is to grow so many herbs and vegetables that they will at least fulfill our daily meal needs. It is seldom that we actually have to go out exclusively to buy these, apart from during festive days when the food requirement might exceed our expectations. I can faintly recall purchasing kohlrabi with my father from the Empress Market in Karachi at least 20-25 years back. You may ask your local vegetable sellers to book and arrange it for you from the main Sabzi Mandi, if it is available there. It is, however, not easily available in Karachi. My advice would always be to grow it yourself.
Q. Kindly tell me how to prepare compost from kitchen garbage.
A. Compost can be easily prepared from kitchen by-products and throwaway material. It is a relatively better, organic and healthy option to prepare compost from kitchen scraps. I always highly recommend it. Unlike chemical compost, this organic compost is much better for the soil quality as well. However, it would be difficult to go through its preparation method in just a few lines here. Very soon, I will be carrying out a series of detailed articles on how you may easily prepare home-made, organic compost with minimal expenditure. Stay tuned for that!
Q. I wanted to know how to take good care of money plants. I have grown the plant in my home garden pot. Does it always need soil for growth or can the plant grow with its roots dipped in a water bottle? Also, how can I ensure the plant’s health? I am from Bahawalpur and the temperature right now varies from 24 degrees Celsius during the day to 14 degrees Celsius at night.
A. Money plants can grow both in water and soil. However, the growth of the plant in water is limited and relatively slow. Another disadvantage is that there is a constant need to replace the water when it turns cloudy. Money plants thrive in indirect sunlight. Harsh sunlight is likely to burn its leaves. Commonly, the money plant is supported by a tree or bamboo sticks around which it wraps itself and extracts nourishment from. If growing the plant indoors, moss sticks should be inserted near the money plant for support. This moss stick should be regularly sprayed with any available liquid nitrogen based fertilisers. Aerial roots of the money plant then derive nourishment for the plant from that moss stick.
Please send your queries and emails to email@example.com. The writer is a physician and a host for the YouTube channel ‘DocTree Gardening’ promoting organic kitchen gardening
Published in Dawn, EOS, May 28th, 2023