Dr Satish Narula

With technological improvements and use of waterproof enamels, new types of baskets for plants are now available in the market. Though it is advisable to have plants that are hardy and need less water, there will be no seepage, wetting and spoilage. Wall baskets are leak-proof too, as water hardly drips down. Be judicious in the use of water and you will have your plants growing vertically.

Can I start pruning grapes and peaches now? What is the appropriate time to do it?

Rekha, Panchkula

It is better to prune peaches in the last week and grapes in the second fortnight of January. Let all the leaves fall before you start pruning.

I want to plant plum. Which variety should I grow and where do I get a good quality?

Ritesh Kumar, Chandigarh

You will have to grow two varieties, as plum require cross-pollination. With Satluj Purple and Kala Amritsari as the two main varieties, plant them at a distance of 15 to 20 feet. These two can be brought from Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana, which is better than buying a local variety that will bear no fruit.

I have a big mulberry tree in my garden. I have never pruned it, but now it is growing too big and I do not get most of the fruit. How should I

prune it?

Ranjit Singh, Mohali

Mulberry trees grow a good amount each year and the fruit is borne on the new growth. You can even drastically cut the tree to reduce its size.

How long does it take for peach and pear plants to bear fruits? I have two- year-old plants of each.

Satbir, Mohali

You can expect fruit on peaches in the next year, but pear will take at least four more years to bear fruit.

... contd.

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