Ask Alys: can I grow blueberries without peat?

I grow fruit and vegetables organically in my front garden in boarded raised beds. I would love to grow blueberries, but I know they need an acidic soil. How can I create a bed for them without using any peat-based products? Peat-free soil for acid-loving plants does exist, but you might not be able to get it from every garden centre you visit. The best one I’ve tried is made by Melcourt and is called SylvaGrow ericaceous compost – this is the bee’s knees, although I’d say that about all of this company’s composts. You can get hold…

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Foreign investment reaches $222.6 mln

ISLAMABAD:  Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) surged by 162.8 per cent to $222.6 million in July 2017 as compared to the investment of $84.7 million during same month of previous year. According to data released by State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) here on Wednesday, net FDI in food sector during July 2017, stood at $0.7 million while FDI in tobacco and cigarettes sectors, decreased to $1.8 million from $1.9 million in July, 2016. Similarly, the FDI in textile sector also reduced to $1.4 million in July 2017 from $4.2 million in…

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Apple´s deep pockets could take on Hollywood, Netflix

SAN FRANCISCO: The potential move of Apple into streaming video could reshape an industry which is already feeling the impact from new players like Netflix. While Apple has not revealed any plans publicly, a report that the iPhone maker could spend a billion dollars on its own shows suggested more disruption for a sector seeing rapid changes. The move by deep-pocketed Apple would challenge entrenched services such as Netflix, YouTube, and Amazon Prime, which have been increasingly challenging the established media-entertainment world of Hollywood. Apple declined to comment on a…

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S Arabia keen to invest in CPEC, Gwadar projects: Envoy

ISLAMABAD: Ambassador of Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) to Pakistan Nawaf Ahmad Al Malkiy on Wednesday said his country is mulling to invest in China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and Gwadar port projects. While talking to state media, the ambassador said that the CPEC is a huge project, which would create many investment opportunities. He further said that Pakistan and Saudi Arabia are fully engaged to strengthen and enhance their cooperation in military, economic and other sectors to benefit the people of both countries as they enjoy brotherly relations. While…

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Zil Haj moon not sighted, Eid ul Azha to be celebrated on Sep 2

The Zil-Haj crescent was not sighted on Tuesday  in Pakistan, which means Eid-ul-zha will be on September 2 (Saturday) this year, according to Central Ruet-e-Hilal Committee which met  Mufti Munibur Rehman in the chair for sighting of Zil-Haj moon. Eid ul Azha is  one of the two most important festivals of the Islamic calendar. Marking the willingness of  Hazrat Ibrahim (A.S) to sacrifice his son on God’s command, Muslims mark the holiday by slaughtering animals such as sheep and goats. The meat is shared among family and friends and also…

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How to safely watch a Solar eclipse

Miami: Everyone who plans to look skyward when the solar eclipse sweeps across the United States on Monday should have the proper protective eyewear, or risk lasting blind spots, experts warn. Regular sunglasses will not do, the US space agency says. Only eclipse glasses that have a certification with “ISO 12312-2 international standard” are safe for use, according to NASA. Other options are number 14 welder´s glass, or making a pinhole projector that allows a user to project the image of the Sun on paper or cardboard. But with the…

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Coffee drinking linked to lower risk of death

People who drink the most coffee are less likely to die than those who drink the least or none, according to two new studies that followed nearly three quarters of a million people for about 16 years. The results don’t necessarily mean coffee directly prevents people from dying, but researchers suggest they should at least reassure people who can’t get by without their daily cup of joe. “It’s premature that people start consuming coffee to improve health outcomes,” said Alice Lichtenstein, director of the Cardiovascular Nutrition Laboratory at the Jean…

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Japan launches satellite for better GPS system

Tokyo: Japan on Saturday launched the third satellite in its effort to build a homegrown geolocation system aimed at improving the accuracy of car navigation systems and smartphone maps to mere centimetres. An H-IIA rocket blasted off at about 2:30 pm (0530 GMT) from the Tanegashima space centre in southern Japan, according to the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). The rocket successfully released the “Michibiki” No.3 satellite about 30 minutes after launching. “The rocket flew as planned, and the agency confirmed that the Michibiki No.3 was released with no abnormalities…

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PSL 2017: Karachi Kings qualify for playoffs, Qalandars eliminated

DUBAI: Karachi Kings defeated Islamabad United by six wickets in rain-reduced Twenty20 match and qualified for playoffs of the Pakistan Super League 2017. Although, Islamabad United had already qualified for the playoffs but their encounter with Karachi Kings on Sunday was important for Lahore Qalandars too. With the defeat of Islamabad United, Lahore Qalandars are now eliminated from the tournament. Earlier, Islamabad United set a target of 124 runs for Karachi Kings after the match was reduced to 15 overs a side due to rain here at the Dubai International…

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Sacrificial animals beyond buyers’ reach

LAHORE: As Eid-ul-Azha is just a few days ahead, the sale and purchase of sacrificial animals is gaining momentum in the provincial capital though the prices of sacrificial animals have reached beyond the purchasing limits of the general public. A visit to different cattle markets established around the city showed that so far majority of citizens visiting cattle markets are returning empty handed owing to the avarice of the animal sellers. It was seen that majority of sellers of sacrificial animals are demanding very high rates as there is no…

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