HOW TO GROW THE POMEGRANATE


Pomegranate tree credit Kris Peterson - www.flickr.com/groups/colorphotoaward



The Pomegranate tree is one of the most iconic fruiting plants of the Mediterranean, and rather surprisingly, it can be grown outside in the milder regions of northern Europe. This would even include the south and western regions of England!

Of course you need to make sure that wherever you are planting your pomegranate tree that you try a replicate a Mediterranean climate as best as possible and so it will need to be planted in the sunniest, warmest part of your garden.

Pomegranate flowers
In warmer regions however, they will in fact grow and flower in partial shade. Furthermore, they are even tolerant of moderately saline water and soil conditions, which may explain why so many examples thrive on the Greek islands.

The pomegranate will do best in any well-drained soil, but will also thrive on chalk or acidic loam, as well as rock strewn gravel. If you have soil that is prone to waterlogging then you may need to plant it into a raised bed or mound, or in extreme conditions you may have no alternative other than to grow it in a large container.

Once they have established, pomegranates are naturally drought tolerant, but if you want to get a decent crop of fruit then they will need to be watered. Now that isn't going to be much of a problem in northern Europe, but in warmer regions you may need to put irrigation in place. As a matter of course, new plants they should be watered every 2 to 4 weeks during the dry season.

Pomegranate fruit
Pomegranate trees require very little fertilizer, although they do respond well to a spring mulch of well-rotted farm manure. Be that as it may, they can be given a 2 to 4 ounce applications of ammonium sulfate or other nitrogen fertilizer over the first two springs to help them along.

The flowers are produced from June to September, shortly after which the embryonic fruit will appear. These deep yellow or orange-yellow, red flushed fruit have a leathery rind which encloses pulpy red flesh and numerous seeds. In norther Europe these will generally only ripen under greenhouse conditions, but further south you should experience no such problems.

You can tell when the fruits are ripe once they have developed their distinctive color, they will also make a metallic sound when tapped. Be aware they will need to be picked before they become over-ripe as they have a habit of cracking open, particularly when rained on. Pomegranates are particularly good for storage, but do best at a temperature of 32° to 41° F. Surprisingly they can last as long as 7 months, and will even improve by becoming juicier and more flavoursome.

For related articles click onto the following links:
BOMAREA CALDASII
Fruit
HOW TO GROW A MULBERRY TREE
HOW TO GROW THE POMEGRANATE
HOW TO GROW POMEGRANATE FROM CUTTINGS
HOW TO GROW POMEGRANATE FROM SEED
THE POMEGRANATE  -  Punica granatum

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