9 secrets for growing pomegranate in your garden
Pomegranate is one of the most popular fruit trees that we can traditionally grow in our garden to enjoy delicious and juicy pomegranates. Pomegranate is eaten fresh, plain, or with side dishes in salads and recipes, while we will also find it in fresh juices and soft drinks. In recent years, pomegranate is considered an important superfood, as it contains antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals
Pomegranate cultivation is very common in amateur gardens, as it does not have high demands on care, as long as we follow a few basic tips. Let’s see in detail what we pay attention to in the cultivation of pomegranate to enjoy every autumn’s wonderful pomegranates from our garden.
What are the most popular varieties of pomegranate?
There are many local and foreign varieties of pomegranate, mainly American, grown in our country. The most popular and remarkable variety of pomegranate is the American variety Wonderful, which are characterized as sweet and sour varieties
Under what conditions are the pomegranate grown and at what distances is it planted?
Pomegranates thrive in warm areas with mild winters, without strong cold winds. It is worth noting that as a crop it is considered more resistant to cold than citrus. The pomegranate is tolerant in periods of drought, as the relatively high temperature of summer favors the ripening of its fruits.
As for the soil, the pomegranate grows in deep and fertile, cool soils, which show good drainage to remove water. It is important before planting the pomegranate to incorporate manure and compost to enrich the soil with organic matter that will help the better growth of plants.
The pomegranate is planted at distances of 4 meters between the trees and 5 meters between the planting lines.
How often does a pomegranate need watering?
The pomegranate has important needs for watering in order to have good growth and rich fruiting. We water regularly for the pomegranate, making sure to water once a week in the spring period to have satisfactory flowering and in the autumn period to ensure good ripening of the fruits.
Especially in the summer months, we need to water more often and water twice a week. In times of drought and heat, pomegranate leaves absorb water from the fruit, thus degrading the quality of pomegranate production.
What fertilizer do pomegranates need?
Pomegranate has significant nutrient requirements to ensure good growth and fruiting and therefore its fertilization is a necessary cultivation work.
Initially, at the end of winter, we incorporate every year a complete biological fertilizer, fortified with potassium, boron, and nitrogen. In addition, during the summer months, we use water-soluble fertilizers rich in potassium to help the tree give us bigger and sweeter pomegranates.
What season and how do we prune the pomegranate?
Pomegranate pruning is very important to be done every year during the winter period, from December to February. Pomegranate pruning is divided into shaping pruning and fruiting pruning. Configuration pruning involves young pomegranate trees to give them the proper shape and speed up their entry into production.
Fruit pruning is done every year on the largest pomegranate trees and aims to maintain the shape of the pomegranate, to renew the fruiting wood, to form new fruiting bodies, to achieve good lighting and ventilation of the tree, and to increase production.
How do we create new pomegranate plants?
Pomegranate can be propagated in many different ways. First of all, if we plant a pomegranate seed, the pomegranate plants that result from seed do not faithfully reproduce the variety of the fruit from which the seed comes. In this case, the pomegranate seedlings or trees will need grafting to change the variety. The most common methods of grafting pomegranate are the subcortical eccentricity that takes place in early spring or the T-type inoculation in late summer or early autumn.
Also, the propagation of the pomegranate is done with woody parts of shoots 10-15 cm long (cuttings) that we take in the winter or by cutting shoots with leaves that we receive in the summer and plant them in nursery pots with a mixture of humus and sand in a ratio of 1:1, using rooting hormone.
Another way to create new pomegranate plants is by the method of the branches that grow from the central trunk of the pomegranate. The branches are small shoots about 20 cm that we remove together with a part of the root and transplant into nursery pots that are filled with enriched topsoil or peat and sand in a ratio of 2:1. After a period of 2 months, the new plants will have taken root in the pot and will be ready for transplanting to their final position.
What insects and diseases affect the pomegranate?
The main insects that infect the pomegranate are the aphids, the mealybug, the pseudococcus, and the Mediterranean fly that infect the foliage, shoots, and fruits of the pomegranate. An important fungal disease that affects pomegranate fruits is the alternation that causes rot in pomegranates. To treat fungal diseases it is necessary to spray with a solution of copper.
For the ecological treatment of the insects that cause problems in the foliage and the fruits of the pomegranate, we spray preventively with a biological preparation of summer pulp or soaps of fatty acids.
Why do pomegranates crack and how do we deal with it?
The cracking of pomegranate fruits is a major problem observed in early autumn when we are preparing to harvest pomegranates.
The cracking of pomegranates is mainly due to irregular watering, sudden fluctuations in temperature and humidity, as well as the lack of boron. It should be noted that the addition of nitrogen fertilizer to the pomegranates after the fruits have set, helps to increase the cracking of the fruits.
To deal with the cracking of pomegranate fruits, we carry out regular watering during the summer, while spraying with liquid calcium fertilizer helps to reduce the phenomenon.
And one last secret for growing pomegranate
The pomegranate starts fruiting in the 3rd year of its cultivation and its productive life reaches 40-50 years. We gradually harvest the pomegranates from the end of September to the end of November depending on the variety and the growing area.