Cultural needs of pomegranate
The pomegranate plant, in the period of development, needs average temperatures between 20 ° C and 25 ° C during the day and around 18 ° C at night, while to bear fruit, the plant needs daytime temperatures that exceed 30 ° C; if in one year the temperatures are lower, up to a few degrees below zero, the plant will die, but will still be able to produce new suckers in the following seasons, as the roots can withstand even very low temperatures and maintain the necessary vitality to give life to other fruits. For the pomegranate cultivation heavy soil is needed, such as clay, with a basically neutral pH; what is important is the drainage of the soil, as the pomegranate is sensitive to water stagnation: it is advisable to incorporate coarse material to facilitate the drainage of the water at the time of implantation. When you go to plant the pomegranate, it is advisable to choose well sunny places, to reach the aforementioned temperatures, but at the same time sheltered from too strong winds.
Pomegranate cultivation - Pomegranate seeds">Planting techniques in pomegranate cultivation
The pomegranate cultivation is carried out mostly in the ground, with rare cases of cultivation in plastic pots between 35 and 50 cm in diameter; it is possible to opt for greenhouse cultivation, if you are in areas that are not warm enough. The multiplication of the pomegranate can take place in two ways: by cutting, or by taking woody parts of a 1-2 year old pomegranate in autumn, placing them in containers with soil for sowing, peat and sand and constantly irrigating the plants; by division by sucker, taking parts of the plant with some roots and transplanting them into the home, after having filled a fairly large hole with soil for sowing and organic compost. A third method to reproduce the pomegranate is by seed, perhaps the most classic system: the seeds can be buried either in small pots with generic soil composed of sand and peat, or in the soil of the vegetable garden or garden; the seeds must always be kept moist and at a temperature never lower than 20 degrees. During sowing and reproduction, you must be careful of the distance left: there must be 3.5 m between one plant and another, while, if you use rows, you must leave 4 m.
Watering and fertilizing the plant
In the first years after the planting of the pomegranate it is necessary to assist the seedlings in the periods in which the temperatures are higher, resorting to emergency watering, if the temperatures are particularly high for a few consecutive days; these waterings should be done with 2-3 l of water, administered uniformly on the root system, without wetting the trunk. The ideal would be to water in the evening, as the sun sets, with rainwater left to warm up during the afternoon, watering every other day, until temperatures begin to drop. If the pomegranate is grown in a pot, irrigation must be done manually, leaving the soil just moist under the surface and checking the plant often in periods of persistent heat. In the first months after planting the plants will experience a phase of acclimatization, as they will adapt to the new position and its climate; to facilitate this adaptation you need a fertilizer with well-balanced NPK values, on average 20 g per plant every two months. Alternatively, you can use an organic compost or mature manure, 1 kg every 4 months.
Pomegranate cultivation: Pruning and harvesting
At the base of the pomegranate plant, various shoots are produced, the aforementioned suckers, which should be removed, to improve the development of the foliage, being careful to cut them at the attachment, by means of shears or even saws. The pruning phase varies according to the shape given to the plant: in the case of the sapling shape, the first pruning must be between 80 cm and 1 m in height, while for the following prunings you will be freer, but trying to eliminate all the diseased or damaged ramifications; due to the more natural bush shape, the basal suckers can be left, while eliminating the old shoots. In both forms, the internal branching must be thinned, especially to allow sufficient light to penetrate. To harvest the fruit, it is necessary to wait for the external color of the pomegranates to be intense red or yellow; this usually happens in October and lasts throughout November. Since the stems are lignified, there is a risk of damaging both the plant and the fruit; the use of shears can overcome this problem. The harvested fruits can be kept for several weeks, as long as they are kept in dry places and at temperatures around 5 ° C.