We are not exaggerating, grenades are on the rise and more and more beneficial components are being discovered. The pomegranate has always been a tree highly respected by the farmer, and this is because it does not cause many problems in its cultivation. Let’s follow our typical guidelines to take care of it in the best possible way 😉
The pomegranate is a crop that has been known since ancient times. In fact it is present in the scriptures of the Bible and in the Koran. Its origin is estimated in the Near East (Vavilov center IV), and from there it spread throughout the Mediterranean area. We Spaniards were the ones who transferred it to the Americas (well, it seems that we did something good), where its production is currently growing and therefore acceptance by the consumer.
HOW THE CLIMATE INTERVENES IN THE CROP
This tree is used to climates where temperatures are high , such as tropical or subtropical climates, and this factor plays a significant role in the fruit setting. Although the majority of trees in these climates are sensitive to cold, this is not the case for pomegranate trees, since it supports winter temperatures of -5 ºC. But beware of untimely frosts , because they can cause damage especially when it is vegetatively active.
For the fruits to develop in the best way, since they are usually heavy and are formed by a hard crust prone to cracking ( a physiopathy like so many others ), it is important that in this period the climate respects the crop and that there is no rain. or significant increase in relative humidity, simply to avoid breaking the fruits.
Pomegranate variety Mollar
WHAT SOIL DOES THE POMEGRANATE NEED?
For those who cannot take advantage of a soil rich in nutrients (especially in southern Spain), we are fortunate that Punica granatum is not demanding on soils . On the other hand, when choosing the best type of soil or substrate, we will say that it is one that has the following characteristics: deep soil, with good drainage, light and alkaline.
THE POMEGRANATE FERTILIZER
It is curious how such a well-known crop does not have much bibliography regarding fertilization needs.
To make things easier for you, we will tell you that per hectare is usually paid as follows:
- Nitrogen: 200-300 FU / ha: it is equal to 570 – 870 kg of ammonium nitrate
- Phosphorus: not specified. They will be around 100 UF.
- Potassium: 200-300 FU / ha: 434 – 650 kg of potassium nitrate
However, we must especially take care of the amount of nitrogen we add, because if we go overboard we will activate plant development to the detriment of fruit production. For the organic farmer who has compost or manure, say that with a good amount in spring for the production of fruits (especially with a quantity of potassium) and at the end of winter, a tree with magnificent development will be achieved.
Some guidelines to follow with fertilization in pomegranate:
- Avoid excessive irrigation and nitrogen contributions in spring, as there is a risk of producing an imbalance between the vegetative part and the flowering. In addition, an excess of plant part (new shoots, leaves and stems) favors the presence of pests and diseases .
- Potassium and calcium are necessary to reduce fruit cracking, which is very common in pomegranates. Nitrogen fertilization must be controlled in the fattening and maturation stage, reducing it to a minimum.
- Beware of iron chlorosis , quite common in pomegranates that grow in limestone soils. There may also be zinc and manganese deficiencies.
In this section we have done our pertinent research and we are going to offer you a numerical value, as good (or bad) engineers we are. The Valencian Institute for Agricultural Research (IVIA), the result of numerous studies, has established an average irrigation for pomegranates of 4 500-5000 cubic meters per hectare per year . But as we surely do not have a hectare of pomegranates, we must transfer this value to a single tree. For this we will have to know the planting frame, and it is usually between 4-5 meters per line and 4 per tree. They are usually about 27 liters per day, but yes, it varies depending on the month ( IVIA ):
SOME RECOMMENDATIONS DURING ITS CULTIVATION
It is a technique that is usually performed during winter rest (December-February) to ventilate interior areas of the tree, eliminate diseased or dead branches and, in general, improve the health of the tree , achieving a rejuvenation of it. As recommendations tell you that when removing branches leave a few centimeters of stump and that you get rid of the suckers as soon as possible , that if you have read some of our articles on pruning , surely you will know how to recognize them easily.
Thinning is a technique that consists of eliminating small fruits that are developing, because, since there are so many on the tree, it is not able to achieve a good size for all because it lacks enough nutrients. For this reason, those that are deformed or badly located are eliminated to favor the growth of the rest.
This will depend, above all, on the variety chosen. We will always look for good lighting and aeration, thinking about the state of the tree when it is in maximum development.
Common pomegranate planting frames would be the following: 6 x 4 m, 6 x 3 m, 5 x 3 m, etc.
Once the variety that we are going to plant has been chosen, we can do it between the months of January and March, and it will depend on whether we plant it with bare roots or with a root ball.
In pomegranate cultivation, there is great varietal heterogeneity . There are many varieties that differ greatly from one another. Within all the existing varieties, we can differentiate them by flavor, distinguishing them as follows:
- Sweet varieties: from 0.15% to 0.48% citric acid.
- Bittersweet varieties: from 0.54% to 0.91% citric acid.
- Sour varieties: from 2.34% to 2.69% citric acid.
Within Spain, the area where the highest production takes place is in the Valencian Community, followed by Murcia.
The variety most cultivated in the Valencian area is the «Mollar de Elche», followed by the «Valencianas».
However, there are also other local varieties:
- San Felipe
The one that everyone knows and the one that is most widespread throughout the world is the ” Wonderful ” pomegranate variety , which currently has a lot of genetic variety, the result of crosses with other varieties to try to adapt its cultivation to different geographical areas.