Try Something New: Pomegranates

Want to grow an exotic fruit that is delicious, nutritious, beautiful, incredibly hip and rarely grown in our area? You really should consider planting a pomegranate!

Because it is rich in antioxidants, folic acid and vitamins A, C and E, pomegranate is showing up in a multitude of supermarket products like yogurts, juices, salad dressings, jellies and desserts. You can even make a pomegranate martini! And, of course, it’s an extraordinary experience eating a fresh pomegranate.

Pomegranates grow as multi stemmed, small trees or large shrubs. They reach 15 feet tall by up to 15 feet wide. In spring, vibrant, gorgeous orange-red flowers grace the branches of this plant. These beautiful blossoms develop into the luscious pomegranate fruit containing dozens of tart and tangy bright red seeds and pulp. The fruit ripens somewhat square in the early fall and has a leathery skin that can be yellow to red in color.

The cultivar ‘Wonderful’ is hardy to zone 7 and is easy to grow in our area. Plant your tree in full sun. It will thrive in the summer heat and in most soils. Pomegranates are drought tolerant, however, the fruit is better with regular deep irrigation. Because this fruit tree is self-fertile, there is no need to plant a second one for pollination.

Notes on Seeding a Pomegranate

  1. Cut off the crown of the fruit.
  2. Score the leathery husk in quarters from stem to crown end.
  3. Set the scored fruit in a bowl of cool water and let soak for a few minutes.
  4. Hold the fruit under water and break scored sections apart with your fingers, separating the seeds from membrane. The seeds will sink to the bottom of the bowl.
  5. Discard the skin and membrane.
  6. Drain the seeds on paper towels.
  7. Toss pomegranate seeds into your salad, mix them in your yogurt or shake them into a martini and enjoy!
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