Growing Pomegranates Successfully
Planting: Dig hole at least one foot greater in diameter than the total spread of roots the depth of the longest root. Fill in lower 2 inches of hole with mixture of 50% native soil and a 50% mix of Soil Booster and 1-2 cups of Worm Gold . Press this mixture down firmly. Create a mound in the center of the hole with the soil mixture. Set tree upright in hole with stem in center. Spread out roots as evenly as possible over the mound of soil and back fill mixture around all roots. Fill in hole completely. Add fertilizer (see below). Make a basin for holding water by building a circular ridge around the diameter of the hole and fill slowly with water. The water will settle the soil around the roots. The graft should be positioned about 2 inches above ground level, facing north.
Watering: Water when the soil 6 inches below the surface is just barely moist. Apply enough water to wet the soil 3 to 4 feet deep. Mature trees will require less watering, but should still get regular water during summer.
Feeding: Feed three to four times during the growing season with a balanced fertilizer (16-16-16) such as E.B. Stone All Purpose Plant Food or E.B. Stone Citrus and Fruit Tree Food . Add 1 cup of fertilizer at time of planting (See fertilizer for details). Avoid fertilizers too high in nitrogen as they will stimulate leafy growth at the expense of fruit production. Fruit drop is a common problem in young trees. Water regularly and feed once in late winter or early spring. Do not over fertilize!
When to Expect Fruit: New whips are about 2 years old, so small crops will begin in about 2-4 years. Fruit can be stored for up to 7 months in refrigeration. Avoid storing any fruit with cuts or splits.
Pruning: Encourage as spreading a plant as possible by cutting out the shoots from the lower inside of the plant. Allow no new shoots to grow that appear within two feet of the ground. As single trunk bush will be much easier to care for in the future. Pomegranates will produce fruit from any wood after it is at least one year old but the quality and size of the fruit will be better if the top is kept well thinned, allowing plenty of light. Their natural tendency is to grow into an arching shape with the outer branches constantly curving downward. It will be necessary to cut out this side growth from time to time, as needed.
Pests and Diseases: Remarkably few problems. Leaves can develop fungus in humid climates; treat with horticultural oil. Fruit can split if left on tree, especially in rainy weather.
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