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Good Life Garden

Pomegranate

Punica granatum
Fall

In Our Garden


Wonderful
A common variety grown in California, this pomegranate has striking burgundy colored seeds.

Angel Red
With a vivid red color this new variety bears trees heavy with fruit and ripens weeks before Wonderful.

Sweet
This dwarf variety differs from others in that it produces full size fruit on a miniature tree.

In History

The word pomegranate comes from medieval French and is a combination of the Latin roots for “apple” and “seedy."

This Persian native was cultivated by the Egyptians and civilizations around the Mediterranean. It was later brought to the Caribbean, Latin America, and California by the Spanish.

During the Middle Ages sour pomegranates were believed to be good for an inflamed liver but were also seen as bad for the chest and voice.

Cultivation

Growing Tips:
Requiring a hot and dry climate to fully ripen, pomegranates are perfect for the arid weather of the Central Valley and are found in many subtropical regions around the world.

Harvesting Tips:
Fruit is generally ready to be harvested 6 to 7 months after flowering.

Growers generally harvest when the fruit makes a metallic sound when tapped and is about the size of a softball. After the fruit is harvested it does not ripen any further but travels and stores well, making it an easily transported fruit.

Why It's Good for You

The ruby-red colored seeds and juice are loaded with the antioxidants anthocyanidins that help keep cholesterol levels healthy and may stave off Alzheimer’s disease.

Did You Know

The internal structure of pomegranates is unlike any other fruit with its randomly arranged clusters of seeds separated by white membranes. Botanists have even given pomegranates their own family in the plant kingdom, Punica granatum.

Let's Eat

How to Buy:
Pomegranates come in a multitude of colors making it difficult to choose them based upon their hue. Choose fruit that is about the size of a softball with skin that appears neither wrinkled nor dried out. A heavier pomegranate for its size will ensure a higher concentration of seeds to white membrane.

How to Prepare:
Often seen as a troublesome fruit to prepare, pomegranates offer a hefty reward in the end. Start by cutting the fruit into quarters and removing the tannic white membranes. Then separate the seeds individually and eat as is or use them as a garnish for desserts and salads. If seedless juice is your objective, remove the seeds and membrane as described above and process them in a food processor. Then strain the juice through a fine sieve to remove any seed fragments.

 

Pest Management


Here is a list of common pests and diseases that may affect your pomegranate tree in California. For more information follow the link provided to the University of California Integrated Pest Management website.
  • Aphid
    In the early 19th century, the Phylloxera aphid wiped out the grape production throughout Western Europe. Aphids are extremely prolific, producing upwards of 20 generations in one season. They live in dense populations, and when living situations become too stressed they can flee by growing wings…
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  • Whiteflies
    The nymphs and adults extract juices from plant leaves, causing them to turn brown and curl. They prefer warm climates, and reproduce very quickly under appropriate weather conditions…
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  • Mealybugs
    The mealybug is attracted to trees, vines and shrubs where it is content to suck sap from the plant’s stems, leaves and shoots. They excrete honeydew and produce wax, which are difficult to remove from fruit…
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  • Scales
    It is difficult to recognize these often immobile creatures as insects. They lose their legs just days after hatching and will firmly attach themselves to any plant surface where they pierce the plant and suck out its juices. Their plentiful honeydew attracts other pests and promotes mold growth, and in large infestations the damage can be devastating…
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  • Leafroller
    Especially troublesome to fruit trees, leafrollers can cause serious damage to both leaves and fruit. Besides being eaten, leaves are rolled and tied up by silken threads to create shelter for the larvae, which can actually defoliate the tree…
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  • Cherry Leafhopper
    Their juice-sucking feeding habits can leave foliage mottles and yellow in appearance, but are relatively non-threatening to most plants. Leafhoppers are, however, good at spreading pathogens such as the curly top virus from one plant to another…
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  • Thrips
    Commonly found in gardens and on farms, thrips are a blessing and a burden. While their feeding can cause some scarring to leaves, flowers and fruit surfaces, the effect on overall crop yield is insignificant. Some varieties play a beneficial predatory role by feeding on other insects…
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  • Weevil
    It can be difficult to pinpoint the weevil as both the adults and larvae are largely active at night. They do not fly, and this prevents damage from occurring rapidly…
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