Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Pomegranate "Wonderful"

Today I am going to kick off a series of postings that will be about fruit trees that are currently growing in the El Presidio Gardens.  They will be a part of the Tucson Fruit Trees series over the next several days.  Why now?  Besides seeing the million and one varieties of hybrid roses at your local garden dealer, you'll also see a lot of bareroot fruit trees in packages along with their siblings in buckets or biodegradable pots.  This series will include my experiences with each fruit tree over the past year and whether or not they performed well.  Last year I was overwhelmed by the amount of fruit, berry, and nut trees available.  Basically, I had to pick and choose which ones to plant. It was also frustrating to type information into the computer and find nothing on gardener's experiences in Tucson with these plants in their own backyards. I guess I'm the guinea pig and I'll gladly share my experiences at what turned out to be a costly event last January while shopping for all of these fruit trees.
My first selection of the series is the Pomegranate Wonderful.  For 30 dollars, I put this shrubby tree into the corner of the garden that gets mostly light with some afternoon shade.  This plant can be put into full sun or part sun that gets at least 6 hours  .  It is deciduous and flowers in both spring and early summer.  It's hardy to 0 degrees and should be protected from winter or cold winds in its' infancy.  It has a max size of 20' tall by 15' wide and I've seen it get larger than this.  It needs at least 15' of space and it has a vase shape when fully grown.  It states to fertilize once a month, but I don't do this every month.....I fertilize about every 3 months.  It's low maintenance and once established doesn't need a lot of water.  I water in the summer about once or twice a week unless the monsoon is good.

Chile en Nogada is a famous Mexican Dish that uses the colors of the Mexican flag with pomegranates serving as the red part of their banner.  Recipe below and IT'S DELICIOUS!!  I've had it several times with my Mexican family on September 17th. Give yourselves a couple days to prepare it.
Pic and recipe taken from Cocina Eclectica
I love this blog for the dishes listed as well as how to set up your table with a dinner theme in mind.
My experience as a Tucson gardener with this plant has been pleasant.  It is low maintenance indeed and makes an attractive addition to the garden.  There has been ZERO issue with this plant and it has performed extremely well.  I would rate this plant as a 10 for Tucson because we really do have the perfect conditions for growing pomegranates here.  Considering the cost of 1 pomegranate in the grocery store, this shrubby tree will pay itself back over the years.  Tucson is loaded with these trees and it's very common to see them all over the place.  While pomegranates are delicious and have many healthy benefits(lowering blood pressure and reduces the risk of heart disease and cancer), they can be difficult to open and eat and require a bit of patience.  Also one needs to be careful with the red juice that bursts forth from the fruit as it will stain your clothes.  It may take several years for this tree to produce fruit and grow to height, but I personally think it's worth the wait.  If you want something green to grow and don't want it to die, this is your plant. There are no chill hours required for this tree and it is self fertile. Stay tuned for more fruit trees that you'll be seeing in your local Arizona nursery.  Until next time, save your money for the planting fun this winter and spring!! Edible landscaping is the best!

1 comment:

  1. Pomegranates are my favorite and I've always wanted a tree!! Make sure you save me some next fall! :)


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