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Old 03-25-2008, 01:49 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Pomegranates

In case you missed it, Harvey has had some of us drooling over his Pomegranate trials he has started on his farm south of Davis, CA.

I suspect many of you are also growing pomegranates, maybe even unaware that there are newer varieties well-suited for not-so-hot-summer coastal areas, or the flavor-bursting varieties that have been imported from the Steppes of Central Asia (with apology to A. Borodin).

There is also a lot of hype about the health benefits of pomegranates and the juice. To put it in perspective, you get almost as much benefit from a glass of pomegranate juice as you would from a glass of real cranberry juice, but the pomegranate juice tastes better!

What kinds of Pomegranates are you growing, or what questions do you have for the pomegranate fanatics here ?

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Originally Posted by harveyc View Post
Today I finished planting the remainder of my pomegranate trial, eight trees each of:

Wonderful, Parfianka, Sin Pepe, Gissarskii Rosovyi, Sirinevyi, Vkusnyi, Azadi, Medovyi Vahsha, Desertnyi, and Sakerdze. All of these except Wonderful and Sin Pepe came to the USA from Turkmenistan in the 1990s and are not widely grown. I also planted seedling trees of Mridula and Ganesh (from India) and Mollar (from Spain) and one tree budded to Cranberry, a tree of unknown origin.

It will be a small challenge at harvest time when these trees start producing as each tree of a particular cultivar are randomly located throughout the plot of 4 rows and 22 trees in each row (plus "guard trees" at the end which are not an official part of the trial). I'll process some of my photos and have them up on my pomegranate web site when I get a chance.

FYI, here are photos I took last October of many of the Turkmen cultivars:
Purely Pomegranates

Fruit size, etc. shown on these pages is not very meaningful because (1) these trees at the repository are not managed for fruit production and (2) this fruit was collected after much of the fruit was already picked.

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Old 03-25-2008, 11:27 AM   #2 (permalink)
 
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Question Re: Pomegranates

Hey Harvey, and or Richard,
I just received a Punica granatum that is in a quart sized pot. It was grown from seeds from a mature specimen in Winston-Salem, NC (zone 7). It has been growing there very well since the early 1990's. Do either of you know anything about this one? Supposed to be pretty cold hardy. I don't know a whole lot about the care and would appreciate any advice you could give me... How big should I grow it before trying outside?, growth rate?, info along these lines...
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Old 03-25-2008, 12:05 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Pomegranates

Congratulations! Plant it in a location where the amount of heat it receives spring through fall is maximized. Too much humidity (incl. rain) in the late summer and early fall can damage fruits of many pomegranate varieties. Treat it like a fruit tree -- e.g., apricot. However, it will grow like a bush. Fed it proportionately less. It can be trained to grow in most any shape. One of my neighbors has them in her front yard pruned like patio trees. I prefer mine trained like an apricot tree scaled down to half size in all directions. Untrained it will grow into a bush 15 feet high and wide. Pomegranate plants usually produce many suckers at the base. Control these the best you can. As for the type you have, we'll know more with pictures of flowers, summer leaf coloration, and fruit inside and out.

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Old 03-25-2008, 12:10 PM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Pomegranates

Richard,
Here is the best I can do for now as far as pics go. How fast will it grow? Should I pot it up into a larger pot until it gets some more size to it? Thanks for the info so far!!!

POMEGRANATE
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Old 03-25-2008, 12:36 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Pomegranates

Wow, I wasn't expecting pictures until Fall. It might be Grenada. Perhaps Harvey, Joe, or one of the other variety-crazed people here will be able to ID it for you from the link:
POMEGRANATE

I like how the bush in the lower picture is pruned.

Your potted plant: don't let it dry out or get soggy. Go ahead and plant it if in your location you are past freezes and serious frosts (e.g., if you would feel comfortable planting a rose bush that is not bare of growth). I would dig a 2' x 2' x 2' hole to loosen compacted soils. Remove all rocks larger than a golf ball. If the remaining soil is bad, mix in about 1/4 to no more than 1/2 the volume with a soil mix. Kellogg's Patio Mix is sold inexpensively and a good product. After you plant it, make a basin around the perimeter of the hole and then cover the whole ground area with at least 2 inches of mulch. Don't feed it for 2 weeks after planting. It will like whatever you are feeding your bananas, or rose food -- provided it is not the kind with systemic poisons!

More information about planting deciduous fruits and (if you page down) pomegranate varieties is available here:
http://www.plantsthatproduce.com/gui...FruitsNuts.pdf
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Old 03-25-2008, 01:18 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Pomegranates

Thank you for this thread, Richard.

I wonder if anyone knows if Mr. John Chater is still in business. I used to order Pomegranates from him back in the 70's. Of the four varieties I received from him, only two are surviving - Eversweet and Rosa Mia. Of the other two, I can only remember Ambrosia as one of them. I remember ordering from him after seeing his ad in the CRFG magazine. I believe it had a Santa Barbara, CA address. When I talked to him, he said that he brought his plants from Lebanon and that they were very hardy, and will grow in sandy soil, wet soil, etc. He further said that his specimens were so vigorous that you can break off a branch and stick in the ground, water it, and you'll have a new plant!

Any contact information for Mr. Chater?
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Old 03-25-2008, 01:24 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Pomegranates

Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard View Post
Wow, I wasn't expecting pictures until Fall. It might be Grenada. Perhaps Harvey, Joe, or one of the other variety-crazed people here will be able to ID it for you from the link:
POMEGRANATE

I like how the bush in the lower picture is pruned.

Your potted plant: don't let it dry out or get soggy. Go ahead and plant it if in your location you are past freezes and serious frosts (e.g., if you would feel comfortable planting a rose bush that is not bare of growth). I would dig a 2' x 2' x 2' hole to loosen compacted soils. Remove all rocks larger than a golf ball. If the remaining soil is bad, mix in about 1/4 to no more than 1/2 the volume with a soil mix. Kellogg's Patio Mix is sold inexpensively and a good product. After you plant it, make a basin around the perimeter of the hole and then cover the whole ground area with at least 2 inches of mulch. Don't feed it for 2 weeks after planting. It will like whatever you are feeding your bananas, or rose food -- provided it is not the kind with systemic poisons!

More information about planting deciduous fruits and (if you page down) pomegranate varieties is available here:
http://www.frostconcepts.com/horticu...FruitsNuts.pdf
Had no idea. I'm just beginning to be appreciative of pomegranates. I know that there are thousands to be sampled from the Wolfskill germplasm alone. I managed to sample the fruits of about 22 of them last year, that leaves me still thousands to go through.

Perhaps Harvey will be able to take his best guess on this one.
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Old 03-25-2008, 03:13 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Pomegranates

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I wonder if anyone knows if Mr. John Chater is still in business.
From p.12 of the Sept. 2006 Fruit Gardener, none other than the famous fruit detective David Karp writes:

"In cool coastal areas, commercial pomegranates are well-adapted as ornamental shrubs but usually bear sour fruit. S. John Chater, who became a legend among California rare fruit growers, did not accept this situation: he bred pomegranates in his Camarillo backyard for several decades until his death in 2001, searching for new varieties that would bear tasty fruit under mild conditions. Many are low-acid. A Golden Globe, for example, which I tasted in his yard, is a huge blond fruit with pink, honey-sweet arils that have small, soft seeds. Born in Lebanon, Chater was a maintenance worker at a local hospital and wrote unpublished books of philosophy, but his real passion was pomegranates, which he delighted in sampling and discussing with visitors. He patented his best-known variety, Eversweet, which is available at many nurseries."
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Old 03-25-2008, 04:11 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Pomegranates

Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard View Post
From p.12 of the Sept. 2006 Fruit Gardener, none other than the famous fruit detective David Karp writes:

"In cool coastal areas, commercial pomegranates are well-adapted as ornamental shrubs but usually bear sour fruit. S. John Chater, who became a legend among California rare fruit growers, did not accept this situation: he bred pomegranates in his Camarillo backyard for several decades until his death in 2001, searching for new varieties that would bear tasty fruit under mild conditions. Many are low-acid. A Golden Globe, for example, which I tasted in his yard, is a huge blond fruit with pink, honey-sweet arils that have small, soft seeds. Born in Lebanon, Chater was a maintenance worker at a local hospital and wrote unpublished books of philosophy, but his real passion was pomegranates, which he delighted in sampling and discussing with visitors. He patented his best-known variety, Eversweet, which is available at many nurseries."
Thank you, Richard.

I am so sad to hear this. He was a very kind man, who was fun to talk to. I loved the way he was proud of his plants. Not boastful but reassuring. He has certainly made his mark in this world.
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Old 03-25-2008, 04:56 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Pomegranates

I never met John Chater, but I am very grateful for his breeding efforts and showing what is possible. I have an Eversweet which has been in the ground for one year, and among the cuttings I am rooting are six stems of Golden Globe.

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Old 03-25-2008, 06:43 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Pomegranates

Would Pomegranates grow in containers inside over winter? Also can they be trimmed to keep on inside manageable sizes?
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Old 03-25-2008, 06:46 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Would Pomegranates grow in containers inside over winter? Also can they be trimmed to keep on inside manageable sizes?
Sure. If you can do bananas, you surely can manage pomegranates in pots. You can keep pomegranates smaller too.
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Old 03-25-2008, 07:31 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: Pomegranates

How long does it take from seed to fruit?

Randy, did you taste the fruit from the one from NC? It would be interesting to know if it tastes sweet. It might be a plant we can grow in New Bern in the ground.
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Old 03-25-2008, 08:43 PM   #14 (permalink)
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How long does it take from seed to fruit?
5 years for a harvest. I don't know if it will come true to type. I have only seen them grafted and so I doubt it.

The seeds are small, often soft, and difficult to extract. On the other hand, leave a few fruits on the bush and let them fall to the ground, then bury in mulch and make sure they get watered when the mother bush starts to come out of dormancy. The sprouts can be dug up when they reach 1 foot tall.

A more common practice is to rip suckers off the base of the plant or the root ball -- taking a "heel" with it. Rooting hormone is applied to the heel and planted in a pot. These are often what are sold as seedlings. They also mature faster and are true to type.
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Old 03-26-2008, 02:29 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: Pomegranates

In case anyone is interested, I'd like to recommend a book recently published by Dr. Gregory M Levin. It is called Pomegranate Roads, A Soviet Botanists's Exile from Eden.

This book is about the life and collecting adventures of the Famous Soviet Agriculturalist, Dr. Levin, before, during and after the collapse of the communist Soviet Union. It does have some technical information about pomagranite horticulture. A friend of mine has translated this work into english. It is a fascinating look into the Dr's life and passion for the pomagranite. So many more varieties than you could ever imagine. Too many varieties were lost forever. But many survive, some being sent to the USA for trials. If you do read it, please let me know how you enjoy the book. And I will pass it along to my friend, who will pass it on to Dr. Levin. He is quite elderly now.
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Old 03-26-2008, 06:50 AM   #16 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Pomegranates

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Originally Posted by modenacart View Post
How long does it take from seed to fruit?

Randy, did you taste the fruit from the one from NC? It would be interesting to know if it tastes sweet. It might be a plant we can grow in New Bern in the ground.

I have not tasted the fruit from the mother plant. I received this plant from ChillyPalmDude, aka Sean. Not sure if you know him, but he harvested the seeds and I feel he probably did indeed taste the fruit. If you would like, pm me and I can give you the name of the man that owns the mother plant.
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Old 03-26-2008, 08:32 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Default Re: Pomegranates

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Originally Posted by NanaNut2 View Post
In case anyone is interested, I'd like to recommend a book recently published by Dr. Gregory M Levin. It is called Pomegranate Roads, A Soviet Botanists's Exile from Eden.

This book is about the life and collecting adventures of the Famous Soviet Agriculturalist, Dr. Levin, before, during and after the collapse of the communist Soviet Union. It does have some technical information about pomagranite horticulture. A friend of mine has translated this work into english. It is a fascinating look into the Dr's life and passion for the pomagranite. So many more varieties than you could ever imagine. Too many varieties were lost forever. But many survive, some being sent to the USA for trials. If you do read it, please let me know how you enjoy the book. And I will pass it along to my friend, who will pass it on to Dr. Levin. He is quite elderly now.
I gladly second this recommendation! Too much injustice has been done to Dr. Levin.
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Old 03-26-2008, 08:35 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Thank you Joe. This is a fascinating read, and many if not most of the 'new' varieties of pomegranites that we have are thanks to Dr. Levin.
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Old 03-26-2008, 11:42 AM   #19 (permalink)
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In case anyone is interested, I'd like to recommend a book recently published by Dr. Gregory M Levin. It is called Pomegranate Roads, A Soviet Botanists's Exile from Eden.
I agree with Joe, Pomegranate Roads is well worth reading, even if you will never grow or eat pomegranates.
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Old 01-05-2009, 06:07 AM   #20 (permalink)
 
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Thank you for this thread, Richard.

I wonder if anyone knows if Mr. John Chater is still in business. I used to order Pomegranates from him back in the 70's. Of the four varieties I received from him, only two are surviving - Eversweet and Rosa Mia. Of the other two, I can only remember Ambrosia as one of them. I remember ordering from him after seeing his ad in the CRFG magazine. I believe it had a Santa Barbara, CA address. When I talked to him, he said that he brought his plants from Lebanon and that they were very hardy, and will grow in sandy soil, wet soil, etc. He further said that his specimens were so vigorous that you can break off a branch and stick in the ground, water it, and you'll have a new plant!

Any contact information for Mr. Chater?
John Chater was my grandfather. He died a few years ago. I just googled him because I missed him as I wanted to see if Eversweet still lived on through all the clients he had. I found this amazing site through the search.... and hence your question.

I remember visiting my grandfather often and the hours he spent in his garden and the checks from his clients that he'd get from all the countries of the world. The love and passion he had for gardening makes me really happy It brought his Eversweet branch to so many people. We still have it in every house we ever lived in. I couldnt eat pomegranates from age 9 to 18 because of all the jams, jellies and fresh fruit i consumed from our weekly visits from birth on!

To know that you are enjoying it makes me feel he lives on. Thank you for remembering him!

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