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Crops » Fruits » Pomegranate

Introduction

The pomegranate (Punica granatum) is a fruit-bearing deciduous shrub or small tree in the family Lythraceae that grows between 5 and 8 m (16 and 26 ft) tall.

The fruit is typically in season in the Northern Hemisphere from September to February,[2] and in the Southern Hemisphere from March to May. As intact arils or juice, pomegranates are used in baking, cooking, juice blends, meal garnishessmoothies, and alcoholic beverages, such as cocktails and wine.

The pomegranate originated in the region extending from modern-day Iran through Afghanistan and Pakistan to northern India, and has been cultivated since ancient times throughout the Mediterranean region.[3] It was introduced into Spanish America in the late 16th century and into California by Spanish settlers in 1769.[3]

Today, it is widely cultivated throughout the Middle East and Caucasus region, north and tropical AfricaSouth AsiaCentral Asia, the drier parts of southeast Asia, and parts of the Mediterranean Basin.[3] It is also cultivated in parts of Arizona and California.[4] In the 20th and 21st centuries, it has become more common in the shops and markets of Europe and the Western Hemisphere.

Soil and climate

Best fruits are produced in areas of cool winter and hot day summer (Baluchistan , Afghanistan, Iran).

Grows upto 1850 m from MSL.

Optimum temperature 35-38º C .

Deep loamy or alluvial soil is best.

Tolerates salinity and alkalinity to some extent .

Varieties

Papershell ( S.India) , Alandi , Dholka (W.India), Bedana , Khandari (HP), Ganesh, Ruby (high yeld), Musket Red, Lellodu (AP), Jyothi (Karnataka).

Season

Mrig bahar – is taken when winter is scarce during hot weather.

Withhold irrigation from December to April for growth suppression.

Trees shed leaves by March and remain dormant till May.

Plough the field in April-May to 10 cm depth.

Manuring is done in mid May and a light irrigation is given. Thereafter give 1-2 light irrigations

before rains.

The tree starts growth by June with onset of rain and produce flowers and fruits.

Fruits ripen in October and are harvested upto December.

Ambia bahar – is taken when water is available during hot weather.

Trees shed leaves in October-November.

Shallow digging and manuring is done in December-January.

First irrigation is given in January.

Trees flower in a month after irrigation.

Better yield and quality than Mrig bahar in Maharashtra, but reverse in Karnataka.

Hasta bahar – Trees are made dormant in August-September. Not usually practiced because

of uncertainty of rains during this period.

Planting materials

 

Air layering.

Tissue culture plants

1year old semi-hardwood cutting with IBA 1500 ppm for 10-20 seconds.

Method of planting

 

Rooted cuttings or layers of 12 to 18 months age can be planted in pits of 60 cm x 60 cm x 60 cm at spacing 4-5 m between rows and 4m within the row either way.

Fertilization

20 kg FYM. + 50 g Phosphobacterium + 150 g VAM / Tree / Year

I year - 250-125-125 g NPK / tree / year

II & III year - 500-125-125 NPK / tree / year

IV Year & above – 625-250-500 NPK / tree / year

Irrigation

10-15 irrigations / year in basin system when fruits ripen in winter (Mrig bahar )

20-25 irrigations / year in basin system when fruits ripen in Ambe bahar in Maharashtra

Drip irrigation in alternate days on the basis of 20% wettable area when flowering in monsoon

Training and pruning

Trained a s a bush.

All side shoots removed at planting and main stem is pinched at 1 m .

25 -30 cm below the cut surface, 4 -5 branches are allowed on all sides.

The frame work is developed in 2 -3 years of planting.

Fruits are borne terminally on short spurs.

Light pruning is done in winter to shorten previous season’s growth.

Water sprouts and dead branches removed periodically.

Harvesting

Non-climacteric fruit. Best desert qualities are attained 135-150 days after anthesis.

Maturity indices –

Colour development

Fruits get suppressed on the side

When pressed a distinct sound of grain cracking can be heard.

Grading is done by size , weight and colour.

Storage – Can be store for more than 2 months at 4-5°C . Soft rot can be controlled by treating fruits with 3% KMS , Borax or Sodium bisulphate spray containing 5% sulphur compounds.

Products – Anardana (Best variety Daru) , wine , rind powder.