Growing Organic Pomegranate:
The following article is all about Growing Organic Pomegranate.
INTRODUCTION TO GROWING ORGANIC POMEGRANATE
- The botanical name of Pomegranate is Punica granatum, it belongs to family Punicaceae and Originated in Iran (Persia). Pomegranate was introduced into India from Persia or Afghanistan. It is a favourite table fruit in tropical and subtropical regions of the world. In India it is a well-known and widely grown fruit.
- The fruit is liked for its cool and refreshing juice besides its use as a table fruit. It also possesses a many medicinal properties. The juice is considered to be useful for patents who suffering from leprosy. The bark and rind of the fruit are commonly used against dysentery and diarrhoea.
- The rind of the fruit is also a source of dye, which gives yellowish brown colour and is used for dyeing wool and silk. Flowers yield a light red dye used in dyeing clothes. Tannin also occurs in all parts of the fruit and is used in tanning leather.
HEALTH BENEFITS OF POMEGRANATE
- The 100 grams of pomegranate carries about 83 calories. It is slightly more than that of in the apples. Pomegranate contains no cholesterol or saturated fats.
- Pomegranate is good for digestion fruit and bowel movement.
- Pomegranate helps in weight loss and cholesterol reduction.
- By taking the fruits in regular, the diet boosts immunity, improves circulation and offers protection from cancers.
- The pomegranate reduces heart-disease risk factors by scavenging harmful free radicals from the human body.
- The pomegranate fruit is an also good source of antioxidants.
- The pomegranate fruits rich in vitamin-C which helps the body develop ability to combat infectious agents by boosting immunity.
VARIETIES IN GROWING ORGANIC POMEGRANATE
These are the commercially cultivated pomegranate varieties in India.
- Co 1.
- YCD 1.
COMMON NAMES OF POMEGRANATE IN INDIA
- English: Pomegranate.
- Hindi: Anar.
- Tamil: Maadhulai/Mathalam Pazham.
- Malayalam: Madhalanaranga.
- Telugu: Danimma Pandu.
- Kannada: Dalimbo / Daalimbae Hannu.
- Bengali: Dareem.
- Gujarati: Dadamna.
- Marathi: Dalimbache.
- Oriya: Dalimb.
- Punjabi: Anar.
- Kashmiri : Daan.
- Konkani : Daalimb.
- Tulu: Dalimbe.
- Urudu : Anardana.
CLIMATE SUITABLE FOR GROWING ORGANIC POMEGRANATE
- Pomegranate is mainly subtropical fruit; it can adopt itself to wide range of climatic conditions and can grow up to 1800 meters above sea level. The tree requires hot and dry climate during the period of fruit development and ripening.
- The optimum temperature for fruit development is 38°C.The tree cannot produce sweet fruits unless the temperature is high for a sufficient long period. Under subtropics it is deciduous in nature while in tropics it is evergreen.
- Under humid conditions, the sweetness of the fruit is adversely affected. Therefore it is considered that pomegranate is a hardy fruit and can grow vigorously under drought conditions though the yield is low.
- In areas of low temperature, the tree behaves as deciduous in nature and sheds its leave during winter months. The aridity and frequent changing of the climate cause leaf shedding and fruit cracking.
SOILS REQUIRED FOR GROWING ORGANIC POMEGRANATE
It can be grown on varied types of soil. The deep loamy or alluvial soils are ideal for its cultivation. It can tolerate soils, which are slightly alkaline. It can grow vigorously well on comparatively poor soils where other fruits fail to grow. It can also be grown in medium and black soils. It is rated as salt-hardy fruit plant.
PROPAGATION IN GROWING ORGANIC POMEGRANATE
Pomegranate plants raised from seed vary widely and are undesirable. Thus they must be raised vegetative. Among the vegetative methods of propagation hard wood stem cuttings, air layering and root suckers are the important methods. Among these methods, stem cuttings are universally used for raising plants on commercial basis.
Stem cuttings in Growing Organic Pomegranate
Mature wood is used for making the cuttings. Cuttings of 20cm to 25cm. long are prepared from high yielding plants of 1 year old wood. The best time for making the cuttings is December-January when the plants shed leaves. Treatment of cuttings with IAA 200 ppm or soaking basal part in 50 ppm solution for 18 hours improves rooting markedly. The cuttings are planted directly in the nursery beds or in polythene bags. Rooting starts in 15 to 20 days after planting. The plants are usually ready for transplanting within 8 to 9 months.
Air layering in Growing Organic Pomegranate
Pomegranate can also be propagated by air-layering or goote. Treatment with 10000 ppm Indole Butyric acid in lanolin paste was found to improve rooting. The best period for air layering is rainy season. The survival of rooted layers is poor in the field. Simple layering can also be practiced. Root suckers: Healthy root suckers are taken out carefully and planted in the beginning of monsoon season. This method of propagation is possible on a very small scale because the availability of root suckers in large number is very difficult.
LAND PREPARATION AND PLANTING
- Land is prepared thoroughly prior to pit digging. It should be well levelled. Pits are dug 60 cm3 to 75 cm3 before the onset of monsoon. The pits are filled with 20 kg to 25 kg of FYM or Compost, 1 kg of super phosphate and 25 grams of phorate granules with the good soil mixture.
- The high density of planting is preferred for pomegranate growing for a commercial purpose. In high density of growing includes, the plants are planted usually in square or hexagonal system of planting.
- The distance of planting in case of many improved varieties is 5.0 meters X 4.0 meters. It was also recommended that for higher yields for the first 4 to 5 years after planting, a distance of 5 meters X 2 meters may be adopted and alternate plants may be removed afterwards maintaining a planting distance of 5 meters X 4 meters. However planting distance of 3.0 meters X 2.5 meters or 4 meters X 2 meters has been reported to produce high and economic yield of good quality fruits.
IRRIGATION IN GROWING ORGANIC POMEGRANATE
- The newly set plants require regular irrigation so that the roots become well established and the plants can start growth. The plants may be individually watered daily or about a week after planting. The regular Irrigation may be given every 7 to 20 days.
- In areas where planting is done during the monsoon, irrigation may be given whenever there is no rain for a prolonged period of time. After the plants are well established, in about 6 months, they can stand considerable amount of drought and irrigation may be given at intervals of 2 to 4 weeks depending upon the soil, climate, weather conditions and intercrops grown.
- Regular irrigation is essential from flowering to ripening of fruits, as irregular moisture condition results in dropping of flowers and small fruits. It may also development of cracks on mature fruits, which reduces market value and consumer acceptance.
- The best method of irrigation is drip, in drip irrigation plants are frequent application of water directly at root zone of plants. So are grown vigorously and healthy. Drip save the water and gives the economical benefits to farmer by save water and electricity.
MANURES AND FERTILIZERS IN GROWING ORGANIC POMEGRANATE
It is a hardy fruit plant, growing successfully in low fertile soils. Its productivity can be increased by application of manures and organic fertilizers. Both macro and micro nutrients affects its growth, development and productivity. One year old plants should be mannered with about 10 kg of FYM and 150 to 200 grams of Ammonium sulphate. This amount is increased every year, so that a five year old plant gets 50 kg FYM and 1 Kg of Ammonium sulphate. The adult bearing trees are applied with 675g of Nitrogen, 250g each of Phosphorous and Potash. In case of zinc deficiency Zinc sulphate @ 5 g per litre of water is dissolved and sprayed twice on the new foliage. For controlling boron deficiency, application of Borax @ 12.5 g per plant to soil or borax @ 2 g per litre is dissolved in water and sprayed. Organically prepared manure is used for the growing pomegranate, by the organic residues. It can be get from the market organic manure are available in market.
TRAINING DONE IN GROWING ORGANIC POMEGRANATE
Pomegranate may be trained under multi-stemmed or single stemmed training practices.
Single-stemmed tree training in in growing organic pomegranate
The single stem is left by removing all the side shoots at the time of planting. The main stem is headed back at a height of about one metre results in the formation of branches. Four or five well distributed branches on all sides above 60 to 75 cm from the ground level are allowed to grow. In the third year of planting one can maintain desired shape of the pomegranate. Single stemmed tree has tendency to produce less number of shoots.
Multi-stemmed tree training in in growing organic pomegranate
In this method 3 to 4 stems are left at hill and remaining shoots are removed. In Maharashtra, the growers prefer multi stem training by retaining all stems. But yield has not been found to be affected by number of stems per plant.
Pruning in growing organic pomegrante: Pomegranate pruning involves the removal of ground suckers, water shoots and criss-cross branches, dead and diseased twigs and to give a proper shape to the tree. In pomegranate fruits are borne terminally on short spurs arising from matured shoots, which have the capacity to bear fruits for 3 to 4 years. With the advance in age they decline. Limited pruning of exhausted spurs to encourage the growth of new ones is practiced.
FLOWERING AND CROP REGULATION IN GROWING ORGANIC POMEGRANATE
Pomegranate produces flowers on previous season‘s growth as well as on one year to two years old spurs. Flowers are borne in clusters or in single depending upon the character of the variety. Flowers are borne on leaf axils and also sometimes terminally. These flowers are hermaphrodite, male and or intermediate.
The three distinct seasons of flowering in Pomegranate have been named as:
- Amber bahar (February-March).
- Mrig bahar (June-July).
- Hasta bahar (September-October).
Bahar Treatment for crop regulation in growing organic pomegrante
A fully grown pomegranate has a tendency to bear flowers and fruits throughout the year. Owing to this, higher yield is not obtained during any period. Therefore, to obtain higher fruit yield during a particular period, pomegranate plants are given a resting period by which the natural tendency of trees is altered with artificial means. Manipulation of flowering in a desired direction is called bahar treatment. This treatment also helps in getting uniform and good quality fruits with a maximum production with fewer incidences of pests and diseases. Bahar treatment include root pruning, root exposure, use of chemicals, with holding water for about two months before flowering.
PLANT PROTECTION IN GROWING ORGANIC POMEGRANATE
- The Pomegranate was grown organically so most of the diseases and pest are eliminated by growing resistant varsities and using sterilized soil so the soil borne diseases are eradicated.
- The aphids, Fruit Borer, Scales incidence may be seen so you can follow the biological method and cultural practice to cure the disease and pest.
- Controlling measurements are taken by using Oil spray, Soap spray, Neem oil, which are highly effective methods for plant protection.
Fruit cracking in growing organic pomegranate
It is a serious problem and is more intense under dry conditions of the arid zone. The fully grown mature cracked fruits though sweet loose it’s keeping quality and becomes unfit for marketing. They are liable to rot qualitatively. The cracked fruits show reduction in their fruit weight, grain weight and volume of juice. It is mainly associated with fluctuation of soil moisture, day and temperature, relative humidity and rind pliability. This disorder may also develop due to boron deficiency in young fruits and moisture imbalance in mature ones.
- Adequate and regular irrigation and interculture throughout the bearing period.
- Cultivating tolerant/less prone types like Karkai, Guleshah, Bedana, KHog and Jaloreseedless and avoiding cultivation of susceptible varieties like vellodu, Kabul and Khandhari.
HARVESTING IN GROWING ORGANIC POMEGRANATE
Generally the fruits ripen in about 5 to 7 months from the time of flowering stage. Mature fruits should be immediately picked from the plants after maturity stage, as delay in harvesting leads to fruit cracking.
Fruits are harvested in the morning and evening times. Fruits should not be twisted and harvested. Fruits should be harvested with the help of clippers retaining 1 cm of the stock. All the fruits should be harvested in 2 to 3 pickings within a span of 1 month. Immediately after harvesting the fruits are kept in plastic crates and taken to a cool place. Afterwards the fruits are cured in shade. This will make the skin harder and will stand better in transportation.
Maturity indices in Growing Organic Pomegrante
- Fruits are ready for harvesting in about 150 to 170 days.
- External colour of fruit changes from green to yellow or red yellowish brown.
- Fruit becomes soft.
- Ridges on the fruit become flat.
- Floral parts on the fruit dry out.
- Fruits when tapped produce a metallic sound or cracking sound.
YIELD IN GROWING ORGANIC POMEGRANATE
The yield of the pomegranate fruit depends on variety, soil type, tree age, climate, irrigation, and other cultivation practices. On an average, one can obtain a yield of 100 to 150 fruits per plant (10 to 10 tones/ha).