In our mediterranean food forest (Tenerife, Canary Islands) - we grow several pomegranates - several reds, a couple of whites.
They are still pretty young, and although last year they produced tons of flowers, most of the flowers fell to the ground before bearing fruit.
This year, I want to give them special attention, and surround them with loving, cooperating companion plants - to create a prolific pomegranate guild.
I was thinking of
Dill, Cilantro, and Thyme to attract bees (required for pollination) AND ground cover.
You can see in the photo that Lavender already grows around... for the same purpose. Our bees love Lavender.
Nasturtiums to repel aphids and Fennel to attract ladybugs and lacewings, both of which will eat the aphids that could damage the pomegranate.
Melons for ground cover (and attracting bees).
Lupin and beans (not sure which ones are best) as short-term nitrogen fixers, and a Tagassaste (Cytisus proliferus) as a long-term nitrogen fixer.
I’m not sure what are the best shrubs/understory, as the pomegranate is not really a tall tree, and it actually prefers to be a big bush itself…
Same consideration when it comes to climbers…
Also, I don’t have an idea for the best nutrient accumulators (I have no luck, so far, with Comfrey and Hosta).
And… what works well as underground crop… onion, maybe?
OK... it took me some time, but I’m thinking of going with this plan for the companion plants I’ll use as a guild around my pomegranate trees:
Closest to the tree, deeper rooted plants that will not compete with the shallower tree roots:
* Comfrey (dynamic accumulator, beneficial attractant) - if I can get it on the island
* Yarrow (dynamic accumulator, beneficial attractant) - if I can get it on the island
* Tagasaste (Chamaecytisus proliferus) or other nitrogen fixers (several Acacia trees are growing in our property)
* Oregano (edible yield, beneficial attractant)
* Thyme (edible yield, beneficial attractant)
* Chives (edible yield, pest control)
* (Other Mediterranean herbs)
* Vining cucurbits (additional edible yield, to sprawl for ground cover, beneficial attractant)
* Nasturtiums (additional edible yield, ground cover, possible pest control, beneficial attractant, also look good with pomegranate flowers and fruits)
* (Other summer flowering plants – especially red orange flowering (e.g. marigolds, echinacea, or purple flowering (e.g lavender, bee balm, hyssop) as these are complementary to the pomegranate visually as well as in other ways.)
And garlic/other alliums in a circle around the eventual drip line to suppress grass growth and for pest control, as well as for another edible yield.
What do you all think?
Would rather get some constructive feedback before getting all the plants and work done...