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cold tolerant pomegranates

 
gardener
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New observation: there are some more shoots developing on the older stems.

I guess it is important to remember this is a plant that leafs out late.  Anyone familiar with growing vitex will know what I mean!  You think the plant is dead, EVERTHING is showing new growth and still the vitex shows nothing but dead stems, it's almost summer before any shoots show!
 
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Thekla, I think I may know you. I went to WCCC and floated the idea of northern Afghani pomegranate varietals about 4 years ago in class. If I know you or if it is a happy coincidence, I am really happy to see this happening in the Grand Valley. I just wanted to chime in and say that I have seen photos of pomegranates from northern Afghanistan, and spoken with soldiers who remember seeing pomegranates that had undergone deep freezes year after year. I hope you continue your search for these legendary genes that may revolutionize the American pomegranate industry. I know they exist, and it is simply a matter of time before we get our hands on them. Godspeed!
 
Thekla McDaniels
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Greetings, Winston.  Are you still in the area?  I probably did not meet you as I never went to WCCC.  I have moved from the property where I planted many pomegranate plants outdoors. No telling what's going on with them there, as you can or have read above.  My current location is ollbran-Cay.
 
Winston Greene
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Thekla McDaniels wrote:Greetings, Winston.  Are you still in the area?  I probably did not meet you as I never went to WCCC.  I have moved from the property where I planted many pomegranate plants outdoors. No telling what's going on with them there, as you can or have read above.  My current location is ollbran-Cay.



No, I managed a vegetable farm for a while in Grand Junction and now I've moved back to Kansas where I'm from to start a farm of my own. Alas, I think that Pomegranates typically require a more arid environment and far better drainage than I would be capable of providing here in lush subtropical southern Kansas. One suggestion I received from a professor when discussing how to get Afghani pomegranate genes was to petition the department of agriculture for the proper permits to import some pomegranates and then try to coordinate with the military somehow to acquire them and ship them back. A project like this would be of great commercial and social value to producers in arid regions across the US, so the government may play a role in helping to make this happen for the right particularly motivated person who is willing to navigate a lot of red tape and complicated bureaucracies.
 
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Sadly, so far I haven't gotten any pom seeds to grow... might have to try the soak-and-peel trick. Or maybe by this age they're no longer viable (been about 10 years).
 
pollinator
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Thekla,
What happened with your pomegranate seeds? Success?
denise
 
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I have a Pomegranate that I sowed maybe 4 or 5 years ago that withstood -7°C last winter, and which if full of young fruits.
I don't know if they will go up to their ripeness, but the tree survived at least...
 
pollinator
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Location: WNC 7b
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Pomegranates are amazing! Fodder, the skins and the arils. So many uses for one tree.
The USDA used to offer bareroot cuttings to peoples. You may want to look that up.  We used to order through the USDA out in Phoenix.
https://www.ars.usda.gov/pacific-west-area/davis-ca/natl-clonal-germplasm-rep-tree-fruit-nut-crops-grapes/docs/pomegranate-inventory/main/

Anyways, our biggest challenge is the Western North Carolina is humidity. From what I've read, punica doesn't like to fruit if it's always humid. I am still hopeful.
Thanks for talking about this. Totally forgot about the USDA thing
 
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Hi Thekla,

I’m also in Colorado and thinking along the same lines you were back in 2013. How did it go with the pomegranates? Did you find a variety that works here?

Thanks in advance!

Jackie
 
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