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cold tolerant pomegranates  RSS feed

 
gardener
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Well, I'm going to give it a try right now.

I've found the attachment button, and selected a jpg file and it is not showing up here, but there is a button that says "add another file". Is that because I've only selected one file? Anyway, now I'm going to "submit" and see what happens.
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Thekla McDaniels
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Well, look at that! Not really applicable to the thread, but these are the girls that are building the soil that the pomegranates will grow in.

If it needs to be deleted it won't hurt my feelings. Now I can post 3 photos, and maybe I can make what Bill told me work too!

T
 
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The attachment method is an alternative way, but it does limit you to three attachments. I'm attaching a picture (only way to do one direct from your computer) that shows you how to insert a photo that is hosted on the InfernalNet. I just copied the location information for your picture and put it in there for illustration purposes. The black circle in the pic shows what button to click to get that pop up.
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Posting an Image with the IMG tag
 
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We've got pomegranates here in the high desert of New Mexico. We are about 4500 ft up and in winter the temp usually gets down into the 10-15F range (which i guess is USDA zone 8a). A few winters ago we had a couple of nights that were -17F (the coldest ever recorded here). When it dropped that low all of the pomegranates (and figs) in the area died to the ground. It took a couple of years for us to get fruit again. At my great grandmothers house there is an unknown variety that has darker more tart fruit and an unknown variety with lighter skin and seeds that is much sweeter. All of the pomegranates here are multi-stemmed shrubs and i doubt they would ever grow into a tree you could climb. Birds don't bother the fruit until late in winter. It is a sad sight but many of the neighbors leave the fruit unharvested. After some freezes, the pomegranates split open and birds will clean them out leaving an empty skin hanging in the bush. Hopefully some of those seeds will land somewhere they can grow. Last year on a whim i stuck a few fresh seeds in each of several small pots (without cleaning the pulp off, or drying). Every single one sprouted and after some thinning did well.
 
Thekla McDaniels
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Hi Fred,
That's very exciting! Minus 17 is not that unusual for us, though it does not happen every year. I am glad to hear that once established the roots survive such an event. Where in New Mexico are you? Depending no how my babies do, maybe I could come get fruit in the fall, and bring them here. I am in the Grand Junction-Fruita area.

Welcome to Permies! We have fun here, it's a great community!

Thekla
 
Fred Tyler
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Thekla, I'm in Tularosa. It is south central NM, about 3 hours south of Albuquerque. I'm usually only here for the pecan harvest (Dec - Jan), but when i arrive there are lots of pomegranates to collect from the neighbors.
 
Thekla McDaniels
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I don't suppose there are any left at this point. I'll have to get down there next year, I guess.

good to know you are there.

Thanks

Thekla
 
Fred Tyler
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There are a few left. Do you want some seeds? How many are you looking for? Maybe I could send an envelope. PM me your address.
 
Thekla McDaniels
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I just want to publicly thank Fred for the kind gift of seeds from his great grandmother's pomegranate trees, which have survived, though frosted to the ground, they've returned and born fruit after -17 degree winter temperature.

And possibly I never thanked Becky of Ladakh for the seeds from a farmers' market in Kashmir, which are the seedlings I've posted pictures of.

In a few more weeks I'll be sprouting pomegranate seeds from both sources, and this time next year, should have hundreds of seedlings in the ground.

It is very exciting, and would not have been possible without Permies.com to help me find such generous people to provide me with seeds for this pursuit.

many many thanks

Thekla
 
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Congratulations!

Maybe in a year or two you could share with the rest of us?
Thanks,
JohnS
PDX OR
 
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Thekla McDaniels wrote:
And possibly I never thanked Becky of Ladakh for the seeds from a farmers' market in Kashmir, which are the seedlings I've posted pictures of.



Yes, yes, you thanked me wonderfully, with a box of stratified pawpaw seeds and a deck of permies cards! Thanks!

(I didn't have much luck with the seeds though. One sprouted a bare stem, and one sprouted a stem and a few leaves, but both appeared to die before autumn. There are some long skinny roots in their pots though so I'm still nursing the pots through the winter.)
 
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Hi all, I'm so excited to have found this thread (and resultantly just joined permies). I share an interest in cold-hardy pomegranates and am really looking forward to seeing how these plants do. As for myself, I'm going to be trying a couple of Salavatski pomegranates this season, purchased from Ison's. I am in Manhattan, Kansas -- sometimes our winters don't get much below 0, other years we go below -10. I actually ordered two Salavatskis in "instant orchard" (large) size from Ison's last season, under the theory that the larger plants would have a better chance of surviving the winter. But neither of the plants ever showed any signs of life. I asked them to hold shipping until April, when I'd feel comfortable planting them outdoors here, and my theory is that they probably languished in a warehouse for a few months where they died. They sent replacements this year which have already arrived -- I didn't ask for held shipping this time. Since they came so early, I've potted them up inside and they are now leafing out.
 
Thekla McDaniels
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Hi Brian, Welcome to the party!

I'm glad you potted up your trees. They'll be glad to be alive even if in pots. I concur on your assessment of what killed the first lot. That's too bad, though. Next challenge is in when to put them outside and how to transition them from indoors to outdoors. That's always a challenge for me because of how bright, how truly intense the sunlight is here.

I hope you'll keep us pom-permies current on your adventure.

If we both do well, that would be getting any ripe fruit at all in my estimation, we could likely enrich each others gene pools. Gotta love that genetic mix!

and yes John, if there is something to share, I'll be happy to do it!

Becky, that's too bad about the pawpaws. Do you think some might still be viable? How has your winter been there at the foot of the Himalayas?

We are having a strange one. It started out in our usual pattern, but about 3 weeks ago became more like the winters I knew growing up in the interior valleys of central california's coast range. It freezes over night, but gets up into the 40s in the day time. This kind of winter, consistently would be no problem at all for pomegranates. On the other hand, the apple buds are swelling, and I worry for the fruit crops for which this region is known. If we get early blossoming in the peach and apricot orchards, we lose the crop to a late frost.

I forgot I gave you the permie cards. I hope you are having fun with them!

Thekla
 
John Suavecito
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Paw paw seeds, like citrus, and many others, will die out if they dry up, because in humid summer rainy climates like the South, it is never bone dry outside in the soil that time of year. Make sure they never dry out or they will never grow.
JohN S
PDX OR
 
Brian Rumsey
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Thekla, thanks for the welcome! I'll definitely post any noteworthy happenings. As for migrating the trees from inside to out, I do have a sunroom that will hopefully aid the adjustment. These plants are not nearly as large as the ones I received last year (definitely not what I'd call "instant orchard"), so even if they do survive it could be a while before I see any fruit, but even surviving a winter outdoors would be cause for celebration in my book. And I agree, it would be great if we could someday cross hardy Colorado pomegranates and hardy Kansas pomegranates.
 
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I did not realize it was your blog I'd been following until I saw your pom post. We are so close!
 
Thekla McDaniels
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I uncovered the pomegranate seedlings today. The soil never froze under the mulch, and now that spring is warming us along, I've been trying to find a good day to uncover them. We've had an odd winter, with a false spring from the second week of January until last week in February. Luckily we got some precipitation as my soil was drying out, and the irrigation water does not get here til April 15th.

Anyway, the little pomegranates look like they are alive. I think there may be the beginnings of bud on one of them. I am not sure I identified all of them, and may have tied a pink ribbon on some that are not poms, but there are about a dozen.

I got photographs of them, and will post them within a week.

I also overwintered one pomegranate seedling that was in a pot with a rose. Last week I broke a twig and it seemed "green" as opposed to dry and dead. I have a photo of that too, and the minimal protection it had.
Thekla
 
Thekla McDaniels
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Here are the photos of the pomegranates after their first winter outdoors. The first shows the row that was mulched. Pink flagging helps me find them.

I had one pomegranate in a 5 gal pot with a rose cutting. You can see the conditions of how that overwintered. The pots were to the south of a porch, but open to the night sky, brrr. We had a mild winter, in that we spent most of January and February in a false spring, but, we did have a few nights down to 17 below, F. That's cold! (oh sorry, I guess for many, that's not even noteworthy, I'm just showing my Mediterranean climate upbringing I guess) The plants are in 5 gallon plastic nursery pots. I did not want the soil in the pots to suffer the heat and freeze cycle, so the black pots are in white buckets, with mulch covering. The roses appeared to like this a lot!

The last one is a closeup of the pomegranate in the pot.

I am watching the plants out in the ground closely. We are having sunny spring weather, and the elm seedlings are leafing out, the endive sprouting. I think I already posted that the stems look quite alive. There is one stem I thought was a pomegranate, based on the node and stem shape and the opposite leaf arrangement, but those elms are variable, and now I am not so sure.
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Thekla McDaniels
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Here they are! Little red buds on the stems! Yay.
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Rebecca Norman
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Are those the seeds I sent you? I'm so proud of those little guys! Best of luck!
 
Thekla McDaniels
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Yes Becky, They are! I thought of you yesterday, eating the pulp from around the seeds. Surely some of the pulp's substance was incorporated into your body and remains there still. A little bit of Kashmir: a Kashmiri farmer, and a Kashmir marketplace, a memory of an adventure in you and here with me.

This year my plan is to germinate the remaining seeds from you, and Frank's seeds from New Mexico.
Thank you thank you thank you!
 
Thekla McDaniels
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Oh, here is a sad thing, dear friends of the thread. We had a very light frost here, Monday night. It did not touch the blooming fruit trees (critical temp 29 F), but did leave a faint coating of white on the lawn. The pretty little red leaflets are gone, as of yesterday, and I don't know if they were eaten by hungry little animals (oh those arthropods!) hiding in the mulch and soil, or if the frost took them.

I really did not think they were vulnerable to the weather we've been having. I grew up where we have colder nights than Monday night, and the pomegranates don't even flinch. And I have had tomato seedlings in straw bale and visquine shelters mowed off below the first node by unidentified arthropods. I thought the plants were safer (from the arthropods) without a shelter built around them, but, by what ever means, the leaflets have vanished.

So, we are back to waiting. The stems still look alive, and theoretically, whether they were frosted or eaten, they should have enough oomph to give it another try. I'm watching the weather, and will put a light weight row cover on if it's going to get cold again.

So, at least I know they can overwinter, and if nothing else, this time next year I'll have bigger plants in the ground, and I can protect them from night temperatures below 40F, until they are very sturdy little shrubs.

But, I am really interested in any ideas about what might have happened, and suggestions about preventing further insect grazing, as well as the warmth thing.

Thanks

Thekla
 
Brian Rumsey
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Sorry to hear of the frost and/or insect damage. I had never used wall-o-waters before this year but am trying one on a fig that started budding out way too early, about two weeks ago. Seems to be keeping it safe so far, and could be an idea for young pomegranates.
 
John Suavecito
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SLugs often eat the new growth on plants around here, but I think we have way more slugs than you do. Snails?
John S
PDX OR
 
Thekla McDaniels
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Rejoice with me!

I discovered two pomegranates outdoors sprouting new growth from the roots. These seedlings did not have as much mulch over the winter. The new growth is robust. The camera batteries are out, so no photos for a day or two.


I am still watching the live stems of the brave little plants that lost their little red leaflets in their early attempt. That area had thicker mulch, but who knows. These are all seedlings from the Kashmir market.

I have begun to germinate the seeds from New Mexico, I started with the dark red ones. My plan is to germinate both New Mexico varieties as well as another large batch of Kashmir, and early this growing season create several pomegranate beds in my no goat zones, and plant some of each variety of seedling in each area. I'd like to get them into the ground by mid summer, so that they have deeper roots. I think they will like the summer here.

What with establishing pasture in a few large areas, and doing the routine stuff, that will be all I can accomplish this season.

I'll post photos of the new growth soon.

Thekla

PS for John Saltveit: Not many snails here. Lots of habitat for small leaf eaters in the mulchy stuff. I imagine they are hungry in early spring/late winter. They are the likeliest culprits!

I read the Intelligent Gardener, and found it very interesting. A great complementary text to the Ingham studies. I had my soil tested in the area for new pasture, and looks like I have excess of everything but organic matter, boron, copper and zinc. I'm looking at what's in the Gunnison River, which supplies my irrigation water. The Gunnison has headwaters in many of the mining regions of the west slope, and runs through an area where they have a selenium abatement program of some kind. I did not test for cobalt molybdenum selenium or silicon...

I like the idea of feeding soil amendments to the compost pile, and adding clay. I am trying to figure out where to get low magnesium high TCEC clay. I think my best strategy, since "leaching" is not something one could do here, is to dilute the excesses with organic material. I am right back to growing as many deep rooted grasses and forbes as I possibly can, hoping they will pump the sugars underground and all those living creatures will do what they do. And pumping in the micro-organisms, especially the fungi.

Additionally, I'll be exporting milk products, which surely contain what ever minerals are in excess in my soil, and I've looked for some greens that don't mind alkaline soil. (pH 7.9, and TCEC of only 7.51) If I can't sell them, the goats will eat them and they will be in the cheese I sell.

Is there a thread somewhere about that kind of thing, should I look in soils or somewhere else?

Thanks
Thekla


 
Thekla McDaniels
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These are the pictures of the pomegranates that are sending up shoots from the roots. We had an afternoon of 50 mph winds, then 2 inches of snow in the last 4 days, so they are not as perky as when they first popped up, but they are alive.

This is the kind of variability that we have in the spring. We COULD have a mild gentle spring, we COULD have instant summer, and sometimes we have this mix of wild everything.

The seeds from the dark red New Mexico poms have begun to germinate indoors on the heat mat.
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Where I lived in the SoCal desert, I had a pomegranate, the type that looks like a tangle of thorny sticks. I don't know if it was planted or a volunteer. Anyway our winters always had some zero temps, down to an extreme of -10F. And the pom bush didn't seem to mind, tho it always looked dead til it suddenly leafed out in early summer. It did lose a lot of the most-recent twigs but never died down to the ground.

I've moved back to Montana but I still have some seeds from it. Now I'm wondering if one might survive in a sheltered spot (we get to about -20 here, sometimes a little colder).

In bizarre trees no one believes, about 40 years ago there was a producing lemon tree in Bozeman, Montana. We grew lemons from seed outdoors in Great Falls MT and they survived our -40F winters! but never got over a foot tall, and didn't bloom.
 
Thekla McDaniels
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Well, if you have the time and space it would be worth the try. I almost asked the silly question if it bore fruit, but as you said you have seed....
I hope you'll post your results here if you do try.

The seeds are pretty easy to germinate.

Thekla
 
Rez Zircon
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It never set more than a couple fruits, tho some years it bloomed pretty good. The last two fruits got saved by accident -- partly eaten, stuck in the fridge, and forgotten, so they just dried up. (One was really small, but mature.) Anyway, will be interesting to see if I can grow one, and how it will react to the much-better soil here. Where I lived in the desert, well, we didn't have soil, we had dirt. Per actual tests -- zero nitrogen, and so alkaline it was off the scale. Roses loved it.
 
Thekla McDaniels
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Love those happy accidents!

And that's an interesting question: what soil conditions DO pomegranates prefer? In the last year I've learned a lot about fungi and bacteria in the soil, total biomass and ratio of fungi to bacteria and protozoans, nematodes and so on . I guess pomegranates probably like more fungi than bacteria and a goodly amount of each, but it's just a guess. I'm going on the idea that once you get into woody fruiting shrubs and trees, there would have been lots of soil building action by all the prior successional stages. If anyone knows more or otherwise, I'd love to be clued in!

Thekla
 
Rez Zircon
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My so-called soil was basically sand. No organic matter to speak of (in the desert, the ground termites get to it first). No nitrogen, very alkali, didn't hold water at all. By which I judge this pom was as undemanding about nutrients as a plant can get, but must have liked the good drainage.
 
Rebecca Norman
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Enquiring minds want to know!

How are those Kashmiri pomegranate seedlings doing now, after their late-frost set-back in the spring?
 
Thekla McDaniels
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Oh, Rebecca,
I need to post some photos. Even the ones that were not mulched at all for the winter are thriving. About knee high, with several stems. They look happy.

The first set of New Mexico seedlings (red ones) are planted out, and seem to be taking hold, and the second set of New Mexico, (lighter in color and very sweet) are in the germination tray, and about to be potted on to gallons because I don't have a place ready for them.

I need to get the batteries for my camera charged.

Nice to hear from you, and I am hoping all is well in Ladahk!

Thekla
 
Thekla McDaniels
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The Kashmiri Pomegranates that overwintered in the ground, some with mulch and some without. Some sprouted from last year's stem, then were frozen to the ground and had to restart. The unmulched ones just started from last year's roots. The ground did freeze in the unmulched locations. The plants in both situations seem equal at this point.
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Rez Zircon
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Probably rooted down pretty good to have that much top on them at such a young age. Promising! hopefully in a few years you'll have seeds for the rest of us.
 
Thekla McDaniels
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Yeah, what would be the point of hoarding? Possibly plants available too.

About the root systems, I water in a furrow that is a about 8 to 12 inches from the plant. I soak the ground from the furrow about once a week or 10 days. I try to keep the surface of the ground dry, and hope this is encouraging the roots to go down and stay down where the soil does not dry out.

I also am trying to encourage top growth by keeping them surrounded by vegetation, which humidifies the air around them some, but I keep the neighbor plants cut away so they don't shade the pomegranates. I have not "fertilized" but am thinking that I could put an application of something brewed up from earthworm castings and compost. I guess the thing to do is check the soil for the progress of the soil food web, that universe beneath our feet.

Hey, where is "Brendansport, Sagitta IV" anyway?
 
Rez Zircon
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That sounds like good management. No wonder they're doing well.

Where am I? another planet!
 
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Any chance that someone would be willing to send me seeds from those cold tolerant pomegranate plants? More the merrier and would of course pay you for eating them and spitting me the seedlings
 
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