Real World Gardener Pomegranate is Plant of the Week

February 5th, 2016

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PLANT OF THE WEEK.

Pomegrante: Punica grantumThese exotic fruits are filled with sweet, crunchy jewels of tangy deliciousness that give your food a real pop 

Only growing to anywhere between 1 and 5 metres depending on the type you get, it’s a tree that should be grown more in the home garden.

pomegranate%2Btree.jpg
Pomegranate tree

Let’s find out more. I'm talking with Jeremy Critchley, owner of www.thegreengallery.com.au

and Karen Smith editor of www.hortjournal.com.au

Tart, citrusy and incredibly juicy, pomegranate seeds have suddenly become hip again, and have appeared in dishes and desserts from Masterchef to 5 star restaurants.

They grow in most climates throughout Australia, but don’t like extreme cold.

Pomegranates have attractive glossy green leaves, and like to be pruned - remove the current year’s growth in late winter to promote dense growth.

pomegranate%2Bflower.png

 

The plants produce reddish to light orange, crinkly 8-petalled flowers from late spring to late summer. These are followed by the most extraordinary coloured and shaped fruit which look like a cricket ball of a certain colour.

The  fruit starts small and grows to the size of a tennis ball and should start appearing from the third to fifth year of growth.

The Pomegranate is deciduous or semi-deciduous depending on its

location.

Although the Pomegranate is drought tolerant, to get good sized fruit, you need to water it as much as you would a Citrus tree in summer.

Pomegranates can be propagated from seed sown in spring or from cuttings taken between spring and autumn.

In the autumn split open the fruit to find rows of red seeds, eat the red flesh surrounding these, but spit the seeds out. It's a little bit complicated, but the fruit is truly delicious.

pomegrante%2Bfruit.jpgHow to eat a pomegranate !

To get those delicious arils out of the pomegranate here’s what you do.
First cut the pomegranate in half.
Holding it seeds-down over a bowl, massage and squeeze the shell a bit with your fingers, to soften it and loosen the arils. Whack the back of it with a rolling pin or a wooden spoon, and they’ll fall straight out into the bowl. Keep squeezing and whacking until the shell is empty. Watch your fingers!
Pick out any white bits of pith you can see, and you're good to go.

 

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