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How to Grow Pomegranates in Texas

Ah, to be a pomegranate farmer in Texas a few years ago. Back in 2006 pomegranate juice became the latest food fad. Supermarkets couldn't keep the pricey liquid in stock and pomegranate farmers were in a frenzy to produce more of the seedy fruit. Long overlooked as a crop on Texas farms, Texas A&M University researchers teamed up with farmers to help them learn how to create larger pomegranate orchards. The enthusiasm spread to the home gardener who has learned just how easy it is to grow the pomegranate in Texas. If you live in north central Texas look for a more cold hardy pomegranate cultivar such as "Wonderful."

Choose a location that gets all day sunshine. The pomegranate is native to the tropics and subtropics so it acclimates well to Texas' hot summers.

Amend your soil with peat moss or other acidic additive if you have heavy clay soil. However, amending the soil is generally not necessary for planting the pomegranate tree. As long as the soil is well-drained it will thrive.

Water your pomegranate plant every two to four weeks unless it is exceptionally dry in your area of Texas. The pomegranate is quite drought tolerant so be careful not to over-water it.

Fertilize the pomegranate during the spring. The California Rare Fruit Growers suggests a 2 to 4 oz. application of ammonium sulfate for the first two years. After that just use an annual application of rotted manure or other compost, adding it to the soil around the base of the plant.

Inspect the pomegranate frequently for signs of fungal disease. The leaves will drop and the fruit will split when the tree is infected. Horticulturists at Texas A&M University suggest that you use a copper fungicide in late spring through summer, during fruit development.

Pruning a pomegranate isn't really necessary unless you are training it to grow as a tree. Removal of dead or damaged parts of the plant is, however, recommended.

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