How to Pick a Pomegranate. Pomegranates vary in color from light to dark red. The time to pick pomegranates depends on its variety. They aren't hard to harvest, but you need to know the signs of ripeness. Begin picking pomegranates when the fruit makes a metallic sound when you tap it with your finger. At that point, harvest the entire crop – all should be ripe. Fresh whole pomegranates are available at grocery stores across the U.S. typically from October to January. Generally speaking, the “season” is from mid-July to October. It should be heavy (full of juice) and firm to touch. Cut the fruit as close as possible to the branch, taking the stem with the fruit. Generally speaking, the “season” is from mid-July to October. When to pick pomegranate … The large, heavy fruits begin to pull the branches down and the tree may take on a weeping shape. Interesting Facts About Pomegranate Leaves. As long as the soil drains well, they are not fussy about their growing conditions. All must ripen on the tree. The pomegranate probably migrated to the United States with the Spanish, who got the tree from its native home in Iran. Store pomegranates in the refrigerator for up to 6-7 months, that is if you can wait that long to eat this delicious, nutritious fruit. Fresh whole pomegranates … Grow them in full sun. For actual harvesting, however, cut with shears. When you are ready to harvest, cut the fruit from the tree, don’t pull it off. A good choice for a garden fruit in areas with similar climates, pomegranates grow on deciduous shrubs or small trees. They need patience as they ripen in the fall and often are not ready to pick until November – or later. Skin Tone . A Little Tap Will Tell You! Home gardeners may need trial and error over a few years to get to … Water about once a week unless the weather is very hot and windy. Commercial growers track timelines, know fruit-color indicators for their varieties, and test the fruit for acidity and juice color. There are a number of variables that influence the actual season for ripe pomegranates. Most of the productive varieties will yield 60 to 100 pounds per shrub on a mature plant. Varieties blossom and fruit at different times, but you can usually get an estimate when you buy the plant. Flavors vary from sweet to tart. Pomegranates used to be a rather exotic fruit, one that was imported and eaten on special occasions. Eventually, one or more fruits will split. During the first year of growth, a pomegranate tree may produce a few fruits, but the first real harvest will not occur until two or three years after planting. So how and when do you harvest pomegranates? Find more gardening information on Gardening Know How: Keep up to date with all that's happening in and around the garden. Sign up for our newsletter. Today, due to its designation as a “super food,” pomegranates and their juice feature prominently in almost every local grocery. You can find pomegranates in several different colors. "A good, ripe pomegranate … One, of course, is the weather – a late, cold spring may delay blossoming. You can also tap the rind with your finger. They are grown in mild temperate to subtropical climates in regions with cool winters and hot summers. Weigh a few on the produce scale and pick … These are usually available: There are a number of variables that influence the actual season for ripe pomegranates. The ripest pomegranates aren't shaped like balls. Your USDA Zone may also have an impact. Ripe Pomegranate | Photo by Vanessa Greaves. As the seed chambers swell, the fruit takes on more of a hexagonal shape and the ends flatten. Some of Our Favorite Recipes Featuring Pomegranates According to the experts at the Pomegranate Council, the best way to tell if a pomegranate is ripe is to hold it. A ripe pomegranate should feel heavy for its size; an indication that the seeds are full and juicy. There are over 500 pomegranate cultivars, although some are available only from specialty growers or grown only in certain countries. As you might expect, the pomegranate prefers to grow in warm dry areas. In fact, the heavier the pomegranate feels, the more juice the arils in the inside will have. When harvesting pomegranate fruit, pick when the fruit is fully ripe and a deep red in color since it does not continue to ripe post-harvest. As the fruits become blocky, the rind surface changes from glossy and smooth to matte finish and will feel rough. Read on to learn more. Don’t expect to begin harvesting pomegranate fruit until 3-4 years after planting. You can extend the production season by planting varieties that with different ripening times. The pomegranate fruit is mentioned in the Old Testament of the Bible, and the 613 seeds in each pomegranate coincide with the 613 commandments of the Jewish Torah. 2. Pick it up. Some of the heaviest producing varieties can produce as much as 400 pounds on a large, older shrub. Still others might be a creamy white or mottled with yellow even when ripe. How much fruit a pomegranate will produce will depend on the variety, care, and environmental factors. Some of the heaviest producing varieties can produce as much as 400 pounds on a large, older shrub. What Do Pomegranates Grow On? Depending on the region and environmental factors, pomegrantes can begin ripening from August to the middle of October. Most pomegranates do best in USDA Zones 8 to 10, although a few varieties are hardy to Zone 7. Begin picking pomegranates when the fruit makes a metallic sound when you tap it with your finger. When Are Pomegranates Ripe? Native from Iran to the Himalayas in northern India, pomegranates have been cultivated for centuries for their juicy arils. Pomegranates are non-climacteric; they do not continue to ripen after harvest, so it’s important to pick the fruits only after they are ripe. Even scratches on the surface of the pomegranate aren't necessarily a sign to avoid a piece of fruit or that the seeds inside have gone bad. Once the trees have reached that age of maturity, the fruit will ripen about 6-7 months after flowering – generally making harvest season for pomegranates in September for early ripening varieties and continues through October for later ripening cultivars. Look for flattened, angular sides rather than perfectly rounded spheres. 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Varieties blossom and fruit at different times, but you can usually get an estimate when you buy the plant. One, of course, is the weather – a late, cold spring may delay blossoming. Pomegranate trees produce their white or red blossoms in early spring, and the fruit will typically be ready to be picked approximately six or seven months after these flowers first appear. When picking a pomegranate, make sure to feel its weight and skin. When you are ready to harvest, cut the fruit from the tree, don’t pull it off. Your USDA Zone may also have an impact. If you think your pomegranates are ripe, pull and gently twist one – if it readily slips from the stem, the fruit is ready. However, no matter what the color, a ripe pomegranate should have no trace of green in its rind. The rinds of some turn crimson red, while others may be pale pink. A few are a deep reddish purple. Drought tolerant, the trees actually prefer a semi-arid climate, planted in deep, acidic loam with good drainage. This means it's ripe and full of juice on the inside. In many areas, these harvest dates range between August and December. How to Harvest Pomegranates. When pomegranate fruits first develop, they are basically round in shape. When harvesting pomegranate fruit, pick when the fruit is fully ripe and a deep red in color since it does not continue to ripe post-harvest. Get expert advice for how to pick out a ripe pomegranate by using visual clues that tell you if the fruit inside is juicy and ready to be eaten. Pomegranates are generally ready for harvest about 6 to 7 months after blossoming. Ripe pomegranates will have a tinny sound. Once you pick out a perfect pomegranate, here's how to deseed it just seconds. It is true the majority of pomegranates are picked around Halloween. It Depends. A dark ruby red color is indicate of good quality. In fact, pomegranates have become so popular that many people in USDA zones 7-10 are trying their hand at growing and picking their own pomegranates. Cut the fruit as close as possible to the branch, … Sign up to get all the latest gardening tips!

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