Pomegranate is one of the commercial fruit crops of India. It is native to Iran (Persia). Pomegranate is known as a drought-tolerant crop, yet regular irrigation is mandatory to commercial yield production.
Vegetative propagation is recommended in establishing pomegranate. Propagation by cuttings is common. Cuttings should be taken from suckers which spring from the base of the main stem and should be mature about 20 to 30 cm long and 6-12 mm thick. The rainy season is the best period to achieve maximum success.
Pomegranate prefers a dry climate. During fruit development, a prolonged hot and dry climate is required. The optimum temperature congenial for fruit development is 38°C. Pomegranate grows well under semi-arid conditions and can be grown up to an altitude of 500 m. It thrives well under hot, dry summer and cold winter provided irrigation facilities are available. It grows under a wide variety of soils and can tolerate even alkalinity and salinity to a certain extent. Sandy loam to deep loamy or alluvial soils is suitable for Pomegranate Farming.
Irrigation maybe given depending on soil, climate, and availability of water. Weekly irrigation in summers and that during winters at fortnightly intervals is recommended. Pruning is not much required except for the removal of ground suckers, water shoots, cross branches, dead and diseased twigs, and also to give shape to the tree. A little thinning and pruning of old spurs is done to encourage the growth of new ones.
Pomegranate flowers take 5 to 6 months to be ready as mature fruits. They should be harvested mature which can be judged by the change in skin color to slightly yellow and metallic sound when tapped. A grown-up well-kept tree should give about 100 to 150 fruits per year.
To harvest pomegranate fruit, wipe down a pair of pruning shears with rubbing alcohol to sterilize them. Then, snip the pomegranate off of the tree, cutting the fruit and its stem as close to the main branch as possible. Never pluck a fruit by hand, as this leaves behind a stem on the branch. If a stem is left behind, it will rub against nearby fruit, damaging it.
After harvesting, fruits can be cured in shade for about a week so that the skin becomes hard and fruits can stand transportation better. Thereafter, the fruits can be graded according to weight
Making pomegranate wine
Pomegranate wine recipes start with either fresh pomegranates or pomegranate juice. If you’re using fresh pomegranates, it’s hard to get as concentrated a flavor, and they’re a bit harder to come by. Still, if you have a pomegranate tree readily available, extract the seeds from about 10 to 20 pomegranates and muddle the seeds in with 2 to 3 pounds of sugar. The sugar will extract the juice. It’s the same method I describe in this recipe for rhubarb wine and as well as this recipe for peach wine.
Start by adding 2 to 3 pounds of sugar to a saucepan, and then add in about half a gallon of pomegranate juice. Whisk them together and simmer on the stove until the sugar has dissolved.
Allow the sugar and pomegranate juice solution to cool to room temperature, and then pour it into a fermentation vessel. Add in a tannin source, either a tiny bit of tannin powder for winemaking or a cup of strongly brewed black tea. A pound of raisins helps provide yeast nutrients to keep the fermentation going strong, or you can add in commercial winemaking yeast nutrient for a cleaner taste not impacted by the raisins.
If you’re using fresh pomegranates, add in a bit of pectic enzyme to help break open the fruit cells and extract more juice.
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