Immature Pomegranate Fruits on Tree
Immature Pomegranate Fruits on Tree

Site Selection for Pomegranate Orchard

The proper site selection for Pomegranate Orchard establishment is almost self-explanatory, that it is a primary concern for the professional producer.

Of course, to make the right choice, the candidate Pomegranate farmer must know at least the essential requirements of the tree in terms of climate, soil, irrigation, and its sensitivity to pests and diseases.

Since the farmer is aware of all this, she/he can safely evaluate and select a particular site.

And the more tree and crop requirements the selected site meets the better.

Because this is how solid foundations are put in place so that the Pomegranate plantation can be productive and profitable.

And it also avoids planting the Pomegranate trees in areas of minimum ultimate strength and tolerance to various factors, that will lead to productive crop inexpediency and to economic failure the producer himself.

Pomegranates can be planted in a large altitude range, starting at sea level and reaching up to 1300 m.

Pomegranate Orchard in Plain
Pomegranate Orchard in Plain

Elements about Site Selection for Pomegranate Orchard Establishment

The choice of the location for a professional Pomegranate orchard establishment relates to a multitude of interrelated elements, some of which are important and others not.

Among the first mentioned are microclimate, topography, soil, water, vegetation, as well as the history of the area in terms of local crops pest infestations.

Site Selection for Pomegranate Orchard

The Microclimate of the Establishment Site

Since the general climatic conditions (ie macroclimate and mesoclimate) are considered favorable for the establishment of Pomegranate plantation, it is only a matter of examining the microclimate of the specific area to be planted.

The microclimate is formed by the influence of a variety of factors, including the topographical relief, soil surface, the difference between air temperature and soil, as well as humidity and wind intensity.

If these factors and/or their combination create detrimental microclimate phenomena, such as early autumn and late spring frosts or the presence of northern cold winds, then the area should be excluded.

Otherwise, a favorable microclimate will be formed for the establishment of the Pomegranate plantation.

Site Selection for Pomegranate Orchard

Topography

A key element of the topography is the relief of both the location and the wider land surface area. Its intense land surges or sinks make it difficult or even impossible to do the work required in the future Pomegranate orchard.

The deterioration of the site is equally dissuasive either by high and wide massifs or by surrounding intense vegetation, because they makes it a frost pocket.

Conversely, those sites with smooth or relatively smooth terrain and gradients ranging from 3% to 5% are considered appropriate. Such a slope facilitates the circulation of air as well as the land drainage of excess Pomegranate orchard water.

High altitude is not a deterrent in itself as Pomegranates can be cultivated without problems up to 1300 m – such as the hardy Afghan Bedana variety for altitudes from 1000 to 1300 m, or the Afghan Kandahari that grows from 550 to 1000 m.

Of course, at altitudes from 800 to 1300 m, new Pomegranate farms are always established in areas of southeastern exposure. At lower altitudes, the exposure of new plantations varies with the prevailing temperatures.

Thus, for the coldest regions, planting is always done in areas with southeastern exposure, as opposed to the warmer ones, where the northwestern exposure of Pomegranate trees is recommended.

Site Selection for Pomegranate Orchard

The Soil

It is more than necessary to carry out soil analysis before establishing new and even professional Pomegranate plantations.

It is the soil analysis that will accurately inform about the soil composition, its mechanical and physical properties, as well as its nutrient content.

And if the analysis really shows that the soil meets the basic requirements, then Pomegranate trees planting can follow.

The soil is desirable to have depth, excellent porosity and high ion exchange capacity, to be fertile and productive – that is, not only to have adequate mineral nutrients, but also to be found in absorb forms by Pomegranate roots – and foremost must have excellent drainage.

Otherwise, the impact of its defective sides and the potential for improvement are estimated – much more so that Pomegranates can be efficiently planted on rocky mountain slopes, on riverbank sands, and even on gravels soils.

If the improvements are not economically unprofitable, then they can be implemented to create the right conditions for Pomegranate trees growing.

Empirical Calibration of Soil Drainage Capacity

Because optimum drainage is a decisive factor for the successful cultivation of Pomegranate, and because it is (wrongly but) often in our places that no soil analysis is carried out, an empirical method is provided to ascertain its drainage capacity.

The method requires only a little work and a lot of patience, and initially consists of digging a very narrow hole 1 m deep. The hole is then filled with water up to and:

  • If the water is gone within the next 24 hours then the soil has excellent drainage
  • If the water is gone within the next 48 hours then the soil has moderate drainage and can cause problems
  • If the water is not gone within the next 48 hours then the soil as for its drainage is problematic – and is more likely for aquaculture

There are ways and methods of correction for moderate as well as problematic drainage soils. They will be mentioned later in the tribute to the Pomegranate cultivation.

Site Selection for Pomegranate Orchard

The Water

The approach to the water matter concerns at least two aspects related to the site selection for Pomegranate orchard establishment:

  • Access to irrigation water
  • The presence of waterbodies

Although Pomegranate as a plant is extremely tolerant to drought, it is not meant to be a professional tree farm without the permanent and constant ability to supply irrigation water. The absence of such a possibility precludes this site for the establishment of Pomegranates – despite other potentially positive points in favor of it.

But more on this subject will be said in the tribute to the irrigation of Pomegranate.

On the second aspect of the water, the presence and valuation of waterbodies is largely related to their extent. And, in fact, the proximity with a large lake, for example, can work positively to avoid creating frosts.

On the other hand, such a volume of water often increases the atmospheric humidity levels, a deterrent to the professional establishment of Pomegranate plantation.

Riverside areas, on the other hand, are largely a privileged place for planting Pomegranate trees.

Site Selection for Pomegranate Orchard

Site Selection for Pomegranate Orchard - Pomegranate Plantation with Slight Soil Slope
Pomegranate Plantation with Slight Soil Slope

The Vegetation of the Site Area

When the Pomegranate plantation site is littered with forests or forest strips, it is positively affected by the resulting microclimate.

Especially in relation to the wind, its intensity and its turbulence, the presence of forest vegetation is indeed extremely beneficial.

Site Selection for Pomegranate Orchard

Historical Data Records of Pests & Diseases in the Orchard Geographical Location

Another essential consideration for the preferred location of the Pomegranate site is that related to the history of crop infestations in the wider area.

And although Pomegranate cultivation usually does not face serious problems from pests and diseases, it can sometimes be a privileged field for the establishment and reproduction of some of them.

Around this issue, much will be said in the special tribute to the pests and diseases of Pomegranate. However here we will dwell on a cosmopolitan wood boring insect that infects many crops.

We refer to the order Coleoptera belonging Amphicerus bimaculatus, and its particular preferences, including the Pomegranate. It is an extremely dangerous enemy of the tree and the crop, and unfortunately difficult to manage.

Pomegranate trees that have been affected by this, even if they have not been killed, will never recover, resulting in huge financial loss for the Pomegranate fruit producers.

Furthermore, if neighboring or wider area crops include vines and have a history of infection by Amphicerus bimaculatus, it is almost certain that not only will the insect infest Pomegranates, but research has shown that it is 100% preferred to this host in relation to the vine plants.

It is therefore understandable that under these conditions, a Pomegranate plantation cannot be established in this area.

Site Selection for Pomegranate Orchard

References

The References of the well-established article, bearing the well-chosen title Site Selection for Pomegranate Orchard, are presented by the musical ensemble The Secret Trio, which is not so secret as consisting of Messrs.Tamer Pinarbasi, Ismail Lumanovski, & Ara Dinkjian, with the composition of the last Ağladıkça (Picture).

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The Secret Trio - Ağladıkça (Picture)
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  1. Ashton, R. W. (2006). The Incredible Pomegranate: Plant and Fruit. Tempe, AZ: Third Millennium Publishing.
  2. Cuevas, A. (2018). Pomegranate Production and Marketing. Scitus Academics LLC.
  3. Hiwale, S. S. (2009). The Pomegranate. New India Publishing.
  4. Kahramanoglu, I., & Usanmaz, S. (2016). Pomegranate Production and Marketing. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press.
  5. Levin, G. M. (2006). Pomegranate Roads: A Soviet Botanist’s Exile from Eden (1st ed.). Floreant Pr.
  6. Seemann, J., Chirkov, Y. I., Lomas, J., & Primault, B. (2012). Agrometeorology. Berlin, Germany: Springer Science & Business Media.
  7. Stone, D. (2017). Pomegranate: A Global History. London, England: Reaktion Books.

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