Top 20 Steps to Boost Pomegranate Yield: How to Increase Pomegranate Fruit Size, Quality, and Production

Pomegranate is an economically important fruit crop, and its scientific name is Punica granatum L. Let’s check out the top 20 steps to boost Pomegranate yield below.

Top 20 Steps to Boost Pomegranate Yield
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Top 20 steps to boost Pomegranate yield

Step 1: Soil and site selection for improving fruit production

Pomegranates perform best on deep loamy soils but grow well in sandy and clay soils. Trees tolerate moderately acidic to light alkaline soils and grow best in soil pH ranges from 5.5 to 7.2. They prefer well-drained soil. Excessive moisture will damage the trees for a long time. In addition to soil type and drainage, site selection should also consider sun exposure and air circulation. 

Step 2: Sun requairement for ensuring good fruit color

Pomegranates need at least six hours of direct sunlight daily to ensure good fruit color and productivity. 

Step 3: Tips for improving plant growth and development

Pomegranates do not usually have many nutritional deficiencies, but adequate nitrogen helps to enhance the growth and development of newly planted trees. Urea is a good nitrogen source and should be applied for the timely expulsion of nutrients in winter and spring. Pomegranate pruning is done in 2/3 of the soil, and its upper branches are pruned for more growth. Apply at the rate of 20-55 kg/hectare. The level of nitrogen fertilization affects the development, production, and quality of Pomegranate more than the overall nutrition of plants. 

Step 4: Best Pomegranate varieties

The main varieties of Pomegranate are Kabul, Muskati Red, Paper Shelled, Spanish Ruby, Alandi or Vadki, Dholka, Kandhari, Ganesh (GB I), Aarakta, Jyoti, Ruby, IIHR, G 137, P 23, P 26, Mridula, Selection, Yercaud 1 and Co 1. Some other commercial varieties of Pomegranate are Jyothi, Ganesh, Ko1, YCD1, Arakatha, Rudhra, Ruby, and Merdhola. 

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Pomegranate Farming
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Step 5: Fruit drop control

Young Pomegranate trees tend to drop a small amount of fruit. However, this speed increases in stressful situations and can be controlled with proper care. Mature Pomegranate trees are less likely to bear fruit, but, like young Pomegranate trees, they will do so under conditions of over-fertilization and improper watering. 

Step 6: Best fertilizer for the Pomegranate tree

Pomegranate trees need adequate nitrogen for optimal growth, as nitrogen helps plants grow and produce flowers that eventually bear fruit. You can use high nitrogen fertilizer, or a balanced 10-10-10 formula, in the spring when the tree begins to show new growth.

Step 7: High-density planting for more yield

High-density planting is adopted in temperate areas. A spacing of 5-6 meters is commonly followed in the plains of northern India and the Deccan plateau. Planting with high density at a distance yields 2-2.5 times more than the yield obtained when the average planting distance is 5 X 5 meters is adopted. Farmers have covered a distance of 2.5 X 4.5 meters. Closer spacing increases the incidence of diseases and pests. 

Step 8: Irrigation to increase the Pomegranate yield

Although Pomegranates are highly drought tolerant, ensuring adequate soil moisture will significantly improve plant strength and fruit production. In addition, providing sufficient water during the drought will help reduce the number of fruit bursts when the rains return. Drip irrigation is the preferred method. Overhead irrigation is not recommended as it will increase the spread of field pathogens and may result in less fruit set as flowers are susceptible to moisture and humidity.

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Pomegranate Tree
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Excessive soil moisture in summer can lead to the overgrowth of plants, but the resulting fruits are soft, resulting in poor post-harvest quality. Avoid excessive irrigation for Pomegranate in the fall as it can cause fruit splitting. In addition, this distribution can increase infection rates from farm-borne diseases, eventually developing during storage. 

Step 9: Planting methods in Pomegranate

Planting with high density increases the yield by 2.5 times. However, keeping near spacing should be avoided, increasing the risk of infection and disease. There are two ways to plant pomegranates. They are a square method and pit method. 

Square method – This is the most common method of cultivation. The distance between the plants depends on the climate and the soil type. In the case of very light soil, a distance of 4-5 meters is maintained. 

Pit system – Pits 60x60X60 cm in diameter are dug one month before the actual planting. They are left open for solarization for two weeks period. To prevent termite invasion, the sides and bottom of the pits are washed with 5% carbaryl dust. After two weeks, the pits are filled with topsoil combined with farm fertilizer and superphosphate. Then the air layers or cuttings are stained with plants. The first irrigation is done immediately after this step of planting. 

Step 10: Drip irrigation to increase the yield

The average annual water requirement through drip irrigation is 20 cm. Drip irrigation saves 44% on irrigation and 64% on sugarcane trash mulch. It also helps to increase production by 30-35%.

Sep 11: Training and pruning for producing better yield

Pomegranate training and pruning are two essential tasks. Plants are trained in a single stem or multi-stem system. Pruning is needed to remove ground suckers, water shoots, cross branches, dead and diseased shoots, and shape the tree. Proper pruning and thinning of the fruit provide better protection from the sun and higher fruit yields. Each tree has a limited ability to provide nutrients to plants and fruits.

With proper pruning and thinning of underdeveloped or poor-quality fruits, those nutrients can be more beneficial for a small number of fruits, producing better yields. Pomegranate trees need to be appropriately pruned if you want to increase fruit production and maintain an attractive shape. Commercial growers usually shorten the branches to produce new fruit-bearing shoots and fruiting spruces.

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This method has small branches that are not natural for the arched shape of Pomegranate trees. Training and pruning help in the growth of fresh, healthy shoots. It also removes the branches of the old disease and protects the branches from overcrowding. It also maintains the proper tree shape. 

Step 12: Pomegranate flower drop causes and prevention

  • Pollination – Pomegranate trees are fruitful, meaning that Pomegranate flowers are male and female. Pollinating insects and hummingbirds help the pollen spread from flower to flower. You can even help by using a small brush and brushing lightly from bloom to bloom. Male flowers fall naturally as non-fertile females bloom, while fertilized females remain to flower. 
  • Pests – Pomegranate trees begin to bloom in May and continue until early autumn. If your Pomegranate flowers fall in early spring, they may be attacked by pests such as whiteflies, scale, or mealybugs. Inspect the tree for damage and consult your local nursery to recommend the use of pesticides. 
  • Disease – Another possible cause of Pomegranate flower drop may be fungal disease or root rot. An antifungal spray should be applied to control this problem. 

Step 13: Weed management

Weeds in Pomegranate orchards can be controlled by hand spraying between trees using unselected herbicides such as glyphosate or paraquat without allowing the spray to fall on the Pomegranate plants. 

Step 14: Increase the Pomegranate fruit size

Increasing the size of your Pomegranate fruit is more about pruning, watering, and fertilizing than anything else. Older wood will produce larger fruits, so pruning the Pomegranate more like a tree than a shrub will help. Ensuring that the Pomegranate receives adequate water during fruit formation is essential. Due to lack of water during fruit growth, Pomegranate fruits will be small at the time of ripening or will split before ripening. Irrigation should not be done daily but in large quantities but less frequently.

Step 15: Nutrient management for crop growth

Like all flowering and fruit trees, Pomegranates require a lot of nitrogen and enjoy acidic soils. Nitrogen helps in the growth and development of plants and can improve the quantity and quality of fruits. If soil is already rich in nitrogen, adding more can do more harm than good, and get a soil test kit to see how much nitrogen you naturally have. 

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Pomegranate Farm
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The first year after planting, the Pomegranate tree grows and establishes itself. It does not need any additional fertilizer during this time except a layer of mulch. During this year of rapid crop growth, your plant’s needs change rapidly, and easy to add too much of any nutrient, which causes growth to stop. During the second year, you are free to apply a small amount of fertilizer. An increase of one to two ounces is sufficient in spring and autumn. After that, add another ounce of fertilizer every other year for five years. 

Step 16: Fruit splitting causes and prevention

Here are some common reasons for Pomegranate fruit splitting. One of them may be due to over-care of the tree. Fungal diseases are often accompanied by leaf spots, premature leaf fall, or other leaf damage, but sometimes fruit is the only target. The second main reason for the Pomegranate fruit splitting is the irregular watering. 

During the critical stages of fruit development, it is essential that the water entering the plant system is fairly regular and even. Otherwise, different parts of the fruit grow at different speeds, causing the fruit to split. Causes of fruit splitting include improper irrigation, environmental factors, and malnutrition, especially boron, calcium, and potash. 

You can prevent splitting by mulching your tree with at least three inches of organic mulch and adding it to the watering schedule once the flowers begin to fall. Water the root system evenly every few days without soaking – mulch will help prevent evaporation. 

Step 17: Pests and disease control

Pomegranate has very few diseases. The use of sulfur can be used to control pests, while in winter, when there are no leaves, the pests can be controlled with dormant oil. For controlling leaf spots, a neutral liquid copper spray will be used. As one of the most related diseases in pomegranate, fungal problems can be the most difficult to control.

Alternaria fruit rot, Aspergillus fruit rot, and Botrytis are the most frequently irritating. Mildew control should begin early in the spring before fruit sets and continue until the fruit ripens in the summer. Use copper fungicide as directed and promote good circulation by pruning inactive weather to open the canopy.

Step 18: Precision irrigation for growth of the yield

Precision irrigation involves a lot of repeated fertigation based on the stages of development, resulting in increased productivity. The depth of irrigation is directly related to the depth of the Pomegranate root system. 80% of feeding occurs at a depth of 50-60 cm. Proper irrigation helps prevent fertilizers from moving out of the feeding root zone. Good use of fertilizers increases the yield of Pomegranate. 

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Pomegranate Farming
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Step 19: Plant growth practices 

  1. Pomegranate trees losing leaves may be due to natural, non-damaging causes such as annual leaf drops. Pomegranate leaves turn quite yellow before falling to the ground in autumn and winter. But falling Pomegranate leaves at other times of the year may indicate something else. Another reason for falling Pomegranate leaves may be improper maintenance and installation. Before planting a new Pomegranate plant, make sure the roots are healthy. Make sure you irrigate your Pomegranate properly. Insects can also cause damage to Pomegranate leaves. Aphids, which ants usually cultivate, can suck the juice of your Pomegranate leaves. The leaves will turn yellow and stained and eventually die and fall off. You can spray the leaves with a strong blast of water to wash the aphids. Also, you can bring in natural predators like ladybugs, or spray mild, organic pesticides on aphids.
  2. Quality increase – Pomegranate quality is determined mainly by water, fertilizer, and plant protection management. Water management, in particular, plays an essential role with fertilizers and has a significant impact on the quantity and quality of production. Proper irrigation helps increase the production of Pomegranate and its quality. 

Step 20: Harvesting tips for getting more yield

When the fruits turn from green to light yellow or red when the fruits begin to ripen, this is the best time to harvest. Avoid delay in harvesting as it will break the fruit and thus reduce the yield. But it depends on the genotype, the climatic conditions, and the growing region. Fruits should be harvested at the maximum ripening stage as early pruning results in slow, immature, and poor ripening of fruits. In contrast, late harvesting increases the risk of disease outbreaks. However, Pomegranate is a non-seasonal fruit that should be grown after proper ripening.

Once fully ripened, the Pomegranate must break. Leaving the fruit on the tree for too long will cause the earl to break. They begin to bear fruit within 1 to 2 years of planting. However, commercial production will start only after 2-3 years of cultivation. Harvesting of raw fruits will lead to a reduction in quality. Generally, 120-130 days after fruiting can be selected. Harvesting of immature or overripe fruits affects fruit quality. 


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