Here is the most recent picture of my pomegranates that I last wrote about when the fruit was just starting to form on the buds. This tree is now about 7′ tall, though I did trim it some in order to direct the energy towards the developing pomegranates instead of the green growth. If you expand the picture on left, you will notice that the pomegranates are darker red on one side, and it seems to coincide with the side getting more sun.
I don’t know whether this is a characteristic of the Russian variety or whether it is a sign of non uniform ripening due to some other factor? I would appreciate any feedback if anyone knows. There are 16 pomegranates in total on this 3 year bush, so that seems like a pretty good number. However, time will tell what the quality of the fruit will be once I harvest them.
Where I live is rather poor and sandy soil, and as mentioned previously, one of the reasons that I planted pomegranates is because of reading that are not terribly fussy about soil conditions and/or drought. However, one thing I have found to be true is that even for plants that are supposed to do well in poor soil, they almost never have optimal production unless they receive good care, proper watering and fertilization. Therefore, I have thoroughly mulched and composted the perimeter of my pomegranate bushes (6 in total), and I applied 6-6-6 fertilizer just before budding of the plants.
Ripeness of the pomegranates is supposed to be determined by a metallic sound when knocking on the fruit. Also, there is supposed to be a uniform redness or pinkness to the color. Furthermore, the end petals are supposed to be turned slightly inward, and the fruit should take on a slightly squared off appearance and should be fairly easy to scratch. This is my first time around with a pomegranate harvest, so I will keep updates on how it goes!