In the northern hemisphere, September to February is considered as the pomegranate season. On the other hand, south of the Equator, it is from March to May. Pomegranates are widely grown in California and the best season here is from October to January. California being sunny most of the year presents the ideal climatic conditions for pomegranates to grow. The highest production of the fruit in the US is from this state. Most of the fruits that are grown here are used in juice production. Sometimes these fruits are used as decorations in homes. .
For normal consumption pomegranates are imported mainly from the Middle East and countries, such as Armenia and Azerbaijan. Pomegranate trees are usually grown in medium and heavy soils. However, it prospers in sandy soil also. The key to growing a healthy plant is to have ample drainage for the soil and also good irrigation. For getting the best fruit, the trees are pruned in the early days of winter. Winter is the dormant period for the plant. During this period, the tree is pruned to get the desired height. Pruning also improves the air circulation for the plant. This prevents the fruit from getting fungus. Depending on the growth, plants are also pruned soon after the harvest.
Larger pomegranate fruits are preferred and to get the desired results, growers thin the tree during the season. The ideal size that growers attempt in achieving is the size of a soft ball. Even if fruits are touching each other they are thinned. One is removed, so that the other grows bigger.
Each and every fruit is closely examined before the harvest season. It is a laborious process but it can be very interesting also. Every fruit is tested for its ripeness by a gentle tap on it. When the fruit is ripe enough for harvesting, it makes a metallic sound and has a shiny coat. Growers always look for these qualities in the harvest season. The ideal time to harvest the fruit is six to seven months after the tree gets the flowers. Once it is plucked, the fruit does not ripen. That is why pomegranates are exported as they have a longer shelf life. They can be stored in colder temperatures for a long time.
The appearance of the fruit is very attractive and that is why it is often used by some people as a Christmas decoration. Pomegranates are used in wreaths because they do not rot very easily. When a pomegranate ages, it dries up and shrivels, but does not rot away.
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