Overripe Pomegranate

By the time fall came around this year, I had all but completely forgotten about our 2 pomegranate trees.

We planted the pomegranate trees about 3 years ago and they are currently near some over-achieving Arundo Grass (which can get to be over 15 feet tall and wide!) in our back yard. We had planned to let the little trees get started in their current spot where we could baby them and keep a better eye on them and eventually move them to a permanent location. But, the grass that is planted near them has practically taken over the back yard and the pomegranate trees are now hiding behind the tall and bushy ornamental grass. They are, in fact, in such a horrible spot that I've kind of completely forgotten about been neglecting them.

Even though it takes roughly 5 years for pomegranate trees to start producing fruit reliably, I was highly optimistic that we might get some fruit this year. This is only their third summer, but they are growing quickly and earlier in the summer the trees flowered abundantly and a few little fruit even started forming.

Growing pomegranates takes patience.

Once a pomegranate tree flowers, it takes about 6 months to get mature fruit. Here in Virginia, that means harvest time should be sometime in mid to late fall. That's a long time (a long time to forget about them!), especially when the gardening season is winding down to a halt at the time the fruit should be ready to pick. That's a time when gardeners are tired and ready to spend any free time they have just relaxing and gathering the strength to support their anticipation of a bigger and better garden next year.

And forget about them, I did.

But, I was out near the pomegranate trees yesterday and happened to see a single fruit dangling from a branch (I'm using the term "fruit" here rather loosely)....

It was pathetically small and looked leathery, brownish, and shriveled. I could've easily missed it or mistaken it for something else. Anything else ... anything but a pomegranate. I mean, over-ripe or not, it just didn't look much like a pomegranate!

But, I picked it anyway... just so I could say I grew a pomegranate.

And yes, I can now say I grew a pomegranate.

A pomegranate that no one wants to eat (we did try it, so I am pretty certain of that!).
A pomegranate that is shriveled, leathery, and tough to peel.
A pomegranate that is bitter.
A pomegranate that doesn't really look like a pomegranate.
A mutant pomegranate.

Yes, I grew a mutant pomegranate.

But, mutant or not, I'm still rather proud of my first pomegranate.

After all, I grew a pomegranate!

...well, sort of.

And, you never know, maybe my pomegranate tree is just in it's "ugly duckling" stage and next year's fruit will be a little less mutant-like? Maybe I won't forget about it next year and will harvest the fruit on time? Maybe the fruit will be bigger? Maybe the fruit will actually look like a pomegranate? Maybe it will turn into a swan!

Maybe. Just maybe....

After all, sometimes the best thing about gardening is the anticipation of next year!

Oct 15 2013
Posted in: Fruits

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October 15, 2013

I've grown a few mutants in my garden too! haha


October 16, 2013

Congrats on being an official pomegranate owner! Of course, you are welcome to my share of any future non-mutent fruit you may harvest. I'm generous that kind of way!


October 16, 2013

yes ... you are! :-)

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