In our heavy, high pH but highly fertile blackland soils we struggle to find fruits that can be grown and are productive. Pomegranates are one of those fruits that have become very popular over that last few years. They are nutritious, healthy, loaded with antioxidants, and really easy to grow. They seem to love our soils and except for the possibility of hard freezes killing young trees they seem to do very well in our area. I have found lots of old pomegranate trees around older homes and homesites and the trees are doing great. I don’t have a clue what variety they are but they are surviving and producing fruit, which is quite an accomplishment considering the abuse they are getting.
A couple of years ago Dr. Larry Stein and Jim Kamas, Extension Horticulturalists, established a pomegranate variety trial in Fredericksburg and in Uvalde. This winter I have taken cuttings of the 10 most productive and cold tolerant varieties to plant here in Williamson County. It is my hope to grow these in two locations and eventually to evaluate fruit production and quality. The 10 varieties are listed below, some like wonderful you might recognize but others are fairly new to Texas. I will keep you up to date on progress and if all goes well we may have Extension AgriLife Pomegranate recommendations for Williamson County.
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- Bob Whitney
- As an Agriculture Extension Agent for Texas AgriLife Extension Service I have had an opportunity to be involved in just about every aspect of agriculture. From the 5,000 cow dairy to the types of trees to use in a home landscape I have had a chance to learn how the different parts of an agriculture systems work together. Seedless watermelons, drip irrigation, pecan orchard management, fruit crop development, dairy nutrient management, environmental issues confronting agriculture, producer tours, field days, research projects and more have been a part of my life for over 30 years as I lived and breathed agriculture. Since 2004 I have been actively involved in consulting internationally working in Honduras, Guatemala, Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, India, and China. I have worked with missionaries and other groups dedicated to alleviating poverty among third world farmers. I lived in the Middle East in 2007-2008 working on a project for the Borlaug Institute of International Agriculture at Texas A&M University. In this project I was the Chief of Party and Team Leader for a $5.7 Million dollar effort to train Iraqi Extension agents and specialists in all aspects of agriculture.