In Greek mythology, the pomegranate was the food of Hades, who tricked his prisoner Persephone into eating the seeds so that she would become his wife. Today, pomegranate seeds are used in salads or as a garnish for desserts. The juice that is produced from pomegranate seeds can either be consumed as a drink or used as a marinade for meat. Pomegranates make a fantastic addition to any garden; here are 5 reasons why:.
Require Little Water
This is because they thrive on drier soil types such as those found in California. If you are planning on growing pomegranate trees, they need to be planted in an area which gets the most sunlight. Pomegranate trees can live for several years, providing a delicious fruit yield many times over. Pomegranate trees can be grown from seeds or from clippings but which ever method you choose, it will take a couple of years before the tree begins to produce fruit. The most popular pomegranate variety is the ‘Wonderful’ pomegranate but there are many other kinds.
Easy to Grow in Large and Small Gardens
If your garden is small but walled, pomegranates adapt well to the espalier method. Espalier is an intensive form of pruning and manipulating the young tree and its branches. Espalier is best done when the pomegranate tree is young as the branches are more flexible and therefore easier to bend into your desired design. Pruning is a large part of growing pomegranate trees as they will need to be cut back every year in the spring when the shoots are dormant.
Whether you have chosen to manipulate the growth of your pomegranate tree to grow against a wall or up a trellis, or you have chosen to plant a row or cluster of trees, a pomegranate tree will look very decorative in your back yard. The color of the fruit produced will depend on the type of pomegranate tree although most pomegranates are red. Some will be light pink or even purple. The seeds themselves will also vary in color from light pink to ruby red.
Pomegranate juice is high in fiber, potassium, antioxidants and vitamins B and C. Other benefits include reducing the effects of heart disease, systolic blood pressure as well as the effects of dental decay. The bark and roots of the tree have often been used as a natural remedy for diarrhea.
Used for Cooking
In Turkey, the juice from the seeds is used as a meat marinade while in Eastern Asia the juice is added to curries and chutney. Most Western cultures use the pomegranate seeds as a decorative addition to salads or will consume the juice on its own. Pomegranate juice can also be used to make ice cream, deserts and even cocktails.