Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Grapes and Pomegranates: Saving water while growing fruit.

 In our demonstration garden at our headquarters we have a variety of grapes, and some pomegranate trees. Both of these fruits require very little to no water in our mediterranean climate. After all these fruits originiated from the mediterranean area.

Pomegranates and Grapes in our demonstration garden.
Grapes were first cultivated in central Asia, the ancient Egyptians, Greeks, Phoenicians, and Romans were known to grow them domestically. There are a few species of grapes that are native to many different parts of the world. Quite a few are even from the U.S. such as the muscadine grapes and concord grapes. There is even a grape that is native to California the California Wilde Grape, (Vitis californica). The California Wild Grape can become a huge beautiful vine but the grapes themselves are tiny and very sour, not fun to eat. They are great for shading windows in the summer and letting sun in during the winter as they are deciduous. A lot of culinary grapes use the wild grape as a rootstock because it is so vigouros. All the grapes that we have in our demonstration garden are mediterranean type grapes because some of the others will require more water. We have quite a variety so that we can see which ones do the best in our park, we have a lot of critters and heavy clay soils.
Our grapes. Most grapes are water wise and climate appropriate to our region.
Pomegranates are also from central Asia. They are commonly grown in the middle east and southern europe along the mediterranean sea. Thomas Jefferson was one of the earliest Americans known to grow pomegranates, he planted some at Monticello in 1771. It's such a delicious fruit that Spain even renamed one of its cities to Granada which is an old term for pomegranate.
One of our youg pomegranates. These are also water wise and climate appropriate for our region.
If you want to grow these out here in Southern California, you'll only need to water them in their first year while they establish. After that, grapes and pomegranates should do just fine with little to no water.

1 comment:

  1. Great photos - I came to your site after searching on google for pomegranates and grapes growing together and more specifically the grape growing into the pomegranate tree and using the tree as a trellis. From the photos it looks like this is happening . I have heard that this is done in Syria deliberately and grapes and figs are also grown this way. It saves space while increasing yield.I am a and this is referred to as annidation or more simply "nesting" like as bowls within bowls. Thanks for your blog - I was very happy to find it.
    Tony Watkins
    permaculturist and teacher