15 feet away is far enough. Yet cold air can come from North east and north west still cold, and like I said only stops the wind from 1 direction. The darker the wall the better too.
Pomegranate Success! in Mid-Atlantic. I live in Chesapeake VA, which is very near the coast. We have HOT humid summers, but I have had success with my pomegranates
I’ve tried growing about a dozen pomegranate varieties in ground without protection here in Z7b central North Carolina. Just like Scott, my hopes are dimming, but my most resilient varieties are also Russian from Edible Landscaping (a.k.a. Salavatski) and Kaj-acik-anor. I’ve only ever had a couple of fruits that were pretty disappointing compared to what you can get at the grocery store. Pomegranates seem to handle our lowest temps pretty well, but then they break dormancy as soon as it warms up and invariably get hammered hard by any late frosts that come along. Pots or protection are probably the only way to get a consistent crop anywhere with frequent late frosts.
Pay close attention because some of us here in North Carolina are trying to trial pomegranates locally. We are not going to give up until we get it right. One thing that I am thinking of, yet I have no idea how to accomplish it is making it colder to keep them from waking up early.
Lets think about this, things that wake up plants are lots of light, heat over a long enough period, hot temperatures, excessive rain, and very wet soil. I am thinking shade cloth (black 80% reduction shade cloth with a white shade cloth over it , easily draining soil, and something over the ground that reduces how much rain gets to the roots. Of course if the temperature drops below a certain temperature this could hurt the plants if it’s not removed in time.
All you have to do is cover them well and all is fine. I did that for a few years but at some point they outgrew the covers and so I stopped doing it. I used aluminum foil bubble insulation made into a tent and stapled to the ground with ground staples. It kept out the wind and kept the low temps about 10F higher than outside the bubble. It also stayed cooler in the day as the sun is reflected off, so no early budding problems. Once a threat of a hard freeze was past I would take off the covers. I did this for 3-4 years in a row on my first row of poms I put in; even the soft-seeded ones came through without any dieback.
Yes a lot of people have that problem with fig trees too, and when growing pomegranates as bushes they can not be bent down efficiently and buried like fig trees can be.I was considering building one stricture for several trees at once yet where would I store it in the summer. It would be so big and heavy.
I’d like to like this twice !
P.S. it’s 28 here tonight. 73 this Sunday. Nuts.
I have some aluminum sheet metal strips, I am going to see if putting aluminum over the ground helps during last chance of frost.
I am going to also use the aluminium sheets to create a short ring around one pomegranate bush to see if keeping the lower part of the bush cooler makes any noticeable difference. I have enough aluminium to experiment a little.
I wish you luck and will follow your reports! I’m thinking the easiest would be to put them in big pots and move them into an unheated outbuilding when there’s any late frost. I wonder how poms would do if you partially buried the pots outside through the summer and then dug them up and moved them into winter storage. Not sure if they’re as adaptable to significant root pruning as figs are.
So far to me they seem the same as far as root pruning VS figs. Mind you that I have never root pruned anything in a huge pot like a lot of other people do with halfed barrels.
I am going to experiment with using root stock for pomegranates. That and air pots or grow bags might prevent the need for root pruning all together. I am hoping that using root stock might create a delay in coming out of dormancy as well.
I am so interested in following all this conversation about how to avoid the late frost / early wake-up problem, @alanmercieca, @scottfsmith, @mksmth and @ncdabbler, @JDHolbrook . . . and others
I don’t know how many trees you are each trying to protect, or how tall they are . . . but I can appreciate the desire to build ‘removable’ frames of some kind.
Just an idea . . . What if you installed a permanent skeletal structure, that you could roll a tarp or plastic over, when you expect the weather to do damage? There must be some engineering minds among you that could design it with all your ‘growing’ knowledge at work, as well. Or is this just not feasible ?
Like I said . . . I don’t know how how much area you each have to protect.
I suppose that your 7B is very different from my ‘coastal’ 7B. If you are near the mountains - or farther inland than we are . . . you probably get hit with harder frosts.
All this chat about frost damage - and the effects of this unusually on-and-off cold weather, has me really wondering if I should grow some of the more ‘Zone7B-iffy’ soft seeded pomegranate selections I ordered - in pots. But, I’ve never done this before . . . growing fruit trees in pots.
Would someone please share some detailed ‘potted poms’ advice?
What size pot should I start with?
Grow bag? One brand/type better than another?
Do you have to try to raise it off the ground to be sure that it drains well?
Is there any special soil mix / amendment that you use - over another?
Do you ‘stake’ them somehow? Place them against a fence?
And the thing that really stumps me . . . how do you move them when winter arrives?
I asked a couple of these questions in other posts. I’d just like to hear some of your experiences to help me decide what to do to prepare. 'Appreciate the help.
I think that coastal areas in general have the weather moderated, it is similar to the “lake effect” which puts many commercial orchards by lakes. So, we get a zap frost of 22F and you are at 26F… big difference!
Building a permanent frame would work well, you might have to make it look not too ugly though (depending on where it is located). In the end its how much time you are willing to put into it. For some figs I made my tent covers bigger and bigger over the years and I could cover the full-sized trees. I still have the covers and I could drag them out to cover my pomegranates. But it takes time to do the on/off year after year and I have too many other things I have to do in my orchard so I stopped doing any covering. If I had fewer plants to tend for I would be getting out my covers and getting those poms safe.
Wow, this thread blew up overnight.
I’m trying stacked tires to keep my poms from breaking dormancy too early - It provides some freeze protection too. We saw 0F here in McDowell County NC for the first time in a long time and it looks like everything I’ve got in-ground survived (including the soft-seeded Azadi). My hope is that the tires will keep the light and heat off long enough to delay a break in dormancy. I’ve also got them planted in a valley, so it typically gets a lot cooler at night than, say, my house which is up on the side of the mountain.
@PomGranny might have something with planing on the North side of a house though - that would keep the sun off the pom and so it might cause a delay in dormancy break - and if you planted it just right it might be full shade in winter and full sun in summer.
Also, I’m planning on growing at least one of all my varieties (except Salavatiski) in a 25-gallon half-barrel as a insurance plan against late freezes. If anyone is somewhat local to western NC, I’ve got a person that sells food-grade barrels for $5 each - let me know and I can hook you up with them.
That is a great idea. And they would hold up to being on a ‘dolly’ of some sort. I’d like to be able to move them myself . . . and not keep asking my husband to do that for me. He’s glad to . . . but always so busy.
You know those heavy duty dollies that they sell at Home Depot and Loews? Or the ones that they use for janitorial services to haul around garbage cans? Those might work great. (I don’t have too many plants that I’d be interested in putting in pots. Maybe 6. Most I ordered are 7B-friendly.)
I asked Cindy Weinstein from Green Sea Farms about varieties she thought hold dormancy longer, and this is what she said:
"Entek Habi Saveh holds it dormancy a little longer than some of the other Russian and Iranian varieties.
Hoping to have some Agats ready by fall. They are to go down to the single digits F, small 6’ tree easier to cover and protect."
Yeah - to keep the weight down I stuff the bottom with old milk bottles (with a couple cuts in the side to allow the roots to get in em’), and I drill holes in the side/put in rope handles so two people can lift em. I’m also going to experiment this year with having some holes in the bottom so the roots can grow out into the soil - yearly (easy) root pruning!
Yeah, I don’t know what production will be like in 25-gals, but even if it’s just a few/year it’d be nice.
If the tires are unpainted black, they could make it very hot in the sun, hotter than having no tires. The heat in the branches is a combination of the heat in the air and the sun striking it directly. You might need to paint them white.
We’ll see. Radiant heat is much better at warming plants than convective heat. If there ends up being a problem I’ll reassess for next year.