Measurement issues won’t help this discussion, but it occurs to me that the actual Brix doesn’t really matter so long as perceived sweetness is OK. For example, Richard is getting delicious fruit at 10-12 on his digital meter; Ram is getting delicious fruit at >20 on his hand-held meter. As long as we all know what “delicious” requires on our own particular meter, it doesn’t matter what the true Brix is.
You can use my meter Send samples to my home address!
@ramv – You manage to ripen good Asian fruit. You have a long growing season but it’s pretty cool. Do you get 400 hours >77 F?
Seriously, I don’t know if they are grown in or shipped to southern CA .
Richard – What do you think might be the source of the discrepancies?
I have an optical hand-held device. I’ve used it when making mead to check the starting Brix of the honey-water mix. I’ve frequently checked the Brix reading on the meter against a Brix calculated from the specific gravity of the mix read off a hydrometer. The Brix readings seem quite close (definitely <1 unit), acknowledging that both readings are subject to some error. So I’m reassured as to the accuracy of the hand-held meter in that application. I have no idea whether I’d get accuracy readings from fruit juice.
Earliest ripening persimmon I know of is Mohler.
Has anyone looked recently in the ‘for sale’ section of growingfruit?
I don’t hate Jiro, I’m kind of indifferent to it. Perhaps, I never had really good ones.
I do not get 400 hours > 77F. Far from it. I suspect it is around half that. I havent measured it.
I agree with @mikatani’s point. Sustained warm weather leads to better fruit quality.
But Jiro seems to have been an exception last year. It was very good IF allowed to go soft. it was definitely astringent if not allowed to go soft.
I dont have any explanation for it. Even Saijo was a failure last year. It was bland and lacking in sweetness. Usually it is quite good.
Nikita’s gift, JT-02 etc were all good.
We do not get 400 hours of 77+F… we start getting 77+ from end of June till early September but not every day and only some hours of the day and we also have a few heat waves every summer but that doesn’t have much influence because 77 or 80 or 90F doesn’t make any difference. On the contrary: 100+F causes plant metabolism to slow down or virtually stop… The growing season is just too short (early april-end september) and instable to attain the necessary heat hours. a typical temperate maritime climate. In a mediterranean climate (kaki climate) the heat hours are there from early march till end of October.
I have over 150 varieties being tested (Asian, American, hybrids) and I can safely say that only about 10 varieties are palatable to my liking… most are just bland.
Nikitskaya Bordovaya, Kasandra, Mikatani Gosho, Saijo/Nishijo, Triumph (syn. Pakistan Seedless) are the only ones that I could call sweet and palatable. Unfortunately Triumph is to late ripening in most seasons. Not a single non astringent variety has sweet fruit. Mikatani Gosho is the sweetest and most reliable variety.
American persimmon does a lot better but the fruit needs to blet while temperatures are still high otherwise the astringency will not disappear on most varieties even when the fruit is completely mushy. Pieper, Early jewel, Niels (my own breeding), NC21, Prok are the best and early ones and “Geneva red” is just of the chart by ripening almost a month ahead of the other early ones and being really sweet.
I have been breeding new varieties (Asian and hybrids) with the main goal being sweetness and early ripening…I’m getting there…finally… after a few decades…
Yeah, I agree with the broad point of the post too. I’m just not sure about the details.
With figs, which I know well, there is a myth that heat is required. After years of careful observation, I’m certain that 60-70 F with fully sun works just fine. With figs 75 F is not a minimum requirement; it’s more like an optimum.
So it’s the precise quantities “400 hours” and “75 F” that I question. I doubt that I get that much heat here. But admittedly, my conditions seems right on the margin of success / failure. My one fruiting PCNA is Ichi Ki Kei Jiro, which is quite good and never astringent even if picked orange but firm. My Kassandra is also very good. It can completely lose astringency one the tree but success is not certain; this year I used 1 week of ethanol vapor just to be sure. My Prok never loses astringency completely. I’m very open to the idea that Prok needs more heat.
@Mikatani – Thanks. Obviously you have extensive experience and this is great information. I look forward to trying some of your new varieties!
My question was only about the guideline for >400 hours at 77 F. I doubt that I have that much heat here (though I haven’t actually counted) — I have the hours but not quite the temperature. As noted above, I manage to ripen IKKJ deep orange but not fully soft, Kassandra deep reddish orange and soft but with slight residual astringency. Prok ripens orange and soft but never loses astringency.
Addendum: It turns out that I have actually counted. . . . Some years ago I did a detailed analysis of fig ripening by temperature, using ripening data supplied by forum members across the country and weather data downloaded for their respective locations. As a result, I have good data for my own location. I just looked back at those data.
For 2017, as an example, I had only 69 days with a maximum temperature >= 77 F. Using a standard mathematical model of daily temperature cycles driven by the daily maxima and minima, I estimated that this equated to 141 hours >= 77 F. But it also equated to 418 hours >= 74 F.
It happens that I have data for Ram in Seattle as well, as he participated in the study. In his entire season of 2017, he had only 67 hours >= 77 F. But he had 388 hours >= 71 F.
My growing season starts in early May. I pick IKKJ in late October to mid-November. So that’s ~180 days frost free. It seems clear to me that Asians persimmons need a season at least approximately that long. But I only have ~70 days / 140 hours >= 77 F. Most of the season is “only” 70-75 F during daylight hours. I think that must be warm enough.
This is not a myth. Here, figs that ripen in late September at 75 F are far inferior in quality to figs that ripen in mid-August at 95 F. If above 90 F it’s probably all the same but below 80 F these are just completely different figs. I usually don’t even bother eating figs after mid-September because they are meh in comparison to really good ones.
@Miktani – It seems odd to ask a grower in Belgium for guidance on ripening times of American persimmons, but you seem to have considerable experience, particularly experience growing in cool growing conditions.
So here goes. . . . I’m interested in DV varieties but find it very hard to find good data on ripening times. in particular, it is impossible to find good data from cool conditions. I tried Prok. It ripened timely (late Sept through early November) but never lost astringency. Now I am trying four others: Barbra’s Blush, H63A, Dollywood, and Morris Burton. The first three are both grafted to Prok and growing independently on seedling DV rootstock but both grafts and trees are ~1 year old. Morris Burton is coming – I have scions ordered.
Do you have any experience to report oil these four names? I’m interested in both (a) time to ripen and (b) loss of astringency.
Stan – I want to make a distinction between (a) what conditions are required to ripen a fig and (b) what conditions produce optimal ripe fruit.
My experience (supported by lots of observations from others) is that figs will ripen at any temperature above roughly 60-65F. In cool conditions, especially cool humid conditions, these fruits will be somewhat watery. Even a little excess water dilutes the flavor perceptibly. Figs picked from the tree are best if finished in warm, dry conditions that encourage desiccation. But figs fully ripened in cool, damp conditions end up just as good if thrown in a dehydrator for a few hours.
p.s. One other thought: For optimal flavor and perceived sweetness, low humidity seems much more important than high heat. At one extreme, growers in the U.S. southeast will confirm that high heat plus high humidity produces poor results. At the other extreme, growers on the northern U.S. coasts will testify that you get perfectly good fruit at 75 F if humidity stays low. Maybe most telling, the average temperature during the growing season at many classic fig-growing locations is ~75 F. The average temperature June-August in the Azores is ~70 F.
I refer to the quality of fresh fruit in terms of sweetness and flavor. Figs definitely need a good amount of heat to achieve high quality.
I assume you are referring to this?
Jujube trees and taishuu persimmon trees
I agree with this. Also, for figs and some other fruits I prefer to estimate ripening times with degree days instead of degree hours.