Jujubes- Our New Adventure

I’ve been eating jujubes out of the fridge. A lot have lost texture, but I recently found a few bags which were very good. Both were picked a week into November, so they had only been in the fridge for about a month.

Dong/Sandia are normally the last good variety for me. I didn’t bother to split them into separate bags, since the fruit seems identical to me.

Honey Jar isn’t normally this late, but these grew at a shaded site, which pushed the ripening data pretty late.

I’m now moving into the seed-planting phase. I’ve planted 55 seeds over the last 3-4 days. This winter I’m going all in on adding lighting. I’d really like a greenhouse to grow in during the winter, but that is at least a year out. In the meantime, I’m going to try growing under stronger lights.

But rather than using fancy grow lights (with the associated weird colors), I’m just going to use strong LED lights, ranging from 2200 to 4060 lumens each. Right now, I’m thinking 16 of them over a 4x2’ area, which makes it about 6000 lumens per square foot (assuming I can reflect back light from the sides…). I may add more in certain sections, as I think a full summer sun is 7000-10000, but I’m still trying things out. In addition to raising the seedlings, I’ll likely try to bring a few potted jujubes out of dormancy, as well as growing some figs and strawberries. I’m not sure how growing fruit will go, but I bet I can raise seedlings a lot better than I have in past years whether in front of a window, or under either a small light.

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Bob, your lights set up will work well because Dax has a grow tent that he chip bud persimmon and let them grow all winter long down in his basement.

Tony

Pan is the variety that interests me the most. My Chinese friend said Pan refers to donut shape jujubes.

@BobVance
By Nov, my jujubes trees have no leaves left. I don’t think late ripening will work in my area. All my refrigerated jujubes were noticeably sweeter than when they were freshly picked.

My seed harvest is done for the year……

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Kathy
How you you keep them for long period of time so the seeds are still viable?

Do you let them dry at room temperature and put them in bags? Do you keep them in bags in a cool, dry place or in a fridge?

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Happy planting Katy.

Tony

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I have put them in fridge but I usually just put them in cool dry place. I have planted seeds from two year prior with excellent germination. The time consuming part is getting them collected and cleaned. Second time consuming part is cracking. I have the winter to do that. I have lots too many to plant this year so I’ll offer some for trade or sale.

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Thanks, Katy.

I don’t have space so I usual threw the seeds away. Since they keep so long, i will keep them next year.

I dug up a few root suckers. They have grown so slow. I gave seen your seedlings grow like weeds. Mine are in pit and grew about 2-3” a year!!!

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I fertilize mine good. Took me a while to figure out to do that but they respond well to it. Lots of mine from last year are 2-3 foot tall. But to be fair they were in a half shaded area so probably got a little taller. If I keep mine in full sun in this Texas heat in small pots they burn up pretty fast. Hard to keep enough water to them so they get some afternoon shade.

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I need to feed them with urea next spring. I finally bought a 50 lb bag.

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Jujube Candy……

I had a bunch of dried SiHong jujus that I harvested seed from so I sliced them and put in dehydrator. It’s crunchy, sweet and delicious.

135° for ~36 hours. You can decrease that if you want them more chewy.

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more than half of our trees are grafted with sihong and eaten so much of them for many years, yet for some reason-- my wandering eyes couldn’t help but gaze at the alluring photo you just posted…

gospel mentions of the “seven deadly sins”, heck just committed three of them unnecessarily(“greed”, “gluttony”, “envy”) lol!

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I dried my jujubes whole for the first time two months ago. Too lazy to remove seeds. I set temp at 135 F and they dried within 24 hours. In fact, they were too dry. I am not sure why they dried so fast.

Yours looked delish.

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Love these! I had a bunch of cracked fruit in the summer of 2022 when the rains came at the wrong time. I could not get myself to compost them so dehydrated them instead and really enjoyed the result. So, this year I sun dried and dehydrated a bunch. It was a bit of work as I had to cut the flesh off the pit individually, but the product should keep me going till next summer!

The dried fruit does have a slight bitter edge to it, but I really enjoy eating them.


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That looks great. I didn’t think about storing mine in jars. I can vacuum seal them in there.

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Yes, I vacuum sealed them. Also bought oxygen absorbers but didn’t get around to using them.

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I ended up getting a 6’x2’ shelf and putting 24 bulbs (well, sockets for 24, I think I have 21 in there now) in the top rack (with the seedlings) and 16 in the bottom.

I ended up putting reflective mylar around it. It reflects most of the light, but as you can see some gets through.

The seeds I planted in early/mid December have started to germinate. 21 of the 40 pots from then have at least one seedling growing (82 seeds planted then).

I’ve continued to plant more in the last week and have the rack almost filled. I’ve kept using the numbering system I started this past May, where I number each pot and record what/when it was planted. 114 total pots, with 350 seeds.

Here’s some of the most recent ones. These Texas Tart softened a bit early, so I passed them by when originally picking. But I went back in December and picked what was left, removed the flesh, and let the pits dry for a week. Most of my pits look more like Katy’s, but leaving them on the tree seems to have left these Texas Tart ones a darker color.

I should mention that while there are 13 pits and only 9 seeds in the above pics, it is because this was the 2nd time I cracked some of this batch of Texas Tart pits. While some getting 9 seeds from 13 pits wouldn’t be a bad yield for most jujube varieties, TT is a bit more productive. These 9 seeds came from only 7 pits (I know, as I took a pic…I just didn’t use it, as it turned out blurry. So, while I think one of the TT pits had no seed, 3 of the remaining 6 had 2 seeds.

While Texas Tart fruit are small and sometimes have iffy texture and as sour as a lemon, they are quite productive and I have high hopes that I can blend the sour flavor with the sweet from other larger varieties on the tree. Dae Sol Ju and GA866 are the others on this tree and thus the most likely pollen parents. I would find it kind of funny if GA866 and Texas Tart, two varieties which have significant issues to the point of being worthless (at least here) could get together and make a good offspring.

I let them dry for maybe a week in the air. It’s a lot easier to crack them that way. If I don’t do that, the pit just mushes, rather than cracking and letting the seed pop out.

I’ve stored them at room temp for a year and still had fine germination. But, I store them in glass peanut butter jars, rather than zip lock bags. I’ve had moths (pantry moths? Chestnut weevils? not sure the exact kind) get into them when they are in bags. Those things are tough, as they can dig through the hard shell. So zip lock bags won’t stop them, but glass seems to.

In addition to the ones I saved earlier this year, I recently found another source of jujube pits…The cup holder and door cubby in the cars. When driving from one rental to another, I would often snack on jujubes. My wife has been after me to clean it and I finally got around to it…


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:joy::joy::joy:

I find them in cup holders and on the bathroom counter from where I’ve emptied my pockets……

Some cultivar seeds are naturally darker than others and many have their own unique shape and/or characteristics. SiHong tend to look like little bellows and Honey Jar are more rounded pear shape with a wide “grin” at the pointed end that germinates. And the more “wildlike” the fruit is the more likely it will have lots of doubled seeded pits.

I started some seeds in house one year and I had something go from cup to cup and eat the seeds. The small plastic cups weren’t jostled so I don’t think it could have been like a rodent (:flushed::grimacing:) but there was evidence of dirt being rearranged and no seeds could be found. I never found out.

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@Bhawkins I am in Frisco. Would you have any jujube wood to graft? I am willing to pay for it and can come pick it up.

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