That’s definitely my situation. With my watering duties during the dry times, I get back around to them about once a week.
forgot to mention-- my argument only applies to the soil conditions here in vegas.
if texas’ soils are way richer in soluble nutrients than vegas, then keeping the soil more moist(than here in vegas) will actually be ‘healthier’ for jujus there.
the concentration of soluble nutrients is what matters(again, i hope i don;t sound sophomoric): say, if we think tomatoes-- you can grow a tomato on soil in a 5 gallon pot with good drainage, and you’d expect for it to do ok if you don’t overwater it. But-- if you grow it in a 10 gallon bucket(no drainage) with the same type of soil of the same amount, and you fill that bucket to the brim(and aerate the 10 gallon slush with oxygen as you would with hydroponically-grown tomatoes), that tomato plant will not prosper if the dissolved nutrients are too diluted for its liking.
with hydroponics, the grower knows exactly the “sweet spot” of nutrient concentration, as well as oxygenation-level, simply by adding the right amounts of fertilizers into the right amount of water, and optimal level of oxygenation
with jujube, no one knows what the right amounts are, so letting the soil dry up a bit would “give it a chance” to reach that ‘sweet spot’ which facilitates nutrient absorption specific to the species. And being a xerophyte, it also allows the roots to breathe more if soil is less soaked.
spinosa-type seedling i used as rootstock. Extremely productive but fruits are awful!
below photo: chico micro-cutting that successfully rooted, though not really sure about its future performance(been on this route before with hj twiggies which gave me false promises for a couple years) Currently growing it under dappled shade and in a ziploc bag to avoid transpiration losses. The smallish leaf fronds all grew post-cutting. While the darker green and relatively larger leaf at 6 o’clock position was already full-grown pre-cutting. It obviously supported new leaf growth and presumptive root-growth. Hopefully this gets to be a vigorous grower next year. More importantly–hopefully a perennating one!
That’s an impossibility…almost as much so as in Vegas. But in the spring sometimes nature does.
Wow, those look gigantic compared to my wild ones! Maybe you could make pickled jujubes That can become a new delicacy in Vegas. The fruit I get are small, and kind of a sweet and sour with mostly seed. I actually like the taste…just needs some flesh.
Thats what i thought @k8tpayaso. One online reference reports jujus being more drought tolerant than desert cacti. When lived in rainy tropics, it was impossible to get certain cacti to flower if planted directly on the ground outdoors. Had to pot them up and witheld water by growing under translucent plastic roofing.
Yeah, @snowflake that productive seedling juju is so beguiling! But would much prefer a sweet and sour wild type one as mine is an absolute lost cause… dry and flaky!
I’m in the camp that juju do like water but intermittent dry does not only the tree good (in terms of encouraging drought resistant behavior), but the fruit as well. With so much time at home, my kids are picking up some of the chores (the good), but one of their favorites is watering time and many of the fruits are lacking the sweet crunch that came with semi-neglected trees of the past.
that is pretty much the ‘default setting’ where am at.
If jujus’ enjoy intermittent drying in other states the same way they do here and in new mexico, then that is another plus point for growing them. No pesticide costs on top of low-water costs, plus being able to label your produce as “organic” --they add up the $$ signs, haha
Intermittent dry may do the tree and the fruit good, but lack of water during fruit maturation can mean less crispy, less sweet, and more spongy fruit, that begins to dry out before it matures completely.
totally agree, and forgot to mention it. Many jujus(at period of ripening) taste bad in hot weather even when well-watered, so hot weather plus dehydration is a double whammy. Would be good to give ample water when jujus are close to maturity and around maturity
thankfully here in vegas, some cultivars are less sensitive to recurring droughts(even during time of fruit maturation)such as sihong, hj, jfae’s contorted, priest, sherwood, and several seed-grown cultivars i have developed. The aforementioned seem to re-acquire their desirable characteristics when watered well after a bad drought
below is black sea getting dehydrated one day then rehydrated the next day. Jujus will sequester moisture from fruits before the foliage starts getting droopy sad…
At the height of summer, best to keep the trees hydrated for at least a couple days before harvesting.
Jujubes- Our New Adventure
And that’s why there is the old advice to pick jujube fruit in the morning. They plump up overnight and dry out during the day.
below is jfae’s ga-866 that got toasted by more than a week of daily 110F. Hot weather seems to accelerate maturation but fruits of many cutlivars get compromised in the process, especially if grown in pots or if graft. or the specimen itself is relatively young. Especially if it is a seedling. Fruits may be sweeter, by sheer dehydration but the texture can be off-putting. Cultivars that are meaty/dense which also happen to have high sugar contents like ga 866 and sihong tend to retain palatability better. HJ seems to be an exception, as it seems to be ok despite its lighter texture. Anyway, this ga 866 may be wrinkled and red, but inside was still bright green and pretty good eating
That’s what kept happening to most of my HJ fruits in California. They would almost all shrivel up before reaching peak ripeness. Black Sea also has small fruit but it would hold up to high heat and maintain it’s crispness while HJ was shriveling up. And Black Sea was superb as a dried fruit as well.
I have a loaded tree of XuZhou. It does not mature right for me. It splits before getting brown. If it does not split it gets soft and then looks as if it gets gangrene—black and nasty. I have lots of seedlings (only has about 50% germination rate) that have grown fantastically well that I intend to see how well they perform as rootstock. Other than that they have no use for me as a fruit.
I’ve never grown XuThou but I had a seedling that did the gangrene thing.
mine are prone to splitting too when approaching maturity. Thankfully it is sweet enough already at the light green stage, and that is when normally pick them. And yeah, the trouble with splitting is that it makes everything easier for birds to pick on the fruits since the pulp is already exposed, as shown below with one already half-eaten and the others already split and ready to be picked on. Quite convenient arrangement, ouch
Ants get in mine when they split. I can eat the split ones but they still have a bit of a green taste. Okay but not special and you have to close your eyes to the split. It doesn’t take rain or watering to make them split. If you pick them and put in the refrigerator they will mold and turn black.
still possible they ripened at the wrong time of the year for you. Maybe will be better next year, or the next.
have had xu zhou for a while, and have to say though not too sure this cultivar will get better in my climate and conditions, regardless of time of year fruits are borne… Pretty much have it as bird food…as a diversion just so the chances of v. booty and sihong being attacked is minimized, lol
introducing ‘vegas calabasas’. This seedling from contorted pit seemed to have no intentions of assuming its mother’s contortions, so grafted it over with v. booty budwood earlier this year(seen here with foil wrapped around it).
the would-be rootstock rejected the scion(or vice-versa), then rootstock grew a short upright and produced this pudgy little pumpkin, hence the name. Beginning to note that when started whittling down branches of many cultivars by grafting more of chico, sihong, sherwood and to some extent, booty-- our seedlings seemed to have higher rates of ‘first-crop desirability’. Our trees’ branches are now ~30% that of sihong, and ~25% chico.
this one-and-only first fruit of this would-be rootstock tolerated successive days of >110F and yet ripened into this juicy and densely meaty little squash. It is dense and exceedingly sweet like sihong, but more apple-ish in flavor like chico. And shape is tubby like chico. Chico is supposedly a progeny of a contorted cultivar developed at usda’s field station at Chico, CA.
just like its sister, vegas kinky, this contorted seedling(from burntridge’s) is already producing better quality than its mom’s fruits, despite this being its first fruit and in potted condition. And ripened in extreme conditions
Is anyone growing Porterville? I never hear about it anymore. The original tree is in Porterville, California. Roger Meyer sold grafts for many years so someone should be growing it. I have one small potted tree. In California I had a larger tree in a pot and it was starting to produce consistent crops. It has large fruit with a very small seed pit, probably the pest fruit to pit ratio I’ve seen in a jujube. It is a Chico type jujube with both sweet and sour flavor. These photos are from last year in late August -