Agreed. In addition to the seed shrinking a bit, I think the pit drying makes it easier to crack with the vice-grips. When they are fresh, they are more likely to smush. I actually saved a bunch of pits last fall, then about 3 weeks ago I cracked and planted some (~40, which didn’t make much of a dent in the # I have).
The pits spent quite a while in a fridge, but that was mostly me just putting them out of the way- and they were hiding in a left-overs container (I’d hate to see actual leftover that were that old…). I planted 4 per pot and most of the pots have at least 1, and sometimes 2-3 growing.
I had my first undamaged juju ripen today. A somewhat small Sugar Cane. Like you, my Honey jar aren’t ripe yet. But, I’m looking forward to the next month. I’ll try to take good notes on each variety. Due to fruit drop, I think I’m down to between 20-25 varieties (from almost 40 with fruit at one point).
Wow- I’ve had juju’s crack before and they were still fine to eat. Not like what Xu Zhou does for you. I’ll have to keep a close eye on my Xu Zhou, so I can pick them as soon as they crack.