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Everything you need to know about jujubes and how to care for your trees!

This section began as a simple info blog about jujubes. But during the dormant winter periods with no live action to write about, I went back to my roots (ha!) to write more on soil, biochemistry, and soil microbiology in general. But I found myself wanting to go deeper still, and so began a new section here: From Soil to Fruit. From Soil to Fruit is my passion project, and is in a more structured book-chapter format than this blog. It is very much a work in progress but will fill out with time.

Latest Comments

In response to: Soil Structure: Clay and Humus Colloids

Comment from: Member

Thank you so much Ian, and for taking the time to write this!

I love your ‘gourmetgardener’ moniker btw! Please feel free to correct any inaccuracies, or to share your own knowledge at any time, on any subject, as you’ll always be most welcome.

best regards,

Kristi

In response to: Soil Structure: Clay and Humus Colloids

Comment from: Member

gourmetgardener

A fantastic article, thanks so much.  I found this really informative, useful and easy to read.  From what I know of soil, everything you have shared is accurate and I appreciate yo making the effort to write it.  It seems like positive feedback is long overdue, I hope it starts to catch up with you now:). Ian🥕

In response to: Fruit Fly

Comment from: Member

Hi Steve,

That’s a really good point about the nets catching any fallen fruit. Hail storm protection is yet another benefit they can offer now I think about it, so nets are without a doubt the best all-rounder solution to several problems at once!

In response to: Fruit Fly

Comment from: Member

steveca

Hi Kristi. 

Thanks for your comments and the link.  That is another advantage of the nets.  Any fallen fruit gets caught in the nets and is easy to remove.  And I will start to heat treat the fruit more carefully before I throw it in the compost heap. 

Cheers Steve,

In response to: Fruit Fly

Comment from: Member

Hi Steve,

Love your really impressive set up — would hate to be a fly up against those! Many thanks for the photos. (Now rotated :) )

This is a really good read about the life cycle that could explain the smaller numbers of flies each year. The cycle relies heavily on infected fruit falling to the ground so maggots (larvae) can enter the soil, where they pupate en route to adulthood.

You’ve broken that part completely, so no adults would be emerging from the ground to add to the population, and any new flies you are seeing may well be ‘passers-by’ that soon move on when up against Fort Knox there!

(And why it is so, so important for any poor souls who have copped an infestation to not allow any fruit to fall onto the ground but to remove from the tree and destroy the maggots with heat.)

Looks like you’re on track for a bumper crop again!

In response to: Fruit Fly

Comment from: Member

steveca

Hi Kristi. 

  I got my trees covered just before Christmas.  Probably should have done it a few weeks earlier.  This is the third year I have used nets and I think I’m seeing less fruit flies each year.

 

In response to: Jujube Fruit Anatomy

Comment from: Member

That is one amazing recovery Adrian, that tree sure is a fighter! And it sounds like it has presented you with the perfect opportunity to later prune it into the classic open vase shape too — vicissitudes indeed!

In response to: Jujube Fruit Anatomy

Comment from: Member

adrian_van_leest

Kristi. Last year I had a magnificent burst of growth comprised of a single main stem to 1.8 metres, 16 lateral branches and multiple branchlets with flowers. But by the time it had grown to that stage it was late in the season and neither the fruit nor the main stem were mature enough to eat or survive the Canberra winter. An orange brown fungus-like lesion throttled (ring barked) the main stem at about 40 cm, and every bit of young growth above it died. I had to prune the tree below the rot and sprayed the remaining tree with Yates Anti-Rot as prescribed.. This spring six new main stems sprouted, growing furiously with all the usual lateral branches and branchlets. The floiwer buds are just becoming visible - I am hoping that as they are at least a month earlier than last year they will mature as true Chico fruit, but the resultant shrub (not tree this time) now has multiple arms fighting each other for verticle space. At least I won’t have to reach high for the fruit in Autumn. Oh, the fun of Jujube vicissitudes!!!

In response to: Fruit Fly

Comment from: Member

Hi Steve,

Many thanks for sharing your experience and what worked/didn’t work for you. Really felt for you regarding the parrot attack - I think my blood would have boiled after seeing that, especially after all the hard work getting those nets in place.

Interesting what you say about fruit touching the net not being attacked. Maybe the feel of the net sends ‘this isn’t a fruit’ signals to the fly??

Where we are its bower birds I’m mostly worried about and it’s only a matter of time… I had been thinking about anti-bird protection and your post has upped the priority in my mind that’s for sure - guess I may as well get the insect-rated nets after all to combat two pests at once!

Thank you again, and best wishes for a mega crop this year to more than make up for last year’s tragedy.

Kristi

In response to: Fruit Fly

Comment from: Member

steveca

Hi Kristi. 

  I tried the Ceratraps once but I still lost the entire crop to fruit fly. I probably didn’t use enough of them to catch all the flies.  So then I bought exclusion nets and found them to be 100% effective.  I make a basic frame from plastic conduit and drape the net over the entire tree and tie it around the trunk as you mentioned. 

Even though some fruit grow out against the net they didn’t get attacked for some reason. It’s a bit of effort to get my six trees covered, but you know,  fresh jujube fruit is worth any amount of effort !

I did lose about a third of my crop last year though to another problem.  I removed the nets one day toward the end of the season thinking that the fruit flies wouldn’t be a problem anymore. 

When I got home from work the next day every single jujube had been attacked by parrots.  They ate at least half of every jujube.  I lost hundreds of them. Even the fruit still on the tree which had only been pecked at a few times had a thick slime on them so I had to bin the lot. 

So I will put the nets on again in the next week or so and won’t be taking them off until I’ve picked the lot. I’m in Ingleburn by the way. 

Cheers Steve. 

 

 

 

 

In response to: Humus

Comment from: Member

Now that was a seriously fascinating article! Especially loved the colour-changing TNT-detecting tobacco!!

I’d be really interested to know more about the types of soils and the environments these contaminants are in though - microbes can readily break down benzene-ring-containing molecules (aryl compounds) such as TNT and toluene, so there’s bound to be other factors at play stopping or slowing in situ microbial activity.

What’s telling from this article is that phytoremediation still relies (in some instances) on inserting bacterial genes into plants in the first place. So you have the micro-scale of microbial decomposers being scaled up to the macro-level of trees to accelerate the process — just brilliant!

Actually, I do think humus does play a role in removal/making unavailable toxins. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if contaminants bind to humus just as many beneficial compounds do. In this bound state they would be a) unavailable to plants, b) not entering groundwater, c) potentially chemically inert, or d) available to microbes to break down as an energy source. Or all four!

But this comes back to the question of the soil type and environment — it’s quite possible that soils rich in organic matter and humus don’t become as contaminated as those that aren’t.

In response to: Photo Journal: Jujube Tree Nodes and Buds

Comment from: Member

Hi Kristi,

That’s amazing, very well detailed & so interesting, You really are a gem of knowledge, we are lucky to have easy access to this information from you so well put together.

 

This is helpful to understand my 2 new Jujube’s a whole lot better.

 

Thank you, Regards Farouk

In response to: Photo Journal: Jujube Tree Nodes and Buds

Comment from: Member

Thank you Karen!

Yes, it is very overwhelming trying to absorb it all the first time, which is why I’m hoping that following the ‘blogging tree’ over the weeks and months will make this info easier to comprehend as we go over it again, but more slowly and in real time. And yes, with an end-goal of good pruning techniques - eventually! Though quicker than you may realise!

In response to: Photo Journal: Jujube Tree Nodes and Buds

Comment from: Member

karenvsandon

Lots of info for this poor brain to take in thank goodness it’s written down so I can re-read! So I’m assuming that perhaps we are heading into the direction of pruning  to promote fruit down the track? A long way down the track…. ciao Kristi thanks again for a good read!!

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