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Growing medijool dates in northern climates.

 
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Hey there! I'm back here to find out how can we grow medijool dates in northern areas of the country. I'm trying to invest some myself for its sweetness and flavor. I enjoyed having natural flavor in oatmeal and stuff, but I wanna grow it whether in a greenhouse or outside after frost. Please drop down more suggestions and feedback in this forum for more ideas on how to better grow it in northern temperatures where there's heavy frost. Thanks!
 
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Which country? And what do you mean by heavy frost.
You need a minimum of 2 trees.

Date palms require an arid climate (hot and dry) with a temperature between 25° C
to 32° C and a sufficient water supply. Daily maximum temperature below 9° C and
a minimum temperature below 0°C are growth-inhibiting and temperatures around -
7°C cause damage. As a precondition for flowering date palms need temperatures
over 18° C (in the shade) and for fruit setting temperatures above 25° C


Link
 
Blake Lenoir
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I'm from the Midwest U.S in the Great Lakes, and I'm in zone five. Could these be grown in greenhouses in northern climates throughout the world as long as they remain inside free from frost?
 
pollinator
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Sounds like an awesome idea but possibly a lot of work. I read they need 6 to 8 hours of sunshine a day, as well as heat and humidity. They’re a great fruit and I love them in porridge (that’s what Brits call oatmeal). I’m wondering if bees might be easier? . . . But easy doesn’t necessarily mean best.
 
gardener
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might be expensive keeping a greenhouse warm enough…not sure how long it is between flowering and ripe fruit, maybe that can happen in the warmer months when heat for a greenhouse is cheaper…you’d need a pretty big greenhouse, too, they’re not tiny trees.

also consider jujube, aka ‘chinese date’, which is hardy to at least zone 5. they’re not quite the same thing, but nice sweetness and some varieties have really good flavor.  

another possibility is a bland but somewhat sweet apple or pear (for pears, something like a kieffer works well), which you can juice and concentrate over heat into a syrup (like maple), makes for a nice syrup. the better eating apples and pears have too much acidity/tannins to concentrate much, it can get too intense.
 
pollinator
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I've been keeping a medjool date plant for about 20 years that I grew from seed. It was an experiment that I didn't think would succeed, but one did. I had all those pits from making date syrup so I figured, what the heck and planted them. It took a long while for one to germinate. I've lived in zone 6 all those years, so it's in a big pot. It goes outside in the summer and inside in the winter with grow lights. It doesn't like that our house is in the 50s-60s during the winter, but it hasn't died on me yet.

The root system is huge which you'd expect for a plant that has to dig down for moisture. It has never gotten over 3 feet tall and never bloomed. It would take being repotted into a container that's too big for me to lift easily so it stays rootbound.

When we get around to building a greenhouse I plan to install it in the soil and see what happens.
 
pollinator
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I have heard that dried persimmons are similar to dates, and the native ones might grow in our climate it's a big tree, though
 
greg mosser
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a big tree that’s hardy doesn’t need to go in a greenhouse, though! american persimmon is a good call. i guess i didn’t realize how hardy they are (zone 4).
 
Blake Lenoir
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Are there other dates out there to use as a sweetener for oatmeal and stuff? I've had medijool date in my oatmeal by cooking it in a boil and added it to my blender, then added to my oatmeal and tasted real good! Y'all should try some medijool in your oatmeal and smoothies for better flavor without the modern sugar.
 
greg mosser
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there are, but all true dates are palm trees and will have similar needs.
 
Blake Lenoir
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Is there a mini one that I can absolutely grow indoors for the winter and then transplant it after danger of heavy frost? I wanna invest more in dates for flavor and keep on using them without going to the store every day.
 
greg mosser
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there are things called pygmy or dwarf date palms, but i get the impression that the fruits are pretty inferior as far as eating-dates go. basically a skin around a pit. beyond that, i think it’s 5+ years until they fruit - they’ll be a big enough size that i just don’t think you’ll really want or be able to tote them in and out.

i love the idea, but they really are a large tropical plant. extremely energy intensive to get production in higher-latitude places. i think the more permaculture approach might be to cultivate your taste for other options that are more regionally adapted.
 
Blake Lenoir
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Are there other fruits out there besides dates for flavor into oatmeal and smoothies?
 
pollinator
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I often use raisins in place of dates.
 
Blake Lenoir
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How we dry grapes to make raisins? I never dry no grape before, but wanna find out how.
 
Jan White
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When I made raisins, I was living in a fairly arid location so I just dried them in their bunches. I draped them over a cord I stretched from one end of the kitchen ceiling to the other. They got a little fermenty and ended up tasting like fancy wine gums. They were a bit of a hassle to remove from the stems, so next time I do it I'll take them off the stems before drying. I live in a more humid area now, so I'd probably have to use a dehydrator.

If you use a low acid, less tanniny grape, the raisins will be sweeter than typical store bought ones, so better for using as a sugar substitute. I used himrod for my raisins.
 
Blake Lenoir
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Then which grapes that are low in acid and less tanniny to grow for raisins?
 
Blake Lenoir
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Hello! Since I've been taking about grapes, I wanna talk about the use of persimmon and its similarities to dates and possibilities to use for breakfast dishes and things of that nature. I'm trying to find more better fruits for year round flavor for oatmeal, smoothies, ice cream and stuff. I'm looking for stuff that will thrive in zone five especially for areas with limited space. Anybody tried persimmon before in their recipes?
 
Mk Neal
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Blake Lenoir wrote: Hello! Since I've been taking about grapes, I wanna talk about the use of persimmon and its similarities to dates and possibilities to use for breakfast dishes and things of that nature. I'm trying to find more better fruits for year round flavor for oatmeal, smoothies, ice cream and stuff. I'm looking for stuff that will thrive in zone five especially for areas with limited space. Anybody tried persimmon before in their recipes?



Maybe try posting this as separate question in the "kitchen" forum?  I'm sure there must be some folks with persimmon recipes.
 
Blake Lenoir
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My bad. I mean I'm looking for stuff that's similar to medijool that thrive well in Zone five and fit into smaller spaces in an edible garden. It's tough right now to find more that match the incredible natural flavor of that date that only grows in more south climates as a tall palm. I give. I wanna find out what the guy said about a Chinese date doing well in more northerly climates.
 
Mk Neal
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here are some threads about cooking with persimmons:

Favorite American persimmon recipes/ways to preserve

Perfect breakfast oatmeal without dairy or refined sugar: my process

Preserving Persimmons
 
Blake Lenoir
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Very good. Has anybody grown Chinese dates before? I wanna find out if I could grow one in a container of some sort so I don't let it invade my whole yard. I wanna find out if it can produce a bunch of fruit year after year and be used in many recipes.
 
Edward Norton
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John Suavecito posted a link to a very interesting article on History of Medlars.

Apparently the fruit have ”complex flavour, like over-ripe dates mingled with lemons, and a slightly grainy texture”

When I read that line, it reminded me of your desire to grow dates for your morning bowl of oatmeal. Medlars might be an interesting and not too dissimilar alternative. I’m going to add them to my ever growing list of trees to plant one day in my fruit forest.

Here’s an interesting article that says they are hardy and grown from Florida to Canada.

How to grow medlars
 
Blake Lenoir
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Are there other fruit trees related to medlar here in America that have the same taste as that and the medijool to use for our oatmeal, smoothie, ice cream, pastries and stuff like that?
 
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I too would love to grow dates, but in coastal BC it's just not going to happen. So I've been on the search for something "date-like." I had heard good things about jujubes (chinese dates)... but sadly actually eating them they remind me far more of prunes than dates. I have hopes for dried or semi-dried american persimmon (diospyros virginiana) or date plum (diospyros lotus.) I have ordered an american persimmon that should be arriving any day now. I have yet to find a date plum tree, and may have to resort from starting from seed. If neither of those work, I'm really out of ideas to scratch that date-taste itch.
 
Blake Lenoir
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You made date syrup with fresh dates and stuff? I wanna be able to make my own syrup to help sweeten my oatmeal and stuff. I'm considering growing my dates in greenhouses during the winter to invest in the fruit. How can we do that using different methods of heating to keep the trees from freezing in sub zero temps? Is there any way to afford the material to help heat throughout the winter?
 
Blake Lenoir
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Anybody had medijool smoothie before? I was wondering if I could just use the medijool itself or what?
 
You guys haven't done this much, have ya? I suggest you study this tiny ad:
HARDY FRUIT TREES FOR ORGANIC AND PERMACULTURE
https://permies.com/t/132540/HARDY-FRUIT-TREES-ORGANIC-PERMACULTURE
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