Ask a Question
Notify Me On Question Update
Email this Question
How do I know when to pick my fruit?
Rate This FAQ
There are few pleasures that compare to biting into a tree-ripened peach or a freshly picked golden delicious apple. However, gardeners often feel more pain than pleasure when it comes to picking fruit as they try to determine when the time is right. Several indicators make the picking process understandable. Consider these tips.
Determining when to harvest tree fruits depends on the type of fruit, the variety, the time of season and the expected use. The maturation process of fruit involves physical as well as physiological changes. In some instances, fruit is harvested when it is mature but still firm, and it ripens off the tree. Pears, winter apples, apricots and peaches are examples. Berries, cherries, tomatoes and nuts are harvested when they have ripened on the plant.
Physical and visual changes may include a decreased firmness, a change in texture and color changes in both the background color (usually green) and the obvious over colors of red and blue in the fruit. Indications of internal chemical changes are a decrease in starches and acidity along with increased sugar content. Flesh firmness, skin color, flesh color and the number of days from full bloom are good indicators of fruit maturation.
Pears should be harvested mature, but unripe, and stored in a covered box in a cool location. They may be picked when the grass green background color changes to light green and the fruit easily separates from the spur when twisted. The bulk of Bartlett pears are usually ripe about the same time the first two or three small fruits (usually wormy) become fully ripe. The flesh inside will be creamy-white in color and the seeds will be dark brown to black.
Flesh firmness is not a good indicator for harvesting apples. The number of days from full bloom to harvest is a better gauge for determining maturity, along with the visual changes from green to a white-yellow background color. Macintosh apples ripen in 130-145 days; Jonathan, 135-145; Delicious, 145 to 150 days; Golden Delicious, 152-165; and Rome Beauty, 150-170 days. The red color of apples is not a good indicator of maturity, but the green or yellow background color is. When the background color changes from a definite green to a yellowish green, the fruit is nearing maturity. Harvesting may begin after the first few fruits begin to fall and the apple stems easily separate from the spur. The flesh inside the apple peel will change from a greenish color to creamy white, and the fruit will be somewhat sweet rather than starchy.
The main indicator for peach maturity is a change in the background color from green to straw color. Peaches for canning or freezing are better quality if harvested before they become completely mature. For eating, they should be mature but not soft when harvested. Stone fruits (peaches, cherries and apricots) cannot be stored as long as apples and pears, but most will keep 10 to 14 days in a refrigerator.
Submit Your Suggestion
Other Questions In This Topic
- Leaves on my maple tree have turned yellow, but the veins are green. Is this an iron problem?
- I have 2 cottonless cottonwoods in my back yard. They are both about 7 years old. I noticed this spring that the trees have really grown tall but on the main limbs in the middle of the trees there are no limbs coming from them. I also find little pieces of new branches all over my lawn like they have come off right at the base where they connect to the tree. There are also at those points little scabs of some kind right where the branch has broken off. What is wrong and can I save these trees? I grew this kind of tree because they are fast growing trees and I wanted to enjoy some shade while I was still around to enjoy it. I am so afraid that there is something seriously wrong and those years will be lost. Can you help me with the info I have given you? I would appreciate it so much if you have an idea of what is wrong and what I can do to fix it.
- I want to make a portion of my yard a 0scape environment. How do I prepare the area so that the grass/weeds to not take over? What tools will I need to make the soil acceptable? What time of year is best to plant new plants for this area?
- Do you have tips for edging my lawn?
- I have a son that lives in west Eagle Mt. We Put in sod for a lawn about two years ago and for two seasons it did great. Half of it is now dead and the other half is struggling. Prior to putting down sod, the ground was thoroughly tilled and lots of compost material was added (the kind that is made available in some green recycling yards and mixed with treated effluent from the sewage treatment plant.) Nitrogen was also added to the soil and the lawn was watered regularly. What has happened and what can I do to get a good lawn here?
- There are brown spots in my lawn every summer, some are round and others are ribbon shaped. What can I do to prevent this problem?
- I have large steep slop in my backyard. I would like to plant a ground cover from seed. Is this possible. If so what kind would be best to keep weeds and bay, grow quickly and look appealing? I was wonder if Vinca Major or St johns wart would work? Thanks for your time Milt
- How and when can I transplant small, 6-12 inch and medium, 5 ft joshua trees? The latter is more important at this point since it would be a shame to lose it.