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
- We have clover infesting our grass. Each clover plant has these pod-like objects, that when picked or brushed up against causes white larva-like and red seeds to hop or pop off. The red seeds stick to skin and clothing and is irritating to the skin. The clovers also have little yellow flowers that sprout. How do we get rid of these clovers so we might play and use our lawn again. How do you keep them from coming back?
- Do you have tips on planting trees and shrubs?
- We live in Perry, Utah. We are getting our yard prepared for sprinklers and grass. We are doing a lot of rock in areas, so we are not watering as much grass etc. We are wondering about the grass itself. At this point we would like to put sod down, but we are wondering what type of grass we should be looking for that is heat and drought tolerant and that will do well all year long in the area where we live. Can you suggest a particular sod or seed, and a place to obtain it, that might work well for us?
- What is causing the holes in my peach and cherry trees?
- We moved two Moab two years ago. My husband wants to grow a nut tree on the southwest side of our house that is just bare dirt and gravel now. We also want a shade tree (no fruits or nuts) in our front yard that faces South/Southeast to give our house shade. I am originally from Utah County and I miss my trees! Is there anything comparable that would grow here in the clay?
- Do you have tips for newly planted trees?
- My sycamore tree has brown-reddish spots along the leaf veins. What is it?
- We live in West Jordan in an area with very clay soil. We would like to plant some low-lying evergreen shrubs in a narrow strip between our RV pad and a short vinyl fence. Do you have any plant recommendations that will work in our soil and don't require a lot of maintenence?