Fruit Harvesting Time

    • Impatiens will give you instant color in shady areas and continue blooming right through the fall.
    • Sow lettuce seeds now for a fall crop or set out plants. Set out broccoli and cabbage plants too.
    • Take care of your roses: feed, water, weed, mulch and remove faded blooms regularly. Spray if necessary at first sign of insect or disease problems.
    • Feed rhododendrons, azaleas and camellias with a “bloom” fertilizer to encourage flowers for next spring.
    • Wisteria trees need to be trimmed throughout the summer. Keep long tendrils trimmed back to maintain the shape of the tree.

Fruit Harvesting Time

Fruits of all kinds must be harvested on time, at the proper stage of maturity in order to maintain their nutrients, quality and freshness. Harvesting should be done early in the day, when possible, and fruits should be handled gently so as not to bruise it.

Only apples and pears are suitable for long-term storage, and some varieties of those store better than others. Other kinds of fruits, like peaches, apricots and plums, can only be stored for short periods of time. They can be preserved for winter use by canning, freezing or drying.

To decide when to harvest apples, watch for the fruit to begin to change color and then sample a fruit or two to check for characteristic flavor and smell. Yellow or golden varieties change to a golden surface color when ripening.

Some varieties of apples release easily from the tree as they begin to ripen, and should be picked right away. Other varieties mature over a long season and should be picked as they mature. Apples will continue to ripen after picking. Separate varieties in storage as some will store for several months and others for less time.

Cherry season is over for this year, but cherries should be picked when the fruit is juicy, rather soft and full-flavored. They hold their best quality if picked with the stems on. Cool the fruit immediately after harvesting and they will store for up to two weeks.

Peaches should be taste-tested for ripeness. The fruit softens and becomes juicy and luscious as it ripens. When the fruit is easily pulled off the twigs then it is probably ripe. Peaches will not ripen any further though they may get softer. If you pick it too soon, it will never develop sweetness and flavor. Handle fruit carefully to avoid bruising, and cool it immediately after harvesting.

Pears must be picked before they are tree-ripe. Test a fruit for ripeness and harvest just as the pear flavor and aroma can be detected. If harvested too soon, they will have poor flavor and shrivel in storage. If harvested too late, they will likely be rotten at the core. Fruit continues to ripen after picking and can be stored for one to three months.

Plums soften and develop their delicious flavors as they ripen. Their color is not a particularly good guide to ripeness, so sample fruit to decide when best to pick. Handle fruit gently and cool after harvesting. Fruit will continue to ripen after picking and can be stored for a week or two.

Check Asian pear trees weekly until the fruit begins to change color. Some varieties change from green to yellow and others change from yellow to brown. If the Asian pears started out green on the tree, pick them when they turn yellow, and if the unripened pears were yellow, harvest them when they turn brown. They should feel slightly soft when pressed, but taste one to be sure it’s sweet and juicy. Wait until pears are fully ripe before picking.

Learn when to harvest home-grown fruit and enjoy their sweet, delicious flavors.

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