When to pick different varieties of apples: an explanation
Autumn is the time for apple harvesting. Pick the fruit according to the temperature and weather conditions. If September was quite cold, you don't need to wait for frosts that are fatal to the fruit - even unripe apples should be picked early.
Later varieties, although not afraid of the first frost, can begin to deteriorate from freezing. This will have a negative impact on long-term storage varieties, so harvesting should be approached with full responsibility. OBOZREVATEL publishes the best tips for picking different varieties of apples.
When do apples ripen
Experienced gardeners divide apple varieties into three broad categories:
- Summer apples - they ripen in August and are not suitable for long-term storage, so they should be consumed immediately. They are used to make juices, compotes, jams, or dried for the winter for jams.
- Autumn - ripen in late August and September. They can be stored in a cool place for up to four months.
- Winter - ripen in late September - early October. Suitable for long-term storage (under the right conditions - until spring). Taste is gained during storage.
How to tell if apples are ripe
There are several signs to look for.
Press the skin - if there is no dent, the apple is not yet ripe. If there is a slight indentation, you can harvest.
Pay attention to external signs. Ripe apples are bright, have a white or creamy texture, no wormholes, and the size corresponds to the variety.
And, of course, taste the apples. Ripe fruits have a rich, not too sour varietal flavor and are easy to cut into pieces.
You can conduct an experiment: pour 1 liter of distilled water into a container and add 4 g of potassium iodide. Cut the apple in half and immerse it in the solution. If the apple turns bluish in the middle, it is unripe and contains too much starch. A yellow center and a slightly bluish edge indicate that the fruit is ripe. If there is no blue color at all, the fruit is overripe.
Rules for picking apples
It is better to pick apples at lunchtime, when the moisture from the night has dried.
You should start on the south side of the tree, where the fruits ripen faster. First pick the apples from the ground, then pick them from the lower branches, and only then proceed to the upper branches - this will reduce the number of fruits that will fall.
Pick apples by gripping them with your hand and pressing down on the stem with your index finger. Put the fruit in wicker baskets. If you don't have baskets, you can use buckets, lining them with thick cloth or burlap. Put wormy and rotten fruits separately from healthy ones.