realenglishfruit

Top fruit tree growing advice and information from Real English Fruit

Tag Archives: harvest

Weekly update for the fruit garden – first week of October

It is now getting close to picking time for late varieties such as Tydeman’s Late Orange, Winter Wonder, Suntan, Crawley Beauty, Court Pendu Plat, Winston, Newton Wonder, Jonagold, Laxton Superb, Lord Derby and Lane Prince Albert. Always treat late storage apples with the respect they deserve. That means storing them in single layers, in the coolest room or in the cellar in the dark. The closer the fruit is kept to 4 degrees Celsius, the longer the shelf life. Look at the fruit once a fortnight and remove any rotten apples.

You can also hang the fruit in slices on a piece of string, out to dry. This of course needs to be done in a warm and dark cupboard. This was often done during the Second World War, in order to have some fresh dried fruit during the cold winter months.

Don’t forget to put the grease bands on the trunks of the trees. Garden centres stock those items.

It is still not too late to spray trees with Bordeaux mixture to stop nasty fungi developing during the winter months. This applies particularly applies to plums, greengages and cherry trees while still in leaf.

Laxton Superb, image courtesy Eivind Kvamme/flickr.com

Laxton Superb, image courtesy Eivind Kvamme/flickr.com

How do you know when apples are ready to pick?

This is the time of year at which many English apples and pears are ready to pick. Many people wonder how to be sure to pick the fruit at the correct time. If picked too early the fruit will shrivel and will be lacking in flavour. If picked too late, fruit will have started dropping off the tree, because over-ripeness is often the main cause of the drop.

The best way to judge if the fruit is ready to harvest is to lift the fruit gently. If the stalk gives way and therefore easily parts from its base on the branch, then this is the first indication that harvest time has arrived. The second test is to taste the fruit. If the flavour is fully developed and the fruit is very juicy, while still nice and crisp, then you are really sure the fruit is ready to be picked.

Once harvested, to lengthen the shelf life, keep the fruit as cool as possible. The ideal temperature is approximately 4 degrees Celsius. The bottom of the fridge is about that temperature. Do not try to store fruit which is damaged, as it soon will start to rot.

Photo courtesy of WxMom/flickr.com

Photo courtesy of WxMom/flickr.com