It’s autumn, which means it’s apple season! If you have an apple tree, your apples might be ready. But, different varieties of apples ripen at different times.
So just because your neighbors are picking their tree doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s time for you to do the same. Some types of apples won’t be ready to pick until well into November.
If you aren’t sure when your tree usually ripens, here are four sure ways to tell if your apples are ready to pick.
Color of Seeds
The development of the apple seeds is a good way to tell if it’s apple picking time. Start by picking a single apple from your tree.
Using a knife, cut this apple open down the middle. You want to reveal the seeds inside. Look closely at the seeds, and pull them out if you need to.
Apple seeds start off white, and slowly turn a dark brown as they ripen. If your seeds are white or really light in color, give your apples more time before you pick. You want dark seeds.
Ease of Picking
How hard was it for you to pluck that single apple from the tree? Apples that are easy to pick are usually ready.
However, if you needed to twist and pull hard, your apples probably aren’t ripe yet. Some apples develop a little more quickly than the rest on the tree, and these might blow down on a windy day. Be sure to check an apple that’s on the tree before you decide they’re all ready.
Color of Fruit
What color are your apples supposed to be when they’re ripe? Stand back and look over the whole apple tree. Are the majority of apples that color?
There will be some that aren’t quite the color you are looking for, but as long as most are your apples are probably ready.
Taste & Texture
The final test involves biting into an apple that you’ve picked. When apples are ripe, they have a sweet taste. Unripe apples don’t taste as good.
The texture of your bite of apple also changes when comparing ripe and unripe apples. Unripe apples are grittier, leaving an odd feeling in your mouth. If you bite one of your apples and it just doesn’t feel or taste right, let your crop go a little longer before harvesting.
You don’t want to pick a bunch of apples and then have to leave them to ripen off the tree. They don’t taste nearly as good.
If your apples are close but not quite ready, test one with the four areas above every three days or so. That way you can tell when they are ripe and plan your picking party accordingly.
Avoid Bruising During Harvest
When your apples are ready, pick them off the tree. You can use a ladder to help you reach the ones on the top of the tree. While picking, be careful not to drop your apples from the tree down into a basket on the ground. Apples bruise easily, and bruised apples won’t last as long in storage.
Enjoy Your Savings on Delicious Produce
Picking your own apples is a wonderful way to save money on produce. You can store your apples in the crisper section of your refrigerator to extend their life. You can also whip up apple pies, apple oatmeal, apple cider, and more. Apples are so versatile!
For more money savings advice, be sure to check out the SideMoney blog regularly. You’ll find content designed to help you earn and save.