Harvesting stone fruit

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Harvesting stone fruit

When do you pick peaches? Well, when they’re ripe of course. Experts are often asked this question, and, of course, the farmer must know when to take the crop from the tree. But often it’s not an easy decision and you only have one chance to get it right.

There are three methods of determining ripeness of stone fruit.

The first method is to check the colour and size of the fruit to be picked

The second method of determining ripeness is by doing a pressure test on the fruit.

The third method is to measure the sugar content of the fruit.

Often some fruit on a tree will ripen before other fruit on the same tree.

Nectarines are ready to be harvested when the fruit loses its red shine and becomes dull in appearance.

The picking action for peaches is critical.

The main method of determining the ripeness of plums is by doing a pressure test.

Although tree shakers and other mechanical harvesters have been tried, there are no machines that can efficiently harvest Stone fruit. In America they tried a tree shaker, which worked quite well, but after three or four years their trees died. So there’s nothing like a careful human touch during the harvest.