Apples ripen at different times of the year, depending on the variety, weather conditions and location on the tree. This may happen a little earlier or a little later and depends on the weather, but the harvest takes place at about the same time every year. If last year they ripened in November, then now focus on November. If you can't remember exactly when the apples ripened last year, what sort of apples you have, or when they are harvested in your area, consider the common characteristics that ripe apples have.
Method 1 of 2: Signs of Ripe Fruit
Step 1. Consider the place
In warm climates, apples ripen earlier than in cold climates, as the heat encourages ripening. Also, the fruits on the south side of the tree ripen faster due to more sunlight. They can be picked before the fruit on the north side of the tree.
- In cool climates, apples are usually harvested in September-October.
- In warm climates, apples ripen both in late summer and early spring.
Step 2. Consider the color of the apples
Color is the most obvious sign. Golden Delicious apples change color from green to yellow when ripe, and Red Delicious apples turn completely red. If the fruit on the tree has streaks or blush, then you should wait until the green part turns yellow.
- Some newer apple varieties do not have such obvious characteristics. The rind may turn red before the fruit is fully ripe, and the green portion may turn yellow only a few months after harvest. In this case, consider the color of the apple under the skin and do not rush to collect all the fruits. If the inside of the apple has changed color from light green to white, then it's time to harvest.
- The color of the groove near the stalk is also one of the signs. In mature fruits, this area becomes lighter.
Step 3. Wait until several apples fall from the tree
The apple trees shed their fruit when they are fully ripe, so that new trees will grow nearby. Watch for when apples begin to fall from the tree.
- Ripe fruits can be easily removed from the tree. It is enough just to pull the apple up a little and turn it slightly. Try not to pull the fruit down or forcefully pluck it from the branch.
- If fruits begin to fall from a healthy tree, it is likely that they are a little overripe. They should be collected as soon as possible.
Step 4. The seeds inside the fruit should be dark brown
When apples are ripe, the seeds turn from white to dark brown. It should be borne in mind that this rule does not apply to early varieties. In such apples, the seeds may remain light or darken for several weeks before full maturity. That is why it is always advisable to know the variety of apples that grow in your garden.
Method 2 of 2: How to check if an apple is ripe
Step 1. Taste the apple
The final maturity test is the taste test. The flesh of the apple should be sweet or tart, depending on the variety, and softer than an unripe fruit, but not too soft.
Do not be alarmed if, according to external signs, it is time to harvest, but they do not taste sweet enough (especially Delicious varieties). Some varieties of apples only become sweet after some storage time
Step 2. Check the softness of the apple
Fully ripe fruits are slightly softer than unripe apples. Try squeezing the apple lightly with your hand. If small dents remain on the surface, then the fruits are already ripe. Beginners need some time and experience to learn how to determine the ripeness of apples by touch.
Step 3. Spray iodine on the core
If other methods do not help, then gardeners cut the apple in half and spray with iodine. Under the influence of iodine, immature cells will darken due to the presence of starch. Apples to be stored should have a completely white core and dark spots that cover three quarters or half of the fruit. Completely light apples should be eaten immediately or special storage conditions should be provided.
- Even if the variety is not known, apples ripen at about the same time every year, so be sure to write down the harvest date so you don't have to guess next year.
- If you know the variety of apples, then you can find out the ripening time for a particular area.