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Apple Trees- how do i know when apples are ripe for picking?

(10 Posts)
nowwearefour Wed 12-Aug-09 15:44:46

Just moved into a new house with LOADS of apple trees in it. Some of the apples appear to be dropping already. Anyone any idea when they are supposed to be ready? there are some cookers and some eating apples in there but i have no idea which varieties yet! or any good books to recommend?

BlueChampagne Wed 12-Aug-09 16:36:10

Lucky you! They probably won't be ready unless they're Discoveries (or anything with Discovery in their parentage).

You could look up on www.nationalfruitcollection.org.uk/ or just go for a little nibble which will tell you if it's ripe or not, without doing you any harm!

neversaydie Wed 12-Aug-09 16:42:49

Hold the fruit at the base and twist gently. If it comes away cleanly at the stalk, it is ripe.

Also, ripe fruit will have dark pips.

Apples ripen over quite a long time depending on variety, and I would expect Discovery and George Cave to be ready about now. So far as I know none of the early ripening varieties keep for more than a week once picked, so you will need to get on with picking and using them.

Later ripening varieties keep much better.

If you are interested in finding out the variety names, the people at Brogdale can help although they charge £10 per sample.

nowwearefour Wed 12-Aug-09 16:43:29

Thanks. very helpful. Yes sort of lucky but we wont know what to do with them all (apparently lots of neighbours and local restaurants come and make use of them which i am relieved about). i am worried about not having any time to pick them as well as knowing nothing about them!

neversaydie Wed 12-Aug-09 17:01:20

You may well find that there is a lot of local know-how about your orchard then, which might be fun to pursue. Depending on where you are, there is a lovely book called The Northern Pomona which would give you a bit more about the history and varieties in the Northern half of the country - a lot of the fruit-growing info tends to be a bit southern biased otherwise.

nowwearefour Wed 12-Aug-09 17:02:50

Thanks. we are in the south actually but all interesting info. I am starting to ask around but people seem nervous about telling us about our trees as they are ours iyswim!! have a village bbq next weekend so hoping that might conjure up some more information!

OhYouBadBadKitten Thu 13-Aug-09 12:30:38

Chop up recently fallen ones and see what colour their pips are.

You need a cider press grin

BlueChampagne Fri 14-Aug-09 16:45:15

Agree with BadKitten - you could find out if there's an apple day (usually October) locally and whether they need apples for cider! They may also have a pomologist who can identify them for you (take leaves as well).

weegiemum Fri 14-Aug-09 16:48:51

we pick our apples when we can't resist it any more!

nowwearefour Sun 16-Aug-09 18:26:08

you people are amazingly helpful. thanks ! interesting discussions at village bbq today...

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