6 Ways to Judge Your Apples for Ripeness

Is This Apple Ready to Pick and Eat?

How do you know if your apple tree is ready to pick? Here are a few helpful hints.

1.     Here’s the absolute test: Does your apple have dark seeds? If the seeds are still white or green, the apple has not reached ripeness.

These dark-colored seeds tell me the apple is ripe

2.     Taste. Take a bite. Is it yummy? If so, your tree is ready to pick, or most of the apples are.

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3.     Color. Are the apples red or mostly still green? Of course, not apples are red all over when ripe, but many are. Leave the green apples for later, and pick the red ones.

Color is one of the clues - but each tree has a different color

4.     Are apples falling off the tree? Apples on the ground indicate the tree is about ready to pick.

Apples on the ground usually indicate the tree is ready to pick

5.     Feel. Is it hard as a rock? Maybe it needs more time. Check the color of the seeds. Is it soft? If so, it’s probably a little over-ripe.

6.     Can you pick an apple without a struggle? Don’t yank down on an apple. If you pull hard – and it resists – you can break off the “fruit spur” that will bloom next spring. Twist the apple and gently tug, or push up. Or use 2 hands, one holding the branch near the apple.

And you should know that some apples ripen in August, some in September, and some “keepers” don’t ripen until October. Yellow applesauce apples often ripen in early August and are usually no good by September.

This pale seed indicates the apple is not ripe yet.

Will apples ripen after picking? Yup. If you want to keep some for winter, refrigerate them. But know that apples give off ethylene gas, a harmless by-product of ripening that will make other veggies or fruits ripen up, too. So keep them away from foods you are trying to keep at peak flavor.

An apple a day keeps the doctor away. My dog, Daphne, is proof of that. She loves picking up apples drops, and eats plenty. And she’s a healthy old dog. 

Daffy loves apples

Want help in your garden? I make house calls - consultations - to help you plan and improve your gardens. Call me at 603-543-1307 or e-mail me at henry.homeyer@comcast.net 

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