NDSU Extension - Sargent County


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Apple Harvest

Apple Harvest


The crops are looking healthy and are progressing in growth.  The small grains harvest is complete within the county.  The beans are dropping their leaves and changing colors as they are maturing.  The corn is getting close to reaching physiological maturity, or black layer. 

A common question that I receive is when is the best time to pick my apples off of the tree.  You can harvest your apples when the background skin color turns from green to yellow.  The fruit should come off the tree easily when they are ready to be picked.  Use an upward twisting motion when harvesting.  If you have to pull hard or yank the branches they may not be ready and can cause more stress to the trees.  Yanking on the branches can tear off the knobby, branch spurs, which is where next year’s fruits develop.  Most apples are ready to be picked in our area, but apple varieties have different amounts of days to maturity, so they may not all be ripe at the same time.   

Apples can tolerate temperatures approaching 26 degrees before frost damage occurs.  If they freeze on the tree, make sure to wait for the fruits to thaw before harvesting.  If they freeze on the tree the storage life of the apples make be diminished and should be used promptly.  Sometimes the apples may become sweeter after a light frost, this is variable.  So if you are questioning when to harvest your apples think about how you plan to use them and how soon you will use them.  If you have any questions feel free to contact our office.  

Photo Source: https://pixabay.com/photos/apples-apple-picking-orchard-apple-4364859/ (downloaded 9/18/20)



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