Correct collection of fruits for long-term storage
Day and time of fruit collection
As you know, the amount of the crop, its good quality and the duration of the subsequent storage of fruits depends to a large extent on such a factor as the time at which to harvest the fruits.
If you harvest the fruits too early or too late, you may be disappointed in the results of what you have worked so long and painstakingly for the whole warm season.
How and when to harvest? We will try to highlight common signs together and figure out why untimely collection has a negative effect on the fruits. Go!
First of all, it must be remembered that every day the fruits grow on trees or shrubs, their size increases, the overall quality of the fruits increases, and their endurance for subsequent storage. What are the consequences of late collection and how is it reflected in the quality of the product obtained?
What happens if the fruit is harvested too early?
Unripe fruits, which were removed from a fruit tree or shrub too early, are distinguished by such shortcomings as tough and dense pulp, an acidified taste that does not correspond to a ripe fruit, and have an unpresentable and faded color.
As a result, they are poorly stored due to the poorly formed skin, which should serve as a protective coating for the fruit in case of separation. Ultimately, quickly consuming all the moisture supply, the fruits begin to wrinkle, lose volume and dry out.
As for picking too late, the fruits are often overripe - their pulp becomes grainy in structure, there is no juiciness, and the shelf life is similarly reduced.
What ripe fruits should look like
Remember that fully ripe fruits should have a healthy, rich color, and also be covered with special protective substances, such as wax deposits, all kinds of resins and oils. The peel of fruits that have reached maturity sufficient for harvesting ensures their long-term storage in winter, as well as protection from external adverse factors.
It is such and only such products that can be considered high-quality, therefore, even by external signs, you can always determine whether the fruits of your plants are ripe or they still need a certain amount of time.
Fruit picking: how to pick it right?
In the process of harvesting, observe the utmost care and accuracy, do not tear them towards yourself, but press your finger on the end of the stalk and pull it slightly upward, so you will not damage the plant and the fruit itself.
It is undesirable to let the fruits fall on the ground during collection; there is also a risk of mechanical damage. The collected fruits should be carefully placed in a container and cooled. In no case leave the fruits in the open sun, as there is a risk of rapid acidification and spoilage.
As soon as the harvested fruits have cooled down properly, they must be immediately transported to a room with a pre-adjusted temperature regime typical for this fruit.
Secrets of proper storage of fruits
If you want to keep the fruits as long as possible, then be sure to calibrate them by size and select only the healthiest specimens that show no signs of disease and have a peduncle.
A little advice - fruits of small and medium size are stored better than large ones, since they evaporate moisture from themselves more economically.
Fruit picking: how to determine if the fruit is ready for picking?
The readiness for harvesting the fruits of those crops that have seeds, for example, plum, sweet cherry or cherry, is usually determined by their organoleptic characteristics - color and taste.
However, it is precisely here that the density and hardness of the surface is insignificant; on the contrary, one should not allow the fruits of such crops to soften too much, which may already indicate their overripening. It is advisable to preserve the stalk of the fruit during collection, to prevent mechanical damage to the protective layer of the skin.
Do not rub the fruits between your palms during the collection process, otherwise you can contribute to the erasure of special wax deposits, which can also play an important role in the storage duration.
One way or another, many fruits and especially berries, despite the observance of all the rules of long-term storage, are often not subjected to it and go for processing, or are immediately consumed fresh. In order not to deform the berries, it is recommended to collect them together with the brushes and stalks, thus protecting them from damage.
As for apples, they have a completely different story. It is customary to remove the wintering fruits after the autumn ones have been removed, but most often the time of their harvesting coincides due to the shortness of the period allotted for this.
Remember that it is worth waiting for full maturity, if you do not want to disappoint yourself and your loved ones with sour fruits, which are also stored for a very short time, have a reduced shelf life.
Harvesting fruits - by far the most favorite process for summer residents and gardeners. It was at this time, just like during the flowering period of ornamental flower crops, that you can rightfully be proud of yourself, because it was you who grew all this wealth given by nature.
Do not miss the moment, involve all your friends and relatives in the collection of fruits, because often the volume of work alone is beyond the strength of one. Take your time with picking, stick to deadlines and every year you will collect fresh and natural produce from your garden!