How Will I Know When Apples are Ready to be Picked?

Posted under Home gardening advice | 7 Comments

Q: We only have a dwarf apple tree which we only planted this spring, in a pot. I have read some advice that you should pick an apple to see if they are ripe, but our tree only has 5 apples on it ! and we don’t want to waste any, equally we don’t want them to drop of either. we are new to growing/gardening and are very excited by our home grown apples even if we do only have 5!!

A: Apples ripen through from late Aug to early Nov. depending on type. To see if they are ready to be harvested, take an apple in your hand and twist lightly. If the apple is ripe the stalk will come clean and freely away from the fruiting spur (the part of the twig where the fruit grows). If not then the apple is not ripe. If you know what type of apple you have should give you an indication about when it should be ripe. To save any apples being damaged, try layering sacking around your pot, or move your pot onto grass if on a patio. Enjoy!

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7 Responses to “How Will I Know When Apples are Ready to be Picked?”

  1. dances_with_unicorns1955 Says:

    In general, if it looks like it's ready to be eaten, then it's ready to be picked. Scent can tell you a lot as well; mostly, however, with only 5 apples, it's still probably a matter of picking one. Just give it a few days after you THINK it's ripe, so that you can be sure.
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  2. andrew f Says:

    You've done well, getting fruit so soon after planting. If you have a lawn, why not put the pot out on it so the apples don't bruise if they fall? When the first one drops, try it, and if it's OK, pick the other four.

    The tree will probably do much better, in the medium to long term, if you plant it in the ground, though it might forget that it was supposed to be a dwarf if it isn't confined to a pot.
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  3. barn Says:

    You've not said what variety of apple it is, cos that can make a difference, but in general, I would wait until the apple has a little bit of give when you apply pressure between your forefinger and thumb. I do NOT mean squeeze it! just apply a bit of pressure and see if there is any give to it at all. Your fingertips are incredibly sensitive and you will be able to tell. I don't know where you are but if you are in the UK and anywhere but Kent then I would say your apples are not ready yet. They will need another 2 weeks at least. Be patient, and don't worry, fortunately most apples don't suffer from the same problem as other fruit, such as pigeons and magpies until they are REALLY ripe. Then the bird or animal in question gets pissed! Believe me I've seen it first hand in an apple orchard. Anyway, general rule is, wait a bit longer, but keep checking with gentle pressure, not bruising.
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  4. Peaceful Waters Says:

    Apples are best after the first frost
    the suggestion to put it outside is a good one
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  5. mystery Says:

    we have 2 apple trees when the apples fall of they are ready to eat.
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  6. Janice W Says:

    You usually know if apples are ready if the fruit comes easily off the tree. A gentle tug should take off a ripe apple.
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  7. J!P/ Says:

    Apples ripen through from late Aug to early Nov. depending on type. To see if they are ready to be harvested, take an apple in your hand and twist lightly. If the apple is ripe the stalk will come clean and freely away from the fruiting spur (the part of the twig where the fruit grows). If not then the apple is not ripe. If you know what type of apple you have should give you an indication about when it should be ripe.
    To save any apples being damaged, try layering sacking around your pot, or move your pot onto grass if on a patio.
    Enjoy!
    References :
    Grown rare apple varieties for over 15 years.

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