How can you tell that prunes are ripe and when to harvest


So, you cannot wait to taste a great plum brandy or plum cake, right? Or do you just like eating fresh plums right from the tree? Whatever your preference is, you need to be able to tell for sure when plums are actually fully ripe. To make use of all the benefits offered by this popular fruit, which even has detoxifying properties, you should only harvest when fully ripe. In the following lines we shall tell you how to do just that.

Undemanding and great plum tree

Plum trees are among the most popular fruit trees and not only in our corner of the world. It grows best in areas situated between 300 to 500 meters above sea level and where the annual rainfall ranges from 500 and 700 mm. Plum trees are rather strong and will grow without difficulties even in a soil which is not particularly rich in nutrients. The popularity probably lies in the fact that the fruit can be used for many purposes.


Photo: Radek Štěpán

Ripening times vary

Of course they so. Plums usually ripen from the beginning of July until September. It depends on the weather, variety and other aspects as well. Gardeners often leave plums on trees as long as possible. Properly ripe plums should have a firm consistency, but they should not be hard at all – they should be on the soft side. You should be able to squeeze juice out of them easily. Properly ripe fruits tend to be really sweet and have a unique taste. Some people will tell you that plums are ripe when they begin to fall down to the ground. If you harvest plums with the intention to produce a plum brandy then the fruits should be ripe as much as possible and they may be even slightly wrinkled.


Photo: Radek Štěpán

Overripe fruits may also be used

Freshly picked plums have typical whitish surface. if you harvest for plum brandy or jam, you can shake the tree hard and simply pick the fallen fruit. In this scenario however, you need to wait for the right moment when the vast majority of fruit is fully ripe, or you can wait when plums start to fall consistently and just keep picking them up.Put them in a barrel and start the fermentation process right there. For this purpose, you may also use plums that are very overripe, however do not use plums with mould!

Preview photo: Pixabay

Radek Štěpán

Gardening is my hobby, I have a lot of experience and I am happy to share it.


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