A good way to tell if a peach is ripe and ready to be picked is by looking at its color, texture, smell and firmness. A fresh peach fruit straight from the tree can be a delight and true to its taste.
In this complete guide, we spill the beans and give you the vital clues that will help you pick the right one that is ready to be consumed.
We list out some easy and tell-tale signs that will guide you in making that perfect choice and harvest just the ones worth consuming.
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How To Tell if a Peach Is Ripe
There is nothing quite like a fresh peach fruit that will be sweet and fragrant without any spots or bruises when picked at the right time. Make sure to only pick the freshest ripe peaches to take advantage of their juicy goodness and pulpy sweetness.
In the section below, we go over each of the signs in greater detail so that you know which fruit to pick and which to leave on the tree. Read on to know when exactly the fruit is ripe and ready to be harvested.
– The Right Smell
Ripe and fresh peaches emit a sweet aroma. This familiar scent can be caught even if you are an arms reach away from the peach tree.
You don’t have to be an experienced peach grower to sense this, for the fruity smell of the fruit can spread around your garden, especially on warm windy days. The enticing aroma just can not be missed.
– The Soft Touch
When the fruit is raw and has still not developed completely, it will be green and firm to the touch. As the fruit ripens, the firm texture gives way to a more soft and pulpy feel. Give the fruit a gentle squeeze and if you find it firm like a baseball, then it is best to leave it on the tree to ripen. Check back after a few days.
The ideal peach needs to be just soft, not hard like a ball or too soft where a finger can leave an imprint. The fruit, when ready to be harvested, dimples slightly with a little bit of pressure. Take note that you will need to be gentle when you squeeze them as peaches can easily bruise.
– Color of the Fruit
A ripe peach’s color will bear a dark yellow to an orange shade on the outer skin. A reddish tinge may also be observed if the fruit has been exposed to direct sunlight for a prolonged period. All other shades of green are indicative that there is still time for the fruit to ripen. A green peach may still be edible, but be assured that it will not be juicy or sweet.
Wondering how to know if a peach is going bad? The color of peaches are not only indicative of their ripeness and readiness to be eaten. Look for dark spots and bruises which also indicate the end of their life as they move towards being overripe or getting rotten.
– Watch the Wildlife
Animals often serve a great purpose by indicating when a fruit is ripe and perfect. Look out for birds and friendly insects that perch on the bark showing an interest in the fruit. Ripe fruit will often bring lots of animal visitors to gardens and fruit trees around your property.
With their superior sense of smell, birds get to the earliest ripe fruits that are commonly found at the ends of the branches. Thus, when you spot an increased activity of wildlife on the tree, you know it’s time for you to pick the fruits out.
– The Right Shape
Pick peaches when you find their shapes to be completely round. When it is unripe, the green peaches maintain an almond shape, turning almost perfectly round as they inch towards ripening on the tree.
– Texture of Skin
Look for signs of shriveling or wrinkling of the skin around the stem point. This is another clear sign of peaches ready to be harvested or consumed when they lose their water, exhibiting some wrinkling at the stems. It is at this point that the flavors intensify in the fruit, making it an excellent peach.
– Feel the Weight
Gently place your hand below the fruit and feel the weight. Unripened ones lack the juice and are lighter in comparison to the ones ripened. Ripened peaches are denser and heavier as they are filled with juice and pulp.
If you aren’t able to judge the fruit by using your natural senses of sight, smell and feeling the texture, just pick one and taste it. A ripe peach will be pulpy, soft and sweet. If the fruit lacks the sweetness or pulp, let the remaining fruits stay on the tree for a little longer. The fruit is best to taste when it is completely ripe.
Frequently Asked Questions
– Should a Peach Be Crunchy?
No, peaches are not supposed to be crunchy but should be soft with juice and pulp. However, a few peach recipes such as pickles call for the green, crunchy ones.
– When Do I Pick the Peaches?
The best months to pick peaches when they will be ripe are between May through late September. This is the peach picking season when the climate is warm and ideal for naturally ripening peaches.
– How Do You Ripen Fruit Without a Paper Bag?
Fruits like peaches ripen on the counter at home, so in case you have picked out the fruit and it still hasn’t ripened, leave it on a countertop in your kitchen, facing down and away from the sunlight to ripen them without a paper bag.
They will soon turn soft and perfect to be consumed in two to three days. You can store peaches in the refrigerator if you wish to slow down the ripening for a few days.
You have now understood how easy it is to pick and harvest peaches the right way.
Let us review our learnings from this simple guide.
- There are distinctive physical signs that indicate when peaches are ready to be picked or harvested. Ripe peaches bear a yellow, orange or red tinge in comparison to the green shade of unripe ones.
- As the fruits ripen, they emit a delightful and flavourful fragrance that can easily be smelled even if you are half a mile away.
- Perfectly round peaches are also a favorite for birds and friendly wildlife who may show an unusual interest in the tree when the fruits ripen.
- Check for the firmness of the fruit. A ripe one will be just soft on the exterior and will feel dense and heavy in comparison to baseball-hard, green unripe ones.
- Choose pulpy and juicy peaches and avoid picking those with spots or bruises as these may be overripe.
Having read the techniques to identify the best of peaches, you can now harvest a bountiful yield when the time is right. So just use your natural senses and go ahead and pick the best fruit from your tree!