Due to the tree flowering in three flushes, the fruit ripens in stages and will be picked in three stages. Pomegranates are easy to harvest and if pruning and trellising are done well, the use of ladders will be minimal.
Fruit are clipped with shears as close to the fruit as possible to reduce sharp points of wood that can lead to piercing and skin damage. Fruit are sorted and packed into trays or bins and should be handled with care to reduce bruising.
Pomegranate cultivars ripen differently. For example, Wonderful will ripen internally first. Arils will be sweet, but the skin will still be greenish. The cultivars Acco and Angel Red will ripen externally first. Their skins might be red, but the arils will not yet be sweet. Test the sugar content before harvesting.
Harvest maturity in pomegranates is determined by sugar and the colour of the fruit (both skin and arils). Currently, a maturity indicator of 14º Brix (sugar measurement) is accepted by South African fruit exporter SAPEX.
Post-Harvest Handling of Pomegranates
Fruit should be washed with a HACCP-quality chlorine or anti-fungal agent, rinsed with water and sorted for quality criteria such as cracks, sunburn insect presence, rot, colour, size and weight.
Pomegranates should be put into cold storage as soon as possible after packaging. The best storage conditions are 6 – 8ºC for export fruit.
It can be stored for up to six weeks in normal cold storage and up to five months under controlled atmosphere (CA) conditions according to the PPECB. The optimal CA storage conditions for pomegranates are 3% O2 and 6% CO2 at 5ºC.
Cold damage (chilling injury) causes the pith and the arils to brown and creates brown marks on the skin. Fruit with low sugar content is especially prone to cold damage. ‘Sugar is the pomegranate’s anti-freeze,’ says Jorrie Mulder, technical advisor of the Pomegranate Producers Association of South Africa (POMASA).
Pomegranates are very sensitive to moisture loss and, to reduce shrivelling and discolouring, waxing the fruit and using special plastic bags are recommended.
After your roses bloom, allow them to die off naturally. You will be tempted to prune them back to make them more attractive, but resist! Your rosehips are on the way. When rosehips are bright red and soft they are ready to be harvested. You can harvest rosehips as early fall but if you can hold off until winter or after the first frost, which is really the best time. Rinse your rosehips well and they are ready to use.
Unlike pears, which are tricky because pears don’t ripen on the tree, the only trick to telling when peaches are ripe is to use and trust your senses.Carolina Belle Peach on Tree
Any experienced peach grower knows when peaches are ripe by their sweet aroma. You don’t even have to be within arms-reach of the fruit to know when the tree has ripe peaches ready to be picked. Especially on a warm sunny day, the enticing scent of ripe peaches will practically surround the peach tree, luring you in.
Ripe peaches will lose their green firmness and they will “give” slightly when gently squeezed. You can test the firmness of a ripe peach while it is still on the tree. If the peaches are still hard when you squeeze them, they need more time to ripen on the tree. Check back in a few days.Ripe Peach on Tree
A ripe peach will have put on some color and, most importantly, it will no longer have any green undertones. If a peach still has a greenish hint to its skin color, leave it on the tree for a few more days to ripen. If it is picked green, a peach will have a “green” taste to it and it will not be as sweet. Green peaches are not ideal for fresh-eating, but may be worth considering for pickling. A hint about ripe fruit: Watch the wildlife, because they’re sure to be watching your fruit – especially if birds start showing unusually keen interest in your trees! While most peaches on your tree come into ripening around the same time, your earliest ripe fruit will be what gets the most sun exposure – the fruit at the ends of the branches. These are also the peaches that the birds get to first if you don’t have protective garden netting on your trees.
Of course, taste is a greatly important indicator of ripeness. If you aren’t confident in telling the ripeness of your peaches by smelling, feeling, or looking, then pick a peach and take a bite. If it’s still a little crunchy and lacking that juicy sweetness you’d expect from a peach, then give the rest of the fruit some more time to ripen. Taste is a little more subjective, but what matters most is that you harvest your peaches when they taste good to you, so that you’ll enjoy the fruits of your labor.
In the video below, you can see Farmer Harvest Tons of Red Fruit and Vegetable : Pomegranate,Rosehip,Japanese Peach
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Video resource: Noal Farm