It doesn’t matter if you have just a few orange trees or hundreds of acres across many groves knowing when to pick them so they are at their peak of flavor is what this blog is all about.
With something like tomatoes you can tell much from the color and the firmness of the flesh. This isn’t true of oranges.
Determining ripeness from orange peel color is often difficult because oranges physically respond to cold and warmth through greening. For example, warm air and soil causes the peel to have a greenish tinge, while oncoming winter cold stimulates an orange color. In general, a ripe orange has one quarter of its peel showcasing a consistent yellow to orange hue. You must observe your fruits and make an educated decision based on consistent color and the variety's typical harvest time to determine the right picking time.
At Sunburst Oranges we actually test samples to determine what fruit is truly ready to pick.
Unlike many fruits and vegetables, oranges don’t continue to mature or ripen after they are picked from the tree.
When it comes to selecting ripe orange fruit from your yard here are some tips that may help you.
Without pulling the fruits from the tree, you can determine ripeness from texture as well. By placing your hand under the fruit, slightly lift it to feel the weight. A ripe orange feels heavy with juice while the peel maintains an unyielding strength when you squeeze it.
Any emerging soft spots indicate that the fruit is almost too ripe, or overmature. Your goal is to pick the fruits prior to any softening so that they are perfect for snacking or juicing.
Once your orange tree reaches maturity with prolific fruiting, using a simple taste test helps you determine ripeness. Avoid tasting any tempting fruits in June or July -- they will be incredibly sour from lack of sugars. Choose to taste-test in the late fall or early winter.
By clipping the fruit from the tree, rather than pulling it, you preserve the peel's integrity. Any damage to the peel may allow unwanted pathogens to infiltrate the juicy interior. A sweet taste tells you it is time for harvesting. If you find an unripe orange, allow the rest oranges on the tree to ripen on the tree, in the sunlight -- you will have more oranges than you know what to do with when they are fully ripe.
Are you looking for the perfect gift for business associates, family or friends? A quick visit to sunburstoranges.com can solve all of your fresh gift giving adventures. We sell only the finest selections and the freshest citrus you can buy.
Sunburst Packing Co.
180 South “E” Street
Porterville, CA 93257