[NAFEX] Picking unripe fruit

William C. Garthright billg at inebraska.com
Tue Jul 21 14:31:42 EDT 2009

> Stone fruits ripen fine with or without stem attached.  You can speed it up by putting them in a paper bag.  They also go from ripe to overripe pretty easily.

But SHOULD I ripen them this way, or let them fully ripen on the tree?

Being new at this, I'm having a particular problem with my Hardired 
Giant Nectarines (giant? - they're actually very small - perhaps I 
didn't thin them enough?). They are bright red, but small and very hard. 
The birds have just been destroying them, so I finally netted the whole 
tree. They don't seem to be ripe, but should I ripen them indoors?

I had this problem last year (the first year I got any fruit), too. I 
just couldn't figure out when to pick them. (They seem to turn red long 
before they're ripe.) Then, the squirrels got after them so bad that I 
had to pick them to get any at all. They seemed to stay pretty hard, 
although they were tasty, after ripening indoors for a few days.

This year, the electric wires have kept the squirrels out of my backyard 
(so far), but the birds - mostly blue jays and robins, it seems - have 
been really bad. They peck holes in the fruit, which then rots. Just one 
fruit after another. But now that I have netting up, I should be OK. But 
I'm still unsure about picking them. (This applies to my peaches, too, 
but last year the nectarines ripened first, then one peach variety after 

Any advice?


Lincoln, NE (zone 5)

I love those folks who helped get us in this mess, and suddenly they 
say, "This is Obama's economy." That's fine. Give it to me. My job is to 
solve problems, not stand on the sidelines and carp and gripe. - 
President Barack Obama

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