Ah, the glorious apricot harvest. Looking forward to the growing season of the sweet, golden-red fruit. Apricots are known for their delicious flavour, which is why they are harvested before they are fully ripe. After harvesting, apricots are often subject to crowding, bumps and disruption, which can lead to injury to the fruit. A few apricot handling tips can help you store the fruit perfectly and enjoy it for weeks. Continue reading to discover the finest apricot harvesting techniques.
Apricot Handling Tips
Commercial growers must pay special attention to packaging, temperature, and humidity when storing apricots for the market. Apricots must also be separated from the fruits, which emit ethylene, which hastens their ripening and reduces their quality by the time they reach stores. If home gardeners want their labor-intensive produce to persist, they must also be mindful of these challenges.
Treat apricots like eggs in his delicacy. Warts, fruit blights, and fungal problems can follow improper apricot harvest and post-harvest care. Harvest time varies by cultivar and region but in general, you should pick them when they are still yellow-green. Once the green fruits begin to turn golden, it’s time to harvest.
After that, it must be packed carefully to avoid injuries, as the fruits will overlap each other and against the container. Foam eggshell shapes, newspapers, and other cushioning materials can be used to lubricate the stock bed used to store apricots after harvest. Never stack more than two layers to avoid crushing the fruit.
Commercial growers either water-heat or cool apricots before packaging to extend shelf life, but this is not necessarily practical for the home grower.
How to Store Apricots
After careful packaging, it must meet certain environmental conditions for storing apricots after harvest. The best temperature for holding apricots is 31 to 32 degrees Fahrenheit (-0.5 to 0 degrees Celsius). Avoid areas where freezing may occur.
The relative humidity should be between 90 and 95%. Do not place boxes or bins near areas where you store apples, plums, pears, or peaches because they release ethylene gas.
Apricot post-harvest care is not difficult, but there are some rules that must be followed to preserve the crop. With some varieties, you can expect fresh fruit to last one to two weeks, while others will last up to four weeks.
Adhering to environmental and storage principles for post-harvest apricot care will ensure that apricots are enjoyed long after the tree is bare.