Harvesting peaches can be a bit tricky! Here are my tips:
Pick peaches when they are ripe. Sounds easy but I get excited every July when my peaches start blushing or turning red/orange on the one side. While this is a good sign, you still need to make sure that the other side of the peach that is not facing the sun turns from pale green to yellow.
Get a harvesting buddy. For the lower peaches, my Mom helps me. Once we get higher up, then I rope in my husband to help. It just makes it easier for one person to harvest and one person to hold the treasures – nothing better than spending quality time together!
Keep your harvesting tools (fruit picker, ladder & baskets) handy. You should invest in a fruit picker basket with a long pole. I purchased mine from a local nursery called Chapons. You can find them on Amazon too. If your tree is on a slope like ours, you should use an adjustable ladder or trim your tree so you can reach all the peaches! You will need several baskets/containers for harvesting.
When harvesting peaches, the object is to not to bruise them. You need to gently twist them off the branch whether you are doing it by hand or using the fruit picker basket. You don’t want to stab them with the prongs on the basket and you don’t want to drop them on the ground. If you bruise them, I would recommend moving these peaches to the front of the line for eating because they won’t last.
Don’t go on vacation the main harvesting week for your tree. My peach tree is in its prime the 2nd and/or 3rd week of July depending on the weather. Once the peaches are ready you will be harvesting for at least a week – a little every day!
Here are my tips for storing peaches:
Keep any firm peaches on a countertop until they soften in a cool room. Since I have air conditioning, I put them on stackable racks on the counter in my kitchen.
Once they are ripe, you need to eat the peaches or put them in the refrigerator.
Once you have too many peaches, you need to share them with your friends/family/the local groundhogs or you need to get them ready for storing. I do both. After I freeze them, I usually give some packages to my niece and her family. If some peaches get bruised, I leave them for our local groundhogs. Groundhogs are cute as long as they stay out of my vegetable garden. I think the best way to store peaches is to can or freeze them. My preference is to freeze them. I will be doing a post on this soon.
If you missed my post on how to Plant and Grow Peaches, just click on it.