When to Harvest Apricots

It’s apricot season (usually between May and July) in most places but how do you know exactly when to pick them? If you’re new to growing apricots you might need a little bit of guidance. Also, you might want to pick them as early as possible and let them finish ripening inside so birds and other critters don’t eat them. Last year was our first year harvesting apricots and we waited too long – there weren’t many left to pick after the birds had devoured them! Every location is different and every apricot tree is different, so you need to use your own judgment using the tips below on when to harvest apricots.

COLOR
Apricots are ready when they have an orange-golden color. If there is any green on them, leave them on the tree to continue ripening. Even if they don’t seem perfectly ripe, you can pick them (as long as they don’t have any green on them) and ripen them inside. Some people will say that they taste better when allowed to fully ripen on the tree rather than ripening inside, but sometimes that isn’t an option if you have hungry wildlife.

SMELL
They will smell “apricoty” when they’re ready to be picked. Unripe apricots won’t have as strong of a smell.

FIRMNESS
The perfect time to pick an apricot is when it is firm but slightly squeezable. Pick them when they are just starting to soften. If it is hard as a rock, it isn’t ready and if it is super soft, it is overripe. When you bite into it, the flesh should be firm but not hard.

TASTE
They should taste juicy but not mushy and have a delicious apricot flavor.

Do you have any tips or questions on when to harvest apricots? Let us know in the comments section below.

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