My pears have a slight red blush on them, i pickd one and it is like a rock. when will be the time to start picking them?
You will have to empirically determine that for your cultivar. European pears DO NOT ripen on the tree---they rot on the tree from the inside out. So you pick them a bit early and ripen them inside.
Determining harvest dates for European pears is difficult and many things should be considered. European pears ripen from the inside out; therefore, if the outside is ready to eat, the inside will be mushy and over-ripe. They must be harvested and allowed to ripen off the tree to develop properly. Several factors must be combined to determine harvest time, including: flesh firmness, soluble solids (sugars), starch development, color changes, ease of picking, and days from bloom to harvest. European and Oriental hybrids are picked and ripened off the tree. Flavor and texture can be affected adversely if fruit is not harvested when the fruit changes firmness and color.
Here is a link that might be useful: This also has tips on harvesting pears
I use the thumb test - if a really hard thumb press in the top flesh right by the stem gives a little, its getting near picking time. Most pears won't be ripe until August or later.
Since you're not far from me, your pears will ripen in August.
Most of my varieties of pears will start ripening the last week of July through the first week of September. If you know your variety of pear then you can narrow the ripening time down. Some varieties ripen much later than this period such as Keiffer. The safe way is Scottfsmiths method. Good luck, Bill
Can you tell us what pears and apples (I think you once also mentioned) you have found successful in z.8 SC?
I grow Ayers, Maxine, Pineapple, Moonglow, Magness and Plumlee pears. The last 2 have not fruited yet, and this is the first year that Moonglow has fruited, so I can't vouch for how these taste. The first 3 are all winners and Fire blight free. I planted the moonglow mainly as a pollinator, and it has really increased the fruit set on Maxine, which is my personal favorite.
As for apples I grow, Fuji, Grimes Golden , Cauley, Bevans Favorite, Dixie Red Delight, Golden Delicious, Hawkeye Red Delicious, Kidds Orange Red, Goldrush, Summer Banana, Redfree. I used to grow Red Rebel, but lost it to a bad winter.
I had to remove Gala, because it was a fire blight magnet.
This post was edited by rayrose on Mon, Jun 23, 14 at 13:10
Some of the apples are new names to me.
I do have "Summer Banana." In the second year since grafting, when only a 1.5-2 foot high whip it set two apples and I let one ripen. Same the next year. Now THAT'S precocious! It comes, as I'm sure you know, from Marion SC, about the last place you would expect for an apples. But this winter I will order a "Hoover," originally from Edisto it's said, if anything an even warmer climate.
I don't think I'd let SB carry any fruit as of yet. If you do, it could really retard the growth of the tree. I don't let mine carry any fruit for at least 5 years.