Post-harvest brown rot prevention

ltiltonAugust 22, 2013

It always seems to me like a good idea to give plums a bath after picking and use the opportunity to apply something to retard brown rot from developing.

Does anyone else do this, and what do you use?

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alan haigh

Commercial growers do it but it is for shelf life. Do you get subsequent brown rot from refrigerated plums?

If you follow the label you can use brown rot for this purpose spraying as shortly before harvest as PHI allows.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2013 at 5:44AM
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I don't usually refrigerate plums.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2013 at 9:50AM
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alan haigh

Refrigeration is the chemical free fungicide protectant.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2013 at 6:23PM
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The plums aren't always fully ripe when I pick them, so I like to leave them out.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2013 at 2:25PM
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alan haigh

But plums don't sweeten after being picked. I always pick them dead ripe. If you prefer a tarter plum then fungicide such as Monterey Fungus Fighter will allow them to soften inside without rot. I used to buy stonefruit from a local grower that was visibly coated with Captan to prevent post harvest rot. Not sure what the label says about that approach these days.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2013 at 4:24PM
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franktank232(z5 WI)

Do you guys that refrigerate notice any change in flavors/texture...give you pick a ripe plum? I have a bunch that need to come now...but i'm not sure what i'm doing with them yet, but refrigeration would at least buy me a little time...

    Bookmark   August 24, 2013 at 4:44PM
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alan haigh

I believe the only real difference is you can taste them better at room temp (just like a good cheese). It's not like plums that ripen late suffer from cool night temps. But then, I also believe that damage to refrigerating tomatoes is over rated.

Immediate refrigeration after harvest is standard procedure for pretty much all commercial stone fruit production- even with small farms. It is especially important with tree ripe fruit.

To me, fruit always tastes better straight off the tree- texture is best then also. Texture holds up much better in the fridge if fruit is at full ripeness. Flattens in just a few hours at room temp. Just my opinion.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2013 at 5:49PM
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I prefer them sweeter, but once they're picked you can't put them back on the tree.

I find that Stanley plums do indeed sweeten. The color of the flesh can turn from tart green to sweet yellow while sitting out

And sometimes, with pests attacking the tree, it's either pick earlier or lose the crop.

I'm hoping, this year, to be able to ripen on the tree, but you can't really judge the ripeness of each fruit perfectly while up on the ladder picking hundreds of plums.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2013 at 7:30PM
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