Does anyone now how to tell when it's time to pick an orange?

meyermike_1micha(5)July 8, 2012

I have no idea!

Every time I get a few oranges to a good size, I never know when to pick them

Do I wait until they turn orange?

I seem to always pick them too early a bit sour, or too late, more pulpy than suppose to be.

One year, I picked the just right, and I can't remember how I did it.

Your help would be so appreciated.


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In your climate at least wait until they are full orange; it should be late December. If you want the most sweet orange, leave them on the tree until about the first of March; they will begin to re-green; i.e., the peel will begin to get a greenish tinge. Commercially, that is a bad bet; because it will reduce the next crop; but for artesans like yourself, it is the "to die for" orange.

Oh... this advice is about the Washington Navel, or the Cara Cara; if it is something else, sorry for being so presumptive.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2012 at 8:47PM
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No John, you have the right orange. The Washington Navel.

I have 3 oranges that are fully grown and have started to turn a brighter green. I can take a photo pic tomorrow so you can see. They are the product of what started as baby oranges from bud back last December.
They were fully grown back in May, and now I am just waiting for what to do with them.

I appreciate your advice. I will be back with pics.


    Bookmark   July 8, 2012 at 9:04PM
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Well, Mike, as with all citrus the bloom time, maturity time, harvest time are different with every latitude and altitude. My dates are based on California; but the color and the re-greening are constants, no matter what the time.

Would you believe that I can't even tell my associate growers when their Meyers will bloom? Our strategy is to have multiple altitudes and latitudes and micro climates so as to produce lemons the whole year. At the moment we have trees at the beach producing at one year; we have trees at 7,500 feet producing at 1 year; and trees at 3,500 feet of which 70% are setting fruit at 10 months.
I THINK the ideal altitude at this latitude (15 deg. N) is 1,500 to 2,000 feet; but that is based on NO evidence; because no one has done it before.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2012 at 9:41PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Great question and great answers!

    Bookmark   July 9, 2012 at 2:36PM
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blazeaglory(10 SZ22/24 OC Ca)

I like to squeeze for juiciness. Ive always found a soft squishy but not too squishy Orange is usually ripe or ripe enough for me to eat anyways.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2012 at 1:58AM
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