Return to the Citrus Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
How do I tell when my citrus is ripe?

Posted by alaskadiver z8 China Spring (My Page) on
Fri, Nov 4, 05 at 11:07

OK, probably a dumb question, but this is my first attempt at growing citrus and I'm wondering how I know when they are ripe. I have 3 potted citrus plants, a Meyer's lemon, a Satsuma mandarin, and a Mexican lime. Here are pics of my first year's meager production. The lemons and limes look ready to pick but I was wondering more about the Satsuma mandarines. Do I wait until they are entirely orange? Or are the perfectly orange colored fruits in the groceries the result of dye as I thought was the case?

Image hosted by Photobucket.com
Image hosted by Photobucket.com

Image hosted by Photobucket.com


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: How do I tell when my citrus is ripe?

Kent - I'm particularly fond of the aqua-colored container. The terra-cota one looks good against the limestone as well. That said, I've posted a link which may be helpful.

Here is a link that might be useful: Is it ripe?


 o
RE: One more link

Kent - A picture is worth a thousand words. Here's another link.

Here is a link that might be useful: Photo of Ripe


 o
RE: How do I tell when my citrus is ripe?

alaska, your lemons are ready,the satsumas are NOT and the limes you can also pick:)Beautiful plants by the way,very healthy.You can have a lemon pie now & Margerita.***Suzanne


 o
RE: How do I tell when my citrus is ripe?

Thanks everyone!

I probably did everything wrong with these but somehow they survived the summer in my care.

The containers are all from Costco. The aqua colored ones are big glazed stoneware containers that were sold for about $40 each last year during the spring. The Costco stores around Texas had their garden sections piled high with them. The terra cotta container is also an imported Italian one from Costco. They were selling for around $11 last year. I also use them for potted tomatos.

I potted my citrus in a mix of equal parts peat, pinebark mulch, composted cow manure, and sand with gravel in the bottom covered by landscape cloth to provide better drainage. I have them on the same drip irrigation line as my tomatos and they get about 15 minutes of drippage every morning. I bought some citrus stakes (the hard fertilizer stakes) and pounded one in each each container for fertilizer. And then I haven't bothered to pay any attention to them since May.

Before the first frost I'll probably roll them into the garage and set them in a row along the south wall of the garage which has windows. Last year we only had two frosts here in the Waco area, one in January and one in March. But you just never know.


 o
RE: How do I tell when my citrus is ripe?

Satsuma peel color and degree of ripeness are completely unrelated and independent. In Florida, they are usually at their best eating quality while still deep green. In climates with chilly nights, they may be quite orange, but still too sour to eat. It just depends on the climate.

In any case, mandarins (in the USA anyway) are never dyed for the grocery store. Some Florida oranges are, but that's all.


 o
RE: How do I tell when my citrus is ripe?

Kent - I'm about three hours north of you and on my front porch (unprotected) I have an Improved Meyer Lemon, Kaffir Lime, Satsuma 'Owari,' Calamondin, Kumquat 'Nagami,' and a Buddha's Hand Citron. By my count, we've had four frosts to date, this fall, without any damage whatsoever. If at all possible, wait it out before you stash them in the garage. Your Satsuma will easily survive temperatures in the low-20s (overnight) without problems. Your Meyer Lemon would come out of sub-freezing temperatures (28-30F) relatively unscathed as well. Your Mexican Lime is the first one you'll need to protect. Also, keep in mind that the older your trees are, the hardier they become.


 o
RE: How do I tell when my citrus is ripe?

Alterego

If that's the case then I'll never need to bring them in unless an unusually heavy frost hits. Since I moved here 3 years ago I haven't seen a severe frost, just the occasional snap down to 28-30 or so.

I was planning to wait until weatherunderground calls for a real frost.


 o
RE: How do I tell when my citrus is ripe?

MM says "In any case, mandarins (in the USA anyway) are never dyed for the grocery store. Some Florida oranges are, but that's all."
Not dyed, but gassed. I see California mandarins right now in the stores that are gassed yet I have a hard time selling my fruit, which tastes better than what's in the store, becuse I don't gas it and it's still a little bit green in color. Sugar and acid content are excelent but people only see the color.
Ahh for the days when your produce man really knew what was good and could tell you so you didn't have to guess buy aperences.
Arthur the Date Palm Guy


 o
RE: How do I tell when my citrus is ripe?

Interesting that y'all gas satsumas. We've tried that in Fla., and one ends up with a burned pile of mush. So it is not done. We do degreen various other, tougher-peeled mandarins. Of course degreening (gassing) has no affect at all on flavor or other aspects of internal quality; it only affects the surface color (and in the case of some mandarins, may cause the peel to break down).


 o
RE: How do I tell when my citrus is ripe?

Interesting points. Even though degreening with ethylene may not, in itself, affect the flavor of the fruit, the timing of such practice can certainly have a profound affect. If Sastumas, or any other sweet citrus, are 'gassed' prior to an appropriate decrease in titratable acidity and subsequent increase in total soluble solids, I would think their flavor would be 'immature.' I'm trying to learn more about the art and science of maturation and 'ripening' of citrus. So, if I'm missing the boat here, please feel free to bring it to my attention.


 o
RE: How do I tell when my citrus is ripe?

Certainly true, AAE. While ethylene doesn't harm internal qualtiy, it also does not improve it. However it tasted when it came off the tree is how it will still taste, with a brighter, oranger peel color. In other fruits (bananas, apples, tomatoes) ethylene stimulates "ripening." But the internal parts of a citrus fruit don't undergo that process. OTOH the outer peel (flavedo) does.


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Citrus Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here