Fruit trees can be a great source of food and profit. If you have your own orchard, you most likely have dozens of trees that have branches teeming with fruit. The problem is that harvesting is much more complex than picking fruits from branches. A mistake can mean losing a part of your harvest and profit. Here are some useful tips to ensure that you maximize your yield:
Time It Right
It may be that time of the year but trees are biological in nature and some of them don’t follow a fixed schedule. Some fruit ripens at different times and if you harvest them too early, you get unripe fruit. Do it too late and you get a rotten fruit. You need to know your fruit to see whether they are ready for harvesting.
For example, apples need to have rich color and firm bodies. Try to experimentally pick them. A ripe apple should leave the stem with a simple twist of the hand. Different fruits have different signs so become familiar with your crop so that ayou can do proper harvesting.
It is not just the ripeness. The weather will also be an issue. You will want to harvest on a good sunny day so that you won’t have problems. Plus, you need to harvest before bad weather hits and you lose some of your bounties.
Get Some Help
Don’t do your fruit harvesting alone. The image of a farmer harvesting his crop works with wheat or grain because it is done automatically. When it comes to fruits, there is no fruit-picking machine yet. The best way to harvest them is still with two human hands. Hire some day laborers to do the job so that you can be sure that the fruits are safe during harvesting.
Have the Right Tools
Though hands are the preferred way of harvesting, you still need tools. For one, you should not be climbing trees to reach those tall branches. You are going to need many ladders to get your team harvesting those fruit. You might also get a fruit-picker basket for fruit that is hard to reach. These have baskets that grasp the stems. With a shake, ripe fruit should fall into the basket.
Additionally, you might want to invest in pruners. Some fruits don’t easily come off the stem like grapes do. For these plants, you will need to cut them off the stem directly. Pruners make it easy. Finally, large plastic bins are useful for storage purposes. You can keep the fruit safe and sound from moisture and other dangers while you plan on how to handle them.
Do It With a System
Harvesting fruits is back-breaking work and you need to make it as easy as possible. One way to do so is to have a system. For example, you have people assigned to particular jobs and you can process a tree by harvesting from the bottom up. A simple system can save time and make harvesting faster.
Whether it is apples or oranges, a good harvest can be a pleasing reward for anyone who takes care of an orchard. Proper harvesting ensures that you don’t lose any amount and you get the full fruit of your labor. The advice above should be a big help in ensuring that you do it right. With a little effort, you should be able to have a bountiful harvest every year.