Magazine article Sunset

Just When Should You Pick Persimmons?

Magazine article Sunset

Just When Should You Pick Persimmons?

Article excerpt

Just when should you pick persimmons?

How do you know when to harvest Oriental persimmons? Rule number one: harvest your fruit before the birds do. Birds are the main reason many garden persimmons never make it to the dining table.

It's a good idea to harvest them just before they mature, then ripen them indoors. Pick fruit when it has turned from green to golden orange but is still firm. Use sharp shears; to avoid tearing the fruit, snip off a small section of stem when you cut.

The only time you can pull fruit off the tree, as shown at right, is when it has ripened fully. But at this point, your crop is in danger: birds may eat it, or the ripe fruit may splat on the ground before you get to it.

Another hazard is an overload of fruit on the tree's branches. If branches bend dramatically under the weight of the fruit, harvest it quickly, before high winds create further stress on the branches. If your persimmons are not mature enough to harvest, prop up branches with bamboo poles or long stakes stuck into the ground. …

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