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 Judging the Ripening of Avocados?
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1voyager1
Da Kine

USA
248 Posts

Posted - 10/09/2017 :  11:38:59  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Our young avo trees are holding their first fruit this year.

1 - Sharwil
Our Sharwil has ripened its fruit.
They have all been picked and eaten.
Sharwil is easy to gauge ripening for.
The fruit will begin to lose its shiny skin surface as it turns to a satin/matt surface.
When that has been noticeable for a few days, they're ready to pick.


2 - Ota
Our Ota tree had only 2 fruit on it.
It dropped one of them a couple of days ago.
The one dropped still has shiny skin.
But, after 2 days the skin is now taking on a yellowish cast.

How do you judge the correct picking ripeness while they are still on the tree, before they drop?


3 - Lamb Hass
It's going to be quite a while before these are ready to pick, probably next spring/summer. They have a shiny bumpy skin.

Anyone know how to judge the picking ripeness for this cultivar?

EDIT:
The Lamb Hass should have a skin that turns to black or dark purple. That will probably help in gauging their being ready to pick.




Welcome to Puna, the land of the Vocal Lunatic Fringe.

Edited by - 1voyager1 on 10/09/2017 11:48:10

james weatherford
Punatic

USA
1921 Posts

Posted - 10/18/2017 :  12:52:14  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
In addition to loss of shine on the peel, I look for yellowing/browning/loss of leaves on the stem the fruit is swinging from.

Re Ota from ours in HPP: fruit was quite tasty, perfect flesh, very small seed; low fruit production from the tree.
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dayna
Kamaaina

USA
921 Posts

Posted - 10/19/2017 :  16:37:07  Show Profile  Visit dayna's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Ken Love recently posted that the stem on the avocado turns brown, and the avocado loses the shine on the peel like mentioned above.

I'm eagerly trying to learn more about year round avo production so that I can have fresh ones at home all year long! I dislike nothing more than a too early picked avo that just rots rather than delights.

Dayna

www.E-Z-Caps.com
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1voyager1
Da Kine

USA
248 Posts

Posted - 10/20/2017 :  09:39:12  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
What I'm finding is that the signs of reaching being ready to be picked is different for different cultivars, at least for the 3 that we have.
The dulling of the skin that works for the Sharwil does not seem to apply to the Ota.
I'm not sure about the Lamb-Hass yet.
Although, I think the darkening of the skin will be part of the signs.
In fact, so far the only way I can tell if the Ota is ready to be picked is by feeling the fruit to see if it has begun to soften a bit, losing it's hardness.
There has to be a better way than that.
I would think.
Going through a tree full of fruit feeling them to see if they're ripe seems to be a bit labor intensive, even if the tree doesn't bear very many fruit.

I have not noticed anything about the branches/stems that might be an indicator.
But, I will begin watching them to see if it might help in determining readiness to be picked.

The state of California regulates the picking of the Hass avos in commercial orchards by the date to assure a proper oil content in the fruit.
They can only be picked during a given time period.

So far, it seems to me that the only way to have avos year around is to have a variety of cultivars that ripen at different times of the year.
I chose Sharwil, Ota and Lamb-Hass because they ripen at different times.
The Sharwil and the Ota do overlap quite a bit, but their combined season seems to be from early fall to late winter/spring, while the Lamb-hass supposedly ripens in the spring/summer.
I'm hoping these three cultivars can provide fresh fruit 6 to 9 months out of the year, maybe even longer.
I may consider a 4th cultivar to extend the availability.
But, quality of fruit is more important than availability.
I need to decide which cultivars will fill the gaps with a quality good tasting fruit worth having.

I hate watery, stringy avos.
I'm getting to the point that I buy less and less from the markets because of the general low quality of the avos available through the vendors there.
In fact, I have just sworn off market avos again.
I bought some good looking supposedly Lindas that just drip with water in them, terrible tasting, a waste of money.

Welcome to Puna, the land of the Vocal Lunatic Fringe.

Edited by - 1voyager1 on 10/20/2017 10:03:05
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1voyager1
Da Kine

USA
248 Posts

Posted - 10/21/2017 :  11:19:45  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Looking at the 3 Lindas sitting on the kitchen counter continuing to ripen, I began grumbling to myself again about the watery and stringy avos that are so prevalent at the markets.
So, I spent a few hours online trying to find out what causes those conditions.
Most of the info is aimed at the major marketed avo, the Hass.
But should apply to the other higher oil content avos like the Sharwil, Ota, Lamb-Hass, etc.

When only considering the reasons given by those that seem to have the best credentials:

Avos having wet and/or watery meat is caused by the fruit being picked too early, not mature enough to be picked yet.
The oil levels have not developed to the point they should have been allowed to.


Avos that have stringy meat are usually fruit from younger immature trees, or fruit from early in their season.
As the trees mature and/or their season progresses, they are less likely to contain strings.
Some fruit cultivars tend to be stringy more readily than others.

Assuming that many of the avos supplied to the market vendors are from locals with a tree or trees in their yard with many more avos than they can use,
it seems plausible that the real cause of the high rate of lower quality is that many of the growers are ignorant of what makes an avo ready to be picked.
Their only interest is in cashing them out.
Then, maybe many of those yard trees are grown from seed rather than being a grafted tree, making them an unknown hybrid that may not be the same as the parent tree.

The vendor has no real way to check on this before the avos actually ripen.



Welcome to Puna, the land of the Vocal Lunatic Fringe.

Edited by - 1voyager1 on 10/21/2017 11:22:20
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DTisme
Punatic

USA
1033 Posts

Posted - 10/21/2017 :  13:07:10  Show Profile  Visit DTisme's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I'd heard that avos are ready to pick when they easily come off the stem. If it gives resistance, not ready yet.

I also hate the stringy ones. Love our Sharwils, which are never stringy.

Our neighbor has brought us avocados that taste like fish. Super nasty. I think they're either watering the tree from their nearby talapia pond, or just being close to it is affecting the fruit. They're just AWFUL.
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1voyager1
Da Kine

USA
248 Posts

Posted - 10/21/2017 :  13:51:25  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by DTisme

I'd heard that avos are ready to pick when they easily come off the stem. If it gives resistance, not ready yet.

I also hate the stringy ones. Love our Sharwils, which are never stringy.

Our neighbor has brought us avocados that taste like fish. Super nasty. I think they're either watering the tree from their nearby talapia pond, or just being close to it is affecting the fruit. They're just AWFUL.




That is true about the stem and the Sharwils.
I really like our Sharwils.
But, I much prefer the taste of our Otas.
They are heavenly.

Our Sharwil produced maybe 2 dozen fruit this season.
Its first fruiting season to carry fruit to maturity.
Some were BIG!
They were up to 1-1/2# +/-.
The first one to separate from its stem fell to the ground and split the skin on the bottom.
I had never seen an avo that large before.

All the avos on a tree do not ripen at the same time.
If you pull the stem off, you have waited too long, that leaves the top of the fruit open to invasion by fungi, bacteria, etc.
The fruit should be picked before the stem begins to loosen for the longest shelf life.
Then, the stem should be trimmed as short as you possibly can get it to keep it from being knocked off accidentally.

I have heard of people using fish water for plants because of the nutrients it is supposed to contain.
It does not sound far fetched to me that avo fruit could pick up a taste from using that kind of water.
You certainly do not want to eat bear meat taken while the salmon are running.
They're much better eating when they've been feeding on berries.

Welcome to Puna, the land of the Vocal Lunatic Fringe.

Edited by - 1voyager1 on 10/21/2017 14:10:46
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1voyager1
Da Kine

USA
248 Posts

Posted - 11/01/2017 :  12:13:13  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
OK, the 2nd and final Ota has been picked.
The last couple of days I've been thinking that it has been getting less hard, but not sure of that.
Yesterday, it looked as if it might be loosing some of its shininess and might be lightening up in color, but not sure of that.

Today I reached up and felt it.
Again, it looked a bit less shiny, looked to be not as green in color, and felt less hard, again not sure of that.
Then, it easily broke free from the stem staying in my hand.
I didn't really pick it.
It just came loose in my hand.
It probably would have fallen on its own today or tomorrow.
The stem doesn't really show any sign of the avo being ready either, only a little bit of suntan on the exposed side.

Hopefully, the lack of ripening indicators is due to the tree being young and in its first fruiting.
I'd really hate to have a tree full of avos and have to feel every one to see if it's ready to fall.

A few more days and the Ota will be ready to eat.
The first one was the best tasting avo I've ever eaten.
Hopefully this one will bear that out.

When we first moved here, the fellow we were renting from while we looked for something permanent, had many different types of avos on his property.
He told me that the Ota was the best tasting of all of them.
I bought an Ota sapling and planted it on his word.
It's looking as if he was right.

The Lamb-Hass still look to be far from being ready.



Welcome to Puna, the land of the Vocal Lunatic Fringe.

Edited by - 1voyager1 on 11/01/2017 12:22:21
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spencerw
Newbie

7 Posts

Posted - 11/25/2017 :  14:23:02  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
i just wait for my avos to fall from the tree and pick them up. that way i know they are fully ripe. creating the best flavor possible. i grab about 7-10 avos each day per tree and they ripen within 1-3 days. the avos have been producing since august like this (~6 trees). sure a few avos get damaged on rocks and whatnot when they fall. but i can let a few fruits cycle their nutrients back to the tree :)

each year the fruit quality will be slightly different as it depends on our environmental conditions. last year one of the trees were really watery. this year they were creamy and buttery. last year one of the trees were stringy this year creamy. i would assume how you feed it also affects flavor

some of the trees were grown from seed and some from graft. the grafted cultivars will produce more consistent fruit year to year
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1voyager1
Da Kine

USA
248 Posts

Posted - 11/28/2017 :  00:34:20  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
so far, whenever I let them fall to the ground they often end up bruised.
The bigger, up to 1-1/2#, Sharwils actually split their skin when they hit the ground, even if there is a thick layer of mulch to fall on.

I understand the problems with seed grown trees.
That's why I have none.
All our trees are grafted.

The Sharwils are fairly easy to judge.
They can ripen on the counter or be kept in the fridge to extend their shelf life.
They are esily dealt with and still give good tasty fruit

The Otas are more difficult to judge.
But, we only had 2 fruit on it that went to maturity.
I think they also can be judged more easily if there are more fruit on the tree to learn their progression.

I'm still waiting for the Lamb-Hass. The one I keep feeling is showing spots darkening.
I think that is because of my constantly feeling and lightly squeezing it.
All the other fruit are still very green and hard.
The tree has quite a few fruit on it.
When they begin ripening they should be fairly easy to learn to judge because of their numbers.

One thing I've seen mentioned in several online articles about avos, is that young trees can be very variable in fruit quality and when they ripen.
They are more prone to being watery and stringy.
Although, they say that wateriness is a good indicator of being picked too soon, and stringiness may be related to the cultivar.

All my trees are young and have bore fruit to maturity for the first time this year.
I expect them to do better next season.
In fact, flowering shouldn't be all that far off now, 2 months +/-?

I agree that our variable weather conditions can have profound effects on fruit quality and season.

Welcome to Puna, the land of the Vocal Lunatic Fringe.
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1voyager1
Da Kine

USA
248 Posts

Posted - 12/11/2017 :  13:14:06  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I was out trimming dead leaves off the banana trees when I noticed that the Sharwil is beginning new growth.
A closer look and it seems that blossom growth is beginning.
I had not expected it to start this early.
The other two avo trees have not begun anything yet.

The Sharwil did bloom earlier than the other two last year giving me concerns about pollination.
The Sharwil and the Ota are "B" types while the Lamb-Hass is an "A" type.
The Sharwil was almost finished blooming when the other two finally began opening blossoms.
They do not seem to be synced very well.

The next round of figuring out their ripening is beginning.
Acording to my "contract", I should get more fruit to work with on it this year.
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