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ripening plums off the tree ?
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gil
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Joined: 08 Jun 2005
Posts: 18300
Location: Scotland
PostPosted: Tue Sep 02, 08 4:09 pm    Post subject: ripening plums off the tree ? Reply with quote    

Against all odds, and contrary to its previous behaviour and this year's weather, my Victoria plum tree has more fruit than it's ever borne in the last 6 years.

However, if I leave the plums to ripen on the tree, the birds, wasps and flies will have them.
Can I ripen off the tree, and if so, at what stage do I pick them, and what are the best conditions in which to do the ripening ? How long for, approx ?

tahir



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 42363
Location: Essex
PostPosted: Tue Sep 02, 08 4:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I've seen Marjories Seedling harvested when it's just got a first flush of colour, i.e. hard as a bullet and as sharp as a really sharp thing. These plums were destined for the supermarket late market, stored in controlled atmosphere and ripened artificially using ethylene, possibly alongside other promoters. Obviously such fruits will never be flavoured anything like tree ripened fruit, and it explains why my own experience of Marjories doesn't match up to descriptions I've seen in books.

katie



Joined: 13 Dec 2004
Posts: 707
Location: midlands
PostPosted: Tue Sep 02, 08 4:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I've kept plums on a flat tray in a cool room for a few days and they've ripened nicely.

gil
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Joined: 08 Jun 2005
Posts: 18300
Location: Scotland
PostPosted: Tue Sep 02, 08 4:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I've done a first sweep, and have about 8lb of fruit, more than just a first flush, but not fully-coloured, and with slight, or perhaps more than slight give to the flesh. Suspect they would prolly taste a bit woody still.
Nowhere near a really ripe Victoria, with golden skin flushed with red, and soft flesh.

So, warm place / colder place ? In the dark / daylight ? Sunny windowsill ?

tahir



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 42363
Location: Essex
PostPosted: Tue Sep 02, 08 4:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I reckon as much sun as you can get and a few ripe bananas/pears, a little warmth too

yummersetter



Joined: 26 Jan 2008
Posts: 3039
Location: Somerset
PostPosted: Tue Sep 02, 08 5:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I'd leave them a little longer if you can - what I did with mine was to wrap as much as I could in environmesh overlapped and pegged and left a couple of the highest branches to the mercy of the wildlife - most of whom were our honeybees. Birds don't touch my Victorias and the wasps are all going silly after the grapes and other sweeter plums. The ones that are almost ripe but won't last a week till I can pick again I store in the fridge and bring out a dozen at a time and keep in a warm place for a day or two and they're pretty good considering they're not our best dessert plum

drunk_nik



Joined: 02 Jun 2008
Posts: 85

PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 08 7:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

tahir wrote:
I've seen Marjories Seedling harvested when it's just got a first flush of colour, i.e. hard as a bullet and as sharp as a really sharp thing. These plums were destined for the supermarket late market, stored in controlled atmosphere and ripened artificially using ethylene, possibly alongside other promoters. Obviously such fruits will never be flavoured anything like tree ripened fruit, and it explains why my own experience of Marjories doesn't match up to descriptions I've seen in books.


iirc ethylene=bananas (they're a good way to ripen tomatoes if still slightly yellow)

gil
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Joined: 08 Jun 2005
Posts: 18300
Location: Scotland
PostPosted: Wed Sep 10, 08 3:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

That worked a treat - on trays for a few days in the cool has ripened them well.

So I've picked most of the rest now. The basket went off the scale (more than 28lb; possibly rather more than that).

Did the same with a few of the earlier ripeners on the Czar tree, which is also looking to be quite a good crop.

Had to be some advantages to having such a late spring here
Just for once.

tahir



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 42363
Location: Essex
PostPosted: Wed Sep 10, 08 3:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Well done, enjoy em, we're on Marjories down here now

gil
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Joined: 08 Jun 2005
Posts: 18300
Location: Scotland
PostPosted: Wed Sep 10, 08 4:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

tahir wrote:
we're on Marjories down here now


Your own, or other local ? Or do you mean the ethylene-ripened ones ?
How are your stone fruit trees cropping this year, Tahir ?

tahir



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 42363
Location: Essex
PostPosted: Wed Sep 10, 08 4:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

gil wrote:
do you mean the ethylene-ripened ones ?
How are your stone fruit trees cropping this year, Tahir ?


Indeedy, from the supermarket. We've got 2 mature Early Transparent Gage, not a single fruit between them although they've cropped well the last couple of years. No fruit at all on any of the new ones, the almonds which were in flower much earlier have set plenty of fruit.

gil
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Joined: 08 Jun 2005
Posts: 18300
Location: Scotland
PostPosted: Wed Sep 10, 08 4:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

tahir wrote:
the almonds which were in flower much earlier have set plenty of fruit.


That sounds exciting - hopefully a good crop, then ?
(I find almonds almost impossible to shell - what do you use ?)

tahir



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 42363
Location: Essex
PostPosted: Wed Sep 10, 08 4:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

gil wrote:
(I find almonds almost impossible to shell - what do you use ?)


I counted about 50 odd almonds, unfortunately (unbeknown to me) the variety Robijn has a bitter skin cos it's a Peach/Almond cross (makes it hugely vigorous but susceptible to leaf curl), I picked a nut on Sunday to see how they were, it was harder to get the flesh off than crack the nut, the nut was full size but the skin hadn't coloured, really bitter until you take the skin off.

I just use a normal nutcracker but I know what you mean about almonds, they can be tricky.

OP



Joined: 28 Jul 2006
Posts: 4661
Location: Yorkshire
PostPosted: Wed Sep 10, 08 6:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

tahir wrote:
Well done, enjoy em, we're on Marjories down here now

I managed to get a handful off our 2 year old Marjories this year. OK, not the best plum ever, but still extremely good fresh off the tree. And they look great too.

tahir



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 42363
Location: Essex
PostPosted: Wed Sep 10, 08 6:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

orangepippin wrote:
I managed to get a handful off our 2 year old Marjories this year. OK, not the best plum ever, but still extremely good fresh off the tree. And they look great too.


I'm sure it's not a bad plum, it's just the stage they harvest them at

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