The summer is prime time for growing and eating delicious, nutritious fresh fruit. However, a few fruits are better left on the vine during the peak summer months—and a few should be harvested earlier. In this article, you’ll discover five fruits to avoid harvesting and eating in July.
Let’s dig in!
Cherries have a sweet and tangy flavor ranging from mildly sweet to intensely tart, depending on the variety. They are juicy with a firm texture, and people often describe their taste as refreshing and indulgent.
While cherries are often mislabelled as berries, they’re actually stone fruits. In fact, cherries are the first stone fruits to appear in the growing season. This leads to the misconception that cherries should be harvested later in the season with peaches, plums, and apricots.
Ideally, cherries should be harvested in June. While the ideal harvesting season may extend into July in some areas, there are risks with leaving them on the tree for too long.
Dr. Peter Toivonen with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada noted that delaying the cherry harvest for too long increases incidents of pebbling and pitting. As the cherry darkens, the acidity level becomes unbalanced. This issue leads to stem browning and flavor loss.
Consider harvesting your cherries in late June to avoid this issue.
Enthusiastic gardeners often harvest apples too early. It’s an understandable mistake—apple trees become rich and full months before the harvesting season.
There’s a common misconception that falling apples indicate full ripeness. Yet, harvesting apples in July often creates a starchy texture with bitter flavor notes.
Cut open a fallen apple and look at the seeds. A ripe, mature apple has brown, shiny seeds. A premature apple has white or faded seeds.
Leave the apples for the critters in July. Instead, wait until the fall for your apple-picking efforts.
3. Autumn Raspberries
Picking raspberries is a long-standing summer tradition—especially in July. Most people don’t realize that there are varieties of summer raspberries and autumn raspberries.
Autumn varieties like Joan J and Autumn Bliss often start ripening in mid-August. This means that the initial berries start showing up in July. Unfortunately, raspberries do not ripen after picking, so plucking these typically juicy and delicious berries in July will yield disappointing results.
You can tell the difference between summer and autumn raspberries by looking at the plant. Summer raspberry plants are bigger, with thick clusters of berries. Autumn raspberry plants are low-growing and fruit gradually over the harvesting season.
If your raspberries still look small and unappetizing in July, you likely have autumn raspberries. Come back in a month and enjoy.
Figs are categorized as a member of the stone fruit family. However, unlike other stone fruit, figs don’t ripen after harvesting. This unique feature could be because figs are inflorescences—a cluster of seeded flowers— rather than a true fruit.
Harvesting figs too early renders them unsalvageable. While brown figs may soften slightly over a few days, green figs will not.
While the ripening varies slightly from cultivar to cultivar, drooping fruit is the most obvious sign of ripeness. Before the fig is ripe, it will have a rigid stem and grow parallel to the ground. The stem softens with maturation, drooping with the fig’s weight.
Figs are one of the top fruits to avoid harvesting and eating in July. August is the ideal fig harvesting season. If you find yourself hungry for fig jam at the end of July, be patient—a few weeks makes a big difference.
While July might be the ideal time to traipse through vineyards, they’re one of the fruits to avoid harvesting and eating in July. Depending on the variety, these delicious niblets are better left until late August or early fall. Even the grapes at the grocery store lack that delicious burst of flavor.
Like apples, many people feel compelled to sample their grapes earlier in the season due to the lush, full plants. However, grapes need time to ripen on the vine as they won’t ripen after they’re picked. Ripe grapes are firm with a bit of give when squeezed.
Summary of 5 Fruits to Avoid Harvesting and Eating in July
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