Grapefruits are mainly grown in California and Florida. There are many varieties of the fruit, such as flame, ruby red, star rubies and whites. White grapefruits are less common and most of them are red in color at the time of harvest. Depending on the variety of fruit, the harvest times also vary by a slight margin. Usually, for most varieties the ideal time to pick the fruit is from September to October. However, the trees will continue producing fruit until April and sometimes even until May.
Grapefruits are harvested based on their color and maturity. They grow throughout the year. That is why it is available in all seasons. Most growers spray the trees with arsenate and they leave it on the tree until April and sometime till May. Some growers aim at size more than the texture, but this could decrease the corp. for the following year. While harvesting, aim at picking the largest fruits first.
When grapefruits are left for too long on the tree, they start developing seeds and then fall to the ground. It damages their rind. Fruits have to be harvested before they are completely mature and ready to fall off from the tree.
In areas in the US where grapefruit is grown commercially, there are certain state specified rules for maturity. Different states follow different rules for maturity of the fruit. The term maturity refers to the total number of soluble in the juice to the ratio of citric acid found in it. Also, there are standards pertaining to the peel color. For this, some growers dye the skin, but they have to mention the quantity of dye used in the labeling.
In Florida, grapefruits have to be harvested in the month of September and in Texas, it is October. Harvesting takes place in the United States from winter to spring. Spring is considered to be the later months when fruits are ripe and ready for juicing. Sometimes growers leave them on the tree for three months so that the season can be extended.
While harvesting, the lowest hanging fruits should be gathered first. You can just collect them by pulling or snapping it off. Use clippers to cut them off the branches. Grapefruits tree ahs small thorns so usage of gloves is advisable. Store the harvested grapefruit in containers and these fruits should be stored in cool and dry places. Sometimes you may have to pluck of fruits that are perched high on the tree and for this get a convenient ladder that is safe.
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eHow: When to Pick Grapefruit from Tree?http://www.ehow.com/info_7935809_pick-grapefruit-tree.html