When Will Apples be Ready to Pick?
Will wet soils bring the crop on sooner? What effect will cloudy skies have on maturity? Are we ahead or behind last year? One way to monitor the maturity development and answer these questions is using the starch-iodine test.
What you need: Assemble a testing kit to carry with you to evaluate your apples. You will need:
Prepare the iodine solution: Contact your pharmacy to prepare a fresh batch - its best to make fresh solution each harvest season. Store the solution in a dark coloured (or foil-wrapped) bottle, away from light.
Caution: Remember that iodine is poisonous. Correctly label the bottle and keep away from children and pets. Consider treated apples poisonous - do not feed to animals or use in composting. Prevent pets from licking the treated fruit.
Heres the recipe to give to the pharmacist:
Starch-iodine charts: Here are several online sources of maturity charts:
How to do the test: Slice apples across, dip cut edges in solution, rinse with water, and compare to the charts. A simple test to determine how much starch has changed to sugar and if apples are ready to pick.
For more information:
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