Pineapple Harvesting Tips
Pineapple is one of the most commercially grown fruits in the world. It is also one of the most preferred fruit plant grown indoors and in gardens. Under ideal conditions—warm climate, optimum water, and no infestation— the pineapple plant takes 24 to 36 months to yield fruits.
Usually, when pineapples are grown in farms, their cultivators follow different routines. They have to consider the ripening cycle of pineapple as to the fruits have to be transported from farms to market, wherein a large amount of time is required.
Tips to Determine the “Readiness” of the Pineapple for Harvest
Pineapple cultivators have considerable experience behind them; so they know exactly when to harvest the fruit. While growing pineapples indoors, proper care should be given to the pineapple plant to harvest good quality fruits on time.
When the pineapple plant starts producing blue colored flowers, it is an indication that your plant is mature, and it will be yielding fruits in following 6 months. Flowering season may again depend on various factors such as when it was planted, climatic conditions, and the nature of the region. After approximately 6 months, the flower will develop into a fruit and it will be ready for harvest in short time. However, never rush to pick a pineapple without checking the following:
- Observe the color change of the pineapple – The first sign, of course, is the change in color of the pineapple. Initially, you can observe a color change to yellow at the bottom of the fruit. As the fruit continues ripening, there is a notable change in the color of the entire fruit. When the entire fruit turns yellowish green, it is the right time for the fruit to be picked.
- Smell the pineapple – Smell is another good indicator of the readiness of the fruit. When pineapple is completely ripe, it emits a sweet-n-tangy smell, which can be smelt from a distance. If you have multiple plants, go closer and smell each fruit individually to identify the ones which are ready to be picked.
- Tap the pineapple – Another method is to tap the fruit with your fingers and listen. If it sounds hollow, then your fruit might need some more time to ripen completely. If it sounds solid, your fruit is absolutely ready to be cut and devoured.
Use all the above mentioned methods to make sure that the fruit is ready to be harvested. Once the readiness of the fruit is confirmed, you can go ahead with the harvesting process. Harvesting a pineapple is simple, and it can be easily done with help of a normal kitchen knife.
Some Other Important Tips for Harvesting Pineapples
- Hold the crown of the pineapple, bend it a little and with help of knife, cut the part that joins the pineapple and the stalk.
- If the fruit is soft or reddish in color, then possibly it is over-ripe or has got some sort of infestation.
- Do not immediately cut off the crown and throw it away. If the fruit quality is really good, you may require it for planting next season.
- Pineapple shells can be used for serving Hawaiian salads; so keep it for later use.
Homegrown pineapples should be eaten fresh as nothing can beat their taste! For other purposes (such as cooking with meat or for garnishing), you can use the ones from the market.