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HomeFeaturesAgricultureExtension Notes: It’s apple harvest time in Kentucky

Extension Notes: It’s apple harvest time in Kentucky

By: Rebecca Konopka
Carter County Extension Agent

September and October is a busy time for Kentucky’s apple growers. Hopefully they’ve chosen the varieties resistant to as many diseases as possible. Ripening times vary from year to year depending on the weather. If apples have coddling moth damage, they will drop up to two weeks before the crop is ripe.

The best and most time-tested method of judging when to pick fruit is the taste method. When enough starch has been converted to sugar and the flavor is developed, the fruit is ready to eat. Fruit continues to ripen in cold storage, so pick fruit before it is ripe if you want to store it.

Fruit changes color as it ripens. The base color, or ground color, is the color underneath the red striping or blush of peaches, apples, pears and cherries. In most fruits, the fruit is ripening when the ground color turns green to yellow. The surface color may develop before the fruit is actually mature.

If storing fruit, cool it as soon as possible after picking. The sooner heat is removed from freshly picked fruit, the longer it will keep.

Handle fruit for storage gently. Bruises and wounds allow pathogens to infect the fruit, and disease will spread to adjacent fruits once it gets established.

Some popular varieties of apples you may find at the farmers markets or on many Kentucky farms that provide fall agritourism activities are: Honeycrisp, Pink Lady, Gala, Ginger Gold, Granny Smith, Cortland, Jonagold, Suncrisp, Rome, Fuji, Braeburn, Cameo and Enterprise. Many growers have other varieties as well.

The Martin-Gatton College of Agriculture, Food and Environment is an Equal Opportunity Organization with respect to education and employment and authorization to provide research, education information and other services only to individuals and institutions that function without regard to economic or social status and will not discriminate on the basis of race, color, ethnic origin, national origin, creed, religion, political belief, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, pregnancy, marital status, genetic information, age, veteran status, physical or mental disability or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity.

Upcoming Events:

  • The Grayson Farmer’s Market is open on Saturdays from 9:00 AM until sell out. The market is located in the shed behind the Extension Office. The Olive Hill Farmer’s Market is located in the Save-a-Lot parking lot and is open on Saturdays and Wednesdays at 8:00 AM and Mondays at 3:00 PM until sell out each day.
  • Hay sampling is underway now for the East KY Hay Contest. Call 474-6686 to request sampling. Participants will receive a free nutrient analysis of their hay.
  • Farm & Family Field Day – September 26th @ Wells Farm – 5:00



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