When and How to Harvest Figs?

If you’re a fan of figs, you know that there’s nothing quite like the taste of a fresh, ripe fig straight from the tree. But when is the right time to harvest your figs, and how do you know when they’re ready?

In this article, we’ll explore the answers to these questions and more.

When to Harvest Figs

Harvesting figs at the right time is crucial to ensure that they are sweet and juicy. Figs do not ripen after they are picked, so it is important to wait until they are fully mature before harvesting. Here are some tips on when to harvest figs:

1. Check the color

The color of the figs is a good indicator of their ripeness. Figs that are ready to be harvested will have a deep color and will be slightly soft to the touch. The skin of the fig should be smooth and unblemished.

2. Check the texture

The texture of the figs is another important factor to consider. Figs that are ready to be harvested will be slightly soft to the touch. If they are too firm, they are not ready yet. If they are too soft and mushy, they may be overripe.

3. Look for the “neck”

The “neck” of the fig is the part that attaches the fruit to the tree. When the neck of the fig starts to bend, it is a good sign that the fig is ready to be harvested.

4. Check the sap

When you pick a fig, it should release a small drop of sap from the stem. This is a sign that the fig is ripe and ready to be harvested.

Harvesting Figs

When it comes to harvesting figs, timing is crucial. Figs are ready to be picked when they are fully ripe, which is when they are soft to the touch and have a slight droop. If you pick them too early, they will not ripen properly, and if you wait too long, they will become overripe and begin to spoil.

To harvest figs, start by inspecting the fruit to determine if it is ripe. If it is, gently twist the fig until it detaches from the tree. Be careful not to squeeze the fruit too hard, as this can cause it to bruise.

If you have a large harvest, it’s a good idea to sort the figs into two categories: those that are ripe and those that need more time to ripen. This will help you keep track of which figs need to be consumed or preserved first.

When storing freshly harvested figs, it’s important to handle them with care. Figs are delicate and can bruise easily, so it’s best to store them in a single layer in a shallow container. Keep them in the refrigerator until you’re ready to eat them, as this will help them stay fresh for longer.

How to Store Figs

Once you have harvested your figs, it’s important to store them properly to ensure their freshness and flavor. Here are some tips on how to store figs:

  1. Refrigerate: Figs are perishable and should be stored in the refrigerator immediately after harvesting. Place them in a plastic bag or container and store them in the coldest part of your fridge.
  2. Use within a week: Figs have a short shelf life and should be consumed within a week of harvesting. Make sure to check them regularly for signs of spoilage, such as mold or soft spots.
  3. Freeze for long-term storage: If you have more figs than you can consume within a week, consider freezing them. Wash the figs, remove the stems, and slice them in half. Place the figs on a baking sheet and freeze them for a few hours. Once frozen, transfer them to a freezer bag or container and store them in the freezer for up to six months.
  4. Use a dehydrator: Another way to preserve figs is by using a dehydrator. Wash the figs, remove the stems, and slice them in half. Place the figs on the dehydrator tray and dry them at 135°F for 8-12 hours, or until they are completely dry. Once dried, store them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to six months.

By following these simple tips, you can store your figs properly and enjoy their delicious flavor for weeks or even months to come.

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Ana Harned

With over a decade of experience in gardening and horticulture, Ana Harned is a passionate botanist dedicated to promoting sustainable gardening practices. She holds a degree in botany and currently serves as the editor for Backyard Gardeners Network. Ana's love for gardening extends beyond her personal garden, as she enjoys sharing her knowledge and experience with others about the joys and benefits of cultivating plants.

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