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Henomeles, aka Japanese quince, is known to Russian gardeners mainly as an ornamental flowering plant. However, its fruits are also edible, just like those of a common culture. They are good for health and are widely used in traditional medicine. Therefore, it is not recommended to neglect "apples". But you need to know when the fruit is ripe, how to harvest and why the tree does not bear fruit.
When quince bears fruit
The quince harvest is one of the last to ripen. Fruits are harvested in the second decade of October. And if autumn is warm and dry, you can postpone it even until the beginning of November.
Chaenomeles is practically the last thing that the gardener collects before "conservation" of the site for the winter
When and for what year the quince begins to bear fruit after planting
Japanese quince is a fast-growing culture. The tree, subject to proper care and the correct choice of place, bears fruit already for 3-4 seasons after planting the seedling in the ground. Small (50-70 g), bright yellow "apples" are harvested from it.
When and in what month you need to collect the fruits of the Japanese quince
It is not possible to specify a specific harvest time for Japanese quince. Each year, the fruit is harvested, taking into account the varietal characteristics of the plant, the climatic conditions in a particular region and the weather in spring and summer.
If the tree is not bearing fruit for the first time, you can determine that it is time to pick the "apples", focusing on their appearance:
- there is practically no "fleecy" plaque left on them (the ovaries are very densely covered with it, while the fruits ripen, it gradually thinns);
- the skin has completely changed color to yellow (sometimes, even if chaenomeles ripens, “dotted” green spots remain on it), the fruit spreads a light aroma;
- if you press on the fruit, the pulp is slightly fed under the fingers, the characteristic "woodiness" disappears.
When chaenomeles ripens, individual fruits fall to the ground: this is another sign that it's time to harvest.
Important! If the tree bears fruit, and frost is promised in a few days, the fruit is harvested, even they clearly still need to ripen. Frozen chaenomeles is poorly stored, but it becomes tastier.
When the quince ripens in Russia
At home, most varieties of chaenomeles bear fruit at approximately the same time. But in Russia the harvest does not ripen at the same time. This is due to significant climatic differences in the regions:
- In central Russia, the approximate ripening period for the fruits of Japanese quince is the second half of September. If the end of summer and the beginning of autumn are warm enough - in the first decade of October.
- In the southern regions, chaenomeles bears fruit later. The crop is harvested in the last decade of October. You can delay this until the end of the first decade of November. Even if the fruits on Japanese quince ripen completely, most of them do not crumble, they are securely held on the branches.
- In the Urals, in Siberia, in the Far East, exceptionally cold-resistant varieties are cultivated. They bear fruit early; fruits are harvested in the first half of September.
Japanese quince, which still needs to ripen, is very sour and knits in the mouth
Important! When choosing chaenomeles, one must take into account not only its decorative effect, but also when it bears fruit. In late-ripening varieties in regions with a harsh climate, "apples" simply do not have time to ripen.
How to properly collect and store fruits
With proper care, Japanese quince bears fruit regularly. The crop is harvested, guided by several general rules:
- No special technique is needed for this. When the chaenomeles ripens, the fruits are removed from the branches exclusively by hand, together with the stalk, are carefully folded into a bucket or other container. Shaking them off the tree, throwing them on the ground is a bad idea.
- You cannot harvest the fruit if it is raining. And you need to wait for the dew to dry.
- In the process, the crop is sorted, rejecting specimens with mechanical damage, traces of disease, pests. You can immediately throw away small fruits - they are most often very sour, dryish (they do not ripen during storage, the taste does not get better).
- If you are prone to allergies, it is recommended to use personal protective equipment for the eyes, mouth and nose when going to harvest. Even when the chaenomeles is fully ripe, "lint" remains on the skin, which can irritate the mucous membrane.
Even in ripe chaenomeles, the pulp remains firm, but this does not mean that the fruit is not afraid of mechanical damage.
Important! If the quince had to be picked unripe, you can put it in one bag with apples, pears or bananas. These fruits actively emit ethylene, chaenomeles will ripen faster, but with prolonged storage, such a "neighborhood", on the contrary, is harmful.
Fresh chaenomeles lies for a long time. The fruits ripen while maintaining the firmness, even the firmness of the pulp. But you need to provide them with optimal or close to this conditions:
- temperature 6-10 ° C;
- air humidity 80-90%;
- lack of light;
- good ventilation in the room.
In such conditions, especially if you wrap each fruit in paper or "isolate" them from each other in cardboard boxes, wooden boxes, sprinkled with sawdust, sand, wood shavings, pieces of newsprint, straw, Japanese quince will lie for 4-6 months. Chaenomeles is stored in the same way as apples and pears.
You can still process the fruits of quince with Japanese wax or grease with any vegetable oil before storing them. But then you will have to wash them very thoroughly before eating them.
In the refrigerator, if you put the fruit in plastic bags or wrap it in cling film, they will last half as long (2.5-3 months). At room temperature, Japanese quince is stored for a maximum of 2-3 days - if you leave the fruit indoors, the tree, one might say, bore fruit in vain.
Important! The harvest of Japanese quince in the storage place is examined at least once a month, getting rid of specimens that have begun to rot.
The longest (about a year) Japanese quince is stored frozen. For this, the fruits are thoroughly washed, the skin is removed, and the seeds are removed. The pulp is cut into slices or cubes, put in small portions in zip bags with airtight fasteners and put into the freezer.
Why Japanese quince does not bear fruit
Japanese quince may not bear fruit for various reasons. In most cases, the gardener himself is to blame for choosing the wrong place for planting or making gross mistakes when caring for the plant. Chaenomeles is not a capricious culture, but even he has minimal "requirements".
Sometimes Japanese quince does not bloom at all. It is logical that in this case it is not necessary to harvest the harvest in the fall. The most common reasons for this phenomenon:
- Disembark in a shaded area. If the Japanese quince lacks light, the tree grows and develops much more slowly than usual. The process of formation of flower buds is disrupted, gradually budding stops completely. The first few seasons with chaenomeles can still be harvested, albeit meager, in the future it does not bear fruit at all.
- Unsuitable soil. Japanese quince prefers nutritious, but water and breathable soil. Otherwise, the roots of the plant suffer, which negatively affects the entire process of its development. The root system cannot provide the tree with the necessary nutrients, so it does not bear fruit.
- Excessive watering. When waterlogged, the root system almost inevitably rots. The tree may even die, not to mention the ability to harvest fruit from it.
- Excess nitrogen-containing fertilizers. They stimulate Japanese quince to actively build up green mass. Such a tree will not bear fruit - it simply does not have enough nutrients to ripen the crop.
Nitrogen is needed by Japanese quince in moderation and only at the beginning of the active growing season
The tree does not like vegetation in the trunk circle very much. This can also provoke a lack of flowering and fruiting in Japanese quince. It needs to be weeded regularly, this is an unsuitable place for planting lawn grass, ornamental ground cover plants.
Japanese quince begins to bear fruit a year or two later than bloom. This is normal for a tree. However, if after this time the crop is still not ripe, the reasons may be as follows:
- Lack of pollinators. Most varieties of Japanese quince are self-fertile. In order to regularly collect fruits, you must first provide the tree with “neighbors” by planting 2-3 more specimens of chaenomeles nearby. Only in this case, after flowering, the fruits will begin to set in large quantities.
- Freezing of fruit ovaries. In regions with a climate that is not very suitable for gardening, chaenomeles after flowering can fall under return frosts. They destroy the ovaries, this season of ripening of the Japanese quince can not wait.
- Incorrect and / or untimely pruning. Most of the buds are concentrated on branches that are 3-4 years old. Then you have to collect fruits from them. Also, Japanese quince ceases to bloom and bear fruit, if you neglect sanitary pruning (unnecessary "ballast" takes away too much energy from the tree). It is also strongly discouraged to get rid of healthy shoots during the summer, when the plant has already faded and forms fruit ovaries.
- Pathogenic microflora. Japanese quince has quite good immunity. However, if a gardener neglects to care for chaenomeles, he may well get sick. Some fungi (for example, moniliosis) infect fruits - they rot, dry, fall from the tree, without having time to ripen.
Important! There are hybrid ornamental flowering varieties of Japanese quince, which do not bear fruit in principle. Expecting to subsequently harvest, you need to carefully study the varietal characteristics of the tree before buying.
Some varieties of chaenomeles are intended solely for decorating the site.
Japanese quince, decorating the garden in spring, bears fruit in autumn, providing the gardener with a harvest of small "apples". They ripen quite late, so you need to learn how to determine when it is time to harvest. There are also important nuances regarding how exactly to remove the fruits and store them in the future, you also need to know about them in advance.