How can you tell when citrus fruit is ripe?
I often get this question so I am repeating my answer to this question. It is difficult to give you a specific time to know when your fruit is ripe because it differs per species and even per area. For instance, grapefruit ripens between November and March whereas many oranges ripen between October and January. Citrus fruit will not ripen after it is picked like apples or pears because citrus has no carbohydrate reserve so don’t pick it too early. The best way to know when your citrus is ready to eat is to try one fruit at a time until the taste suits you. Often, the fruit will taste better once we have cold temperatures as the sugar in the flesh will be released. Most citrus fruit will change color from green to orange or yellow. One important exception to the color change is Emerald Green satsuma – the green rind doesn’t change to an orange color but the flesh inside is ripe. Wrinkled or loose rinds around citrus, in most instances, indicates the fruit has been left too long on the tree. The harvest dates of the most common citrus grown in Northeast Florida are: Satsumas ripen from October – December; Ruby red grapefruit ripens November – May; lemon ripen July – December; kumquat ripen November – April; Navel & Hamlin oranges ripen October – January; and Valencia oranges March – June.