The Q&A Archives: When is Quince Ripe

Question: I have several ornamental quince with lovely fruit. How do I know when it's ripe? I've read that regular quince
should be picked before the first frost - does the same apply to ornamental quince? So far, the fruit does
not pull off when I tug on it, but it's getting very mellow looking and is weighing the branches almost to the
ground. By the way, I'm planning to make jelly out of it.

Answer: You're using the correct method to test for ripeness - tugging. When the fruit easily parts from the branch when lifted to a horizontal position, it's harvest time. If you fear that the weight of the ripe fruit will actually break branches, go ahead and thin out some fruit. It's best to do this earlier in the season so the remaining fruit will benefit from reduced competition. Enjoy!

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