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Old 11-26-2014, 11:10 AM   #1
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How do I know when my lemons are ripe and ready to pick?

Im up in New York.
Earlier in the summer I purchased 2 lemon trees ( which are potted and are now inside). They had small green, unripe lemons when I purchased it. Now, the lemons are full lemon sized, Id say %85 of the lemon is yellow, but the underside or less exposed side of the lemon is still green ( less green than when it was unripe, but green none the less). It has been this way for about 2 weeks, with little or no changes. If i had dozens of lemons, I'd just pick one and test it out, but I only have a few , so i dont want to pick it until I know its ready to be picked .

Any advice/ suggestions ?



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Old 11-26-2014, 11:39 AM   #2
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They should look slightly glossy. Juicy lemons will feel heavy for their size. It sounds as though yours might be ready, so take the plunge, pick one, and try it! You're lucky; every time I've tried to keep a lemon tree it just dies on me. Keeping plants alive indoors defeats me.

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Old 11-26-2014, 12:04 PM   #3
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The only reason Im lucky is because I bought it with the lemons already on it ( although unripe at the time). I am pretty confident I will kill the lemon trees by the time spring comes around. I dont have great sunny windows in my house, and the dryness/ lack of humidity during the winter isn't a big help either. Also, my wife is not a big fan of all the plants I bring inside this time of year ( I think she secretly goes around poisoning them when Im not around just so the die off and get out of the house sooner).
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Old 11-26-2014, 12:05 PM   #4
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It may relief some anxiety about chancing picking them before they're ripe to note that you may have never seen its relative, a ripe lime. They are yellow when ripe, but always sold green to stores, and they juice just fine.
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Old 11-26-2014, 12:20 PM   #5
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Congratulations on your lemon tree in NY Larry! Is it a Meyer tree by the way? I've heard they do well potted indoors, but I live in the "lemon capital of the world" here in the Heritage Valley of California, and my Meyer tree is in the ground. There are thousands of lemon trees around, and yes, it's beautiful here.
Anyway, to answer your question it's ok to pick your lemon at 85% yellow, although all yellow is better. I've been known to pick one at half green and it was fine. A common lemon (not Meyer) needs to be pressed and rolled on the counter before cutting to release more juice. That's not needed with a Meyer, as they have at least 3 times the juice of a common lemon. Enjoy!
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