Do you have a lime tree that is mature enough to grow fruit? If so, then you are in for a real treat. But if you have never picked limes before, you might be wondering when they are ripe. Today you will learn how to determine when limes are ready for harvest and answer the question, ‘Are Limes Unripe Lemons?’
Are Limes Unripe Lemons?
Some people get confused when it comes to unripe limes. Some believe that limes are simply unripe lemons. But this is not true.
Limes and lemons are two different types of citrus fruit. While it can be easy to confuse the two, they are different from one another in several ways.
What Are the Differences Between Limes and Lemons
While limes and lemons are similar in appearance, there are some differences between the two fruits. Lemons are normally bigger than limes and contain more juice. Lemons are often bright yellow when ripe, while many limes are pale green or slightly yellow.
When it comes to trees, lemon trees are taller than lime trees. Lemon trees can grow up to 20 feet high, while lime trees are shorter. Lime trees also have smaller leaves than lemon trees.
How To Tell If A Lime Is Ripe
If you’re new to growing limes, you might be wondering how to tell when limes are ripe. There are several different things to consider when determining when to harvest limes. Below are a few tips that can help.
Time Is A Factor
Depending on which lime variety you have, it normally takes 6 to 9 months for a lime to become mature. This time period starts when the lime tree first puts on blooms.
This will give you a general idea of what month you will need to harvest your limes. However, there are other factors that you should keep in mind.
Look At the Color
When most people think of ripe limes, they think the fruit should be bright green. The truth is, many limes aren’t ripe until they become pale green or yellow.
Completely ripe limes will have a consistent color. The entire fruit will be one solid color instead of patches of yellow or pale green. So, when picking limes, make sure you inspect the fruit for proper color. This will help you avoid picking your fruit too soon.
In general, a ripe lime will be heavier than a non-ripe lime. Limes get heavier as they mature, and the fruit will contain more juice. Ripe lives will also have more flavor.
When walking around your lime tree, carefully lift several limes. You will notice that some are heavier than others. The heavy ones will soon be ready to harvest.
Give It A Smell Test
Limes that are ready to harvest will have a fresh zesty smell. Those that are not ripe will have a faint smell or no smell at all. Before harvesting give your limes a smell test to see if they are ready to pick.
This tip can also be used to help you determine which limes are ripe in the grocery store.
Give It A Light Squeeze
Skin texture is a good way to tell if a lime is ready to be harvested. Give your limes a light squeeze. If the fruit is hard and doesn’t have any give, then it still needs time to ripen.
On the other hand, if the lime is softer, it could be mature and ready to pick. Keep in mind that if a lime is really soft when you squeeze it, then it has probably been on the tree too long and is not fit for eating.
Limes Won’t Ripen After Harvesting
Some fruits can be picked before they ripen. This isn’t the case when it comes to limes. Once harvested, the ripening process will stop.
It is very important that you make sure your limes are ripe before you pull them from the tree. If picked too early, you will end up with a flavorless lime that will become hard and impossible to eat.
Are Limes Unripe Lemons?: Conclusion
As you can see, there are many ways to determine if a lime is ripe. When you use all these tips in combination, you will know for certain that your limes are ready to be picked.
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