Planting almond tree can be fun. Imagine the moment when you will harvest the almonds. Do you know when and how you are going to harvest those almonds? How you harvest your almonds, how you process them and store them will give big effect on your nuts’ quantity and quality. You must really understand how to harvest almonds properly.
Let me tell you something, your almond tree doesn’t give you nuts. Almond trees are producing something that we call drupes, instead of nuts. Drupe itself actually is fruit type which has fleshy part right outside the shell. The fleshy part is going to protect seeds inside it. Some examples of drupes are including cherries, plums, and peaches.
How to Harvest Almonds Drupes
The fruits mentioned above are example of drupes. Some others that are categorized in drupes are walnuts, pecans, and almonds. Those drupes are the ones that let us eat their seed inside pit, not the fruit. The drupes will grow from fertilized flowers of your almond trees. Almond fruits are going to be mature during autumn. Drupes of almond come in green and leathery hull surrounding the drupes.
Before irrigating your almond drupes, you need to help them along by giving the almonds enough healthy watering. Doing this is going to encourage your drupes to start splitting. If you see the splitting signs, you’ll know it is time for you to start picking. This is when you should know how to harvest almonds drupes. Keep observing your almonds before picking them up.
When your almond drupes’ outer husk becomes dries as well as splits while your almond drupes start falling from trees, you should get yourself ready to pick your almonds. Follow these instructions about how to harvest almonds.
- When 75 percent of your almond drupes start splitting, you can see it is the right time to harvest almonds. Usually, this splitting process is happening during August to September. But the time varies depend on your almond variety.
- But be careful so that your almond drupes won’t fool you. Don’t just check the almond drupes at your eye level. Remember that almonds start ripening from the tree top. So check the drupes on top of your almond tree.
- Next thing to know about how to harvest almonds is picking almond drupes before the rain risk. Wet almond dupes are going to spoil immediately. Besides, almonds are favorite snacks for hungry birds and squirrels, don’t let them get your drupes before you.
- Harvesting your almond drupes as soon as they’re ready is much better. Late harvest is leading to reduce the volume of your almond crop, lower quality of nut, and even will shorten the life of shelf. Always harvest the ripe ones immediately as the splitting signs start to come.
Harvesting Your Almond Drupes in the Right Way
Almond drupes have protective shells that make the harvesting process much easier. The easiest answer for how to harvest almonds is just knocking or shaking the almond drupes down from tree. Let the almond drupes fall to ground. Put groundsheet or tarp on the ground in order to ease the collection process.
Many commercial farmers usually use machines that will help shaking almond drupes to ground. Well, if you’re going to do backyard harvests, you only need huge stick that will help you banging your almond trees’ branches. This idea is working very well especially on smaller branches. Use pole that’s made of plastic, fiberglass, or wood.
If your almond trees have bigger branches, you might figure out that harvesting almond isn’t that easy. Don’t worry, you can always harvest your almond drupes by tapping them using rubber mallet. Always do the harvesting carefully since almond drupes can fall overhead. Use glasses that will protect your precious eyes and hard heat to keep your head safe.
Next Step after How to Harvest Almonds
After harvesting almond drupes, the next step is hulling the drupes then drying them. Remove your almond drupes’ hulls right after you harvest those drupes. If the almond drupes are in small quantities, you can finish hulling the drupes by your hand. Unlike the harvesting process, hulling process might be longer. Yet, this is extremely efficient if you’re not going to sell your almonds.
Even though you have harvested those drupes at the best time, you still have to dry them to prevent the mold growth and rotting in the storage. It is clear than understanding how to harvest almonds isn’t enough. You also have to learn how to hull, dry, and store almonds. Follow these steps to prepare your almonds.
- Drying nuts is easy. Just spread out your almonds thinly on screen or tray. Then place them anywhere that the air circulation is better.
- If you choose outside to dry your almonds, you must add sheet to cover your almonds’ top in order to protect them from the pesky pests. The sheet will also help you protecting your almonds from rain that is going to kill your almonds.
- Always check your almonds quickly. If you can see that the kernels break, your almonds are dry enough. This means you did the how to harvest almonds correctly and now you can move your almonds to your storage. If your almonds bend or become a little rubbery, leave them a little longer to dry them more.
Storing Your Dried Almonds
If you sure your almond kernels become properly dried, you are highly suggested to freeze your almonds in order to kill off the pests that probably are still in the almonds. This storage step is going to kill especially the navel orange worms. Once you’re done learning about how to harvest almonds and how to dry them, you must learn the best way to store your almonds.
1. Two options to store your harvested almonds
Before you store the almonds, there are decisions you must make. First is to shell your almonds and second is not to do it. Almonds that are shelled will last longer, up to eight months even though you store them at the room temperature. If you store those shelled almonds in zero to seven degrees Celsius, your almonds will stay even longer, for up to one year.
2. Watch the surrounding of your almonds
One thing you must remember is that nuts are going to absorb all pungent smells you place around your almonds. Everything you’ve learned about how to harvest almonds will be useless if you don’t know how to store them properly. Do not store your almonds close to garlic and onions. Avoid mishaps by storing your almonds in the airtight containers.
3. Eliminating the bad nuts
All almonds that smell sour or bitter, shriveled, moldy, and have dark colors must be eliminated. Those almonds’ kernels are going to go real bad if you don’t eliminate them.
Is there anything else you’d want to know about almonds? If you never grow almond trees before but you really want to have one, you absolutely have to learn not only how to harvest almonds but also how to start growing it.
Things to Learn Before Learning How to Harvest Almonds
When you’re about to plant new almond tree, there are things to consider.
1. Best position for growing almond trees
Your almond trees are going to grow properly if you plant them in sunny and sheltered spot. Almond trees also require light soil that contains rich organic matters. So make sure the sunny and sheltered spot has good soil quality.
2. Tolerance of frost
Almond trees are frost tolerant. However, it is crucial to pick almond varieties that can grow properly in the area you live. This is going to lower losing blooms risk during the freezing spring. Cold damage that happens to the spring blossoms actually is one limiting factor that makes your almond trees don’t grow successfully.
3. Feeding your almond trees
Feed your almond trees with organic matter that’s well-rotted during the spring. Also add fertilizer that’s organically balanced. Besides, you can give your almond trees some companions like clovers. Those legumes are going to help fertilizing your soil while attracting pollinators.
4. Add enough space between your almond trees
Before studying how to harvest almonds, you must make sure that you can harvest all your almond trees. If you’re planning to plant one tree, make sure there is at least six meters left on each side of that tree. If you’re going to plant some trees at once, also leave six meters of gap between the trees.
5. Sowing and growing your almond trees
When you start planting, don’t hesitate to add lots of organic matter that’s all well-rotted. Planting your almond trees in wider hole is much more recommended instead of planting them in deep holes. Mulch your trees soon as you’re done planting them. Then protect your trunk by encircling it with protective pipe or wire cage. This protects your almond trees from insect and animal pests.
6. Maintaining your beautiful almond tree before studying how to harvest almonds
Almond trees that are health are going to stay alive for ten years to fifteen and even longer. To maintain your almond trees, try keeping those trees dry by covering them with plastic sheeting or cover. This is going to help avoiding the leaves from curl while the fruits don’t rot. You can treat dieback and poor growth by using more organic matter and hard pruning.
What will happen after understanding how to harvest almonds and storing your almond drupes? One important thing to know is learning the benefits of almonds.
Almonds and How to Use Them
1. Fruit crumble
Your crumble needs simple topping. Make the topping by using rolled oats, reduced fat spread, brown sugar, and sliced almonds. Top your crumble with some fruits like plums, apricot, or apple. Then bake your crumble until it turns golden.
2. Basil pesto with almond
Since studying about how to harvest almonds isn’t enough, you will need to know how to cook your almonds as well. Pesto recipe usually uses pine nuts. But this time, try to replace those pine nuts with almonds. Replace olive oil with plain oil such as rice bran that will allow your almond to show off its flavor.
3. Nutty muesli
To make this tasty muesli, your sliced almonds need some companies like raisins, dried cranberries, and rolled oats. This healthy meal is going to keep your tummy happy until lunch time.
4. Almonds to make moist and tasty cake
Replace butter with ground almond to bake your cakes. Ground almond is going to add more moist texture while reducing the saturated fat. Prepare your favorite cake recipe then replace two-thirds of your butter weight with the grounded almonds. Also prepare some spread with your grounded almonds.
5. Crumbed fish with almond
First of all, put your almonds inside your blender then blend them until they turn to coarse crumbs. Then mix your crumbs with pepper, salt, and breadcrumbs. This mixture is going to be perfect coat for your fish. Bake the fish until it turns crispy and golden.
6. How to harvest almonds and use it to make dessert
Serve your toasted almonds along with some simple and soft cheese such as camembert. Also serve it with fresh and ripe cherries as well as plain crackers. Your sweet dessert is now ready to spoil your family’s tongue.
How to Harvest Almonds and Cook Them
There are thousands more almond recipes you must try. One example is chili toasted almonds which is really tasty. Just heat your almonds on pan that’s not stick then toast your natural almonds with sea salt and chili flakes. Don’t stop until you turn your almonds brown.
Why do you have to learn about how to harvest almonds? It is because you’re going to love your harvested almonds and it will be very interesting to do. They come with lots of vitamin E and powerful antioxidant. There are so many more substances contained by almonds that will help your body to stay healthy. Don’t hesitate to plant almond trees in your backyard. You’ll love cooking with almonds.