Dune: Fruit and Home Gardener Essay

Submitted By DamarisAlberto
Words: 821
Pages: 4

How does temperature affect fruit ripening…?

Warm Weather:
For most fruit-bearing plants, warm weather is essential for seeds to germinate and sprout. Particularly in colder regions, perennial plants need the warmth of spring to break dormancy. Warm temperatures are also necessary for many plants to flower, fruit and ripen. Some plants need just a bit of warmth to grow and produce. Others that are native to tropical regions need several consecutive days of heat to even break ground for the season. Fruit-bearing plants that need the most heat include banana, carambola, mango, papaya, pineapple and most varieties of citrus.

Cold Weather:
Some plants are not at all tolerant of heat but thrive in cold temperatures. These include quince, rhubarb, blueberry, cherry, apple, apricot, raspberry, grape and blackberry. Some will produce only during winter months, while others need a period of cold to grow properly. Short cold snaps in typically warm areas can make fruit like citrus sweeter and juicier. Many fruit-bearing plants that seemingly die off during the winter have only gone dormant. They will come back with the warmth of spring.

Other Considerations:
The home gardener need not be a prisoner of the climate. There are many ways one can grow fruit out of its typical zone. First, plants that are shielded from wind by a fence or wall can often survive colder winters. Others can be covered, grown in a greenhouse or brought inside. The detrimental effects of the heat on cold-loving fruit can be diminished somewhat by planting on a hill in the shelter of some shade. Keep in mind that while plants outside their climate comfort zone can be kept alive, they rarely produce as well. Finally, the home gardener shouldn't rule out any plant until she investigates all of the different varieties. Some traditionally cold-loving plants have close cousins that can take the heat. For example, citrus lovers who do not live in the tropics can be quite successful with Satsuma.

How does light affect fruit ripening:

Role of Light:
Light does not directly contribute to the ripening process and fruits actually don't need any light to ripen. However, light shining on a fruit could increase the temperature in that fruit's path. If the light results in a favorable temperature, the fruit ripens. If your fruit is already ripe, then the effect will be an overly ripe fruit.

Negative Impact:
A big bowl of ripe fruits on a kitchen counter or table provides visual appeal and welcomes visitors to help themselves. However, if the fruit is in the path of intense light, then the heat produced by the light can cause your fruit to over-ripen quickly. As a result, you'll have to discard them. Thus, if you wish to display fruit, find an out-of-the-way spot in which sunlight or indoor lighting does not touch it.

Alternative:
If you've brought home fruits from the grocery store that are already ripe, the best way to keep them ready to eat for the longest possible is to store…