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When to Pick Limes: How to Tell When a Lime Is Ripe

Are your limes ripe and ready to be picked? How can you tell? Check out this simple lime picking guide to learn when to pick limes for the best results.

Once you've mastered the art of keeping your lime tree healthy and thriving, its time to learn about when to pick limes at their peak so you can enjoy their prime level taste. 

A nice, ripe lime can be enjoyed in so many ways, so knowing when to pick your limes can help you make the most of each one. 

Here are some simple tips to keep in mind before you pick your limes:

You Can Know When to Pick Limes by the Smell

Knowing when to pick limes can be as easy as going by the smell. Ripe limes will have a fresh, zesty lime smell while limes that aren't quite ripe will be hard to detect any smell at all. So before you pick any limes off your lime tree, cup them in your hand one by one and take a whiff to see if they're ready or not. 

Go Green

It depends on the types of limes that you're growing, but for the most part, limes that are ready for picking make it known by showcasing a bright green color.

Limes that are green in hue will taste the best and have the most appealing lime flavor. If your limes are still on the light green end of the spectrum, it's best to wait a while longer before picking them. Some types of limes will turn fully yellow when they are ripe, so ask your citrus nursery about the types of limes you'll be growing and whether they turn green or yellow when ripe.

Take Note of the Skins 

If you're wondering when to pick limes off of your lime tree, check out the skins of your limes first. Give your limes a little squeeze first, and take note whether or not they "give" a little when you do so.

Limes that are ripe will be firm, but not hard, squeezable, but not too soft. Those that are too ripe are quite soft while limes that don't give when you squeeze them are not ripe enough. 

Opt for Heavy Over Light

A glass of fresh lime water has it's health benefits, especially when the lime used is fresh. When picking limes, choose those that feel heavy over those that feel light. Heavier limes are full of more juice. Heaviness is also a sign of a mature lime, a lime that is ripe and ready to be picked. 

Storing Your Limes

Once you've decided when to pick limes off your tree, you'll want to store them properly so they remain edible before you make use of them. If you're not going to use your limes right away, you can pick them a little early and allow them to ripen indoors by leaving them out at room temperature until they reach desired ripeness. 

Avoid putting limes in the refrigerator since this can subject them to cold damage which occurs at anywhere below 45 degrees Fahrenheit. It's best to keep them in water inside a closed jar which will help them stay ripe for up to 3 weeks!

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