mulberry-season

‘Tis the Season for Mulberries!

The thought of those juicy, indulgently sweet, delicious mulberries just hanging there on your trees is probably making your mouth water. You want to get started on your jams and muffins, but you don’t want to harvest too early, either. Keep reading to find out when the fruit on your plants is ready to be picked, and how to tell which fruit is ripest and readiest!

First Things First!

Your mulberry trees will not likely bear any fruit the first couple of years after you plant them. While your plants will bear lots of fruit over the coming years, patience is necessary at first. You can expect to wait somewhere between three and 10 years, depending on the variety you’ve chosen, for a real harvest. Don’t be discouraged; mulberries are worth the wait.

What Color are Your Berries?

Again, depending on the variety, your mulberries will ripen sometime in the late spring to the late summer. As a general rule, you can expect this approximate timetable for your berries:

  • Pink – Mid-June to August
  • White – Late Spring
  • Black – Mid-June to August
  • Red – Late Spring
  • Purple – Mid-June to August

Other ways to ensure your berries are ripe.

Visually, you’re looking for large, fat berries with very good color; they may be heavy and weigh down the branches of your tree or shrub. Black, purple, and red berries should be a deep shade.

Ripe mulberries are also quite soft, squishy even. When you touch a berry, if it’s still hard, it’s not ready to be enjoyed. A soft, mushy berry is the one you want!

Do a taste test! Ripe mulberries are very sweet, so pop a couple in your mouth to ensure you’re picking the best, ripest fruits.

Are there mulberries falling off the tree? If the area under the tree is littered with mulberries, then it’s likely they’re ripe and ready to pick. In fact, this also represents a great harvesting suggestion; instead of climbing the tree, or a ladder, and picking berries by hand, just shake the tree!

Spread a large sheet or tarp under the tree and, using a long stick or pole, push each branch up and let it fall back down. The ripest, softest, tastiest berries will fall off the plant and land in your sheet. Transfer these to a basket or bowl, and get ready to enjoy the amazing taste of the fruit of the mulberry tree.