Question: We have an all-in-one almond tree with the shells just now starting to break through the skins. I was told that September is when the nuts are harvested. I’m wondering if you have a rule of thumb on harvesting these trees.
You can start harvesting any time after the husk splits open. The sooner the better if you want to avoid problems.
Ground squirrels may steal the nuts from your trees as soon as they split or start eating them even when they are still green. Insects may enter the split husk if you are not careful. If there is rain or even very high humidity you run the risk of having the nuts mold after splitting.
When you see them split, harvest and put them in a protected area in the shade to finish drying in the warm, dry temperatures of our desert, perfect for drying.
Bob Morris is a professor emeritus in horticulture with the University of Nevada and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit his blog at xtremehorticulture.blogspot.com.