Tough peaches

Living in Central Virginia (just east of the Shenandoah Valley). I have an approximately 3-4 yo Elberta peach I planted, and it's doing OK, but I noticed that the fruit is "rubbery". It's sweet enough, but the texture of the flesh is "tough". As a novice with fruit trees, I'm never quite sure exactly when to pick them to avoid either under or over-ripe fruit. It's tough enough fighting the deer for them as it is, so I want to try to get them at their peak of ripeness if it's at all possible.
This is a big peach growing area, so I'm OK there, I think, and the local commercial growers are selling them right and left and they are wonderful. Have I just waited too long to pick mine? That is, did I leave it on the tree too long? Not long enough? The ones I got from a grower can go for more than a few days after being picked to soften a bit, but they are never tough, quite the contrary.
Any ideas??
TIA
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Elaine Pack, Web Analyst
Charlottesville, VA
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Living in Central Virginia (just east of the Shenandoah Valley). I have an approximately 3-4 yo Elberta peach I planted, and it's doing OK, but I noticed that the fruit is "rubbery". It's sweet enough, but the texture of the flesh is "tough". As a novice with fruit trees, I'm never quite sure exactly when to pick them to avoid either under or over-ripe fruit. It's tough enough fighting the deer for them as it is, so I want to try to get them at their peak of ripeness if it's at all possible.
This is a big peach growing area, so I'm OK there, I think, and the local commercial growers are selling them right and left and they are wonderful. Have I just waited too long to pick mine? That is, did I leave it on the tree too long? Not long enough? The ones I got from a grower can go for more than a few days after being picked to soften a bit, but they are never tough, quite the contrary.
Any ideas??
TIA
--
Elaine Pack, Web Analyst
Charlottesville, VA
  Click to see the full signature.
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I don't pick my peaches till they are golden and soft to the touch. I gently press and if it gives easily, I pick it. Many people think peaches are ripe when they are that reddish color. Not so. Peaches are ripe with the skin turns a golden yellow and are soft to the touch. Now, I did canning and lots of it, so I have tons of peaches to work with, but I never pull a peach off before it is fully ripened on the tree. They cannot be beat. I have no idea what the commercial growers do. They may be using synthetic methods to ripen the fruit on a schedule in a chamber of sorts. I know they pick peaches before they are soft, but just after they color up.
When a peach from the store is mealy, it's because they probably froze at some point.
Victoria
On Thu, 19 Aug 2004 13:42:43 -0400, "NEWS.INDIVIDUAL.NET"

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opined:

an
of
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it might be lack of water during growing. maybe some other nutrient? Ingrid

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