How to Pick Peaches:
Ground color or background color, which I will be referring to often, is the lighter color on the fruit. Often times the sun exposed side of the fruit will be red and the shaded side will be yellow or green. If the background color is green the fruit is not ready. If it is yellow or red it is ready to harvest.
Some varieties are solid red so they have little to no background color. An example is the Summer Lady peach. It is 100% red before is it totally ripe, which makes it tricky to know when it is ready. In this case look for the largest reddest peaches.
Once the peaches are off the tree they will continue to ripen. Eat the softest ones first and eat the firmer ones as they soften. You can slow the ripening process by putting your peaches in the refrigerator, but some of the flavor is lost once they are refrigerated. Ripening off the tree usually takes 2 to 4 days, depending on the peach.
When picking a peach pull it from the tree with a gentle twisting motion. This will help break the stem without dropping other nearby fruit.
How to Pick Apples:
Look for yellow or red ground color, not green, on varieties that turn red and look for a yellowing of the skin on green skinned apples. The larger fruit on a tree is usually riper than the smaller fruit.