Harvesting Summer Vegetables

Realizing when to reap greens is simply as essential as understanding learn how to develop them.  Some have a very long time over which you’ll be able to harvest, others have to be harvested at simply the correct stage of ripening.  Harvest on the unsuitable time, and your greens could not ripen correctly if too younger, or be robust and bitter if too previous. You’ll be able to’t actually go by the calendar, or days to maturity, as this will range from yr to yr with such circumstances as rain, temperature, and vitamin.  The easiest way to inform when to reap is by the traits of every vegetable.  Listed here are some particular clues.

Lima beans are greatest harvested when the pods are full, however earlier than they begin turning yellow.  They’re extra tender when immature, and meatier when mature.  The identical applies to snap beans.  When the seeds are half of full measurement or bigger, the pods can be extra fibrous and starchy.

There are three traits which point out a cantaloupe is prepared for harvest—the stem slips simply from the vine, the “netting” on the floor turns gentle tan, and the blossom finish (reverse the stem) is gentle (push gently along with your thumb) and smells candy.

Really feel the ideas of candy corn ears.  Once they really feel full by way of the husk they’re prepared for harvest.  You’ll see dry silks.  Open the highest of the ear, peeling again the husks, and kernels must be crammed out.  Press a kernel along with your fingernail, and it ought to have a milky sap.  Use as quickly as potential after harvest for the utmost sweetness.

Size of cucumber when mature will range with selection, however usually they’re one and one-half to 2 and a half inches throughout, and 5 to eight inches lengthy.  They’re greatest harvested barely immature when spines are gentle and earlier than the seeds turn into half sized.

Eggplant maturity and measurement varies with selection too.  Generally, harvest when practically full measurement and vibrant and glossy.  Once they flip a boring colour, and seeds flip brown, they’re overripe.

When you didn’t harvest onions for consuming whereas they had been nonetheless small, harvest when bulbs are one to at least one and a half inches throughout for boiling and pickling.  Harvest them even bigger, when tops fall over and the bottom of leaves (“necks”) shrivel, for storing and common cooking.

Harvest scorching peppers as you want them, the younger and inexperienced ones being hotter in lots of circumstances than the mature and coloured ones.  Late within the season, you may pull the entire plant, and dry peppers in a heat, well-ventilated house.  However, harvest candy peppers when the fruits are full and agency.  You’ll be able to depart them on the plant if you would like them to show colours if so for a specific choice (some keep inexperienced, others flip colours when absolutely mature).  Even when a pepper will finally flip colours, it may possibly nonetheless be eaten whereas inexperienced with little distinction in taste, if any.

For brand new potatoes, harvest solely a pair weeks after they bloom.  For a foremost crop, harvest tubers when the tops have died down later within the season.  Harvest when the soil is dry if potential, and dig fastidiously to keep away from bruising (use a backyard fork, not spade, to loosen the soil).  Remedy potatoes for about two weeks in a cool (45 to 60 levels F), darkish, and well-ventilated space.  For candy potatoes, harvest in fall earlier than frosts and freezes. Deal with them fastidiously to keep away from bruising however, in contrast to common potatoes, treatment them dry and heat (80 to 85 levels F) for one week.

Summer season squash must be harvested when younger, tender, and a fingernail simply nicks the floor.  Winter squash must be harvested when mature fruit is tough and might’t be scratched with a fingernail.  Harvest winter squash earlier than the primary onerous frost, with a pointy knife, and leaving and inch or so of stem connected.  With out a stem, fruit will start decay from the scar.  Dry winter squash for 10 days to 2 weeks in a dry, heat space (75 to 85 levels F).  Harvest and deal with pumpkins just like winter squash.

The right time to reap tomatoes varies with selection, however generally is when a fruit is uniformly crimson (or coloured within the case of yellow or different varieties), and the tip remains to be agency and never gentle.  Ripe fruit ought to sink when positioned in water.  If late within the season and frosts are predicted, you may harvest inexperienced tomatoes.  They may ripen high quality in darkish, and actually gentle can delay ripening.  Hold them heat (55 to 70 levels F) till ripe, and it is best to be capable of retailer them this manner for 3 to 5 weeks.

For all of your greens, the common inspection each few days is the important thing to the most effective and longest harvest season.  There are a number of cool season crops comparable to lettuce, carrots, and cabbage that may be planted out in late summer time for fall harvest.  Extra tips about rising these and different vegetable crops within the North, in addition to their storage, could be present in articles from Cornell Cooperative Extension (gardening.cals.cornell.edu).


Dr. Leonard Perry, Horticulture Professor EmeritusUniversity of Vermont


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