Understanding when to reap greens is simply as vital as figuring out 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 right stage of ripening. Harvest on the improper time, and your greens might 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 could differ 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 below 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, meatier when mature. The identical applies to snap beans. When the seeds are half of full measurement or bigger, the pods will probably 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 mild tan, and the blossom finish (reverse the stem) is gentle (push gently together with your thumb) and smells candy.
Really feel the ideas of candy corn ears. After 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 needs to be crammed out. Press a kernel together with your fingernail, and it ought to have a milky sap. Use as quickly as attainable after harvest for the utmost sweetness.
Size of cucumber when mature will differ 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 develop into half sized.
Eggplant maturity and measurement varies with selection too. Typically, harvest when almost full measurement and brilliant and glossy. After they flip a uninteresting coloration, and seeds flip brown, they’re overripe.
If you happen to didn’t harvest onions for consuming whereas they have been nonetheless small, harvest when bulbs are one to 1 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 normal cooking.
Harvest sizzling peppers as you want them, the younger and inexperienced ones being hotter in lots of instances than the mature and coloured ones. Late within the season you may pull the entire plant, and dry peppers in a heat, well-ventilated area. Alternatively, 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 will 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 important crop, harvest tubers when the tops have died down later within the season. Harvest when the soil is dry if attainable, and dig fastidiously to keep away from bruising (use a backyard fork, not spade, to loosen the soil). Treatment 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, remedy them dry and heat (80 to 85 levels F) for one week.
Summer time squash needs to be harvested when younger, tender, and a fingernail simply nicks the floor. Winter squash needs to be harvested when mature fruit is difficult and might’t be scratched with a fingernail. Harvest winter squash earlier than the primary arduous 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 correct 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 wonderful in darkish, and in reality mild can delay ripening. Hold them heat (55 to 70 levels F) till ripe, and you need to have the ability to 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 very best and longest harvest season. There are a number of cool season crops equivalent to lettuce, carrots, and cabbage that may be planted out in late summer season for fall harvest. Extra tips about rising these and different vegetable crops within the North, in addition to their storage, will be present in articles from Cornell Cooperative Extension (gardening.cals.cornell.edu).
HARVESTING SUMMER VEGETABLES
Dr. Leonard Perry, Horticulture Professor Emeritus
College of Vermont