Grow Your Own, Nevada! Fall 2011: Harvesting, Preserving and Winterizing

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Transcript of Grow Your Own, Nevada! Fall 2011: Harvesting, Preserving and Winterizing

  • 1. Helpful links andresourcesGetting Started with a VegetableGardenwww.unce.unr.edu/publications/files/ho/2010/fs1015.pdfSearching for Fact Sheets?www.extension.orgwww.growyourownnevada.com

2. Onions GarlicThe ideal onion bulb is 2 to 4 Harvest when the leaves loseinches in diameter. color and the tops begin to fallPull all onions when the tops fallover.over.Let the harvested onions dry for aday or two with the tops on; then clip1 inch above bulb before storingthem in a cool, dry place.Harvest green onions when theyare 6 to 8 inches tall. 3. PeasSpinach If the peas will be shelled, Harvested when the largeharvest the pods when they are leaves are 4 to 6 inches long.shiny green and fully developed. Pull the larger, whole plants or Overly mature peas are of poor harvest the older leaves andquality. allow new growth to develop. For the edible podded varieties(such as snow and Chinesepeas), harvest when the podsare fully developed (about 3inches) and before the seeds aremore than half developed. 4. Greens - SwissChard Rhubarb There are many kinds of Only the long, thick leaf petioles,greens, including beetthe stalks, are edible. Wait untilgreens, collards, dandelions, kale, the second season, or the thirdmustard greens, Swiss season if the plants were startedchard, turnip greens, and others. from seed, before harvesting. Break off the outer leaves when To pick, hold the stalk firmly, pull,they are 6 to 10 inches long andand twist. Using a knife to cut thebefore they start to yellow.stalks from the plant is not Avoid wilted or flabby leaves.recommended. The harvest season for rhubarblasts until the end of June. Untilthen, pick as many stalks as youwish. 5. Root Crops JerusalemRadishes artichoke: Harvest radishes when Dig the tubers after earlythey are about 1 inch in fall frosts or in very earlydiameter.spring before the new growth starts. 6. Beets Carrots Pull early beets when they are Carrots are ready to beabout 2 inches in diameter. Ifharvested when they are smallthey are allowed to get muchand succulent.larger, they become Do not let them get over aboutwoody, especially in warm, dry1 inch in diameter.weather. Always pull the largest carrots For late-crop beets, remove all in the row.but about 1 inches of thetops. 7. Potatoes Mature tubers can beharvested after leaves havedried or when tubers havereached full size. For Irish potatoes, a goodharvest size is 2 to 3 inches indiameter. (individualpreference is the rule) Harvest new potatoes at anysize, but generally do not digbefore they are 1 to 1inches in diameter. New small potatoes can beharvested about 7-8 weeksafter planting. Let the potatoes dry severalhours in garden after diggingthem. 8. Irish PotatoesCultivar RemarksKennebec Smooth, oblong white tuber; heavy yields; good quality; high starch.Irish CobblerRound white tuber; early; well adapted, high starch.PontiacRound, oblong red tuber; heavy yields; low starch.SuperiorEarly, round white tubers; moderate heat tolerance; low starch.All Blue Deep blue/purple-colored skins and flesh. Retains color aftercooking as well. Suitable for all cooking. Mid to latematurity; vigorous plants. Blue flowered; medium starch.Yukon Gold Mid-early variety; oval, medium-large potato with light yellowflesh. Large, upright plants have violet flowers; medium starch.Dark Red Norland Early, stores well. Oval-oblong, smooth red potato with whiteflesh. Great for early digging. Medium-large purple flowering plants withlowstarch 9. CucumbersBeans Harvest them when fruits are Harvest these beans when thebright, firm, and green andpods are well filled but havebefore they get too large. not begun to yellow. A rule of thumb: harvest sweet Beanssnap:pickles at 1 to 2 inches long; For maximum tenderness, harvest dills when they are 3 to harvest snap beans before4 inches long, bright green, they are fully mature, when theand less crisp.pods are almost full size but Avoid yellowed cucumbers.before the seeds begin to bulge. 10. MelonsWinter SquashMuskmelon:Pumpkins: muskmelon when it is at three Pick pumpkins when they are fullquarters to full slip; full slip or ripe is size, the rind is firm and glossy, andwhen the stem separates readily the bottom of the fruit (the portionfrom the fruit under moderate touching the soil) is cream to orangepressure and leaves a circularcolored.depression. Harvest before frost or when rind The outer rind should not have anyresist fingernails scratches. Leave agreen color.2 to 4 inch stem with the fruit.Watermelon: Harvest watermelon when the fruitsWinter Squashare full size and have a dull surface when the fruits are full size. The rindand a cream-colored ground spot. is firm and glossy and bottom If its a dull sound , similar to tapping(portion touching soil) of fruit isyour forehead, its not ripe. A hollow cream to orange colored.sound, similar to tapping you chest Light frost will not damage maturemeans its ripe. fruit.Honeydew: When it is yellowish to creamy whitewith a soft, velvety feel. The rindshould be slightly soft at theblossom end and have afaint, pleasant odor. 11. Summer SquashCorn Harvest squash when it is 4 Watch corn for signs ofto 6 inches long for yellowripeness for earliest harvest.crookneck squash, 6 to 8 Corn silks darken and dryinches long for yellow out as the ears mature.straight neck, and 3 to 4 As the kernels fill out towardinches in diameter for white the top, the ends becomescallop. more rounded instead of pointed. A glossy color indicates Pick sweet corn in the milktenderness.stage, when a milk like juice exudes from the kernels if crushed with a thumbnail. 12. Peppers Eggplant Harvest bell peppers Harvest eggplantswhen they are 4 to 5when the fruits areinches long and havefull, well-formed near full sizeaboutlobes. Immature 6 to 8 inches inpeppers are pale, diameterbut stillsoft, pliable, and thin firm and bright infleshed.color. Harvest jalapeoswhen they are 2 to Older fruits become2 inches long. soft, seedy, and dull Mature peppers turn colored.orange or red; thisdoes not mean thatthey are hotter. 13. Tomatoes Harvest tomatoes whenthey are fully colored butstill firm. Harvest red tomatoes foreating fresh, cooking, orcanning. Do not can overripetomatoes! If necessary, pick maturegreen or slightly pinktomatoes and ripen themat room temperature, outof direct sunlight. 14. Indeterminate vs. Determinate 15. Pip FruitsApplesPick ripe apples from thetree by pulling fruit upwardPearsand outward while rotatingthe fruit slightly. Pears picked when slightly If picked prematurely, apples immature will ripen withare likely to bebetter quality than pearssour, tough, small and poorly that are over mature whencolored; if pickedpicked.overripe, they may developinternal breakdown and store Most mature, ready to ripenpoorly. pears will usually detach a frost will not sweeten or when "tilted" to a horizontalmature apples or other fruit. position from their usualSugars accumulate withvertical hanging position.bright, warm (not hot) days 16. Stone TreesStone fruits include peaches, plums, cherries, andapricots: all have a hard pitPeach/ Apricot/ Nectarine As stone fruits ripen, the flesh softensand the skin changes from green topurple, red, orange, or a combination ofthese colors. You may test for ripenessby applying pressure (the flesh shouldyield to gentle thumb pressure), but thebest way to determine ripeness is totaste the fruit. harvested without thestems attached. To harvest without hurting the fruit budsfor next years crop, twist the fruitslightly while pulling. Handle fruit gentlyto avoid bruising. 17. Cherry Fruit maturity can bedetermined by color sweet cherries are hand-harvested leaving thepedicels intact. 18. ShrubsCane Fruit Gooseberry Raspberries are ready to Many gardeners pickpick when they easilygooseberries when theyseparate from the receptacle reach full size, but are notor core. fully ripe. (At this stage, the Blackberries do not separate fruit are green, tart, and stillfrom the core, so ripeness quite hard.)should be judged by color Others prefer to allow theand taste. fruit to ripen to a pinkish color All bramble fruit areand sweeter flavor.extremely perishable &should be harvestedfrequently. 19. GrapesGrapes Color, size, sweetness, andflavor are the most usefulindicators of table grapematurity. Berry color will change fromgreen to blue, red, or whiteas the different grapevarieties approach maturity. Color alone should not bethe sole basis for harvestinggrapes. The berries of manyvarieties change color longbefore they are fully ripe. 20. StrawberriesCurrants Strawberries are Fully ripe currants arefully ripe whenslightly soft, juicy, anduniformly red. Pickdevelop thethe berries with the characteristic color ofcap and stemattached to retain the variety.firmness and Most currant varietiesquality. are red at maturity, a When few are white.harvesting, pinch Harvest currants bythe stem off about picking the fruit clusters1/4 inch above the from the plant thencap. stripping individual berries from the stem. 21. HerbsThe time of day and time of season can affectthe quantity of oil present in the leaves of yourherbs. The oil present in the leaves candetermine the flavor intensity of the herb and itsnutritional content or medicinal value.Harvest your herbs on a dry day, in latemorning after the dew has evaporated.Harvest your herbs before the plants flower(the energy it takes to produce the flowers canreduce the oil content in the leaves and theexistence of flowers can slow or stop the furtherproduction of leaves).Remove any flower heads from the plant toensure it keeps producing as many leaves aspossible.Harvest your herbs on the same day youintend to use them, preferably just a couple ofhours beforehand. This preserves theirfreshness.For more information on herbs:www.extension.umn.edu/distribution/horticulture/components/M1223.pdf 22. Preserving 23. Food Safety Your life depends on it! Only use fre