Is It Ripe?

     
   

CUCUMBERS:
Cucumbers can be picked at any stage (depending on what you want them for)
Cucumbers come on strong in the heat of midsummer.
When picked regularly, vines will continue to produce through the early fall
Spiny, bumpy skin of small cukes smooth out when ripe.
Small varieties also peak when they are about 2” in diameter and 5-8”long.
After harvesting, cukes can be refrigerated for up to 1 week.

GARLIC:
Plant garlic in fall and harvest the following summer, late July or after.
It’s ripe when the cloves are full and firm
When the tops of plants start to turn brown, dig up the bulb to check if the cloves are plump. If they are, they are ready.
Cure bulbs with leaves attached for 2-4 weeks in a warm, shady spot, then cut off the tops
Store bulbs up to 6 months in a cool place.

GREEN SNAP BEANS:
Green beans should be green or light yellow in color
They should be firm and crisp in texture and smooth with no evidence of seeds bulging.
Fresh beans should be kept cold and humid in refrigerator and used as soon as possible (at least 5 days).
Store in plastic bags.

HOT PEPPERS:
Peppers produce from midsummer til frost.
When pepperreach full size and begin to color up, this is when the flavor and heat is at its peak.
After harvested, peppers can be refrigerated for 1 or more weeks
Peppers may be frozen, dried, or canned.

ONIONS:
Peak harvesting is early summer to fall.
Onions will become ripe when the green tops flop over in midsummer.
For scallions, harvest when the shoots reach 10-12”.
Store onions in shady area or garage for a few weeks. Once skins are dry, cut off tops and store in a cool indoor place.

POTATOES:
Harvest July through October.
For mature potatoes, harvest when plant tops die back.
For new potatoes, start harvesting 2 weeks after plants bloom.
Potatoes last longer in storage if they are left in the ground until the skins toughen up. Don’t water after the tops die back.
Cure mature potatoes in cool, dark, humid place for 2 weeks
Winter storage should be done in a dark place with the temperatures being 40 F- 45 F.

STRAWBERRIES:
Berries should have full red color and be firm and plump.
The caps should be bright green, fresh looking and fully attached.
Do not destem berries until ready to use and keep refrigerated.

SWEET CORN:
Planting spring yields should be ready by mid-July to September.
Silk will turn brown (not dry) and kernels are full. (Dimpled kernels are past their peak.)
After harvesting corn refrigerate it in their husks for up to 1 week, or blanch and freeze up to 1 year.

SQUASH:
Ready for harvesting July through September.
Summer squash should have skin that is fresh, glossy, tender, and free of blemishes.
Summer squash can be refrigerated for 3-5 days
Winter Squash should be firm and heavy for their size and have no cracks, bruises, or decay.
Winter Squash can be stored whole in cool dry area and will keep for several months if mature and stem is attached.

TOMATOES:
Are ready to harvest mid July thru September
Tomatoes that have uniformly mature color and pull easily from the stem are ripe.
After harvesting, keep tomatoes at room temperature (refrigerating them will diminish flavor and texture)
If frost is in the forecast – harvest tomatoes even if they are green, keep in a cool area and most will eventually ripen.

WATERMELONS:
Melons mature in late summer and early fall
When it is ripe, the leaf nearest to the melon withers.
Also, when it is thumped it should sound hollow.
On small melons thumping may not work. Look at the bottom, once the green or white patch turns yellow it’s ripe.