storing

Harvesting and Storing Pumpkins and Winter Squash

Pumpkins are one of the fun crops in the vegetable garden. Pumpkins make delicious pies and other desserts. The fruit can also be painted, carved into jack-o'-lanterns, and used in fall decorations. Winter squash (acorn, butternut, hubbard, etc.) can be steamed, baked, or broiled.

Harvesting and Storing Apples

In order to obtain the highest quality fruit, apples must be harvested at the proper stage of maturity. Once harvested, proper storage is necessary to maximize storage life.

Harvesting and Storing Potatoes

Potatoes grown for winter use should be harvested after the vines have died and the crop is mature. To check maturity, dig up one or two hills of potatoes. If the skins on the tubers are thin and rub off easily, the crop is not fully mature and will not store well. Wait a few more days before harvesting. The skins on mature potatoes remain firmly attached to the tubers. When harvesting potatoes, avoid bruising, skinning, or cutting the tubers. Damaged potatoes should be used as soon as possible.

Harvesting and Storing Onions

Onions should be harvested when most of the tops have fallen over and begun to dry. Carefully pull or dig the bulbs with the tops attached.

Digging Spring-Flowering Bulbs

If you would like to transplant spring-flowering bulbs, wait until the foliage has turned yellow and begins to die. (Most tulip and daffodil varieties die back in early to mid-June.) The bulbs may be replanted immediately. If they can't be planted, the bulbs should be stored until fall. Once dug, thoroughly dry the bulbs for 2 to 3 weeks. Then place the bulbs in mesh bags and store in a cool (50 to 65 F), dry place until fall planting. Inspect the bulbs several times during the summer and discard any which show signs of decay.

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