One of the vital frequent questions a brand new gardener asks is, “how do I do know when a vegetable is able to harvest?” A couple of seasons of expertise teaches us this as we study to acknowledge the visible cues: tight heads on the broccoli, brown silks on the corn, onion tops dying again, an oncoming first freeze warning us to reap potatoes and carrots.

However even once we harvest on the excellent time, how we retailer these greens is of supreme significance. In my early gardening years I ended up with a bin of rotten potatoes and onions as a result of I didn’t remedy them accurately – that was a whole season wasted when all I needed to do was some digging on-line and skim a bit of. Lesson discovered.

Methods to retailer veggies is as necessary as realizing when to reap them
That will help you keep away from the sorts of errors I did, the chart under contains normal tips and ideas for harvest and storage of the commonest greens out of your backyard. I’ve sourced them not solely from private expertise but in addition from dependable college extensions and growers.

While you purchase your seeds or transplants in spring, pay attention to the maturity date and if the vendor offers any storage directions. Tuber and root crops like potatoes, candy potatoes, onions, carrots, and beets can have considerably totally different storage lives relying on the variability – some are bred to retailer for lengthy durations and a few are undoubtedly not. Purchase the varieties applicable in your state of affairs – not everybody has entry to a 2nd fridge, storage, basement or root cellar to maintain their veggies edible all through winter.

As a rule of thumb, root and tuber greens like beets, potatoes onions, and candy potatoes may be held for months. Crops like asparagus, tomatoes, and melons must be eaten with 3-7 days. Cole crops like cabbage and broccoli may be held for just a few weeks to 1 month. For veggies that may’t be saved very lengthy you can too attempt canning or freezing.

Purchase on Amazon: Storage bin for potatoes or onions.

Harvest & Storage Suggestions For the Most Frequent Backyard Greens
Crop Storage Situations Storage Suggestions How lengthy they’re going to maintain Optimum Storage circumstances
Asparagus Chilly & moist Harvest when spears are 6-9″ lengthy. Retailer upright. As much as 2 weeks 32ºF/0ºC, 90-100% humidity
Beans (Snap) Chilly & moist Harvest 2-3 weeks after flower bloom when seeds are nonetheless small. 1 week 32ºF/0ºC, 90-100% humidity
Beets Chilly & moist Harvest earlier than first onerous freeze, trim tops to 1/4″, lower off taproot, retailer in sealed containers full of damp sand. 3-5 months 32ºF/0ºC, 90-100% humidity
Broccoli Chilly & moist Harvest whereas flower buds (heads) are tight and inexperienced. 2 weeks 32ºF/0ºC, 90-100% humidity
Brussels Sprouts Chilly & moist Harvest when heads are 1″/2.54cm in diameter. Retailer in perforated baggage. As much as 6 weeks. 32ºF/0ºC, 90-100% humidity
Cabbage Chilly & moist Harvest when heads are compact and agency. Take away roots and stem and retailer in bins with some outdoors leaves intact. Relying on selection, may be saved as much as 5 months 32ºF/0ºC, 90-100% humidity
Cantaloupe (Muskmelon) Chilly & moist Harvest when cantaloupe is agency, slips simply off vine and “netting” is even. 1 week 32ºF/0ºC, 90-100% humidity
Carrots Chilly & moist Harvest earlier than first onerous freeze. Trim greens off tops to 1/4″, retailer in sealed containers full of damp sand. Preserve removed from fruits as ethylene fuel emitted by ripening fruit will spoil carrots. 3-4 months. Some varieties as much as 6 months. 32ºF/0ºC, 90-100% humidity
Cauliflower Chilly & moist Harvest whereas heads are white and earlier than curds begin to appear to be rice. 3 weeks 32ºF/0ºC, 90-100% humidity
Celeraic Chilly & moist Harvest earlier than first onerous freeze. Trim tops to 1/4″ size. Retailer with roots and soil intact in perforated baggage or in containers with damp sand. As much as 4 months 32ºF/0ºC, 90-100% humidity
Celery Chilly & moist Harvest celery stalks when at the very least 12″/30.48cm in size. Complete vegetation are prepared when at the very least 3″/7.62cm in diameter. Lower stalks slightly below soil line the place they be part of the roots. Trim roots and tops (leaves may also be eaten). Retailer in perforated plastic baggage in fridge. As much as 2 weeks 32ºF/0ºC, 90-100% humidity
Corn (candy) Chilly & moist Harvest when corn silks are dry and brown. Check kernels by slicing together with your fingernail – they need to be milky when lower. Retailer in husks in fridge. 5 days 32ºF/0ºC, 90-100% humidity
Cucumbers Cool & reasonably moist Start harvesting when 6″/15.24cm lengthy. Retailer in perforated plastic baggage. Don’t chill under 40 levels and don’t retailer with apples or tomatoes or cukes will spoil. 1 week 40ºF/4.4ºC, 95% humidity
Eggplant Cool & dry Harvest eggplant when 6-8″/15.24-20.32cm lengthy and shiny. To check ripeness, gently press eggplant together with your thumb. If the flesh bounces again, it is able to harvest. Use a knife or pruning shears to chop from stems. Depart massive inexperienced tops (calyx) connected to the fruit. Retailer in perforated plastic baggage in a cool room. 1 week 50–60°F/10–15°C, 50-70% humidity
Kohlrabi Chilly & moist Harvest earlier than faucet root elongates (it should nonetheless be spherical). Take away leaf stems and tops, retailer in perforated baggage. 2-4 months 32ºF/0ºC, 90-100% humidity
Leeks Chilly & moist Harvest at applicable time relying on selection: early season, mid or late season. Trim tops and roots, peel outer leaves. Depart 1″/2.54cm on roots. Retailer upright in containers with roots in moist sand. 3 weeks 32ºF/0ºC, 95% humidity
Lettuce & Spinach Chilly & moist Harvest when leaves are tender, and at any measurement. 7-10 days 32ºF/0ºC, 95% humidity
Onions Chilly and dry. When tops start to fall, pull vegetation and permit to remedy in backyard for five days if climate is truthful. Treatment indoors in heat space if wet. Permit vegetation to complete drying in a protected space with glorious air circulation. When completed, skins and necks must be dry and tight. Trim tops about 1″/2.54cm from onion bulb and trim roots. Retailer in a darkish room in mesh baggage, crates or vented bins. Don’t retailer close to potatoes, as they may spoil the onions. Type onions often to take away any rotting bulbs.

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