Veggie harvesting is very satisfying! 🙂
Harvest beans, cucumbers, squash, and tomatoes at least every other day to keep them coming. It’s your summer religion!
Plant care is essential. Pull, twist, cut, but do it carefully. Broken plant tips can no longer produce and damaged spots open your plant to disease, either by you spreading it plant to plant, or from windborne diseases.
Cut onions off about an inch to two above ground. They will regrow several times. Harvest outer leaves of lettuces to keep your plant from bolting – growing vertically, going to flower.
For peak flavor, harvest your wonderful herbs just before flowering. Early AM, when dry, but before the heat of the day and you can smell them. Fresh or dried, for yourself or as gifts, herbs make your home and cooking a pleasure! Pinching them back makes them bush out and you get more!
Stop irrigating your onion and garlic if it hasn’t shown signs of quitting. Bend the stalks to the ground and let them dry a month or so. Harvest carefully so you don’t bruise them. Then they need to cure in a dry, well ventilated place. Use soft thick necks or bulbs first so they won’t spoil. Check once a week and use any that soften at all immediately.
Peppers need swift care. Quick-freeze ones you won’t be using right away! Slice, dice, spread on a cookie sheet, and freeze. They’re great in recipes to be cooked.
Cook or refrigerate your corn ASAP to stop the starching process! Cut some off the cob to add a dash of color to your salads or freeze to brighten winter stews!
Pick your chili peppers when they’re deep red, and hang them in a sunny place until they’re brittle. To dry other types of peppers, cut the larger ones in half or into pieces, or slit smaller-sized whole ones. Store in moisture and vapor proof containers in a cool, dry, dark place.
Freeze whole tomatoes for cooking later. After slight thawing, cut out the core, and squeeze from the blossom end. The pulp will emerge easily and can be used in any recipe.
Quick, thick tomato sauce! Puree whole, unpeeled tomatoes, and freeze the pulp in a narrow-topped container such as a plastic water jug. As it freezes, the clear liquid in the juice will separate and rise to the top of the container. When you’re ready to make the sauce, remove the cap and turn the container upside down in a bowl to defrost. The clear liquid will melt before the pulp does, and the longer you allow the liquid to drain, the thicker the sauce remaining in the jug will get. Use this nutrient-rich clear liquid as a soup base. This clever tip from Master Gardener Yvonne Savio!
Keep your strawberry beds well watered; feed them liquid fish/kelp every other week for continued production if you have ever bearers. Let the strawberry daughters, runners, grow now, to start a new patch, replace old plants.