Helpful links andresourcesGetting Started with a VegetableGardenwww.unce.unr.edu/publications/files/ho/2010/fs1015.pdfSearching for Fact Sheets?www.extension.orgwww.growyourownnevada.com
Onions Garlic•The ideal onion bulb is 2 to 4 • Harvest when the leaves lose•inches in diameter. color and the tops begin to fall•Pull all onions when the tops fall over.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.
Peas Spinach• If the peas will be shelled, • Harvested when the large harvest 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 and quality. allow new growth to develop.• For the edible podded varieties (such as snow and Chinese peas), harvest when the pods are fully developed (about 3 inches) and before the seeds are more than half developed.
Greens - SwissChard Rhubarb• There are many kinds of • Only the long, thick leaf petioles, greens, including beet the ―stalks,‖ are edible. Wait until greens, collards, dandelions, kale, the second season, or the third mustard greens, Swiss season if the plants were started chard, 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 and and twist. Using a knife to cut the before they start to yellow. stalks from the plant is not• Avoid wilted or flabby leaves. recommended. • The harvest season for rhubarb lasts until the end of June. Until then, pick as many stalks as you wish.
Root Crops JerusalemRadishes artichoke:• Harvest radishes when • Dig the tubers after early they are about 1 inch in fall frosts or in very early diameter. spring before the new growth starts.
Beets Carrots• Pull early beets when they are • Carrots are ready to be about 2 inches in diameter. If harvested when they are small they are allowed to get much and succulent. larger, they become • Do not let them get over about woody, especially in warm, dry 1 inch in diameter. weather. • Always pull the largest carrots• For late-crop beets, remove all in the row. but about 1½ inches of the tops.
Potatoes• Mature tubers can be harvested after leaves have dried or when tubers have reached full size.• For Irish potatoes, a good harvest size is 2 to 3 inches in diameter. (individual preference is the rule)• Harvest ―new‖ potatoes at any size, but generally do not dig before they are 1¼ to 1½ inches in diameter.• ―New‖ small potatoes can be harvested about 7-8 weeks after planting.• Let the potatoes dry several hours in garden after digging them.
Irish Potatoes Cultivar Remarks Kennebec Smooth, oblong white tuber; heavy yields; good quality; high starch. Irish Cobbler Round white tuber; early; well adapted, high starch. Pontiac Round, oblong red tuber; heavy yields; low starch. Superior Early, round white tubers; moderate heat tolerance; low starch. All Blue Deep blue/purple-colored skins and flesh. Retains color after cooking 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 withlow starch
Cucumbers Beans• Harvest them when fruits are • Harvest these beans when the bright, firm, and green and pods are well filled but have before they get too large. not begun to yellow.• A rule of thumb: harvest sweet Beans—snap: pickles at 1½ to 2 inches long; • For maximum tenderness,• harvest dills when they are 3 to harvest snap beans before 4 inches long, bright green, they are fully mature, when the and less crisp. pods are almost full size but• Avoid yellowed cucumbers. before the seeds begin to bulge.
Melons Winter SquashMuskmelon: Pumpkins:• muskmelon when it is at three • Pick pumpkins when they are full quarters to full slip; full slip or ripe is size, the rind is firm and glossy, and when the stem separates readily the bottom of the fruit (the portion from the fruit under moderate touching the soil) is cream to orange pressure and leaves a circular colored. depression. • Harvest before frost or when rind• The outer rind should not have any resist fingernails scratches. Leave a green color. 2 to 4 inch stem with the fruit.Watermelon:• Harvest watermelon when the fruits Winter Squash are full size and have a dull surface • when the fruits are full size. The rind and a cream-colored ground spot. is firm and glossy and bottom• If it’s a dull sound , similar to tapping (portion touching soil) of fruit is your forehead, it’s not ripe. A hollow cream to orange colored. sound, similar to tapping you chest • Light frost will not damage mature means it’s ripe. fruit.Honeydew:• When it is yellowish to creamy white with a soft, velvety feel. The rind should be slightly soft at the blossom end and have a faint, pleasant odor.
Summer Squash Corn• Harvest squash when it is 4 • Watch corn for signs of to 6 inches long for yellow ripeness for earliest harvest. crookneck squash, 6 to 8 • Corn silks darken and dry inches long for yellow out as the ears mature. straight neck, and 3 to 4 • As the kernels fill out toward inches in diameter for white the top, the ends become scallop. more rounded instead of pointed.• A glossy color indicates • Pick sweet corn in the milk tenderness. stage, when a milk like juice exudes from the kernels if crushed with a thumbnail.
Peppers Eggplant• Harvest bell peppers • Harvest eggplants when they are 4 to 5 when the fruits are inches long and have full, well-formed near full size—about lobes. Immature 6 to 8 inches in peppers are pale, diameter—but still soft, pliable, and thin firm and bright in fleshed. color.• Harvest jalapeños when they are 2 to • Older fruits become 2½ inches long. soft, seedy, and dull• Mature peppers turn colored. orange or red; this does not mean that they are hotter.
Tomatoes• Harvest tomatoes when they are fully colored but still firm.• Harvest red tomatoes for eating fresh, cooking, or canning.• Do not can overripe tomatoes!• If necessary, pick mature green or slightly pink tomatoes and ripen them at room temperature, out of direct sunlight.
Pip FruitsApples• Pick ripe apples from the tree by pulling fruit upward Pears and outward while rotating the fruit slightly. • Pears picked when slightly• If picked prematurely, apples immature will ripen with are likely to be better quality than pears sour, tough, small and poorly that are over mature when colored; if picked picked. overripe, they may develop internal breakdown and store • Most mature, ready to ripen poorly. pears will usually detach• a frost will not sweeten or when "tilted" to a horizontal mature apples or other fruit. position from their usual Sugars accumulate with vertical hanging position. bright, warm (not hot) days
Stone Trees Stone fruits include peaches, plums, cherries, and apricots: all have a hard pitPeach/ Apricot/ Nectarine• As stone fruits ripen, the flesh softens and the skin changes from green to purple, red, orange, or a combination of these colors. You may test for ripeness by applying pressure (the flesh should yield to gentle thumb pressure), but the best way to determine ripeness is to taste the fruit. harvested without the stems attached.• To harvest without hurting the fruit buds for next year’s crop, twist the fruit slightly while pulling. Handle fruit gently to avoid bruising.
Cherry• Fruit maturity can be determined by color• sweet cherries are hand- harvested leaving the pedicels intact.
ShrubsCane Fruit Gooseberry• Raspberries are ready to • Many gardeners pick pick when they easily gooseberries when they separate from the receptacle reach full size, but are not or core. fully ripe. (At this stage, the• Blackberries do not separate fruit are green, tart, and still from the core, so ripeness quite hard.) should be judged by color • Others prefer to allow the and taste. fruit to ripen to a pinkish color• All bramble fruit are and sweeter flavor. extremely perishable & should be harvested frequently.
GrapesGrapes• Color, size, sweetness, and flavor are the most useful indicators of table grape maturity.• Berry color will change from green to blue, red, or white as the different grape varieties approach maturity.• Color alone should not be the sole basis for harvesting grapes. The berries of many varieties change color long before they are fully ripe.
Strawberries Currants• Strawberries are • Fully ripe currants are fully ripe when slightly soft, juicy, and uniformly red. Pick develop the the berries with the characteristic color of cap and stem attached to retain the variety. firmness and • Most currant varieties quality. are red at maturity, a• When few are white. harvesting, pinch • Harvest currants by the stem off about picking the fruit clusters 1/4 inch above the from the plant then cap. stripping individual berries from the stem.
Herbs•The 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
Food Safety• Your life depends on it!• Only use fresh, clean food• When canning, know the pH and your altitude• Maintain proper temperatures, avoid the ―danger zone‖• Label everything with name & date to ensure it is consumed within its
Cold StorageRefrigerated, 33°to 38° Cold Storage, 39° to 50°• Vegetables: • Squashes, Onions & – All Veggies except Potatoes tomatoes – Must be washed, dried, and cured before storage – Keep a high relative humidity – Onions can be stored in mesh bags • Use crisper drawer • Perforated plastic bags • Apples (store away from – Root Vegetables should other vegetables and have the greens removed fruits as they emit to a ¼‖ and the tap root cut ethylene gas) off – Must be kept humid to prevent shriveling Storing Vegetables at Home - Fact Sheet A1135 http://nchfp.uga.edu/how/store/wisc_vegetables.pdf
Freezing temperatures 20°- 30°Vegetables• Most should be blanched prior to freezing; blanching is immersing in boiling water then quickly cooling. Time varies with the vegetable• Vacuum sealing, freezer- specific plastic bags and boxes, and glass canning jars bestPreserving Food: Freezing VegetablesComplete information on freezing food at home, Pub # FDNS-E-43-5The University of Georgia Cooperative Extensionhttp://www.fcs.uga.edu/ext/pubs/fdns/FDNS-E-43-05.pdf
Freezing temperatures 20°- 30°Meats & Dairy• Meats should be repackaged into freezer paper or vacuum sealed if they are purchased in plastic wrapped styrofoam containers• Cheese should be packed in freezer paper or vacuum sealed Feb. 2011
DehydratingMeats & Dairy Fruits & Vegetables• Must be temperature • To prevent browning dip controlled. A minimum of fruits in lemon juice. 160° required to ensure • Some fruits need to be safety. blanched before drying
Canning Water Bath MethodThings to know• Know your pH• 4.6 or higher cannot be • Check jars for cracks and water bath canned chips (even new jars)• Steam canning is not • Only use lids once recommended • Use a proven USDA or• Know your altitude University tested recipe • Maintain proper head space • Maintain 1‖ of water above the lid
ResourcesNational Center for Home Food Preservationwww.nchfp.uga.eduBall / Kerrwww.freshpreserving.comCanning Pantryhttp://www.canningpantry.com/
Double Digging1.Spread a layer of compost and other soil amendments on the surface of the area to be dug.2.Using a spade or short-handled shovel, remove a trench of soil approximately one foot deep and one foot widealong the narrow end of the bed.3.Loosen the soil at the bottom of the trench with the shovel or a spading fork. Avoid mixing soil layers as much aspossible.4.Dig a one foot by one foot trench next to your existing one and place the soil removed on top of the loosenedsoil in your first trench.5.Repeat steps 3 and 4 along the length of the bed.