Mother Earth Living

Summer Harvest Guide

Enjoy the garden harvest all year with this plant-by-plant guide to harvesting and storing your favorite crops.

Keep the harvest going all season with these tips.
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Carrots become sweeter in the fall, when soil temperatures cool down.
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Cure freshly pulled garlic by setting it in a warm (80 degrees or warmer), well-ventilated place for at least two weeks.
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Sturdy pole beans that are just beginning to show bumps from seeds growing inside are the best green beans for canning.
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Peppers that ripen to their mature color (red, orange or yellow) are sweeter and more nutritious than green peppers.
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By gathering three or four leaves from each leafy green, new leaves continue to grow from the plants' centers.
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Handle harvested potatoes gently and protect them from exposure to sun.
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All types of summer squash, including yellow squash, zucchini and patty pan squash, should be picked young, while the rinds are quite tender.
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One of the finest crops of summer, sweet corn is ripe when the ears feel hard and well-filled when squeezed, and a test ear tastes sweet and tender when sampled raw.
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Allow tomatoes to ripen on the vine until they’re bright red and firm to the touch.
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Allow winter squash and pumpkins to ripen until the rinds are hard and the vines have begun dying back.
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Store cured onions in boxes or mesh bags in a cool place with moderate humidity, such as a cool basement or garage.
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