Transcript Slide 1

Incredible Edibles
UF/IFAS St. Lucie County Extension
Harvesting Your Garden
When is the right time to harvest? Learn how to store and exhibit the fruits of your labor
When to
• Harvesting too late
- less tenderness and poor
- will drain the plant,
causing less production
• Harvesting too early
- may result in smaller
vegetables and less flavor.
•pick and taste a few for
At Planting Time•Read seed packet for # of
days to reach maturity
•List date planted, maturity
date and variety on plant
•Harvest vegetables in the
early morning while
they’re still cool.
• Wash them thoroughly
using plenty of cool,
running water, and chill
them in the refrigerator or
in an ice bath.
• Vegetables should be
canned or frozen as soon
as possible after
harvesting, since they can
decline in quality within
just a few hours.
Biggest is not
Always Best
• Most
crops can be
harvested several times if
only the part that is ready
is harvested.
• The quality of vegetables
does not improve after
• At maturity vegetables
are at their peak for flavor
and nutrition.
• This is not always true
when a vegetable is at its
largest stage.
• Bulbing Onions
- when 20% of tops have fallen
over, field cure the bulbs before
- first undercut the roots and pull
back the bulbs
- stack them in windrows so that
tops cover the bulbs (prevents
- 7-14 days of field curing, spread
plants in thin layers in dry, wellventilated area for ~ 1 week
- remove tops and place in
slotted crates or boxes or tie tops
together and hang.
-Store in cool, dry, ventilated
• Irish Potatoes
- harvest after tubers are
1” in diameter, anytime
after flowering
- harvest for storage after
vines have died down
- Remove all cut, bruised,
green and diseased
potatoes immediately
- place good potatoes in
boxes/crates and store in
cool, dry, dark place
-Do not store where they
could freeze
• Sweet Potatoes
-dig before frost and when soil
is dry
-handle carefully to avoid
-for prolonged storage roots
should be cured
-remove all diseased potatoes
before curing
- place in crates for good air
- wet roots thoroughly and
cover with plastic
- keep temperature 80-85°F,
humidity 80-85% for 3-7 days
-store in cool (60°F), dry place
• Tomatoes
-Before frost, pick green
fruits and spread in single
layer in cool place
- pull up entire plant and
hang by roots in cool place
- do not store unripe fruits
in the refrigerator
- once tomatoes are red
ripe or cut for use, they
may be placed in the
refrigerator to reduce
• Dried Beans and Peas
-allow beans and peas to
mature thoroughly on the
- spread in dry, ventilated
area and allow to dry for 23 weeks
- shell or thresh and store
in covered containers
• Show off your hard work
- local fairs
- prepare them to be
- based on size, color, type,
and good eating quality
- rules are posted in fair
premium book
- eligibility
- starting times
- location
- # of items allowed
Harvest / Store
• Starfruit
-mid summer-early fall
-green will fade and
become yellow, slight tug
releases ripe fruit
- light green fruit can be
ripened inside
- be gentle with the ribs
- green fruits can be stored
up to 2 weeks on counter
or 4 weeks in refrigerator
Harvest / Store
• Papaya
- harvested green use as a
- ripe when full yellow to
orange color on the peel
-pick when yellow color
covers 1/5 to 1/3 of the
surface peel
- fruit left on tree increases
in color and fruit sugar
-fruit should be placed at
room temperature to fully
ripen before being stored in
the refrigerator
-ripe fruit will keep up to 4
to 7 days.
Harvest / Store
• Passion
-purple matures in late
spring /early summer
- yellow fruits Sept-early
- drop to ground when ripe
-fruit naturally sweetens
and wrinkles as it ripens
- a shriveled fruit is ready
to eat
- Clean fruit can be stored
in polyethylene bags at
10°C (50°F) for as long as 3
weeks without loss.
Harvest / Store
• Lychee and Longan
- harvest by cutting the main
stem bearing the fruit
clusters several inches
behind the fruit clusters
- fruit may or may not be
detached from the fruit
clusters before storage
-ripe fruit are sweet, plump,
and of the size and color
characteristic of the cultivar
- fruit will darken in color if
not kept properly
refrigerated and well
-watch out for split skins.
Harvest / Store
• Mamey Sapotes
-harvest when the flesh is
completely reddish
- if not completely red
allow to ripen for a few
days at room temperature
- ripen at room
temperature until soft
- can become overripe very
quickly and may decay or
develop off flavors
- soft, mature fruits will
store well in the
refrigerator at 50-55° F
Harvest / Store
• Guava
- fruit are ripe when flesh
softens slightly and turns a
light yellow. Depending
upon the variety, interior
flesh can be white, yellow,
pink or red
- birds and insects will
readily attack ripe fruit
- ripen at room
temperature until yellow,
fragrant and slightly soft
- handle carefully, since
they can bruise easily
- plant is invasive
• Most tropical fruits can be
safely stored for one week.
- Keep at the proper storage
temperature and relative
• Avocados, bananas, star
fruit, guavas, jackfruit,
longans, lychees, mamey
sapote, mangos, papayas,
and pineapples – shelf life 5
days or less
• Kumquats, passionfruit,
limes and key limes – 5-10
• Coconuts, and pummelos.
Have 10-15 day shelf-life
Harvesting Herbs
•Harvest leaves, flowers,
seeds or roots depending on
the herb.
• Harvest the leaves when
they contain the optimum
amount of essential oils.
• Cut herbs soon after the
dew has evaporated from
the leaves in the morning.
Harvest on a dry day that
has been preceded by at
least two sunny days.
• Cut stems for harvest when
the flower buds are just
beginning to open. Mints,
however, have the most oil
in the leaves when the
spikes are in full bloom.
Let’s Eat!