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Fruit and Vegetable Harvesting

Posted at August 23, 2016 in News by JHPS Gardens

Harvest harvest harvest…. August is the start of the big harvest with a large range of fresh fruit and vegetables just coming into ripeness. So how can you get the tastiest produce and keep your garden going strong?

Fruits

There are many fruits coming into harvest in August, one being apples. Once picked, apples stop ripening so make sure you know when to pick them. Apples ripen from the outside of the tree to the centre, so the ones on the far out branches will be ready first.  Here are a few tips to help you identify when apples are ready to be picked:

  • Colour – The colour on the outside of the apple is a good indication on your apples maturity. Depending on the variation, your apples may be yellow, red, green or a mixture of these colours. The most common apple tree in the UK is a modern high bred like Gala, Braeburn and Kanzi, which produce a yellow and red blush colour when ripe. When the green has almost completely gone and produced a yellow or red colour. With red blush apples or stripped apples, the area where there is no colour turns red is an indication of ripeness.
  • Ease of separation – Mature apples will separate easy with very little effort. Unless you have used some form of stop-drop spray. This method is a clear indication of ripeness.
  • Seeds  If you pick an apple and cut the apple horizontally. If the seeds are brown then the fruit is ripe.
  • Fruit fall – Check the apples that are falling. Except for buggy, rotten or diseased apples, when a few good apples have dropped to the floor it is a good indication they are ripe.
  • Flavour and softness  One of the best and most fun ways to tell if your apples are ready is the taste. This does open you up to some sour tastings if not ripened. When an apple becomes slightly softer and tastes sweet and juicy its mature.
  • Online – You can go online or look into gardening books for maturity dates. They are generally categorised to variety of apple tree and provide a guideline date that is generally accurate.

Vegetables

Onions can be harvesting at any point during the summer months and can be picked and eaten at any stage. Many people like to keep a stock of onions ready for the winter just in case. Here are some onion harvesting tips:

  • The leaves will loose their colour and weaken at the top of the bulb. The leaves are meant to die as they have filled their purpose and are no longer needed. Once the leaves have come away, the onions should be left in the ground for another ten day to two weeks to mature fully. Don’t leave onions in the ground for more than two weeks after the tops die  as this can cause rot when they are stored.
  • Harvesting onions on a sunny day always helps as you can let them dry out in the sun. This method of drying onions kills off the roots. If you harvest onions on a rainy day, they will hold in the moisture and wont dry out as well.
  • To cure the onions, spread them out in a warm, airy place out of the sun, such as on a porch.  If you run out of shady areas to dry your onions, place them in a sunny area with a thin, cotton sheet covering them to stop the sun from burning them. Don’t cover them with anything to thick as this will trap the moisture inside.

If you need any more tips, please don’t hesitate to contact us on 01782 396 168 or alternatively email us at info@jhps-gardens.co.uk