FOR BEST PRODUCE, PICK PRODUCE BEFORE FULLY MATURE AND OFTEN
- The monitors have noticed many beds with rotting produce on plants and on the ground. It is tempting to leave rotten tomatoes and other produce on the ground but rotten produce encourages bad insects and diseases that could spread to your neighbors beds.
- Although most of the brassicas with Black Rot have been removed, there are still brassicas being planted out of season and are especially subject to getting Black Rot due to the warm and humid weather, so check often and ask for help if you think they are diseased.
- It is a good idea to pick produce a little early than waiting for perfect maturity. Waiting for a tomato to turn completely red invites theft and other problems such as insect and disease damage and damage from birds. Pick the tomatoes when they start to turn pink for red varieties because they will mature to red on your kitchen counter and not lose any flavor. Ripening tomatoes will split after a rain, so pick them quickly after a rain to keep the split tomatoes from rotting on the plant.
- We are coming into cucumber, okra and eggplant season and once again, pick before full maturity. This means checking often because they ripen quicker than you expect. The larger they get, the more likely they will disappear or get damaged by insects and birds and the younger produce you pick will be more tender, seeds will be softer and they will taste better.
- Beans and peas will produce larger yields if picked often and rather than leaving them to develop fully. The younger small peas and beans you pick will be more tender and less stringy.
- If you will be out of town and not be able to check your produce for a few days, ask a neighbor to check for you and offer to let them pick ripe produce for themselves rather than letting the produce spoil.
You work hard for your produce, so check and harvest often to keep from being disappointed from damaged produce or theft of produce.