Fall Crops – Harvesting – Winter Storage

Most areas in North America it’s not to late to harvest crops that are to be stored for later use. Here is a bit of information that ‘Generally’ applies to harvesting / storing late fall harvested crops.

* Do not wash freshly harvested vegetables. After digging, wipe dirt off root crops such as onions, garlic, potato’s of all kinds, turnips and such.
* Removing vegetable foliage(tops) cut about 1 inch above your vegetable. Do not remove vegetable roots. Small hair like roots can be ‘brushed’ off by hand once your vegetable has hardened off. (Skin has dried and become tough).
* Winter squash and gourd harvesting. Cut vine stem leaving 1 to 2 inches of the stem attached to the squash or gourd.
* Apples and pears that you wish to put in winter storage should be treated much as you do root crops. Allow them to harden off a few days before being boxed for winter storage.

Hint Frost and rain is not your friend. Fruits and vegetables must be protected from being rained on or being exposed to frost or freezing temperatures. If rain or frost is in your forecast, move your fruits and vegetables into a dry frost free area during the hardening off process.

Carefully inspect your fruit and vegetables at harvest time. Fruits and vegetables having harvest or insect damage should be consumed within 2 days or you should cut away damaged areas and can or freeze them for later use. If you can not can or freeze damaged fruit or vegetables, feed them to your chickens or livestock. As a last resort chop them and add to your compost pile. Grin .. if you don’t have a compost pile, get one!

Note Sweet Potato’s is most likely the most temperature sensitive vegetable you will have to deal with during you fall harvested vegetables. Sweet Potato’s are extremely sensitive to wet and frost damage. If your garden is hit by an unexpected frost, (1) cut at ground level and remove potato vines. (2) Dig sweet potato’s within 1 day or at most 2 days to salvage your potato crop.
Under these conditions your best choice is to can or freeze potato’s after digging.

Harding off can be accomplished in about 10 to 14 days. During hardening off process, keeping vegetables and fruits in a frost free place. The best temperature is 75 to 80 degrees. After hardening off fruits and vegetables in a dry, well ventilated area winter storage at 55 to 60 degrees is idea with a relative humidity of 75 percent to 80 percent if possible.

I am a Lazy old guy Being frugal, not cheap, I don’t find it necessary or productive to re-type information that others have researched and put in print.
The internet is a great resource. However anyone can post anything on a website. Sometime the person(s) making these post don’t have a clue! Their postings are totally incorrect or incomplete.
The links I have provided are to the best of my knowledge, correct and cut to the chase without the need to swamp the reader with junk products they are attempting to peddling to an unsuspecting public.

NGA Harvesting Sweet Potato’s
NGA Harvesting Potato’s
NGA Harvesting Onions
Harvesting and Storing Garlic
UNL-Apples and Pears – Harvest and Storage

Not from the U.S.A. Leave a comment telling me about your home town and country

Why is common sense so uncommon?
Don’t be Shy. Leave me your comment(s)


21 responses to “Fall Crops – Harvesting – Winter Storage

  1. Super advice that we can use here in the UK. I have just returned from North America and loved your super countryside. So like Yorkshire UK for climate and land maybe a little milder. Hope your winter isn’t too harsh


  2. Yep, definitely true that not everything on the web is true – ie decided to ignore advice not to hand pollinate my indoor cucumbers in the end as I was getting nowhere and finally got some fruit going πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • Pollinating indoor plants can be a real problem. Many greenhouses release bumble bees to act as pollinator insects. πŸ™‚ This solution may not work all that well for you..
      Happy holiday season


      • No, since by indoors I mean my house! The cucumbers were easier to pollinate than the aubergines, though.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Smiling .. I was sure that you were growing them in your house.
          Greenhouse growers often (1) shake the plants to release pollen and or (2) using a small 1 inch soft paint brush. Brush plants to release pollen.
          Happy gardening


          • I used a paint brush on the cucs but soon realised this was too brutal for the aubergines (eggplant). Now I just lightly brush them with my fingers but no idea if it is this that has led to any success or a stray insect πŸ˜‰

            Liked by 1 person

            • Cucumber and egg plants are both open pollinated. Meaning bee/insect pollination is not necessary. Pollen released by the flowers float in the air and with luck some pollen finds it’s target. Brushing you plant with your hand accomplishes the same result(s) as shacking the plant or gently brushing the plant. Also shaking or brushing tomato and pepper plants will get better pollination and a better fruit set.
              Happy holiday season


              • That’s interesting to know, particularly with regard to peppers. I’ve got some cayenne peppers on the go at the moment but most of the flowers just die and drop off. Last year, I thought it might have been water stress but I’ve made sure they were properly watered this time round and the same thing is happening.


  3. Expecting our first freeze tonight. I have just gathered over 2 dozen green tomatoes from the vines.
    Any suggestions on easy (and quick) recipes to put them to good use?
    How about indoor ripening? Any suggestions? πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thanks for the helpful tips! I tried storing apples in my cellar and was quite unsuccessful. Now I know why I failed.


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