Between the end of July, the whole of August and the beginning of September is the ideal time to harvest vegetables such as tomatoes, peppers, aubergines, courgettes, carrots, etc., and ostentatious fruits such as melons and watermelons. The harvest is the reward for the effort and good work of the horticulturist, whether in a traditional orchard or in urban crops the harvest is the great moment of cultivation.
The importance of the moment makes that we must pay all the attention in this definitive step in the process of the culture, each product has its procedure, moment or tool to be harvested and it must be respected by the good of the fruit. Next, we will detail some of the procedures that are used for different fruits and vegetables that are harvested in summer.
The tomato ripens in the plant, so it will be easy to know when is the best time to harvest the fruit. Depending on the variety, its vivid and flaming red colour reveals its ripening, otherwise, with a simple tactile check, we will notice if the consistency of the fruit is ripe, a little soft. Then it will be enough to cut or start the fruit with care. Approximate time of harvest since its sowing is about 3 months.
It is good to know if the variety of tomato to cultivate is determined or indeterminate, since if the variety of plant is determined it will give its fruits of blow and only once, on the other hand, if it is indeterminate the plant will grow and will give fruits until it dies by the arrival of the cold or is pulled up.
Another classic of the summer harvests are the potatoes, sown between February and March, which will bear fruit from the beginning of summer until mid-August. The potato needs about 100 to 130 days to produce the edible tubers. The time of harvest will be when the leaves and stems of the plant are completely dry.
If you are looking for the so-called new potatoes, you should harvest in spring, after the potato plant has bloomed. In this case, logically, the production and size of the potatoes will be much smaller.
The pepper, within all its varieties, usually takes 2 to 5 months to produce the fruits, its harvest season runs from June to September. It is not easy to know the optimal time of harvesting, you have to try not to mature too much, not to let it become tender, with wrinkles or spots. They can be harvested when they are green or wait for them to mature until they turn red, the more mature they are the faster they should be consumed.
When harvesting them, use good hand scissors with curved blades to obtain a clean cut without difficulty. Leave about 2-3 cm. of the corner.
The aubergine is another of the Solanaceae present in most orchards and urban crops. Of demanding culture, by the high contribution of nutrients that must be given to the plant, but with the excellent and tasty results that give this vegetable. It has a medium-long crop, the harvest will arrive after about 70-90 days after transplanting. The fruits are harvested before they ripen, avoiding the growth of the seeds that make the aubergine have a bitter taste.
When we cut the fruit must have a brilliant aspect, before we palpate it, if this hard one we will leave it a few days more, if, on the contrary, it is a little soft, especially the superior part, it will be the moment to cut the fruit. Collect in the morning, pay attention when cutting, always use good hand scissors with a curved blade, leave 1-2 cm. of the peduncle. Do not give blows to manipulate them and when storing them should not be imprisoned.
Carrots are one of the simplest horticultural crops and best yield, with very basic care in about 3 months from planting and can be harvested.
Carry out the harvest before they fully mature, between 4-5 cm. the diameter would be a good calibre per piece. Start directly from the ground, if the soil is very tight you can use a shovel or hoe type tool to loosen the soil and better pull out the carrots.
The zucchini is one of the most appreciated fruits of the orchard, highly valued nutritionally for its low-calorie intake and be a source of vitamins. The plant begins to bear fruit 40-50 days after sowing and will continue to bear fruit for another couple of months. Courgettes can be cut when the pieces measure a minimum of 10 cm. If we do not cut the fruit will continue to grow until it becomes enormous, taking energy from the plant. That is why it is important to harvest the fruits when they are ripe to have good production.
Let’s not forget that zucchini flowers can also be harvested, they are a delicate and delicious food that can be prepared in different ways.
The onion, one of the queens of the orchard and kitchen, an edible bulb that is harvested about 4 months after planting. Its collection is somewhat complex as it requires preparation before being harvested.
When the tips of the leaves are discoloured and turn yellowish we must crush and break the neck of the onion, this will cause the onion to ripen. After this operation lifts a little onion underneath with a hoe or fork, very careful not to damage the bulb, this will mark the beginning of drying. In one week we will be able to remove the onions completely leaving them exposed to the sun for drying for two weeks. It is important to stop watering a couple of weeks before harvesting.
The lettuce is undoubtedly one of the most cultivated vegetables, has simple and early cultivation, with great results. Depending on the variety and growing conditions will take one to two months to develop.
The lettuce was grown in summer, depending on which varieties, we will pay special attention to the gleaning due to high temperatures. Therefore, we should not wait too long to cut them once the plant is sufficiently developed to be consumed. Remove it by pulling it out or cutting it with a knife at ground level.
Watermelon and Melon
Watermelon and melon are very suitable fruits for summer cultivation in the orchard. Both belong to the same family, cucurbits, their care and cultivation needs are very similar. Both watermelon and melon will need at least 4 months to develop the fruits until they can be harvested, about 40-50 days after the flower is pollinated.
Paying attention to some signs we can intuit the point of maturity and know when to harvest these bulky fruits, the petiole of the fruit must be dry, the base or support side of the fruit must be yellowish, tapping the fruit must sound like hollow. It is never too much to try the fruits to verify that the weight adjusts to the volume of the piece. Harvest in the morning or late afternoon. Cut with good hand scissors leaving the tailor petiole in the fruit.
The list could continue as there are many more products harvested in summer, for more information you can visit the category of Horticultural Books where there is a wide range of guidebooks in which everything related to the cultivation and care of plants, in general, is explained.
Cultivate happily, cultivate organic, cultivate wellness.