3 articles tagged "Harvesting and Postharvest".

After harvest, storing vegetables in optimal conditions is important to ensure the whole season’s hard work has paid off. This article discusses the optimum storage conditions for tomato, pepper, cucumber, watermelon, cantaloupe and sweet corn. Tomato Ideal storage conditions for tomatoes depend on the maturity stage of picking. If tomatoes are picked at mature green, store them in 66 to 70°F with 90 to 95% RH would encourage uniform ripening. Temperatures above 81°F reduce intensity of red color and reduce fruit shelf-life. Green tomatoes are chilling sensitive. If the temperature is below 55°F, fruit may develop chilling injury. Red tomatoes are safe to store at 50°F, however, flavor and aroma may be negatively affected compared to storing them at 55°F. Pepper Optimum storage condition for peppers is 45 to 55°F with 90 to 95% RH. Temperatures lower than 45°F may cause chilling injury. Colored peppers are in general less chilling[Read More…]


With the start of pumpkin harvest, it is a good time to review important considerations for harvest and postharvest storage of pumpkins and winter squash (butternut, acorn and hubbard squash etc.). First, pumpkin and winter squash should be harvested fully mature to reach their optimal quality and fulfill their potential for long shelf lives. Characters indicating fruit maturity include loss of rind surface gloss, ground spot yellowing, and hardening of the skin to the level that it is resistant to puncture with a thumbnail. Except for some striped varieties, mature fruit should have solid external color. If fruit have to be harvested pre-mature because of plant decline, these fruit won’t store as well as mature fruit. The best practice is to harvest the fruit as soon as they are fully mature and then store under proper conditions. If mature fruit are left attached to the vines, it increases the chance[Read More…]


Solid green stems on fully mature pumpkins make a quality jack-o-lantern. (Photo by Liz Maynard)

​Pumpkin season is here. Keeping up with best management practices through harvest and storage will help the year wrap up on a good note. The steps below are a reminder of actions that can make a difference. Handle fruit as little as possible. Harvest fully orange and healthy pumpkins. Half-orange pumpkins may turn orange but quality and storage life will be reduced. Use a sharp knife or loppers to cut pumpkins from the vine. Leave stems long enough for an attractive product. Carry the pumpkin like a ball, not by the stem, or ‘handle.’ Brush off soil that sticks to the pumpkin. If pumpkins are washed, include a labeled sanitizer in the wash water and dry pumpkins before storage. Place pumpkins carefully in crates, bins, or trucks, so that the stem of one pumpkin doesn’t damage the rind of another. Watch for and avoid (or pad) sharp edges that could[Read More…]


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