Home Fruit and Vegetable Gardening September Harvest Guide: Picking Apples, Preserving Herbs, and More

September Harvest Guide: Picking Apples, Preserving Herbs, and More

by Gregory
4 minutes read

September’s Bounty: A Guide to Harvesting and Preserving Fruit and Vegetables

As the summer draws to a close, September signals the arrival of a bountiful harvest in the fruit and vegetable garden. With a little care and attention, you can reap the rewards of your hard work all season long.

Harvesting Pumpkins and Squash

Pumpkins and squash are essential fall harvests. To ensure they store well, harvest them carefully. Cut the stem cleanly, leaving a few inches attached to the fruit. Avoid bruising or damaging the skin.

Tips for Harvesting Pumpkins and Squash:

  • Use a sharp knife or pruning shears to make a clean cut.
  • Leave a short stem attached to the fruit.
  • Handle the fruits gently to avoid bruising.
  • Store pumpkins and squash in a cool, dry place with good ventilation.

Preserving Herbs Over Winter

As we transition into autumn, it’s important to protect your herb garden from the cold. Cut back herbs like marjoram and thyme now to encourage healthy growth next year.

Tips for Preserving Herbs Over Winter:

  • Cut back herbs by about one-third.
  • Remove any dead or diseased foliage.
  • Mulch around the plants with straw or compost.
  • Consider bringing potted herbs indoors to a sunny windowsill.
  • Harvest fresh herbs regularly to promote new growth.

Picking Apples

Apples are a quintessential fall fruit. To ensure you’re harvesting them at the peak of ripeness, test them by gently twisting them on the branch. If they come off easily, they’re ready to pick.

Tips for Picking Apples:

  • Test apples by gently twisting them on the branch.
  • Pick apples that are fully colored and free of blemishes.
  • Handle apples carefully to avoid bruising.
  • Store apples in a cool, dark place with good ventilation.

Best Apple Varieties to Grow

Not all apple varieties are created equal. Consider these popular choices for their flavor, disease resistance, and storage potential:

  • Granny Smith: Tart and crisp, perfect for baking
  • Honeycrisp: Sweet and juicy, an all-around favorite
  • Gala: Mild and sweet, ideal for eating fresh
  • Fuji: Sweet and slightly tart, with a long storage life
  • Braeburn: Complex flavor, good for both eating and baking

Storing Apples

Proper storage is key to preserving the freshness and flavor of your apples. Follow these tips:

Tips for Storing Apples:

  • Store apples in a cool, dark place with good ventilation.
  • Keep apples away from ethylene-producing fruits and vegetables, such as bananas and tomatoes.
  • Wrap individual apples in paper towels to prevent bruising.

Windfall Apples: Don’t Let Them Go to Waste

Windfall apples, those that have fallen from the tree prematurely, can still be used. They may have some bruises, but they’re perfect for juicing or making applesauce.

Uses for Windfall Apples:

  • Juice windfall apples for a refreshing and nutritious drink.
  • Make applesauce with windfall apples for a sweet and tangy treat.
  • Use windfall apples in pies, cobblers, and other baked goods.

By following these tips, you can enjoy the fruits of your labor all season long. From harvesting pumpkins and squash to preserving herbs and picking apples, September is a time to celebrate the bounty of the harvest.

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