Northern & Central Midwest

July, 2011
Regional Report

Harvest Garlic When Ready

Garlic leaves may be starting to brown. This is natural and is an indicator as to when to harvest. The general rule is when three-fifths of the leaves have browned, dig the bulbs. Harvesting earlier means the bulbs won't cure well, and later means they may start breaking apart.

Use Dill all Summer

Harvest dill leaves for fresh use, drying, or freezing all summer, but leave the stems to produce flower heads. You can use the flower heads for pickling or wait until they produce seeds. Collect seeds in paper bags before the heads shatter. Make sure the seeds are completely dry and store in jars.

Cure Onions Properly

Harvest onions for curing when the tops begin to fall over. They will do it on their own when they are ready, so don't be tempted to assist by breaking them. Dig gently and lay on clean grass or straw for a few days to dry. Then move to a drying rack out of the sun for several weeks.

Keep Tomatoes Clean

Keep developing tomato fruits off the ground. Be vigilant to tuck wayward vines back into their cages. If the tomatoes are not caged or trellised, put clean straw under the fruits. Fruits in contact with bare soil tend to have many problems with disease.

Harvest Kohlrabi and Turnips When Young

Harvest kohlrabi and turnips before they get huge. They are at their peak flavor and tenderness around golf ball size. Letting them get larger risks making them strong-flavored as well as having them split and become unusable. Turnip greens can be used in any greens recipe while they are young.

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