Garden Update: Harvesting Tips and How to Keep Your Garden in Great Shape

Cantaloupe picking

In this week’s garden update, here are a few things to know about harvesting, as well as tips to keep your maturing garden in top shape.

When to pick cantaloupe

Most cantaloupes will be ready to eat when they turn from a green color to a cream color. They will also slip from the vine with a slight push of the finger. This is done where the stem from the vine attaches to the fruit. If you give it a little pressure from your finger where it attaches and it doesn't slip off from the vine then it probably is not ripe yet. Give it a few days and check it again. This video is a great guide on how to do this:

When to pick okra

It is best picked when it is small about 1½ to 3 inches long. If it gets much longer it becomes tough and is no longer tender and tasty to eat. Get some more great advice about okra below, including the advice to pick before okra gets 2 inches long:

Beating back the powdery mildew

Occasionally gardens are visited by uninvited guests, such as powdery mildew. This white substance is a disease that gets on the leaves and once it takes hold of a plant it is difficult to eliminate. An organically approved pesticide called Kaligreen, which is a potassium bicarbonate product with a one day no harvest requirement, can help.

Keep tomato plants anchored

It is a good idea to have tomato plants anchored down tightly so that they do not blow over in a strong wind storm. If the anchor isn’t strong enough, the plant may be uprooted or the stem may bend or break, ruining the plant.