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Vijai Pandian column: When to harvest pumpkins and apples

4:57 PM, Sep. 20, 2013  |  Comments
Popular mid-season apple cultivars like McIntosh, Cortland, Honeycrisp, Ginger Gold, Jonafree, and Nova Easygro mature around early September.
Popular mid-season apple cultivars like McIntosh, Cortland, Honeycrisp, Ginger Gold, Jonafree, and Nova Easygro mature around early September.
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Fall is known for harvest season. Popular mid-season apple cultivars like McIntosh, Cortland, Honeycrisp, Ginger Gold, Jonafree, and Nova Easygro mature around early September.

For long-term storage, harvest these apples after they reach maturity but before they ripen on the tree. As apples mature, their dark green skin begins to turn lighter and yellow.

Randomly select an apple on the tree and slice it open to check its seed color. Mature fruit will change its seed color from green to tan or brown. Mature apples are sweeter and have a better aroma than immature fruit.

Pumpkins and winter squash are harvested from September through October. Harvest the fruit at its full maturity when the rind becomes hard and waxy with a uniform deep, solid color.

To test the firmness of the rind, apply slight pressure with a fingernail. A mature fruit will resist fingernail pressure to the rind. Cantaloupe, also known as muskmelon, is harvested when the rind changes its color to tan or yellow and its stem detaches from the vine easily.

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