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October 20, 2011     Tri-County News
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Pa00e 2 Community Thursday, October 20, 2011 unty News Kimball, MN Fall garden chores By Janelle Daberkow, U of M Extension We're nearing the end of the growing season! Now the question is; what needs to be done before the snow flies? Harvest vegetables and store them properly It is important to store only fresh, sound produce that is free from cracks, cuts, bruises or insect damage. Blemished produce is prone to invasion by decay-caus- ing organisms resulting in limited storage capacities. There are three combinations of long-term storage options. The first is cool and dry (50-60 degrees F and 60 percent humidity). Base- ments are generally cool and dry. The second is cold and dry (32-40 degrees F and 65 percent humidity) Home refrigerators are cold and dry with 50-60 percent humidity. The final is cold and moist (32-40 degrees F and 95 per- cent humidity). Root cellars pro- vide cold and moist conditions. If possible, store fruits and veg- etables separately to maintain quality. Produce such as apples give off large amounts of ethylene gas and can damage vegetables. Apples also can absorb odors such as potatoes and turnips result- ing in muddy flavors. Apples keep best between 30 and 32 degrees F with high humidity. Storage life decreases with slight increases in temperatures. Store apples in perforated plastic bags or boxes lined with plastic to maintain the required amount of humid- ity. Potatoes can be stored close to 40 degrees F. Warmer tempera- tures will promote sprouting and cooler temperatures will result in a sweeter flavor. Keep potatoes in total darkness as exposure to light causes them to turn green which produces a bitter taste. Remove any green parts before cooking. Root vegetables like car- rots, turnips and rutabagas should be stored in a cool moist location between 32-40 degrees in plas- without ATTENTION AI/, VETERANS Please let us tell your story. You play such an important part in our history and we owe our freedom to every one of you. We will be collecting stories and photos of our area veterans to share their story with our communities. If you are a veteran please contact us... Stop in or give us a call. (320) 398-5000 70 South Main Street Kimball air holes create conditions that are too humid. Winter squash and pumpkins require different con- ditions to store over the winter months. Dry conditions and tem- peratures between 50-55 degrees are appropriate for winter squash. They should be stored on shelves or boards; and kept off of concrete or soil floors, and should not be touching each other. No matter how you are keeping vegetables, it is important to regu- larly inspect produce and remove any that are beginning to spoil as this can spread rapidly to nearby stored produce. For more infor- mation on proper harvest and storage of vegetables, visit: www. extensin'umn'edu/distributin/ horticulture/DG1424.html. Take care of weeds Do not let your weeds go to seed. Remove or treat any peren- nial weeds, and remove all annual weed plant material to eliminate any possible seed sources that could generate in the following spring. It is also very important to remove any plant material from the garden that was infected by a fungus, bacteria or insects. The possibility for these insects and diseases to overwinter in the soil is probable, so removing them from the garden, and removing them early, can help to avoid headaches, next year. Dispose of infected plant material, and do not com- post it. Take notes on your garden What worked and what didn't? (Keep in mind that 2011 was an abnormal year as far as rainfall during the months of June and July, and high temperatures dur- ing July.) But, some things to con- sider would be: Do you need to adjust the number of vegetable plants planted for next year? Was plant spacing appropriate for the plants selected? And, finally doc- ument where vegetables were planted this year so that you can be sure to rotate crops appropri- ately next year. Now relax, 2012 will be a whole new year of possibilities, and inev- itably some challenges too! www.tricou ntynews. M N