With the changing leaves and the cooling temperatures, it’s time to start harvesting late season produce.
It can be difficult to know when to harvest crops like sweet potatoes and winter squash, but Iowa State University Horticulturist Ajay Nair recommends paying close attention to the recommended harvest dates when you plant. He also says it’s very important to prepare your produce for storage.
"If you want to store sweet potatoes for longer term storage… you need to start thinking about curing them. When you harvest you want to make sure you remove all the dirt and after that you put them in a room or expose them to conditions where the temperatures are 80-85 degrees Fahrenheit and maintain an 80-90 percent humidity. If we can keep those two conditions for 7 -10 days the sweet potatoes will be cured," Nair says.
Nair says it’s also important to cure winter squash before storage, but they can be cured at a lower temperature of 65-70 degrees Fahrenheit.
On this Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe speaks with Nair and Iowa State Extension horticulture specialist Richard Jauron about late-season harvests. They also answer questions from listeners.