Digging Root Crops
You have worked hard all summer long tending the vegetable garden and eating the wonderful produce. Tomatoes, lettuce, peppers, corn, onions and squash can all make a great summer meal, but what about all those root crops?
According to the Farmer’s Almanac, root crops should be harvested during the third or fourth quarter of the moon. During this time, nature seems to cooperate by giving us cooler, drier days and the “barren” zodiac signs are considered the best for providing a successful harvest. Virgo – August 23 to September 23 – is ideal for digging and if the third quarter of the moon falls during the Virgo sign this is considered a bonus.
Some roots crops ready for harvest are:
- sweet potatoes
When harvesting root crops, it is better to dig them in the late afternoon after all their energy has gathered for the day and the plants are in their most concentrated form.
Focus on potatoes: When potatoes are dug, they should be handled gently while they are sorted and cured. After the roots are harvested, remove the imperfect ones for immediate use because one bad potato can ruin the entire crop. Then transfer the remainder of the potatoes to a dark, moderately moist area with good ventilation and spread them 2 to 4 deep in a bin. Decades ago, potatoes were stored in root cellars; today’s version would be a basement or crawl space.